Sea Foods

Soft-Shell Crab with Lemon Butter

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  • 4 jumbo soft-shell crabs (4 ounces each)

For the buttermilk wash:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg

For the coating:

  • 13 cup flour
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 18 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 18 teaspoon paprika

For the crabs:

  • 14 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 14 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the garnish:

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Parsley sprigs


  1. If the crabs are not cleaned, remove the feelers underneath the shells on both sides. Wash the crabs and dry carefully.
  2. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a shallow container and whisk to combine.
  3. Combine the flour, pepper, salt, cayenne and paprika in a shallow medium dish; mix well.
  4. Place the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.
  5. Dip each crab into the buttermilk wash and then dredge in the flour mixture until well-coated.
  6. Place the crabs in the skillet, top side down, and saute for about 3 minutes per side, turning once. When they have finished cooking and are pink in color, remove to a side platter and loosely cover with foil.
  7. Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallots for about 1 minute or until slightly softened. Add the lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Arrange the crabs on serving plates, drizzle over the sauce (or serve on the side) and garnish with lemon and parsley. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings as a main course or 4 as a first course.


Whole Slow-Roasted Salmon with Sweet Mustard-Dill Aioli



For aioli:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill weed
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

For fish:

  • One 3-pound salmon fillet, skin removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh parsley sprigs for garnish
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. To make the aioli, combine all ingredients in a small serving bowl and mix to blend. Taste for seasoning and chill until serving.
  2. Preheat the oven to 275 F. Rub both sides of the salmon with the seasoning and olive oil, and sprinkle with the lemon juice.
  3. Place the salmon, skin-side down, on a nonstick or foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 26 to 32 minutes, depending upon the thickness, until flaky and just cooked through. The salmon will appear very moist. If serving cold, let the salmon cool in the pan.
  4. Transfer the salmon in one piece to a serving platter using spatulas. Or cut the salmon into serving pieces and arrange on a platter. Either way, garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

Advance Preperation

The salmon can be cooked and refrigerated up to 1 day before serving. The sauce can be prepared, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving.


The clever cook could:

  • Add 1/2 cup of chopped European cucumber to the aioli.
  • Replace the mayonnaise in the aioli with 1/2 cup of light mayonnaise and 1/2 cup of yogurt to lighten it up.
  • Use the salmon to top mixed greens and cherry tomatoes for a salmon salad.
  • Accompany the salmon with a fresh summer salsa made with sauteed fresh corn kernels and shallots, basil and raw chopped tomato.
  • Double the recipe for a large party and serve the fish fillets one at a time. When the first platter starts to look messy, switch it out for the new one.

Serves 6 as a main course and up to 12 for a large buffet with other dishes.

Citrus-Marinated Seafood



  • 3⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 11⁄4 cups olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 11⁄2 pounds medium shrimp (approximately 30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 11⁄2 pounds bay scallops
  • 1 sweet red pepper, seeded, thinly sliced and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper, seeded, thinly sliced and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemon (Meyer, if possible), halved and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Red leaf lettuce for serving


  1. To make the marinade: Place all the ingredients in a medium nonaluminum bowl. Whisk just until combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  2. To prepare the seafood: In a large saucepan, bring the water, wine and bay leaf to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink on the outside and just cooked in the center. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a deep bowl. Return the cooking liquid to a boil, add the scallops and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the center of each scallop is opaque. Remove the scallops with the slotted spoon and add to the shrimp.
  3. Add the red and yellow bell peppers, onion, olives, lemon (if using) and parsley to the seafood. Pour in the marinade and stir well to combine the ingredients and coat the seafood. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight, stirring the seafood occasionally to marinate evenly.

To serve

Arrange the lettuce on a large platter and, using a slotted spoon, top with the seafood mixture. Drizzle a little of the marinade over the seafood. Serve with small plates and forks or toothpicks, or serve on individual plates as a first course.

Serves 12 to 16 as an appetizer, 8 as a first course.

Slow Roasted Salmon, Miso Vinaigrette




  • 2 tablespoons white (or light yellow) miso
  • 1 teaspoon prepared wasabi
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped European cucumber

Slow Roasted Salmon

  • 2 pounds salmon filets, skin removed, cut into 4 to 6 equal serving pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together. You can add more oil if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 275˚.
  3. Rub both sides of each piece of the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place skin side down on a nonstick or foil lined baking sheet.
  5. Roast in the oven at 275º for 18 to 22 minutes, depending upon the thickness or until flaky and just cooked through. Thicker pieces will require longer roasting. The salmon will appear very moist.
  6. Place the salmon on serving plates and spoon the vinaigrette over the salmon and serve immediately

Advance Preparation

This may be served as a chilled entrée. After the fish is cooked, let it come to room temperature. Loosely cover and refrigerate until serving. The sauce can be covered up to 4 hours ahead of serving and kept at room temperature.


When selecting your salmon, check for a slightly sweet odor and firm flesh. Salmon filets may have “pin” bones (tiny bones). These bones are often buried vertically in the thickest part of the flesh. To remove them press the meat with your fingers and remove any bones that appear. Tweezers come in handy for this job.

Serve this with a simple rice pilaf flavored with peas or zucchini and chopped cilantro for a satisfying quick dinner. To drink, why not try a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a California Viogner or a fruity slightly sweet Riesling?

Serves 4 to 6 people.

Grilled Pesto Scallops with Balsamic Glaze



  • 1 1/2 tablespoons All-Purpose Basil Pesto (recipe here) or favorite commercially made pesto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds large sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze (homemade or store-bought), plus more for drizzling


  1. Combine pesto, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place scallops in a lock-top plastic bag and pour in marinade. Make sure marinade is evenly distributed. Close bag and refrigerate for 1/2 to 2 hours.
  2. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in cold water for 1 hour to prevent them from burning while grilling. When ready to grill, thread scallops onto skewers.
  3. Prepare barbecue or grill pan for medium-high heat grilling. If using a barbecue, grill scallops about 3 inches from flame for 3 to 4 minutes per side until cooked as desired. If using a grill pan, place the threaded scallops on a hot grill pan and grill for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until cooked as desired. (They should be seared on the outside and just cooked in the center.) Place brochettes on a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.


  • You can use any pesto variation you like: mixed herbs, walnut, pistachio or even sun-dried tomato pesto (recipe here).
  • Skewering the scallops on short wooden sticks makes them easier to cook evenly on both sides.
  • Begin this meal with a green salad with avocado and grapefruit sections. Alongside the scallops I like to serve cooked orzo, fusilli pasta or quinoa, and broccoli or asparagus.
  • Here is a demonstration of how to make Balsamic Syrup (link here).

Serves 4 to 6 people.