Soft Shell Crab Po' Boy
By Chef Jeffrey Nimer
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons Essence of Emeril, plus more for dusting, recipe follows
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
4 large soft-shell crabs, cleaned, rinsed, and patted dry
4 (7-inch) lengths French bread, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
1/2 cup Creole Tartar Sauce
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
12 thin slices ripe tomato
12 dill pickle slices
In a large pot, heat 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs, water, and remaining teaspoon of Essence. One at a time, lightly coat the crabs with the flour mixture, then dip into the egg wash, followed by the cornmeal to coat.
With tongs, lower two crabs at a time into the hot oil. Fry, turning once, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with Essence.
Spread both sides of the French bread with tartar sauce. Layer the lettuce, tomatoes and pickles over the bottom half of the bread and top with one crab. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately.