Monday, May 24, 2010

Another seasonal treat: soft-shelled crabs

Soft-shelled crabs are showing up at the better fish markets these days -- at least around here, it's a short-lived season that starts in May and could be over before July.

But these little critters might grace seafood-oriented menus for a few months, especially along the east coast of the U.S.

I scored some last weekend and wanted to see if I could prepare them with fewer calories than they simply must have when heavily breaded and fried (probably in butter) at restaurants.

So I dipped the crabs in a simple egg bath then dredged them in a bread crumb mixture seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon peel and a little garlic. Shaking loose any extra bread crumbs, I placed them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and baked them in a 400-degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes. We added squirts of fresh lemon at the table and went sauceless.

They came out reasonably crispy and pretty good. But I have to admit, they weren't as fabulous as when fried in butter! (Big surprise, huh?)

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