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Sautéed Soft-Shell Crabs With Julienne of Cucumber, Country Ham and Shiitake* Mushroom With Herb Butter
Chef Marcel Desaulniers, The Trellis, Williamsburg

4 tablespoons Lemon juice
12 Soft-shell blue crabs, cleaned
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup All-purpose flour
(seasoned with salt and pepper)
6 tablespoons Unsalted butter
6 Cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut lengthwise into long thin strips
½ pound Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
¼ pound Country ham, cut in julienne

Herb Butter Sauce

Sprinkle lemon juice over soft-shells, season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. Pat crabs dry with paper towel. Dust with flour using up to ½ cup, as necessary. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in large sauté pan. When butter is hot, carefully sauté crabs, shell side first, until golden brown on both sides. Remove crabs from pan and hold warm. In a clean sauté pan, sauté cucumbers in 2 tablespoons of butter. In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms and ham in 2 tablespoons of butter. When all the ingredients are hot, assemble dish. To assemble: Place cucumbers on individual dinner plates. Portion 2 to 3 tablespoons of herb butter sauce over each plate of cucumbers. Set soft-shell crabs on top of cucumbers (2 per plate). Finish by spooning shiitake and ham mixture over the crabs. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Herb Butter Sauce

1 tablespoon All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Butter, softened
¼ cup Fish stock
¼ cup White wine
¼ cup Unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Fresh herbs, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine flour and softened butter until mixture is smooth. In a small pan, heat fish stock and white wine to a boil. Quickly whip butter and flour mixture into boiling hot stock and wine. Remove pan from heat. Whip whole butter into thickened mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. When all the butter has been incorporated into the sauce, add the chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Hold away from heat until served.

Calories: 579, Calories from protein: 22, Calories from carbohydrates: 19, Calories from fat: 57, Calories from saturated fat: 19.