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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Buster Crab BLT from John Besh

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

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


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