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Joe's Crab Shack

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    Score: 4.78. Votes: 9

    My waitress said that I'd be tempted to lick the shells clean from my order of "BBQ Style" Dungeness crab at Joe's Crab Shack. She was right. Even though it's called "BBQ" on the menu, there's no grilling involved here. Instead, a super flavorful seasoning paste is brushed on steamed crab of your choice just before it's served to your table. With that bit of knowledge under my belt, the only thing I had to figure out was how to clone that seasoning. When I analyzed a sample of the dark red paste I first noticed the distinctive flavor of Old Bay That's a good start. After adding a lot of salt to the blend along with paprika for color I was definitely heading in the right direction. But the taste was missing something until I invited a little MSG to the dance. You'll find it in the spice aisle of your supermarket under the brand-name Accent. After just a bit of sugar and a touch of cayenne pepper for extra kick, I had a dry rub that was a dead ringer for the original blend. Now it was just a matter of adding some vegetable oil to the seasoning to create a paste that could be brushed on Dungeness crab, snow crab, or king crab legs after the crab is fully steamed. Next time you have a crab cookout, give this one a try and you too will serve crab that's "shell lickin' good."

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.17. Votes: 6

    The number one appetizer on Joe's menu is called Blue Crab Dip but you don't need blue crab to clone it. You don't even need to use fresh crab. I used some delicious lump crabmeat from Phillip's Seafood that comes in 16-ounce cans (you may find it at Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, and Vons) and the dip turned out great. You could also use the crabmeat that comes in 6-ounce cans found at practically every supermarket—you'll need two of them. Just be sure to get the kind that includes leg meat, and don't forget to drain off the liquid before you toss it in.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Joe's has crossed the border with our take on nachos. Tortilla strips piled high and topped with loads of crab dip, pico de gallo, cheese and black bean corn relish."

    If you're a nacho freak like me, you gotta love the unique crab nachos at Joe's Crab Shack. The restaurant chain creates this number one appetizer pick by slathering tortilla chips with their awesome crab dip and Jack cheese, and popping everything under the broiler. Once the cheese is melted and gooey, the nachos are topped with sliced lettuce, drizzled with the great avocado-lime dressing, and topped with pico de gallo and black bean corn relish. I've got clones here for the crab dip and the dressing, plus I'm including re-creations of the black bean corn relish and pico de gallo to finish off your homemade pile of nacho greatness. If you don't feel like making the pico from scratch, you can usually find a good premade version in your local market. This clone creates a bigger serving than the one from the restaurant chain, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    These legs from the king of crabs come already cooked at your supermarket usually previously frozen, so we won't have to boil them long to finish them off. But we do want to give them a long enough bath to get the flavor of garlic into the meat. To aid in this process we need to poke several holes in the shell along each leg so that the garlic water can seep in. Use the handle end of a nutcracker the kind that is often serve with crab to help crack the shells, or the back end of a wooden spoon to make those holes. This step also makes removing the shells easier when eating the crab. And you don't have to worry about peeling the garlic cloves. Just pound 'em flat with a mallet or foil-wrapped brick and toss em into the water.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: “Get ready to get fired up! Our jalapeno, shrimp and crab balls are bound to be our hottest sellers.”

    Joe’s hit appetizer is not as hard to make as you may think. The secret is in creating a filling that will form easily into a ball and then using a three-step breading process to make sure the balls stay as balls when they’re frying. There are jalapenos in there, but the cayenne is where the big heat comes from, so if you want your balls a little less fiery just reduce the amount of cayenne you put in the mix.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Silly name, delicious drink. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits and Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 4

    With over 120 restaurants in 28 states, Joe's Crab Shack is one of the country's largest seafood restaurants. The chain is famous for its BBQ crab and hourly server line dances, but Joe's also has an impressive cocktail menu. When the weather's frigid, this coffee drink with a kick is a great way to warm up the innards.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Joe’s Crab Shack is known for killer crab which you can order in a variety of flavors, cooked several different ways. For those of us who like biting into food that bites us back, Joe’s boils crab in a super secret spicy seasoning blend along with some corn on the cob and red skin potatoes. This recipe is beautifully simple and you can use your favorite cooked and frozen crab: dungeness crab, snow crab, or king crab. After mixing the seasoning, grab a large pot that can hold around 6 quarts of water and bring the water up to a rolling boil. The potatoes take the longest to cook so they go in first, followed by the seasoning, the corn, and then the crab. The crab is already cooked so it won’t take long—you just want to cook it enough to get the flavor of the seasoning into the meat. The finishing touch is to sprinkle seasoning over the whole pile of goodness after it comes out of the boil and then serving everything up with plenty of napkins, and perhaps a bib or two.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.