To clean crabs, carefully grasp each crab between the back legs. Using kitchen shears, cut across the body about 1/2 inch behind the eyes, removing the face.
Lift the pointed soft top shell on one side. Using your fingers, push up the devils fingers (the spongy projectiles on the exposed side), and pull off. Replace the soft top shell over the body. Repeat on the other side.
Turn the crab over. Pull up the apron-shaped piece; discard. Thoroughly rinse crabs under cold running water to remove the mustard-colored substance. Pat dry.
In a shallow dish stir together the egg and milk or water. On a sheet of waxed paper combine crushed crackers; pecans, walnuts, or almonds; thyme; red pepper; and pepper. Dip crabs in the egg mixture, then roll them in the cracker mixture.
In a large skillet heat cooking oil. Add the crabs, back side down. Cook crabs over medium heat for 6 to 10 minutes or until golden and crisp, carefully turning once. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lime or lemon wedges. Makes 2 servings.
Add a salad of your choice and slices of sourdough bread.