I just had to cook this weekend, but what? I decided to stop by Conrad’s Crabs and Seafood Market in Parkville. (Remember when that area used to be called Baynesville?) Owner/waterman Tony Conrad always has a beautiful display of fresh seafood.
I knew something would grab me, and it did—Maryland soft shells. They were $5.50 a piece for jumbos. I bought them, even though there are better prices around town. Our administrative assistant Marge got some beauts on Saturday at a produce market at the old North Point Drive-In in Dundalk. They were three for $12 and still wriggling.
I know I blogged about my Mother’s Day crabs, but now I wanted to mess up my own kitchen. And I love my soft-shell-crab recipe. I discovered it a few years ago in Bon Appetit magazine.
You soak the soft shells in buttermilk for an hour in the fridge, then dredge them in a cornmeal-flour mixture. But the kicker is adding a 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I add more) to the mix. Then, you cook those babies in hot peanut oil (watch for the popping) for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Dinner is served.
There’s one drawback—the leftover smell. But I’ve discovered a new product that takes care of kitchen odors—soy-based candles by Glade. They have a wonderful fragrance (I particularly like the orange vanilla), not cloying at all. Before you even digest the crabs, your kitchen is smelling sweet again.