Jun 062013

I think of John Besh as a home-grown Emeril. Emeril was raised in the northeast. John is a local product. His restaurant empire is starting to rival Emeril’s.  He has just started his weekly cooking program on PBS. This dish is his take on a soft-shell poboy.

6 Buster Crabs or small Soft-Shell Blue Crabs, cleaned


Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 cup Buttermilk

2 cups mixed tiny Tomatoes, such as currant, grape, pear, or cherry tomatoes

4 tablespoons Basic Walnut Oil Vinaigrette ( see below)

Leaves from 1 sprig fresh Basil, chopped

1 tablespoons Butter, softened

6 1-inch-thick slices French Bread, halved

1 cup Flour

1 cup yellow or white Cornmeal or Cornflour

1 teaspoon Creole Shake

3 cups Canola Oil

2 tablespoons Basic Sauce Remoulade (see below)

2 cups mixed Baby Greens or Sprouts

Leaves from 6 springs fresh Chervil

Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh Dill

Season the crabs with salt and pepper. Pour the buttermilk inot a bowl, add the crabs, and set aside to marinate for a few minutes.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. While the water heats, make a tiny incision on the stem of each tomato. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water. Remove them immediately and cool in a bowl of ice water. Slip the skins from the tomatoes.

Put the peeled tomatoes into a bowl along with 2 tablespoons of the Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, the basil, and salt and pepper. Tossed together until the tomatoes are well cooked.

Preheat the broiler. Butter the bread slices, arrange on a baking sheet, and toast under the broiler, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.

Mix together the flour, cornmeal, and Creole Shake in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove the crabs from the buttermilk and dredge in the seasoned flour. Fry the crabs, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 6-7 minutes. Remove crabs from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Place a slice of toasted bread on each of 6 plates (or arrange on a platter). Spoon marinated tomatoes onto the bread slices, then pile the fried crabs on the tomatoes. Dollop a teaspoon of Sauce Remoulade on each crab.

Toss the baby greens with the two remaining 2 tablespoons Walnut Oil Vinaigrette in the same bowl used for the tomatoes. Place a handfull of greens on each crab, then scatter chervil and dillo leaves and top with a piece of toast.

Basic Walnut Oil Vinaigrette Makes 1 1/4 cups

1/4 cup Sherry Vinager (preferably aged)

2 pinches Sugar

1/2 cup Walnut Oil

1/2 cup Canola Oil


Fresh ground Black Pepper

Mix together.  You may need to remix before serving.

Basic Sauce Remoulade

1 cup Mayonnaise

1/4 cup Dijon Mustard

2 tablespoons prepared Horseradish

2 tabloespoons chopped fresh Parsley

1 Shallot, minced

1 clove Garlic

1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Hot Sauce

1/2 teaspoon sweet Paprika

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne

1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder


Combine all the above ingredients in a large bowl and stir well, then add salt. Transfer the sauce to a container with a cover and refrigerate.

Coming soon

Creole Cajun Chef’s Creole Shake

Creole Cajun Chef’s Web Store



I lived in New Orleans, since birth, until Hurricane Katrina. I now live in Arkansas with my wife and our spoiled-rotten dog. I have been cooking since I was 8. My first cookbook, You can't keep New Orleans out of the cook, is now available at publishamerica.net and most online bookstores. It is also available on Kindle and Nook.

  One Response to “Buster Crab BLT from John Besh”

  1. I watch his show here in Nola. I love softshells. I assembled all the ingredients to make Tommy’s. Low and behold Rouses didn’t have any. K-Jeans was out too. What’s a guy to do??? Lol. Chef Besh’s look good too! Ok…time for a softshell party!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>