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Fried Seafood Platter


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  • 2 dozen medium shrimp peeled, deveined, and tips of the tails left intact
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Essence more for dusting (see Bayou Blast recipe)
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • Lemon wedges accompaniment
  • 4 large soft-shell crabs cleaned, rinsed
  • gently in cool water, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried fine bread crumbs
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Essence more for dusting
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 8 pieces lightly-buttered toasted white bread halved diagonally
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • French fried potatoes as accompaniment
  • Dill Pickle Slices as accompaniment
  • Lemon wedges as accompaniment
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


Servings 8


Step 1

For the Fried Shrimp: Place the shrimp in a bowl with the hot sauce and toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat a large pot with vegetable oil to come 4 inches up the sides to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, masa, and Essence, and toss to coat. Add the shrimp in batches, turning to coat evenly, and shaking to remove any excess. Fry in batches in the oil, turning to cook evenly. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels and season, to taste, with Essence.

For the Fried Softshell crabs: Place the crabs in a bowl with the hot sauce and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes. Combine the flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Essence in a medium bowl. In a second bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 3 teaspoons of Essence. In a third bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk to make an egg wash.

Preheat a large pot with vegetable oil to come 4 inches up the sides to 375 degrees.

Remove the crabs from the hot sauce and dredge in batches first in the flour, then the egg wash, letting any excess drip off. Dredge the coated crabs in the bread crumbs, turning to coat evenly on both sides. Hold the body of the crab with the claws and legs hanging down over the hot oil and carefully drop it in. Fry until golden brown, turning with tongs to brown evenly, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending upon the size. (The crabs will float to the surface of the oil when they are cooked.) Remove and drain on paper towels and season lightly with Essence.

To serve, arrange 2 slices of buttered toast across each of 4 plates. Top with the fried shrimp and soft-shell crabs, and place a large dollop of cocktail sauce and tartar sauce to the sides. Arrange French fried potatoes, dill pickle slices, and lemon wedges to the sides and serve immediately, garnished with parsley.

For the Cocktail Sauce: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to blend well. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. (Makes 1 cup)

For the Kicked Up Tartar Sauce: Put the egg, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, parley, and onion in a blender or food processor and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. With the processor running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Add the Worcestershire, season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, and pulse to blend. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving. Use within 24 hours. (Makes about 1 1/3 cups)

This recipe yields 8 servings.

Caution: The American Egg Board states: "There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of foodborne illness. Healthy people need to remember that there is a very small risk and treat eggs and other raw animal foods accordingly. Use only properly refrigerated, clean, sound-shelled, fresh, grade AA or A eggs. Avoid mixing yolks and whites with the shell."

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