- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1 tablespoon Essence, plus more for sprinkling, recipe follows
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 soft-shell crabs, cleaned and rinsed gently under cold running water
- 4 pieces of French bread, each about 8 to 10 inches in length, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 creole tomato, or other very ripe flavorful tomato, very thinly sliced
- Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
- Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oil in a large saucepan or deep fryer to 360 degrees F.
Rinse crabs and pat dry. Combine the flour with the Essence, salt and ground black pepper and stir to combine well. Lightly dredge each crab in the seasoned flour, making sure that the crabs are completely coated.
Using tongs, gently lower the crabs (in batches if necessary) completely into the oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the crabs over and fry an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy all over. Be careful - crabs will splatter as they are cooking! Carefully transfer crabs to paper-lined plates to drain briefly before assembling poboys. Sprinkle with Essence when still hot.
Using a spatula, lightly coat both of the cut sides of the French bread with some of the mayonnaise. Place two of the fried soft shell crabs onto one side of the bread, and top with shredded lettuce and tomato slices. Top with the other half of the bread and serve immediately.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.