Its almost time for local softshell crabs. Softshell crabs are a seasonal delicacy popular in New Orleans and in the Mid-Atlantic region. Typically softshell crabs are harvested locally in the summer and early fall but are available earlier from Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
Obviously these popular succulent crustaceans are prepared in many different ways but in New Orleans they are typically breaded and fried and served on po’boys, salads and on their own topped with many interesting sauces. We have served them fried and topped with sautéed Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Béarnaise Sauce for over 30 years. We also serve them sautéed in brown butter with sliced almonds in the French/Creole tradition or on a bed of Corn Maque Choux drizzled with Garlic Mayo.
Sometimes simple is better and my all-time favorite preparation is to sauté them in butter with white wine, lemon and parsley and serve them on toast points. This is how they were prepared at The Wharf Restaurant in Old Town when I started working there almost 45 years ago.
A little bit of trivia is that crawfish, in order to grow, shed their shells just like crabs and are a real Louisiana delicacy. Softshell crawfish are typically deep fried and drizzled with creole remoulade. These tasty morsels are a real treat! We haven’t served them at RT’s for many years but stay tuned.