Tag Archives: Father’s Day

Soft Shell Crabs Almondine

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Soft shell blue crabs are a seasonal specialty that are only available in the late spring/early summer when blue crabs shed their hard outer shells but before their new ones are fully formed. They are quite expensive if you are going to order them in a restaurant, but they are quite easy to make at home! Soft shell crabs are one of my dad’s absolute favorite foods and we usually have them for his birthday. Unfortunately, there were other things going on for his birthday this year so we decided to have them for Father’s Day instead!

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You can buy soft shell crabs at many seafood stores, although you may want to call ahead and reserve them because when they are in season they are really popular! One crab is enough for smaller appetites like me and my mom but my dad and brother can easily knock back two, so buy accordingly. Some people are intimidated by cooking soft shell crabs at home because they are a mess to clean, however if you ask nicely they will clean them for you at the fish market.

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The recipe itself couldn’t be easier, so the only hurdle is convincing yourself that you can do it! Each of the steps in the recipe are so simple, but the result is so delicious! Please go out and buy some soft shell crabs for a loved one (or yourself) today!

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Soft Shell Crabs Almondine

Ingredients
1-2 soft shell crabs per person

note- if you buy crabs that have been previously frozen you can soak them in some milk to help them plump back up.

1 1/2 cups flour
1-2 TBS Creole or Old Bay seasoning
butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Method
1) Mix together flour and Creole/Old Bay seasoning on a plate.
2) Rinse crabs and set on a dry paper towel. Don’t dry them off because the water will be all that helps the flour coating stick to the crabs.
3) One by one dredge the crabs in the flour mix, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies on both sides. When finished, place the crabs on a clean, dry cookie sheet.
4) Once all of the crabs have been dredged melt enough butter to thoroughly coat the bottom of a large saute pan. If you want to cook all the crabs at once you may need to have 2 pans going at the same time.
5) When the butter has melted and the pan is good and hot place the crabs in the pan top side down. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
6) Flip the crabs after 5 minutes, adding more butter as needed. Once you have flipped the crabs, add the almonds (distributing evenly if you’re using two pans). Cook the second side for five minutes, minding that the almonds get nice and toasty but not burnt.
7) Serve with a wedge of lemon and some coleslaw and enjoy this quintessential summer treat!

Lemon Mint Granita (with a secret ingredient!)

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For Father’s Day I wanted a light refreshing dessert and when I came across this recipe on Smitten Kitchen I knew this would be perfect! Even better, Deb suggested using limoncello which my mom just happens to make and store in our freezer!

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The combination of lemon and mint, with a slight kick from the limoncello (I only used a 1/2 cup because I wanted to make sure that the granita would freeze properly) is incredibly refreshing and perfect on a summer night, even if it isn’t so warm out. Using the hollowed out lemons makes for a lovely presentation and it is pretty easy if you employ both a grapefruit knife (bent, serrated blade) and a grapefruit spoon (serrated tip) to completely clean out the lemon.

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The freshness of the mint and the tartness of the lemon all brought together with a little liquer and a little sugar, ugh, to die for! So, without further ado:

Lemon-Mint Granita
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients
4 lemons
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup limoncello
4 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
30 mint leaves (a handful)

Method
1) Slice the tops off the lemons (and a little bit off the bottom so they sit up for serving) and remove all of the pulp and pith from the inside using a grapefruit knife for the primary work and a grapefruit spoon for all the clean up. Do this over a bowl so as to lose as little juice as possible. If you are using the empty lemon shells for serving: place them in the freezer so they can firm up.

2) Pluck 30 or so mint leaves and throw them and the lemon innards into a blender and blend it within an inch of its life (about 1 minute). You want it to be so that the mint is tiny little flecks. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes so that the flavors can meld.

3) Pour the lemon-mint puree into a fine mesh sieve and extract as much liquid out of it as possible. You don’t want to have a chunky granita, so it’s ok if a little mint gets through, but don’t let anything else pass you by!

4) Add to the lemon-mint juice the water and limoncello (if you’re using it). Mix and add sugar 1 TBS at a time until you reach the desired sweetness.

5) Pour this wonderful mixture into a baking pan, making sure that the liquid doesn’t stand more than 1 inch deep (so that it doesn’t take too long to freeze).

6) Put the pan in the freezer. Break up the semi-frozen liquid after about an hour and then leave it undisturbed to freeze the rest of the way, about 2-3 hours.

7) When ready to serve break the granita into little pieces/flakes by raking back on it with a fork. Spoon the little crystals into the lemon cups or serving cups and eat immediately! Enjoy the brain freeze!