Soft-Shelled Crabs

Sautéed Soft Crab

2 cups dry white wine
½ cup olive oil, plus one tablespoon for sautéing
2 garlic cloves, one mashed, the other thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons for seasoning
8 live soft shell crabs, cleaned with top shell intact (as directed above)
1 cup all-purpose flour (try breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

In a large metal bowl, whisk together the wine, oil, garlic, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Place the crabs in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate the crabs for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Place the flour in a medium shallow bowl. Slick a very large skillet with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Remove the crabs from the marinade, shake off the excess liquid, and transfer them to the bowl of flour. One at a time, coat both sides of all the crabs with flour (only a light dusting is necessary) and set aside.

Place half of the crabs into the hot skillet and sauté them for about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until the crabs have reddened and are slightly crispy. Remove the crabs from the skillet and drizzle them with a few drops of butter, and sprinkle with a little of the parsley and some of the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Serve immediately.