May 21, 2013
This is my FAVORITE time of year. The weather is warm, but not too hot, all of the pretty flowers are blooming, more and more produce is coming into season…
…oh yeah, and soft-shell crabs. Nom nom nom.
To obtain these little guys, my dad and I made the brave journey over to Stew Leonard’s on a Saturday morning. Do you know how crazy that place gets?! Between the non-stop animal sounds, hoards of people, and baked goods stacked a mile high, it was quite overwhelming.
Luckily, it was worth it: the crabs turned out deliciously. We’re definitely considering going back for more next weekend.
First thing’s first: you’re going to need crabs. (I know, huge shocker.) Please ask your fish monger to clean your lovable crustaceans for you…that is, unless you want your hands covered in crab guts. Give them a quick rinse and pat-down before you use them.
Traditionally, soft-shell crabs are dunked in a thick batter before they’re fried. Since I wanted to taste the crab and not the coating around them, I lightly tossed them in about 1/2 cup of arrowroot flour and 2 heaping tablespoons of Essence of Emeril.
I love Emeril Lagasse, and his seasoning is pretty awesome. To make it, simply combine 2 1/2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, and 1 tablespoon of dried thyme. (I adapted the recipe from here.)
Transfer your coated crabs to a plate. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. This is one of those times where you need the extra fat for crispification, so don’t skimp!
Once hot, add the crabs to the pan belly-side down, and cook until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Flip the crabs over and add more olive oil if the pan is getting dry. Continue cooking for another five minutes, then place on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Keep warm in a 200-degree oven while you make the sauce.
To the pan, add 5 small or 4 large cloves (about 2 tablespoons) of chopped garlic and saute for about a minute. Carefully pour in 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/4 cup of water or chicken stock, stand back, and let simmer down for 3 to 4 minutes over low heat.
Remove the crabs from the oven, and drizzle each with a little sauce and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
I served the crabs along simply roasted sunchokes and sauteed baby kale with balsamic vinegar. DELISH.
What’s your favorite seasonal spring food? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!