Fried Soft-Shell Crabs with Shellfish Ragu
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 8 soft-shell crabs, cleaned and rinsed gently under cold running water
- Essence, recipe in link above
- 1 box of Zatarain's Shrimp Fry
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3/4 cup shrimp or seafood stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 pound cooked crawfish tails, peeled and seasoned with Essence
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Snipped green onions
Preheat the oil in a large saucepan or deep fryer to 360 degrees F.
Rinse crabs in water, then pat dry with paper towel. Season each crab with 1 teaspoon of the Essence and set aside.
Follow directions on fish fry to make batter.
Lightly dredge each crab in the fish fry batter, making sure that the crabs are completely coated.
Coat each crab in dry fish fry.
Holding the crabs by long tongs or balanced on a small skimmer, hold them so that the legs dangle down into the hot oil and fry for 1 minute, or until the legs are stiff. Lower the crab completely into the oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn crab over and allow to fry an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy all over. Carefully transfer crabs to paper-lined plates to drain briefly before serving. Sprinkle with Essence when still hot.
In a large skillet over medium high heat melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and saute the shallots until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and the remaining teaspoon of Essence and saute for 1 minute, or until the shrimp turn pink around the edges.
Add the shrimp stock, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the stock is reduced by half.
Add the crawfish tails, fresh thyme and snipped chives and cook until heated through.
Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and remove sauce from the heat.
Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve the ragu ladled over or under the fried softshell crabs.