Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fried Soft Shelled Crab / Boiled & Stuffed crabs

Crabs are exoskeleton they have to shed their shells in order to grow larger. Since they grow rather rapidly from juvenile to adulthood (12-18 months) the crab goes through multiple growth stages during its lifetime. The blue crab is one of the few species of crab that can actually be eaten in this form. Although one can eat the shell one has to be careful when preparing the crab for frying.
sniping off face
You have to cut off the face (eyes & such) so you can lift the shell & remove the dead mans fingers. (the lungs) also around this area is the sand pouch remove that. On the underside is the tablier or apron. When you look @ the apron it is easy to tell the sex of the crab. (the apron on the female is round; on the male it is long and thin) Wash gingerly in cold so as to not remove the delicate flavor.
decent sized soft shell

1 dozen soft shelled crabs
Breadcrumbs/cornmeal/crumbled crackers
1 quart milk
Seasoning (salt,pepper, cayenne, etc.)

soak & massage the crabs making certain that the seasoned milk has permeated the crab. Take crab out roll in one or the other of the above or a mixture shaking off excess then fry in hot grease/oil deep enough for the crabs to swim. Fry til golden brown take carefully out of pan an place on brown paper bags

Boiled Crabs Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil Complete 4 oz
Note this recipe was in a cook book pre the US entering WWII
(before packaged/bottled boils?)
1 dozen crabs
bunch of celery w/tops
4 sprigs sweet marjoram
4 sprigs sweet basil
4 sprigs thyme
4 chives
a dozen allspice
3 blades mace
3 bay leaves
a red pepper pod
cayenne pepper
enough salt to make a brine

Chop the celery stalks leaving about 2 inches w/tops. In a large pot toss in seasoning by themselves or in a cheese cloth bagged Bouquet garni for the smaller items. In 2-3 minutes after boiling brine should be flavored. Lower the crab basket into the boiling briny water (crabs should be alive) let them boil rapidly til shells are bright red (10 minutes)

Stuffed crabs

1lb crab meat (check for pieces of shell)
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion (minced)
Stuffed crabs in saved hard shelled backs
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 tbs green bell pepper (minced)
2 tbs celery (minced)
1 tsp thyme (fresh minced)
1/4 cup green onions (minced)
2 tbs parsley leaves(minced)
1 bay leaf (minced)
1 bay leaf (minced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch cayenne
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (fine)
1/4 cup cream

In a large skillet melt the butter and, til it begins to froth, add the trinity (onion, celery, and green bell pepper) Cook til translucent (4 min.) Add the garlic w/the spices (ya don't want it to burn) thyme, cayenne and bay leaf (1 minute more) Remove from the heat and gently fold in the crabmeat (not disturbing the lumps) parsley, green onions, egg, salt, cayenne, and black pepper, 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs (reserve a couple of tsps) and the cream (holding back some as well) Fold well to combine. Transfer the crabmeat mixture to the cleaned crab shells (if you have or saved any. If not you can purchase aluminum ones) and sprinkle reserved bread crumbs. Top each crab shell with a pat of butter and bake until golden brown and thoroughly heated, about 20 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment