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SOFTSHELL CRABS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 hotel softshell crabs
cold milk
peanut oil for frying

1/2 cup butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup slivered, blanched almonds
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Mix flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. Dip crabs in cold milk and
then in the flour mixture. Heat 1/8 inch of oil in a frying pan
and saute 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and cover
to keep warm. Butter Sauce: To make sauce, melt butter over medium
heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Add shallots and slivered almonds. Cook
just until the butter begins to brown, then remove the pan from
the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the shallots and almonds
from the butter and set aside until serving time. Add the lemon
juice and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon. The sauce will foam
up. When the foaming subsides, return the pan to the heat and cook
for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce turns a rich, golden brown.
Remove from the heat. To serve, place sauteed crabs on heated
plates. Sprinkle with reserved shallots and almonds. Spoon about
1 1/2 tablespoons of sauce over each crab. Serves 2.

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