Sandwich #259—“Best Laid Plans” Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches

By 300 Sandwiches

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259sofshellcrabHIThe best laid plans are the ones that are always broken.

But the best memories tend to be the unscripted ones. Last weekend, I planned to stay home and finish up the 300 Sandwiches book. But a friend of mind texted me at 11:30 PM to say he was on his way to a loft party in my neighborhood. Of course, I threw on heels and headed out, and ended up dancing my face off for a few hours. Best night I’d had out in a while.

The same thing happened with dinner on Saturday night. E and I were set to make pressure cooker lamb stew for dinner, stocking up on lamb neck, potatoes, carrots and onions, until we saw some beautiful looking blue crabbies sitting at the fish counter at Fairway. “I’m starving,” E said. “Let’s cook the crabs while the lamb cooks.”

We raced home, doused the soft shell crab in a flour and cornmeal mixture, and pan fried them. We smoothed on tartar sauce on one, and E whipped up a quick mustard vinaigrette for another. Dinner was ready in 30 minutes flat, before the sun went down. The lamb we saved for the next night’s meal.

After dinner, I planned to get at least two hours of work done. Or at least get cracking on that bacon jam. You know what happened? I feel asleep.

4 soft shell crabs, cleaned
4 hamburger buns or kaiser rolls
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 or 3 tablespoons canola oil
1 handful arugula
1 teaspoon olive oil
lemon juice

Mix flour, cornmeal, Old Bay, cayenne, black pepper in a shallow bowl or dish. Dredge soft shell crabs through the mixture, evenly coating both sides. Heat oil in medium sized skillet over high heat. Fry crabs until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
Toast buns. Slather on tartar sauce, or vinaigrette, on the buns. Dress greens in olive oil and place on buns. Place crab on bed of lettuce. Stack top of bun on top and serve. Makes four sandwiches.

Ed’s note: There will be sporadic posts the week this week, as I’m traveling out of town on personal business. I’ll be back…

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