|Julian's Shrimp Stuffed Deviled Crab.|
|Sunset at CalypsoBlu|
|Fresh From the Oven|
Here in the Virgin Islands, traditional food tends to be spicy and hearty, many of which are imported as noted above so I was looking forward to the local deviled crab. I’ve enjoyed deviled crab stuffed into shrimp and lobster in local restaurants several times, so I decided to try my hand at creating a variation. Most of the versions I have had locally have been light on crab and heavy on bread crumbs. Few seemed to have any vegetables in the stuffing beside garlic. And as I mentioned a couple weeks ago regarding ‘deviled’ eggs, the reason foods are called ‘deviled’ is because they are to be a bit spicy. Too often the restaurant version of this dish lacked any sort of ‘kick’ and I was sure a bit of Tobasco hot pepper sauce could improve the flavor and ‘kick it up a notch,’ as Emeril would say.
As I often say, use the methods and ingredients below as a guide. Adjust your recipe to fit your taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment and use what you have on hand. The technique here is simple and many combinations will make for a delicious and impressive shellfish dinner. I did not top the shrimp with cheese or a cream sauce, although this is often done. I felt they were rich enough on their own and the sauce would hide some of the delicious fresh flavors. But add these if you are so inclined.
1/2 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 stocks of celery, finely chopped
1 small onion/shallot, finally chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of spicy-brown mustard,(or Dijon)
Tobasco hot pepper sauce, 3-6 dashes
1-2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/3 cup of crushed Ritz crackers (or bread crumbs)
8 ounces of lump crab meat, drained
20-24 medium shrimp (20 - 25 count/lb)
peeled, tails on, deveined and thawed
4 tablespoons melted butter
salt, pepper, paprika
Chop the vegetables and sauté in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. While they cool, place the egg in a large bowl and beat. Add the mustard, hot sauce, and seasoning. Stir in the cooled cooked vegetables. Gently fold in the lump crab meat. Place two tablespoons of the melted butter into your baking dish and coat the bottom evenly.
Ensure that the shrimp are clean (deveined) and that the tails are intact. Using your paring knife, cut down the back where you removed the sand vein until you are almost all the way through. Spread the shrimp open and press down into your baking dish so you have a butterflied shrimp with tail curled up and over. Place all of the shrimp in this manner into your baking dish.
Using a teaspoon, place one large rounded teaspoon full of deviled crab onto each shrimp. Drizzle the remaining two tablespoons of melted butter over the shrimp and add any final salt/pepper/paprika you desire. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the shrimp are no longer translucent and an instant read thermometer indicates the shrimp and crab are 160F degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before plating.
Serve 4 stuffed shrimp per person with a vegetable and starch (rice?) side dish. If using only a vegetable side, increase the portion to 6 shrimp per person.