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Dining Tip: Soft-Shell Crab with Succotash

Corn and lima beans brighten up this coastal dish; pair it with a Viognier from Virginia or an Old World alternative
Photo by: Andrew McCaul
Chesapeake soft-shell crab season is in full swing.

Posted: August 1, 2017

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the May 31, 2012, issue of Wine Spectator, "Danny Meyer."

Recipe courtesy of chef Walter Bundy

Soft-Shell Crab with Succotash

• 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
• 1/2 Vidalia onion, cut into small dice
• 3 links Edwards smoked sausages, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
• 5 ears Silver Queen corn (or other sweet white corn), kernels cut from the cob
• 1 cup shelled lima beans, parboiled
• 1/2 cup Peppadew peppers, julienned
• 1 Hanover tomato, seeds removed, cut into small dice
• 1/2 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced
• Juice of 1/4 lime
• 8 jumbo soft-shell crabs, cleaned and gutted
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
• 2 cups arugula, cleaned and dried
• 1 cup remoulade (see note)

1. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter, onion and sausage, and cook until onion is almost translucent. Add corn and cook until it is almost fully cooked. Then add the lima beans, peppers and tomato to heat through. Add tarragon and a squeeze of lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

2. Salt and pepper the crabs. Mix flour and Old Bay well. Lightly dust the crabs with the flour.

3. Heat 2 large nonstick pans over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter to each. Place four crabs in each pan, top-shell side down, and cook until golden. Flip gently, adding more butter if necessary. Cook until golden. (Be careful: Soft-shell crabs may pop and sputter as they cook.)

4. Serve immediately over succotash, with some arugula and remoulade on each plate. Cover and let meld in the refrigerator. Note: To make a quick remoulade, mix 1 cup mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons minced herbs (parsley and tarragon especially), and 1 or 2 minced cornichons. Some people insist on garlic, too. Serves 4.

Recommended wine pairings

Barboursville Viognier Virginia Reserve 2015 (88, $22)

Domaine de Triennes Viognier Méditerranée Ste.-Fleur 2015 (88, $20)

Bodegas Godeval Godello Valdeorras 2016 (87, $15)


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