Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seafood Appetizer Bread with Crab and Shrimp

French bread, topped with a creamy white sauce with Parmesan and Swiss cheeses and tossed with shrimp and crab, baked and then finished with a sprinkle of pepper jack cheese.

Seafood Appetizer Bread with Crab and Shrimp

This is just a bit of a different take on my Beefy Pizza Bread by bringing in some seafood elements with the use of crab and shrimp. Now if you have access to fresh shrimp and crab, absolutely use those, but I wrote the recipe with canned seafood to make it more accessible to everybody. I decided this one needed a creamy base to it though, so the sauce is much different from the pizza bread. This would be an unexpected and delicious surprise for any party menu, so include it on your menu and watch it disappear! If you were a fan of the crab bread at the now gone Catch of the Day restaurant, I think I've come pretty close with my version. Be sure to check that out too!

Grab a loaf of some crusty French bread and slice it in half lengthwise. Lay the bread on two sheets of aluminum foil on top of a baking sheet and set that aside for now.

Let's get started on the sauce by melting some butter in a skillet.

Once that is melted and hot, add in the flour.

And stir all that together. Basically we are making a very blond roux - or a bechamel sauce, really. Cook that, stirring constantly, until the lumps are gone and the flour is smooth.

Here you are gonna add in the warm milk, but seeing as I didn't happen to have a sous chef handy and I needed to add the milk, while constantly stirring, while taking a picture, well the picture of the "pouring in process" had to be sacrificed. What you'll do is slowly pour in the milk with one hand while vigorously whisking it in with the other hand ...

... until you have a nice, creamy and smooth sauce.

Season with the salt and pepper...

...and add the Parmesan and Swiss cheese...

...stirring that in until the cheese is melted.

Now, we'll temper the egg before adding it into the sauce by taking about a tablespoon of the sauce, and adding it into a separate bowl containing one beaten egg yolk.

Quickly beat the egg and sauce together...

...and transfer the yolk to the skillet with the sauce.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Land O' Lakes, of course. Stir that until the butter melts.

Remove the skillet from the heat, add the shrimp and crab (don't you love that 70s colander - told y'all I had some old stuff) to the skillet...

Now you tell me... what is not to love about this dish so far?

Gently fold the seafood in and mix it together. Add the parsley.

Spoon that loveliness on top of the split bread halves.

Now bring the edges of the foil up around the bread so only the top is exposed. This step keeps the topping warm while warming up the bread but prevents the bread from getting overly crisp. We're gonna crisp that up in just a bit during another step. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, open up the foil, sprinkle the top of the bread with shredded pepper jack cheese and return to the oven to bake for about 10 more minutes or until bread is crisp and cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and let the bread rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Cut into slices, garnish with green onion if desired, and place on a serving platter.

Now that's some good lookin' bread.


Recipe: Seafood Appetizer Bread with Crab and Shrimp

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 10 to 12 servings

  • One loaf of long French bread
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups of milk, heated
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened at room temp
  • 8 ounces crabmeat, well drained
  • 8 ounces cooked small salad shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley, chopped
  • 6 ounces of pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 1 green onion, chopped, for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Split the French bread in half lengthwise. Set aside. Drain the crabmeat and shrimp; set aside. Warm the milk in the microwave for about 1 minute and set it aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet. Stir in the flour until well blended and continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes.

Begin to incorporate the warm milk into the flour mixture a little at a time, until all of it is incorporated, vigorously whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until mixture is thick and creamy. Add the salt, pepper, Parmesan and Swiss cheeses; stir well until cheeses are melted.

Beat the egg yolk in separate small bowl; remove a tablespoon of sauce from the skillet and add to the beaten egg, immediately stirring them together until well blended. Add that mixture back into the sauce and add the last 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook and stir on low for 1 minute; remove from the heat, add the parsley and gently fold in the crabmeat and shrimp. Can also add the green onion here if you prefer rather than using it as a garnish.

Place two sheets of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Spread the crab and shrimp mixture evenly on both sides of the bread and place each on a piece of the aluminum foil, cupping the foil up around the bread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes until bread is warmed through. Remove the bread and fold down the aluminum foil to expose the bread. Sprinkle the top with the pepper jack cheese and return to the oven for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp.

Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onion if desired, cut each half into serving slices, and arrange on a platter.

Cook's Notes: May substitute 4 ounce cans of shrimp and crab, well drained. Also works well with a variety of other breads.


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Posted by on January 29, 2009
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