Softshell Crabs à la Meunière
This is an American original based on the classic French technique of coating seafood with flour (à la meunière means "in the style of the miller's wife"), frying it in butter, and serving it in a brown-butter sauce.
1 cup flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 tbsp. butter
8 softshell crabs, cleaned
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1. Season flour with salt and pepper. Heat 4 tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge crabs in flour, shake off excess, then panfry 4 crabs, turning once, until brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side.
2. Wipe out skillet with paper towels, add 4 more tbsp. butter, and fry remaining crabs. Drain cooked crabs on paper towels.
3. Wipe out skillet again, add remaining 8 tbsp. butter, and melt it over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until butter begins to brown, 2–3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice. Transfer crabs to a platter, then top with sauce. Serve warm, with boiled or steamed potatoes if desired.