Soft shell crab tacos

June 20, 2008 12:27:46 PM PDT
Lisa Quinn recently visited Meteor Vineyard in Napa and met former CEO of AOL, Barry Schuler, who is also the co-owner of the vineyard. Schuler has a passion for cooking and shared this perfect summertime dish with us.

Soft Shell Crab Tacos

Two soft shell crabs (ask fish store to clean them) Note: if soft shell crabs are not available you can substitute with any firm flesh fish such as snapper or rock cod

For crabs:

  • 1/2 C All purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 2 C buttermilk
  • 1T sweet butter
  • 2T Olive Oil

For taco filling:

  • 1/4 head green cabbage finely shredded and tossed with 1T sugar IT apple cider vinegar and ? t salt - allow to sit for at least 15 minutes
  • 1 ripe (but firm) Haas avocado - peeled, pitted, diced and tossed with 1-2T fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh red bell pepper
  • 1 ear of corn lightly grilled, kernels cut from cob with a serrated knife
  • 3 T finely chopped cilantro

For crema sauce:

  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
  • 2 T finely minced cilantro

Additional:

  • 2 Corn Tortillas
  • Your favorite hot sauce such as Tabasco

For the sauce:
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until thoroughly blended. Sauce can be prepared a day ahead and will keep for two weeks

For the crabs:
Gently wash and dry the crabs.

Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients for the coating.

Dip the crabs in the buttermilk and soak for about 10 seconds, then dredge in the flour mixture until thoroughly coated. Shake the excess off and place on a dry plate.

Preheat a saut? pan to medium high - add butter and olive oil. When the butter in the pan is completely melted and bubbly place each crab into the pan (top side up.)

Saut? for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until edges are golden and flip over. Finish the opposite side, the crab should be golden brown and crispy. Remove to a plate and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble:
Cut one corn tortilla in half and arrange on opposite sides of a plate.

Create a mound of the cabbage in the center, spoon 1/2 of the avocado over the cabbage.

Place one crab on top of the mound.

Sprinkle half of the corn, half of the red pepper and half of the chopped cilantro all over the top and around the plate.

Drizzle the crema sauce all over the top and finish off with a few drops of hot sauce.

Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro.

Repeat with the second crab and enjoy!

About Barry Schuler
Barry served in several top positions at AOL, was Chairman and CEO after the Time Warner Merger and currently serves as managing director of the DFJ Growth Fund and Chairman of Raydiance, Inc., pioneers of the world's first desktop ultrashort pulse laser, which adapts military technolgy for consumer use. He also serves as a director for Hands-on Mobile Entertainment and Synthetic Genomics, Inc, UBMatrix and UUSEE, Chinas leading provider of Internet TV Services.

July 17-19, he will speak at TASTE3 in Napa about mapping the wine grape genome.

When Barry is home all that inventive horsepower is channeled into food and wine. He begins every day by roasting fair trade coffee beans, grinding them and brewing coffee for his wife Tracy. Then he disappears into his studio were he makes pots. Back in the kitchen, he churns butter, cures meat, makes pasta and these days he's making wine in collaboration with Dawnine Dyer. He says he named his Cabernet Sauvignon Meteor after one of his early companies, but we think it's Barry who's the meteor.

For more information on Meteor Vineyards, visit www.meteorvineyard.com

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