Deviled Crabs (Stuffed Crabs)
The crab cake is a dish imported idea from Maryland in the latter 1980s. It was rarely seen in New Orleans before then, and has driven similar dishes from the scene. But those indigenous crabmeat dishes are not half bad when made with our first-class crabmeat, plus an adventuresome flavor complement. I offer this one as a case in point. I like serving this as a side dish to pasta, entree salads, or even fried seafood.
This is one of relatively few dishes in this collection that begin with what is known around New Orleans as the "holy trinity": onions, bell peppers, and celery.
- 2 sticks butter
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/4 tsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 lb. white crabmeat
- 3 Tbs. green onions, sliced thin
- 2 tsp. salt-free Creole seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1. Heat one stick of the butter in a skillet until it bubbles, and sauté the onion, celery, and bell pepper until soft.
2. Add the curry powder, yellow mustard, wine, Worcestershire and lemon juice to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring to blend. When the liquid is reduced by half, add the crabmeat, green onions, Creole seasoning and salt. Stir to blend, trying to to break up the crabmeat much. Remove from the heat.
3. As gently as you can, stir in the bread crumbs until the mixture is uniform.
4. Although you can make the resulting mixture into cakes or balls (which you then bake on a pan in the oven, or even deep-fry), I find it comes out better if you bake it inside crab shells or gratin dishes. Top each piece with a half-teaspoon flake of butter. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the tops sizzle and brown.
Serve with lemon wedges and remoulade or tartar sauce.
Serves six to eight.
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