Whip a dip so good you’ll flip! <br>Strawberry Cheesecake Dip - Mulligatawny Soup - Chocolate Mousse Pie </br>Little Piece of my Heart - Dressed to Impress; Mastering Classic Vinaigrette - Pop Quiz! What’s the best way to uncork Champagne?  </br> Michael DeLoach -

Indulging in San Francisco Dungeness Crab

Cheers to the San Francisco fishermen who braved bad weather and high waves to deliver fresh Dungeness crabs to our Bay Area markets this week.

Things looked bleak earlier last month when the Costco Besan cargo ship hit the Bay Bridge and dumped 58,000 gallons of oil into the Bay. Fishermen remained dockside as crab season went on hold. That all changed last Thursday when scientists reported that the Dungeness crab, rock crab, herring, surf perch and mussels (with the exception of those at Rodeo Beach in Marin County and the Berkeley pier) were safe to eat. Officials lifted the ban.

Early Saturday morning fishermen loaded the decks of their boats with hundreds of crab traps and headed out the Golden Gate. Joining others from Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay they set their traps and delivered the season’s first catch on Sunday.

News of their departure spread fast so I bundled up and braved the cold bay winds to wander the piers and watch the last of the boats head out. Word was that we’d have crab in the markets Monday afternoon.

My only problem was which crab dish to prepare first. Spicy crab cakes sounded good—or maybe a rich crab sandwich with baby shrimp and melted Gruyere cheese. I had a friend coming for lunch so opted for a crisp Crab Louis salad with creamy slices of avocado, hard-cooked eggs and homemade Thousand Island dressing. It was divine.

What next? Well, the most sinfully decadent way to eat Dungeness crab is boiled, cracked, peeled and dipped in melted butter—lots of butter. Simple—pure pleasure.

Friends are coming to my house this Saturday for our first crab fest of the year. I’ll get the Dungeness crabs at Fishermen’s Wharf in the morning, then walk down the street to the bakery for just-out-of-the oven sourdough bread. The only other things needed are a crisp Romaine salad and chilled white wine. It’s a meal fit for the gods—and your best buddies.