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Soft-shell Crabs with Roasted South Carolina Sweet Spring Onions & Blood-Orange Vinaigrette
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Ingredients

For the onions:
6 South Carolina sweet spring onions
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette:
Juice of 2 blood oranges (approximately 1/4 cup, navel oranges may be substituted)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. local honey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Black cherry tomatoes, optional

For the crabs:
4 live soft-shell crabs (frozen soft-shells not recommended)
2 cups rice flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grapeseed oil

Directions

For the onions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Clean and trim the spring onions, leaving one-inch of green on the onion stalk. Split the onions in half lengthwise. Toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the onions on a baking sheet and roast them for approximately 20 minutes, until very tender. Remove from oven. Let cool on the baking sheet.

For the vinaigrette:
Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, honey, and a pinch of both salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters and add them to the vinaigrette

For the crabs:
Clean the crabs by using kitchen shears to cut off the faces about 1/2 inch behind the eyes and mouth. Squeeze out the contents of the sack located directly behind the cut you just made. Then lift both pointed ends of the crabs’ outer shells and remove the gills. Turn the crabs over and remove the flaps from the bottom of the carapace known as the apron. Rinse the crabs well and pat dry.

Dredge the crabs in rice flour that’s been lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet and add the grapeseed oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the crabs. Cook the crabs without moving until golden brown, about four minutes on each side. Drain the crabs on paper towels. To serve: place one crab on each of four warm plates. Drape the onions over the crab and finish the dish with a splash of blood-orange vinaigrette.


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