Smoked Softshells Meunière
Yield - 6 Dinner Servings
6 LARGE FRESH SOFT-SHELL BLUE CRABS
1 DOZEN FRESH SOFT-SHELL CRAWFISH
1 LB SMOKED GARLIC BUTTER (Divided) (See Recipe)
2 CUPS MILK
2 CUPS SEASONED FLOUR MIX WITH:
2 CUPS WHITE FLOUR
1 TSP GROUND CAYENNE PEPPER
1 TSP GRANULATED GARLIC
1 TSP WHITE PEPPER
1 TSP SALT (Optional)
2 TBSP LEMON JUICE
1/2 TSP MUSHROOM SOY
1/4 TSP FRESH GROUND NUTMEG
1/4 CUP FUMÉ BLANC (Or Any White Wine Aged In Charred Oak Barrels)
1/4 CUP SMOKED PECANS OR ALMONDS - (See Recipe)
Clean soft-shell crabs by removing mouth parts, sex organs and gills under main shell. Clean soft-shell crawfish by removing eyes, calcium sacks and mouth parts.
Set up smoker to cold smoke. Arrange crabs and crawfish on sheet pan and smoke for 30 - 45 minutes (depending on smoke flavor desired).
Remove softshells from smoker and refresh in milk bath for 10 minutes, lightly dredge softshells through seasoned flour mix (shake off all excess flour). In a large cast iron skillet and over medium heat, melt 1/4 LB of the smoked garlic butter. Pan fry the softshells to a light brown color, try to do so by turning only once. Be careful, garlic butter will burn easily. Add additional butter as required and continue cooking seafood, store cooked softshells on a warm serving platter.
Use a fine wire strainer and reserve frying butter, remove any burnt flour
particles and lightly wipe skillet. Return frying butter to skillet and add remaining
smoked garlic butter (Min. 1/2 Lb.).
Use a wire whisk to blend sauce. Add 1 TBSP of the seasoned flour mix and fry to a medium brown roux color. Do not burn roux. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 5 - 7 minutes. Reduce sauce by 1/3 and allow flavors to marry.
1 Cup Smoked Shrimp Sauce (See Recipe)
Use both Meunière and Smoke Shrimp Sauces for presentation. Ladle one sauce over crabs and the other over crawfish.
Sprinkle edges of plate with Spanish paprika and ground cayenne, swirl Meunière sauce in the center of plate. Arrange softshell crab in center of sauce and one crawfish on either side of crab. Top with additional nuts and chopped shallots.
Pecan, OR (Chef's Choice)
When I was a boy our family would take weekend trips to Grand Isle, Louisiana and camp out on the beach. In the early evening, we would walk out in the shallows and net buster crabs molting their hard shells. We then would clean the crabs in the salty waters of the Gulf then collect mounds of driftwood for large campfire. We would pan fry the soft crabs in butter and Cajun seasonings, the smoke from the fire would lightly season the seafood cooked. Those memories inspired this recipe.
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Copyright © 1995 Aurora Catering, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 27, 2009.