Soft-shell Po' Boy with Chipotle Tartar Sauce
Yield: Makes 6 servings
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 jumbo soft-shell crabs, dressed
- 6 (1/4-inch-thick) slices red onion
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 6 soft-crusted hoagie rolls, split
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/3 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup masa harina or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- Chipotle Tartar Sauce
- 6 small romaine lettuce leaves
- 12 thin slices ripe tomato
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into 12 slices
- 3/4 cup alfalfa or radish sprouts
- Lime wedges
- Whisk milk and ancho chile and garlic powders in a shallow bowl until combined; add crabs. Cover and chill 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, brush red onion slices with 1 tablespoon oil. Grill or broil 4 minutes per side. Set aside. Spread cut sides of rolls with butter, and grill or toast until golden brown.
- Combine cornmeal and next 3 ingredients in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine crumbs; transfer mixture to a shallow dish. Drain crabs, and discard milk mixture. Dredge crabs in cornmeal mixture.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot, add half the crabs, top-side down; sauté 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden. Drain crabs on paper towels, then transfer to a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 200° oven. Repeat with remaining oil and crabs.
- Spread toasted sides of rolls with Chipotle Tartar Sauce. Top with a lettuce leaf, 2 slices each tomato and avocado, a grilled red onion slice, and a fried crab. Top with sprouts and a squeeze of lime.
- Wine note: "When I hear that a seafood dish has a kick, I reflexively go to the fire-extinguishing quality of a German Riesling. A light, off-dry Riesling such as Dr. Loosen Riesling Kabinett ($20) or Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste Riesling Kabinett ($16) will tame the heat emanating from the chile and garlic powders in this preparation. These wines' mouthwatering tanginess--so admirable in a good Riesling--will refresh the palate after a mouthful of fried crab." --Mark Oldman
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