Two things Baltimore is proud of:  soft-shelled crabs and Edgar Allan Poe.  This sandwich brings the two together.

Edgar Allan Po’ Boys

1 12- to 16-inch-long loaf French- or Italian-style bread (or 2 smaller loaves)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay™

1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or more
salt
oil for frying
2 large soft-shell crabs, cleaned
For garnish: mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, hot sauce and/or lemon

Fire up your oven to 350º. Split the bread in half and dig out some of the soft white crumb with your fingers. Toast the bread in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes.

Beat the egg and the milk together in a bowl; combine the cornmeal, flour, cayenne, Old Bay™ and a large pinch of salt on a plate. Put about 1/4-inch of oil in a deep skillet, big enough to accommodate the crabs, and set the heat to medium. When oil is hot—a pinch of flour will sizzle; a bamboo skewer will bubble—dip the crabs in the milk-egg mixture, and then dredge them in the cornmeal/flour mixture. Put ’em in the skillet and tweak the  heat so that the crabs bubble gently but not furiously.  Nobody likes an infuriated crab.

When the bottom is nicely browned–which’ll take three or four minutes, maybe five–turn the crabs over and brown them on the other side.  They’ll be nice and firm when they’re done.

Serve ’em up on the toasted bread, garnished as you like.

Advertisements