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MARIO BATALI Asparagus with Sunny-Side-Up Eggs & Pan Fried Soft Shell Crabs

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Take delicious spring asparagus and turn them into three amazing dishes!

1 bunch asparagus (woody ends removed)
1 small shallot (peeled and chopped)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pinch flaky sea salt (to taste)
pink peppercorns (freshly grated, to taste)
1 tablespoon water
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 farm-fresh eggs
flaky sea salt (to taste)
4 soft shell crabs (cleaned)
1 cup rice flour (for dredging)
1 cup spring onions (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1-2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 chilis (such as fresnos or serranos, thinly sliced)
kosher salt and freshly ground pink and black pepper (to taste)

For the Simple: place a steamer in the bottom of a large pot and fill with a few inches of water. Add the asparagus and place over medium heat. Steam the asparagus until tender, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the mustard vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, add the lemon juice, mustard and a pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the olive oil and whisk to combine. Transfer asparagus to a serving platter. All of the spears should be lying in the same direction. Dress with the mustard vinaigrette.
For the Special: in a large nonstick pan, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the eggs and cook until the eggs whites are set and the yolks are still runny. Season the yolks with a pinch of flaky sea salt and pepper. Serve on top of dressed asparagus.
For the Spectacular: place a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Season soft shell crabs with salt and pepper. Dredge in rice flour, shaking off excess. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Once the oil is very hot and almost smoking, add 2 of the crabs. Fry crabs until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Continue frying remaining crabs.
In a medium bowl, add spring onions, chilis, lemon zest, sherry vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
Cut soft shell crabs in half. Top with Spring onion mixture. Serve with asparagus and fried egg.
– To clean the soft-shell crabs, cut off the eyes and mouth. Remove the gills and tail flap by twisting and pulling off. Rinse the crabs thoroughly with cold water. Dry on paper towels. For easy prep, ask your fishmonger to clean crabs for you.
– Instead of rice flour, use quick-mixing flour.

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