I recently had the pleasure of spending a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where I ate some of the best seafood and barbeque of my life. Case in point:
Freshly caught and steamed peel and eat shrimp at Dockside ‘N Duck.
Also worth mentioning in terms of life-altering dining experiences was my introduction to the High Cotton barbeque restaurant, whose succulent smoked ribs and rapturous baked beans compelled us to purchase no less than ten bottles of their house-made Carolina BBQ sauce to bring back North when we returned home. Unlike the BBQ fair I’ve eaten in NYC, which is mostly stick-to-your-ribs soul food, Eastern Carolina BBQ is dry-rubbed and smoked, and the sauce is vinegar based and tangy, but not sweet or heavy. Which, in my opinion, only makes it easier to eat about 20 ribs in one sitting. But I digress… back to seafood!
Did I mention that soft shell crabs were being sold for $2.99 each? This price is of course unheard of to us Yankees, who are used to paying up to $10.99 for every individual little crab. I found an Emeril recipe online and twisted the flavor profile a little bit to my preference.
We also had eggs in the fridge that we were trying to use before we left OBX, thus the idea for the runny egg on top!
By the way, I actually did not use Old Bay but used the house seasoning from The Great Machipongo Clam Shack in Nassawadox, Virginia, where we stopped on our trip down to North Carolina, and enjoyed what turned out to be the best She-Crab soup I’ve ever had in my life.
She-Crab Soup & Steamed Clams at the clam shack.
Finally, I cannot sign off on this post until I give much deserved props to Duck Donuts, where you can custom-order a donut and they’ll make it fresh for you right before your very eyes…
Duck Donut Processing Station.
Yes, this truly exists in this world, right down in North Carolina.
- • 4 soft-shell crabs, cleaned and patted dry
- • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- • 1 cup flour
- • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- • 3 garlic cloves, minced
- • ½ cup white wine
- • 1 tablespoon butter
- • 2 tbs parsley, chopped
- • Old Bay
- • 4 eggs (optional)
- Season crabs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off excess. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and saute the crabs, two at a time depending on the size of your pan, until soft, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the crabs and set aside on- I laid them out on a baking dish and popped it in an unheated oven to keep warm.
- Add the garlic to the same pan you sauteed your crabs in and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Then add the white wine, and cook until wine has reduced to about ½. Swirl in the butter and the parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the crabs to a serving plate, spoon the sauce over the crabs and garnish with Old Bay.
- If you’d like to enjoy a runny egg on top of your crab, fry your eggs in a separate pan, place one egg on top of each crab, and then dress your crab with the sauce and Old Bay. Enjoy!
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