Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Season the soft-shell crabs with salt and pepper. Rub each soft-shell completely with about 1 tablespoon of the mustard. Crust each soft-shell with some of the herbs, coating each crab completely. In 2 large oven-proof sauté pans, over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of oil to each pan. When the oil is hot, carefully add 3 of the soft-shells to the hot pan, top-side down. Pan-fry for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Using a paper towel, wipe out the pan and heat the remaining oil. Repeat the above process with the remaining soft-shells. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. Spoon the risotto in the center of each serving plate. Lay 2 of the soft-shells over the risotto.
Garnish with chives.
Yields: 6 servings
FRESH TOMATO RISOTTO:
In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring. Sauté until the onions are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the water and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 6 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and continue to simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture is creamy and bubbly, about 8 minutes. Stir in the butter, cream, cheese and green onions. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Spoon the risotto into serving bowls or plates and serve.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings