Cleaning the Crabs:
1) Clean the crabs by taking kitchen shears and remove about 1/2 inch behind the eyes and mouth of the crab. Squeeze out the insides of the sack inside the cut area. Turn the crab over and remove the gills and apron. Rinse each crab under cold water. (Wish I had a video to show you this...you can probably find one online. It's a lot easier than cleaning a hard shelled crab.)
2) Soak the crabs in milk for about 15 minutes. It softens them a bit and makes them easier to bread or coat.
Sauteed Soft Shell Crabs:
1) Dredge crabs in seasoned flour. I use paprika, salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder. Not too much paprika - it just gives the crabs a little color when you cook them.
2) Heat 1 stick of butter in a skillet until it melts.
3) Add 2 garlic cloves, crushed. Saute 1 - 2 minutes.
4) Remove garlic, add crabs. (I add 2 - 3 crabs at a time, depending on how big your pan is and how small the crabs are. You don't want to overcrowd the pan.)
5) Cook on each side until they're lightly browned.
6) Squeeze a fresh lemon wedge over them. Serve
Fried Soft Shell Crabs:
1) You can either make a batter using Bisquick, or some flour (about 1 cup), 3 eggs, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and about 1/2 - 3/4 cup milk. You want the batter not to be as thick as a pancake batter, but not too loose. You want it to coat your crabs. Add more or less milk depending. I always just eyeball this.
2) Heat about 2 inches of canola oil in a heavy-bottomed deep pan until hot. Submerge no more than 2 crabs at a time into the oil and cook for 4 minutes. When you add the crabs they should start bubbling and frying immediately or your oil is not hot enough.
3) Remove crabs from oil, and let drain on paper towels. Season with a little salt. Make the next batch in the oil.....