One and one half cup of mayonnaise
Three eighths of a cup finely chopped dill pickles
Three eighths of a cup finely chopped red onion, soaked in ice water for fifteen minutes, drained and patted dry
Three tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
One quarter cup chopped fresh cilantro
Two tablespoons fresh lime juice
One half to One chiptole chili pepper in adobo sauce, or to taste, minced salt and pepper
Eight small soft-shell crabs, cleaned thoroughly
Whole milk, for soaking crabs
One cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil, sauteing
Lime wedges, for garnish
To make the tarter sauce, stir all the sauce ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate while making the crabs.
To prepare the crabs, place them in a bowl with just enough milk to cover them. Cover and refrigerate for thirty minutes. When the crabs have finished soaking, season the flour with salt and pepper to taste and transfer it to a shallow pie dish lines with parchment paper. Working in batches, remove the crabs form the milk, letting the excess drip off, and dredge them in the flour mixture, lifting up the sides of the parchment paper to help coat the crabs evenly with the flour.
Add one quarter inch vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat over moderately high heat until almost smoking. Add the crabs to the skillet, shell side up first, and cook on both sides, about three minutes per side, until brown and crisp. Be careful-they splatter. As the crabs finish cooking transfer them to a platter, shell side down, and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Repeat the procedure with the remaining crabs. Serve the crabs immediately, topping each portion with the tartar sauce and a lime wedge.