Fried Stuffed Soft-Shell Crabs
- 1/2 pound fresh jumbo lump crabmeat
- 3 large eggs, divided
- 3 1/4 cups fine, dry breadcrumbs, divided
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 Vidalia onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 small soft-shell crabs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- Red Pepper-Garlic Sauce
- Drain crabmeat, removing any bits of shell.
- Stir together 1 egg, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, celery, and next 8 ingredients. Fold in crabmeat. Set aside.
- Whisk together remaining 2 eggs and 1/2 cup water. Set aside.
- Stir together remaining 3 cups breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon oregano, and next 3 ingredients. Set aside.
- Remove spongy substance (gills) from under tapering points on both sides of back shells of crabs. Place crabs on their backs, and remove the small piece at lower part of shell that terminates in a point (the apron). Cut a pocket in back end of each crab. Wash crabs thoroughly; drain well.
- Stuff about 2 tablespoons crabmeat mixture into crab cavities. Dredge crabs in flour. Dip in egg mixture; coat with crumb mixture.
- Pour oil to a depth of 5 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 350°. Fry crabs 2 minutes on each side or until golden; drain. Serve with Red Pepper-Garlic Sauce.
- For crab cakes, shape crabmeat stuffing mixture into 8 patties. Pour oil to depth of 1/2 inch into a large heavy skillet. Fry cakes in hot oil over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
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