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Softshell Crabs Buster Nelson
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 hotel softshell crabs
  • cold milk
  • peanut oil for frying
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup slivered, blanched almonds
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Mix flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. Dip crabs in cold milk and then in the flour mixture. Heat 1/8 inch of oil in a frying pan and saute 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm. Butter Sauce: To make sauce, melt butter over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Add shallots and slivered almonds. Cook just until the butter begins to brown, then remove the pan from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the shallots and almonds from the butter and set aside until serving time. Add the lemon juice and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon. The sauce will foam up. When the foaming subsides, return the pan to the heat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce turns a rich, golden brown. Remove from the heat. To serve, place sauteed crabs on heated plates. Sprinkle with reserved shallots and almonds. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of sauce over each crab. Serves 2.
The shallot, a small variety of onion that grows in clusters, is probably the most prized member of the onion family among cooks. Their mild onion flavor doesn't overpower the crabs and lets their delicate taste shine through.
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