Fried Softshell Crab, White Asparagus and Wild Sorrel with a Grilled Ramp Dressing
- 1 bunch of wild ramps
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg*
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large softshell crabs, cleaned
- 1 cup flour
- Essence Creole seasoning, recipe follows
- 1/2 pound wild sorrel, cleaned
- 1/2 pound watercress, cleaned
- 12 spears of fresh white asparagus, cooked until tender and chilled
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
ESSENCE (EMERIL'S CREOLE SEASONING):
Preheat the grill. Season the ramps with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until wilted. Remove and cool completely. In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, combine the egg, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, hot sauce and grilled ramps. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. With the machine running, add the oil very slowly in a steady stream. Process until the mixture is thick and creamy. Remove and chill completely. Preheat oil in the fryer to 360 degrees. Season the softshells and flour with Essence. Dredge the softshells in the flour, coating completely. Carefully holding the top of each crab, drag the legs through the oil for 5 seconds to allow the individual legs to fry separately. Then carefully flip the crabs top side down into the oil. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the crabs over with tongs and continue frying for another 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season with Creole seasoning. In a mixing bowl, combine the sorrel and watercress. Season with salt and pepper. Season the asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. To serve, spoon some of the dressing in the center of each plate. Form 3 spears of the asparagus into a triangle over each pool of dressing. Mound the greens in the center of each triangle. Lay each softshell on top of the greens. Garnish with parsley.
*RAW EGG WARNING
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.