Have you eaten soft shell crabs but never cooked them? The soft shell of these crabs makes them easy to handle. The spider-like appearance of these crabs makes them a great Halloween snack when served with small sliders.
Halloween is a completely different holiday than any other. It’s nice to have a change of pace from the rest of the year. Mr. NQN and I are both up for strange dinners or parties. We had to ask questions about one party a few decades ago.
This was to celebrate the wedding of his sister Amaya and Laporello. For their special day, they came up with a unique concept. They imagined that their wedding would be held on the water. The priest would marry each couple in a three-person dinghy. The reception was also held on the water, where the food would be prepared on a large sailboat. Guests would then row up to the boat and take their fill.
The idea was also taken seriously by them, and only after big brother Mr. NQN said that the idea was a bit crazy did they realize that some people may not have liked it. My parents flatly refused to attend, and other guests slowly expressed concerns about logistics and the risk of falling into the water or drowning.
However, I can understand how crazy it is to plan. I did not realize I had over catered at this year’s party. There was one thing that I had intended to serve but did not. These softshell crab or spider burgers.
I had the idea a few years ago, but I have never cooked softshell crab (even though I’ve eaten them many times). Soft shell crabs come in boxes that weigh a kilogram (2 pounds). The number of softshell crabs you receive depends on which package you buy. Then, clean them as shown in the picture below. Belinda and I went to lunch and ordered a softshell crab wrap. This reinforced the idea that we should make these for Halloween. She wouldn’t eat any of the legs because they looked like spider legs.
Normally, softshell crabs are deep-fried. I prefer baking them. The burger is still delicious but not as crunchy. Add some lemon mayonnaise and chili to a soft shell crab bun and some lettuce. Your softshell crab burger will either delight or scare you.
Tell me, Dear Reader: Have you ever cooked or eaten softshell crab? Would you like the idea of a dinghy for a wedding ceremony? Do you think that they look like spiders to you?
Spider Burgers (aka Soft Shell Crab Burgers).
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Lorraine Elliott’s Original Recipe/Not Quite Nigella
Servings: 7 to 9 (depending on the number of crabs in the box).
1kg/2.2lbs. Soft shell crabs in boxes, thawed
The crab legs should be visible through the small burger buns.
Four tablespoons mayonnaise
Half a teaspoon of finely grated Lemon rind
Each one is individually packaged in plastic, like Laura Palmer. Sorry, I miss Twin Peaks.
Cut off your eyes. You’ll feel like a killer. You are probably already a serial killer and don’t even know it.
Lift the top of the shell to reveal the dead man’s fingers, the long, greyish sacs that are on either side of the center.
Remove them from both sides.
Remove the triangular flap by turning the crab upside down.
Preheat oven to 190C/374F. Prepare a baking sheet. The legs of the crab are delicate and easily removed from the packets. With a pair of sharp scissors, cut off the eyes of the crab. Look under the main shell to remove the dead man’s gills. Remove the triangular flap from the crab and ensure that all excess water has been removed. Drain the crabs and pat them dry with paper towels.
In a shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal with the salt. Dredge each crab in the mixture. Place the crabs, shell-side down, on the tray. Drizzle with oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, cut the buns in half and heat them. Mix mayonnaise with chili sauce, lemon zest, and other ingredients. Spread on the bottom of buns. Place the lettuce leaf folded in half on top, and add the softshell crab. Serve immediately.