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It’s Soft Shell Crab Time, You Better Hurry!


It’s that time of year again! Usually from May to September in New Jersey, and it has to be just the right time to get them. Soft Shell Crabs are found up and down the coast from New Jersey to Florida on the East Coast as well as the Gulf. Most Soft Shells come from the Chesapeake Bay area. They are really blue crabs that have recently shed their shells so they get can grow bigger. It actually happens around 20 times in their lifetime to allow for their growth. Who knew?  I am glad they do, because this allows for us to enjoy their tender, sweet meat in a delicious edible soft shell. There are many ways to prepare them in sandwiches, salads, sautéed, deep fried, breaded, floured you name it, it has  been done!

I remembering eating  my first soft shell crab at 12 years old. Always the seafood lover, from clams and mussels to shrimp, lobster and crab, but this was different. You could eat the shell! As a kid that is pretty cool, still is. Once you taste them there is no turning back, you will be hooked. Pardon the pun. My favorite recipe is simple and quick. Nothing fancy, but full of flavor. This recipe for Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs is a family favorite and makes a great dinner party dish, both easy and elegant. Just add some parsley rice and grilled asparagus and a tossed salad and this dish would become a go to for your next get together. A nice light white wine and some candles on the deck and it’s a party!

Ingredients:

4 soft shell crabs, cleaned

2 lemons

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup flour

1 to 2 tbsps. capers

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

garlic powder, salt and pepper to season

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

Season crabs with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Dredge the crabs in the flour. In large frying pan add butter and oil and heat on medium till hot and add crabs. cook for 3 minutes both sides till lightly golden and crabs turn red. Remove and place in platter. Lower heat to medium low and add wine, lemon juice, capers and half the parsley and reduce for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour over crabs and sprinkle remaining parsley. Enjoy immediately. Serves 2. In my house we serve 3 per person!

Michele Errichetti is from South Jersey born and fed. She comes from an Italian family where they eat, live, and breathe FOOD. Michele was cooking and eating under her grandmom’s feet every Sunday for “gravy” and at home with her mother (a Medigan or American) during the week. Nowadays, she cooks for her two sons, husband, and father most days of the week. She takes “Girl Road Trips” with her friends at least once a month that always culminate with you guessed it, FOOD. She hopes fresh, local, organic, and free range will become the norm. Michele is searching Atlantic County for everything that has anything to do with good food and she’s taking you along for the ride. – See more at: http://www.jerseybites.com/the-team/#sthash.LfDeCZc8.dpuf

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