You’ll have to excuse my lack of blogging this month; you see, it’s my birthmonth. I celebrate my June 10th birthday for at least 4 days in a row depending what day it falls on, and sometimes all month. What can I say? I just really love my birthday. With all the birthday celebrations there has been a lot of dining out, drinking Rosé sparklers, and my new favorite cocktail: Campari with blood orange and soda (thanks for bringing it back, GGD). I hit up some of my favorite SF restaurants in the last week; Cotogna, Machka, Chaya, Poesia… my wallet is empty and my tummy is full. It’s time to detox a little before embarking on my three week vacation to Italy and Spain! (Though, this weekend’s visit to some girlfriends in San Diego might get in the way of said detox). But before I started a week of kale salads and fresh fruit, I wanted to take one more opportunity to enjoy my favorite birthmonth treat. You guessed it, soft shell crabs.
GGD and I had the perfect Sunday Summer Dinner last night. She had been wanting to try her hand at a new sweet and savory recipe that she found. My job was to provide the proteins. We had tossed around the idea of lamb or scallops, but then when I saw the beautiful soft shell crabs on display I convinced her to let me get them on one condition: we grill them instead of batter them in flour. Easy enough. I also picked up some jumbo prawns for us to grill with the crabs. I used one grill pan and one marinade for everything. Super simple and super delicious.
Grilled Soft Shell Crabs and Jumbo Prawns (serves 2)
- 2 soft shell crabs
- 10 jumbo prawns, pealed and deveined
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
Delicately rinse and pat dry the crabs and place them in a small bowl. Do the same with the shrimp. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, and seasoning in a small bowl and let sit for about 5 minutes so flavors can meld. Pour half of the oil mixture over the shrimp and toss to coat. Pour the other half over the crabs, and gently coat with your finger tips. Let sit for 5 more minutes.
When there was about 10 minutes left to go on GGD’s apricot and cherry dish, I started to heat the grill pan. Once hot, add the soft shell crabs to the center of the pan, “stomach” side down. Grill for 3 minutes, then flip over so the “shell” side is down. At this time, add the shrimp to the pan. Cook the crabs and shrimp for 4 minutes, turning the shrimp after 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish. Squeeze juice from half of the lemon over the shellfish and serve.
GGD served some bread with her broiled apricots and cherries, which we grilled on the grill pan after taking the shellfish off. I was a little skeptical about the broiled apricots and cherries when she first told me about them, but I loved every single bite! The addition of the ricotta adds a soft, saltiness to the fruit, which helped tie the dish to the crab and shrimp. The whole meal was very light and delicious, and the shrimp were cooked perfectly if I do say so myself.
As I suggested in my previous soft shell crab post, we paired this dish with a bottle of 2012 Mulderbosch Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon, which I found for only $9.99 a bottle at K&L Wines! The flavors is the wine went perfectly with the apricots and cherries, and the thyme brought out a slight herbal element in the wine.
I have to say, I think I prefer grilled softies over flour-battered. Grilling the crabs is not only a healthier method of cooking them, but it allows for the flavors to shine a little brighter. This was GGD’s first soft shell crab experience, and she was shocked that she could eat the whole thing. When she opened up the inside of the crab to discover it’s green guts, she said, “even this??” And I said, “Yes! That’s the best part!”