We spent our weekend relaxing and eating. After what seems like every weekend out of town for two months straight, it was nice to stay around before I started my new job (!) today. On Friday, D made a true Maryland specialty, soft crabs. They were de.li.cious.
His recipe seems rather simple to me (although I am no expert at frying). I think you can do it easily, too, if you have access to fresh, local, soft crabs where you live. Follow these couple of instructions.
~ dredge each crab in a combo of 50/50 all-purpose flour/corn meal mixed with Old Bay Seasoning and some salt (this will help the egg wash stick)
~ douse each soft crab in an egg wash
~ then coat each one with the mixture of Old Bay-seasoned flour/cornmeal again (double dredging gives a nice crispy coating)
~ insert into a medium-hot pan with enough oil to cover the pan and with enough extra oil to provide a bit of depth, no more than a centimeter
~ allow the crabs to sizzle on each side for about 5-8 minutes (depending on heat) until crispy brown on both sides; the crab cooks quickly, but the coating needs some time to get crisp
~ drain excess oil off the crabs on a paper towel
~ put on toasted rye bread with liberal mayonnaise, Romaine lettuce and local tomatoes. The perfect summer treat.
I struck out a bit on my recipe for the weekend, well, at least on the delivery. I loved this pin that used peppers as the vehicle for dip ~
, and decided to do the same for our outing to a to a vineyard Saturday evening with some other couples. I figured this would be the perfectly pretty vehicle for munching on crudités dipped in homemade Green Goddess or good ole’ Ranch. When the purchased peppers did not properly stand up on end, I sliced off the bottoms without, admittedly, thinking at all about the repercussions. In my defense, the thick Ranch stayed in place. Having made Green Goddess for the first time, I didn’t think about how much runnier it was than the Ranch. Let me amend that statement. I didn’t think about it for the split second between pouring it into the bottomless pepper and then observing it promptly running right back out the bottom and all over the platter. Woopsie. D smartly spatula’d the dip into a bowl and, understanding my sometimes over-obsession with everything being “pretty”, he placed the bottomless pepper (yellow of course since it would have green dressing in it, pretty color contrast) into a small-ish pinching bowl. Covered as the rest of the platter was in veggies, you almost couldn’t see it. Now I am all the more wiser for the next time I should desire to insert dip into a pepper. Also, people, consider the utility of Tupperware style dishware when transporting to a picnic at a vineyard as opposed to platters with runny dip. Just a few words from the wise.
All of the minor snafus aside, the Green Goddess was divine and we have enough for salads for the week. It’s a Barefoot Contessa recipe (seems like everything I like to make is), and given my basil is growing the best of all my herbs this summer, we shan’t be wanting for it this winter. (I plan to freeze and take out for a taste of summer all winter long.)
Herewith, the Contessa’s easy to follow instructions, which I found here. I substituted 2 % Greek yogurt for the sour cream to make it a bit healthier. ~
- 1 cup good mayonnaise
- 1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (6 to 7 scallions)
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup sour cream
Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and process just until blended. (If not using immediately, refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.)