Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crab with Gribiche Sauce
Serves 6 as a first course
6 Soft shell crabs, prime size, cleaned
1 cup flour
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup panko
½ cup pecans, roughly ground
vegetable or canola oil for frying
Gribiche Sauce (recipe below)
Heat oil to 350°F in a large sauté pan (½-inch deep) or deep fryer.
Put flour in a shallow bowl. In second shallow bowl, whisk egg into buttermilk. In third bowl combine panko and ground pecans.
When oil is hot, dip each crab into each bowl in order: flour, buttermilk/egg, then panko/pecans. Then fry in oil, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides. Don’t fry too many at once or the oil temperature will drop.
Serve immediately with a dollop of Gribiche Sauce.
Gribiche Sauce (makes approx. 1 quart)
6 egg yolks
¼ cup Banyuls vinegar (or other sweet vinegar)
750 ml. canola oil
½ cup cornichons, finely chopped
½ cup capers
2 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
¼ cup parsely, finely chopped
1 tsp piment d’esplette or sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Combine egg yolks and vinegar in a food processor. Using the feed tube, slowly drizzle in the canola oil to make a mayonnaise. When all oil has been added, transfer mayonnaise to a bowl and gently fold in remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.