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Reprinted from The Edge 2001.2002
Spring: Softshell Crabs with Seasonal Vegetables

Photo by J. Aaron Trotman


• 4 Softshell Crabs, cleaned
• 20 Stalks Thin Asparagus, tough ends snapped off
• ½ Red Pepper, diced
• 2 Cobs Sweet Corn, kernels cut off the cobs
• ½ Cup Virginia Peanuts
• 1 Cup Flour, mixed with ½ teaspoon each of black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and Old Bay Seasoning
• 1/3 Cup Peanut Oil 2 Cloves Garlic, minced fine
• 1 Cup Dry White Wine
• 4 Tablespoons Butter

Steam asparagus and reserve. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet to just below the smoking point. Coat each softshell with flour mixture, shaking off excess and fry until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels in a warm oven. Wipe excess oil out of pan, return to heat and briefly fry corn kernels, until edges are browned. Reserve corn. Deglaze pan with wine, reducing to about half. Add garlic and saute for an additional two minutes. Whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time. To serve: place five asparagus spears on each plate and top with one softshell each. Add half of the peanuts to the sauce and stir to coat. Season to taste. Spoon sauce sparingly over crabs and around plates; garnish with corn, peppers and remaining peanuts.

Wine Picks:
Zind Humbrecht Pinot D’Alsace, 1998
Kistler Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 1999

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