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Stuffed Soft Shell Crabs With Pesto Cream

  • Yield: 4 main-course servings


  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, such as Montrachet
  • 3 tablespoons roasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 huge soft-shell crabs, cleaned (have your fish market do this), and patted dry
  • 1 1/3 cups Pesto Cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Emerilís Creole Seasoning


  • In a bowl combine the goat cheese, pine nuts, basil, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and blend with a wooden spoon until smooth. Makes 1/2 cup stuffing mixture.
  • Place the crabs belly-up on a flat surface. Lift the side of a crab to expose the underside of the shell (there is a natural pocket under the point of the shell). Spoon 1 tablespoon of the stuffing mixture into each of these pockets, with a total of 2 tablespoons per crab.
  • Prepare the Pesto Cream, and keep warm.
  • Combine the flour with the Creole Seasoning and dredge the crabs in the mixture.
  • Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over high heat and sautÈ the crabs (shell side down first) until golden brown, for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
  • To serve, spread 1/3 cup of the Pesto Cream on each of 4 plates and top with a crab.