It’s that most wonderful time of year — when schools empty, the pools open, and crabs get soft. Actually, that whole sentence is kind of creepy. What I’m trying to say is, soft-shell crabs are delicious and only available for a few months (if that) each year. If you find them, eat them. (I found them at Whole Foods.)
For Day 3 of Magic Buns, I grilled a small, recently neutered (dispatching soft-shells can be an emotionally uncomfortable process for a man) soft-shell crab. They’re also great sauteed in butter, tempura-battered, and cornmeal-crusted, but that seemed like a whole production and I wanted to honor the bun with something unfussy.
I had some leftover chili vinaigrette (Fresno chile, orange blossom honey, lime juice, olive oil, shallot) from a previous meal and tossed it with some especially spicy arugula to form a nice, soft bed for Crabby. I wish I’d stopped there, but I foolishly added a slice of tasteless, mealy, generally worthless tomato. I don’t know what I was thinking. It’s not August; for the most part, tomatoes are still shit. After one bite, I dispatched the sad li’l puck and finished the otherwise brilliant sandwich. Once again, the bun (slightly toasted this time) made the meal. F-ing bunbelievable (copyright Jeff Akin 2012).