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Serves : 4 FIRST-COURSE OR 2 MAIN-COURSE

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a nonreactive medium sauce-pan, warm the olive oil. Add the escarole and cook over high heat, stirring, until wilted. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the anchovy fillets and oil; reduce the heat to moderately low. Cover and cook, stirring twice, until the escarole is tender, about 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice and swirl in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Remove from the heat.

Step 2    

On a large flat plate, mix the flour with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pat the crabs dry with paper towels. Dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Step 3    

In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter; when it stops sizzling, put in the crabs, undersides up. Fry over high heat, turning once, until crisp and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat if the oil gets too smoky.

Step 4    

Gently reheat the escarole and taste for seasoning. Spoon the escarole and lemon sauce onto plates, set the crabs on top and serve hot.

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