Frank’s and Frank’s Outback Softshell Crab & Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Main courses

Soft Shell Crab

2 fresh jumbo soft shell crabs, cleaned
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour

Pasta Salad

2 cups cooked penne, ziti or elbow pasta (kept warm)
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped kalamata olives
2 tablespoons green olives
2 tablespoons chopped cucumbers
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons diced red onion

Pasta Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Tapenade Vinaigrette for Soft Shells

2 tablespoons minced kalamata olives
2 tablespoons minced green olives
2 teaspoons minced roasted red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup olive oil


For the Soft Shell Crab

Place milk in a bowl and add the crabs. In a second bowl, mix flour and cornmeal. Season flour mixture with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to cook. Keep crabs and milk refrigerated.

For the Pasta Vinaigrette

Mix mustard, garlic, honey and vinegar in a bowl and slowly add olive oil, whisking steadily. Season with salt and pepper. Pour vinaigrette over the pasta and mix well.

Mix all in a bowl, slowly add in oil while whisking steadily. Season with salt and pepper.

To Make:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a deep-sided pan until hot, but not smoking. While oil is heating, remove crabs from the milk and dredge in the flour cornmeal mixture, shaking off any extra flour.

Place crabs in the hot oil, top down. Cook for 1 minute and flip the crabs. Cook for an additional minute. Remove from oil and place on a sheet pan and slide in oven for 5 minutes. Divide pasta salad between 2 plates, place crab on top and drizzle tapenade vinaigrette over crab.