- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons Essence, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 large soft-shell crabs, cleaned, rinsed, and patted dry
- 4 (7-inch) lengths French bread, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
- 1/2 cup Creole Tartar Sauce
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 12 thin slices ripe tomato
- 12 dill pickle slices
- In a large pot, heat 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs, water, and remaining teaspoon of Essence. One at a time, lightly coat the crabs with the flour mixture, then dip into the egg wash, followed by the cornmeal to coat.
- With tongs, lower 2 crabs at a time into the hot oil. Fry, turning once, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with Essence.
- Spread both sides of the French bread with tartar sauce. Layer the lettuce, tomatoes and pickles over the bottom half of the bread and top with 1 crab. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately.
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