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Softshell Crabs Buster Nelson

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ 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 sauté crabs 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.

Melt butter over medium heat. 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.

Top crabs with reserved shallots and almonds. Spoon sauce over each crab.

Serves 2.

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