Soft Shell Crab Salad with a Fennel Bouillabaise Vinaigrette
- 1 large cleaned soft shell crab
- 3 ounces seasoned all purpose flour
- 5 ounces whole butter
- 1/4 pound assorted Asian green mix
- 1 large bulb of fennel, cleaned and julienned
- 1 cup lobster stock
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 pinch saffron
- 3 ounces seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 ounces Pernod or Richard
- 6 ounces olive oil
Clean soft shell crab by removing the gills and the eyes. Season 3 to 4 ounces of all purpose flour with salt and pepper to taste, remembering that crab have a certain amount of salt. I also like to add cayenne pepper for spice. Then, dredge the cleaned crab in flour, making sure to pat off all excess. In a saucepan with 3 ounces of whole butter, cook crab on medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Arrange Asian greens on a plate. In a saucepan melt 2 ounces of butter. Add fennel, white wine, lobster stock, tomato paste, and saffron. Cook uncovered until reduced to a glaze. Remove fennel with a slotted spoon and place on the salad.
Make remaining liquid into a vinaigrette by adding vinegar and Pernod then slowly whisk in olive oil. Drizzle vinaigrette on salad until dressed. Then place hot, crisp crab on salad. Garnish with fried fennel tops.
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