Every year growing up, my mom would make me my favorite meal for my birthday. And since I was about 15, that was always soft shell crab. There's something very carnal about consuming an entire thing.... And it's a lot easier than taking apart crabs, which is something I also enjoy doing.
So when a friend asked me to prepare soft shell crabs for a dinner party, I relished the opportunity. Soft shell crabs are easy to prepare, and extremely quick to execute. These just have a simple preparation. Dredged in whole wheat flour with some extra spices thrown in, cooked in my garlic basil compound butter, and finished with a lemon based butter sauce with capers, the flavors work really well. Hope you get a chance to make these! They will impress anyone.
(these pictures were for 14 crabs, but the recipe is for 4)
4 soft shell crabs
4 T garlic basil compound butter (or just regular butter)
1 C whole wheat flour
1 t ancho chili powder
1 t fresh ground black pepper
2 T capers
1/4 C lemon juice
Combine the flour, chili powder and black pepper.
Heat 1 T compound butter in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Dredge the crabs in the flour mixture. Add to the pan. Don't crowd the pan, if they can't all fit, do the cooking in batches.
Cook five minutes on each side.
Remove the crabs and add the remaining ingredients.
Heat the mixture to boiling and reduce the mixture by half.
Serve the crabs with the sauce. Enjoy!