|Fresh jumbo shrimp stuffed with a mix made with buttery Ritz crackers, Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, fresh parsley and fresh crab.|
Crab Stuffed ShrimpI had thawed out two packages of shrimp thinking that I would either make gumbo or fry them, but when I realized these were some of the larger shrimp, I knew they were worthy of something just a bit better. I thought very seriously about grilling them, but then remembered that I had not yet done a stuffed shrimp for the website. Besides. Once you get the image of a crab stuffed shrimp in your head, well, you're bound to have to go there!
So first things first, I would need to peel, devein and butterfly them. For stuffed shrimp, leave the end tip of the tail on - it makes a nicer presentation. There are basically two ways to butterfly shrimp, and either will work well for stuffed shrimp. For more on butterflying shrimp, click right here.
After you get them all nicely butterflied, you'll begin stuffing them - although it's really more a matter of placing stuffing on them than in them. I like to go ahead and lay them out on a sheet pan that has been sprayed with some non-stick spray as I butterfly them and then tuck the stuffing on them all at once after I've finished cleaning the whole lot of them. The stuffing I use is basically my regular crab stuffing that I use for crab cakes and stuffed crab, po'boys and mushrooms, with a few minor changes, including the use of Ritz cracker crumbs. The Ritz crackers provide a nice, buttery flavor that only enhance the shrimp and I love the use of them here. No veggies in this mix though - only crackers, seasonings and crab.
You will need the larger shrimp for this; the small ones are just not worth the time investment, and will likely overcook. These do take some prep time between cleaning and butterflying the shrimp and then molding and placing the stuffing, but they are worth every single second in my opinion. You'll need to have everything else for your meal ready to go, so these are served piping hot, right out of the oven. I just served ours with a simple mixed garden salad and tender, sweet Le Sueur peas, mixed with a bit of sauteed onion, butter, salt and pepper - considered a favorite southern pea... yes, even though they come from Minnesota.
If you prefer, you can substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese if you aren't in the mood for crab stuffing. For extra richness, drizzle a bit of extra melted butter over the stuffed shrimp before baking them, though for me I don't find that necessary.
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Recipe: Crab Stuffed Shrimp©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 25 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 18-24 jumbo shrimp, peeled but with tail tip intact, deveined and butterflied
- 1/2 pound of lump crabmeat
- 1 sleeve of crushed Ritz crackers (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, melted
- Additional melted butter, to drizzle, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large sheet pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the very tale tip intact. Butterfly the shrimp. Rinse and drain well. Pick through the crabmeat to remove any cartilage or stray shell; set aside. Place the shrimp on the baking sheet.
Mix together the crushed crackers, Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir in the melted butter and mix until well combined. Add the crabmeat and lightly toss. Using approximately one tablespoon measure for each shrimp, form the stuffing into small oblong shaped bullets and press firmly into the butterflied shrimp. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Tip: To easily pick out any shell, spread crab on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in a 200 degree oven for 3 minutes. The shell will be visible and easy to pick out.
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