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Soft-Shell Crabs with Almonds

1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
12 small, fresh soft-shell crabs, cleaned (see note)
3/4 cup flour
4 TBSP. vegetable oil
2 TBSP. butter
2 TBSP. olive oil
1 TBSP. finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 TBSP. fresh lemon juice
4 TBSP. finely chopped parsley

In flat dish, combine the milk, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Blend well.
Add the crabs, turning them over to coat well with the milk.
Place the flour in a flat dish and remove the crabs from the milk.
Dredge them in the flour.
Shake to remove any excess flour.
Heat 2 TBSP. of the vegetable oil in a large skillet.
Place 6 crabs in the pan and cook them over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned on one side.
Turn and cook until golden brown on the other side.
The total cooking time is about 6-7 minutes depending on the thickness.
Transfer to a warm serving platter; keep warm.
Add remaining vegetable oil to pan and repeat the procedure with the other crabs.
Pour off the fat from the skillet and wipe it clean with paper towels.
Add the butter and olive oil, add the shallots and sliced almonds and cook until lightly browned, shaking the pan.
When the oil is bubbling, add the lemon juice and pour the mixture over the crabs.
Sprinkle with parsley.
Serves 4.

Note: To clean soft-shell crabs, first place them top side up on a cutting board and cut off the eyes. Then lift the flap on each side and remove the spongy gill tissue underneath. Rinse the crabs with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

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