The Cook's Corner

Fried soft-shell crabs with creole choron sauce

By Staff Report

March 26, 2009 at 9:19 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The Cook's Corner
Recipe and photo by NolaCuisine.com
The most popular way soft-shell crabs are prepared in Louisiana is fried, and for good reason, they’re good that way!

A good tip is to make sure that your batter is not too thick because the crabs will never get crispy, your batter should be like a thin pancake batter.
Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
- peanut oil for frying
- 4 soft-shell crabs, cleaned
- 1 recipe Creole choron sauce (see end of crab recipe)
- lemon wedges
- hot sauce

For the crab batter:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- buttermilk - enough to make the crab batter the consistency of a thin pancake batter.

Directions for batter:
Combine the dry ingredients, whisk in the buttermilk.

For seasoned flour:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions for seasoned flour:
Combine all ingredients.

To fry the soft-shell crabs:
Heat the peanut oil to 360 degrees in a Dutch oven. The  oven should be large enough to have the oil about 3 to 4 inches deep and halfway up the sides of the pot.

When the oil is hot, dredge the crabs in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess, then dip into the batter. Be sure to completely coat the crabs and let any excess drip off.

Carefully place the crabs into the oil upside down (this will make the claws stand up a bit for presentation).
Fry only two at a time - maximum, until they are golden brown and they float to the surface.

Be sure to let the oil heat back up before frying the next batch.

Drain on paper towels and season with kosher salt.
A tip, soft-shell crabs have a tendency to spit hot oil, or pop when the inside liquids heat up, so be careful.

Serve the crabs on a plate covered with the Creole choron sauce (see recipe below), lemon wedges and hot sauce on the table.

The recipe serves 2.

For the Creole Choron Sauce:
- 1 cup hollandaise sauce
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces)
- stock to cover, about 2 cups
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- salt, black pepper, thyme (dried), cayenne pepper, and white pepper - all to taste
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- hot sauce, to taste
- 2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 thinly sliced green onions
- corn starch slurry (2 tbsp. corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp. water) or dark roux, depending on the dish.

Directions for sauce:
Heat the oil over medium heat, add the bell pepper, onion and celery, and saute until slightly wilted.

Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Cover with the stock by a half inch, add bay leaves and a small amount of seasoning.

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.

If using roux, add it at this point. But not too much, maybe 1 to 2 tablespoons.

If it gets too thick, add a little more stock or water. It should be loose but not too watery. Simmer about 20 minutes.
Add the other seasonings and hot sauce to taste.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, parsley and green onions.
If using the corn starch slurry, bring to a boil then add the slurry, a little at a time until it is the right consistency.

It should be tight, but not watery. Not too thick, not too thin.

Remove the bay leaves.

Got a GREAT recipe?
If so, we want to know. Email yours to Lifestyles Editor
Heather R. Breaux at heatherb@heraldguide. Include your name, address, phone number and a photo of your completed dish along with the recipe.

Questions? Comments?
Call 985-758-2795.




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