I am so behind on recipes to share with you it isn’t even funny. My life has been taken over by risotto and ice cream.
However, the risotto portion is done now, and I’m happy to say that I WON!!!! Thank you Marx Foods! I am truly humbled to be chosen as the Integrale champion, the competition was stiff, so I’m sure the decision was not an easy one.
Ice cream continues to reign in my life until July 8th. In the next two weeks,I’ll be making 2 gallons of ice cream and trying to figure out how to fit it into my tiny freezer. Good times, people, good times. I can’t complain though, I do volunteer myself for these things :-).
Despite, all the rice and ice cream I couldn’t let this recipe pass without sharing it with you. Soft shell crab season is a limited one, and I gorge myself on them as soon as it begins. I absolutely love this little crustacean jewel and this is my favorite way to prepare them.
Soft shell crabs are blue crabs that molt their shells. The skin is then soft enough to eat as is, and is best served sauteed, pan or deep fried. The season is relatively short, lasting only from May to July. If your crabs don't come already clean, you'll need the remove the gills and cut off the front of the crab with kitchen shears. I find the best directions are found here - http://bit.ly/i8cnjo.
In a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet, cook your bacon until crisp, remove and drain excess grease on paper towels. Save remaining bacon fat.
Setting up traditional breading technique, season the flour with a bit of salt and pepper; whisk the egg and a bit of water to form a egg wash; and mix the panko, cornmeal and cayenne pepper together.
Take the soft shell crabs one at a time, and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess, dip in the egg wash and then in the breadcrumbs. Then repeat with the same crab in the egg and bread crumbs for a double coating. Repeat with remaining crab.
On medium heat, pour enough bacon fat into the cast iron skillet equaling 4 tablespoons, if necessary add some vegetable oil.
Fry the crabs about 5 minutes per side until cooked through and golden brown. Flip and and continue to cook another 5 minutes, add more vegetable oil if the pan looks a little dry.
To make the sauce, in a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper of necessary.
To build your sandwich, toast your English muffins, slather some of the sauce on the bottom portion, lay a piece of lettuce down, then a few slices of tomatoes and avocado if using. Add your crab, and your bacon, breaking it in half to fit the size of the bread. Add a little more sauce to the top and cover and enjoy!