Sunday, May 26, 2013

I'm Back! Soft Shell Crabs

Why hello there! It's been almost 5 months since my last post... I promised to come back in January, and then I let the blog fall out of my routine. To my readers, I am very sorry for disappearing for so long. Life has seemed to pick up pace in 2013, and what was meant to be days between recipes quickly turned into months. If you'll find it in your food blog reading hearts to forgive me, I'll try to get back into the groove and post more regularly.

Few things seem to get my creative cooking juices flowing more than a weekend trip to Cape May, so with this succulent feast of crab, I jump back into Ty's Kitchen. Cape May has incredible seafood, and one seasonal specialty that actually comes from a bit further south in Maryland is soft shell crabs. Soft shell crabs are typically blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay which are molting their shells. The period when they're available usually runs from May to September, and there's really no better time to eat crab. I don't prefer crabs over other shellfish because of all of the messy work that goes into cracking the shells and extracting the small amount of meat in each crab, but with soft shells, you can eat the whole thing, so your hands are clean and your belly is full of juicy, delicious crab.

My fiancée's mother, Carol, is a master soft shell chef, so I had her show me her method of cooking them. First thing you want to do is have the crabs cleaned. If you're buying them live from a fish market then they will clean them for you, but if you want to do it yourself, the best place to learn is checking out a couple how to videos on Youtube. Basically cleaning them consists of removing the tail, eyes, and gills. Pretty quick and easy, but even easier when left to the pros. Once your crabs are clean, you should wash them and pat them dry. Then mix an egg and a little water and pour some fine bread crumbs or corn meal on a sheet of wax paper with salt, pepper, and Old Bay for seasoning. Dip each crab in the egg wash and then the bread crumbs and set aside until they're all coated and ready to cook. Heat up some butter and oil in a pan, and pan fry the crabs until they're golden brown and crispy. Toss a little more butter, some chopped garlic, and parsley in the pan and scrape up the pan drippings to make a nice butter sauce to top them off. They will be simply delicious and quite easy to make. Enjoy!

Soft Shell Crabs with Spinach and Corn

(Serves 4)
8 soft shell crabs, cleaned
3/4 cup of fine bread crumbs or cornmeal
salt, pepper, and Old Bay for seasoning
1 egg
2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
1 lemon
1/2 lb of spinach
4 ears of corn

To Cook:
Soft Shell Crabs

  1. Wash and dry the crabs
  2. Mix the egg and some water (1/4 cup) in a wide bowl
  3. Spread the bread crumbs and seasoning on a sheet of wax paper
  4. Dip each crab in the egg wash then the bread crumbs and coat thoroughly
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottom frying pan on medium high
  6. Fry the crabs in batches until golden and crispy on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side, adding the extra oil when needed between batches
  7. Once all of the crabs are cooked, add the second tablespoon of butter, half the garlic, the parsley, and the juice from a quarter of the lemon and sautee until garlic is starting to brown
  8. Spoon the butter sauce on the crabs and serve
  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan
  2. Add the other half of garlic and sautee until starting to brown
  3. Add the spinach and squeeze a quarter of the lemon
  4. Sautee until wilted, toss with some salt and pepper, and serve
  1. Put the whole ear of corn (husk on) in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes per ear
  2. Take it out (with a towel, they'll be hot) and cut about a half inch from the stalk end
  3. Squeeze from the silk end and the cob will come out the bottom while the husk and silk stay on the top


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're back!

research papers said...

Crab are probably on number one of my food list. Unlucky, I have never been able to find them. If I do, I'll try your recipe for sure, it looks delicious.