Herb Crusted Softshell Crabs with a Fresh Tomato Risotto

6 servings
  • 1 dozen Louisiana whaler soft-shell crabs, cleaned (they are really big crabs)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, parsley, chervil, and tarragon
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 recipe Fresh Tomato Risotto, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Season the soft-shell crabs with salt and pepper. Rub each soft-shell completely with about 1 tablespoon of the mustard. Crust each soft-shell with some of the herbs, coating each crab completely. In 2 large oven-proof saute pans, over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of oil to each pan. When the oil is hot, carefully add 3 of the soft-shells to the hot pan, top-side down. Pan-fry for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a paper towel, wipe out the pan and heat the remaining oil. Repeat the above process with the remaining soft-shells. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. Spoon the risotto in the center of each serving plate. Lay 2 of the soft-shells over the risotto. Garnish with chives.

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