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 you can use frozen already cooked shrimp and canned crab if that's what you have access to. I did decide 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! Here's how to make it.

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.

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Posted by on January 29, 2009
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