Petite Soft-Shell Crabs with Crawfish Beurre Blanc from Galatoire's

Serves 6 


1 pound Louisiana crawfish tails, peeled
1 cup white wine
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 small soft-shell crabs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup clarified butter


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute half of the crawfish tails for 3 minutes, or until the tails and fat begin to brown in the pan.  Add the white wine, lemon juice, peppercorns, shallots, and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes, or until reduced by one third.  Whisking constantly, add the salted butter to the liquid one piece at a time until it has all been incorporated into the sauce.  Remove the sauce from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a fresh saucepan.  Discard the solids, including the crawfish tails.  Add the remaining crawfish to the strained sauce, then place the pan over low heat, stirring continuously, just until the crawfish are warmed through.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside while you prepare the crabs.

Clean the crabs by paring off the eyes and trimming the tails with a small, sharp knife.  Gently pull back the shell on each side of the crab and then remove the gills underneath.  Replace the shell.

Dredge the cleaned crabs in the flour and shake off the excess.  Add the clarified butter to a large saute pan set over high heat.  Saute the crabs for 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Center each crab on an appetizer plate and drizzle with the sauce, taking care to mound some crawfish tails gently atop each crab.  Serve at once.