Fried Soft-Shell Crabs
- 4 large soft-shell crabs, cleaned and rinsed gently in cool water
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1 cup Crawfish Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup dried fine bread crumbs
- Essence, recipe follows
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup Sauteed spinach (saute with olive oil, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper)
- 1 cup Tasso Hollandaise Sauce, hot, recipe follows
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
- Crawfish Mashed Potatoes:
- 2 pounds white potatoes, peeled, diced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 pound crawfish tails, cooked
- 1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and white pepper
- Emeril's "Essence" Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast)
- 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 oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Tasso Hollandaise Sauce:
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 stick (1/4 pound) butter, melted warm
- About 1/4 cup finely chopped tasso or spiced ham
Preheat the fryer.
Marinate the soft-shells in the hot sauce for 20 minutes. Remove the soft-shells from the sauce. Stuff each soft-shell with about 1/4 cup of the Crawfish Mashed Potatoes. Place the stuffing in the soft pocket above the body of the soft-shell. Season the flour and bread crumbs with Essence.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Season the mixture with Essence. Dredge the soft-shells in the flour. Dip the soft-shells in the egg wash, letting any excess drip off. Dredge the soft-shells in the bread crumbs, coating each side completely. Hold the body of the crab with the claw and legs hanging down over the hot oil and carefully drop it in. Fry until golden brown, flipping the crabs with tongs 2 to 3 times to brown evenly.
The crabs will float to the surface of the oil when they are cooked. Remove from the fryer and drain on paper-lined plate. Season the crabs with Essence. Mound the spinach in the center of the plate. Lay the crabs on top of the spinach. Spoon the Hollandaise over the crabs and around the plate.Crawfish Mashed Potatoes:
Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Season the water with salt. Bring the potatoes up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the potatoes until fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
In a saute pan, melt the butter. Saute the potatoes in the melted butter for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chives. Season the crawfish with Essence. Using a hand-held masher, mash the potatoes with the remaining butter. Fold in the crawfish and continue mashing. Add in enough cream to the desired texture. Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper.
Combine all ingredients thorouhgly.Tasso Hollandaise Sauce:
In a stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water over medium heat, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice, salt, Tabasco pepper sauce, and water until pale yellow and slightly thick. Be careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Remove the bowl from the pot, and whisking vigorously, add the butter, 1 teaspoon at a time, until all is incorporated. Add the tasso and continue whisking for 30 seconds. Serve immediately.