Simple Fried Soft-Shell Crabs

1/4 cup peanut or

olive oil

Flour for dredging

Salt and pepper

to taste

8 cleaned medium-size soft-shell crabs

Lemon wedges, tartar sauce, or salsa

Chopped parsley as optional garnish

Pour oil in a large frying pan and turn heat to medium high.

Dredge crabs in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper; gently shake to remove excess flour.

When oil is hot, add crabs to pan, top-side down in a single layer. Caution: Crabs tend to spatter considerably while cooking. Shake pan occasionally to keep crabs from sticking. Add a bit more oil if necessary.

Saut about 3 minutes on each side. Crabs should be cooked until crispy, but be careful not to burn them.

Drain crabs on paper towels. Blot excess oil from both sides.

Serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce, or a tablespoon or two of your favorite salsa; top with parsley.

Serves 4 as a main course; 8 as an appetizer.

Sauteed Soft-Shell Crabs Marinated in Spicy Cream

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon hot sauce such as Tabasco

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper or cayenne

8 medium-size soft-shell crabs, cleaned

1/2 cup peanut oil or clarified butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine cream, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in a shallow pan. (A brownie pan works well.) Mix thoroughly with a fork. Add crabs and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. If there is not enough cream to cover, turn them several times while they are marinating.

Heat oil or butter in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Dredge crabs in flour. When oil is hot, add as many crabs to the frying pan as you can in a single layer.

Saut about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn heat down if they begin to burn, and be careful as they will spatter. Saut remaining crabs, adding more oil if necessary

Remove crabs and blot on paper towels.

Crabs may be served as sandwiches on toasted hamburger buns with lettuce and tartar sauce or salsa; plain with lemon wedges and a salad, and more hot sauce.

Serves 4.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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