Hot and Hot Fish Club, Soft Shell Crab BLT - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Hot and Hot Fish Club, Soft Shell Crab BLT

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BIRMINGHAM, AL -

Chef Chris Hastings gets you ready for soft shell crab season from May to mid-June. Visit www.hotandhotfishclub.com for more information.

 

SOFT SHELL CRAB BLT

Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham

Serves 4

  • 2 quarts peanut oil, for frying
  • 4 fresh soft shell crabs, cleaned and drained
  • 1 cup whole-milk buttermilk
  • ½ cup finely ground yellow corn meal
  • ½ cup corn flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 (½ inch) thick slices sourdough bread or French baguette, grilled
  • ½ cup Basil Aïoli (see below)
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, about 1½ pounds, thinly sliced into 4 slices each
  • 2 cups loosely packed arugula
  • 8 slices Applewood smoked bacon, cooked until crispy

Pour the oil into a deep-sided skillet to a depth of 3-inches. (Alternately, a deep fryer can be filled with peanut oil.) Preheat the oil to 360¢ªF.

Place the crabs in a small bowl with the buttermilk, and toss until evenly coated. 

Combine the corn meal, corn flour, all-purpose flour, 1 ¼ teaspoons of the salt, and the cayenne in a separate bowl or shallow dish. Remove the crabs one at a time from the buttermilk, and dredge in the corn meal mixture, tossing until the crabs are well breaded. 

Add the crabs to the hot oil and fry for 2½ to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove crabs from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Season the crabs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of the salt, if needed.

Arrange 4 slices of the bread on each of 4 plates. Spread 1 tablespoon of the aïoli on each bread slice. Slightly overlap 2 tomato slices on each bread slice and top each with a small handful (about ½ cup) of the arugula. Arrange 2 slices of the bacon and 1 fried crab on top of each portion. Spoon an additional tablespoon of the aïoli over each crab and top with the remaining bread slice. Serve hot.

BASIC AIOLI

Makes about 2 quarts

  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 2 small garlic clove, peeled, finely diced, salted and crushed into a paste
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups 100% olive oil, divided
  • ½ to 1 cup water, if needed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the egg yolks in a food processor and process on high for 2 minutes.

Slowly drizzle 1 cup of the olive oil into the egg yolks, until slightly thickened.  With the machine running, add the garlic mixture and the lemon juice.

Continue to drizzle the remaining olive oil into the egg mixture, thinning with several tablespoon of water, if needed. 

When all of the oil has been added, the mixture should be creamy and thickened.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

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