Friday, August 28, 2009

Crab Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes, stuffed with crabmeat.

Crab Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes

Every year, on the weekend near the 4th of July, Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi (Mississippi's West Coast) hosts their church bazaar, the annual Crab Festival, though these days it has grown to be such a large event that it's not really a little church function anymore, but rather a very important coast event. The festival has been held since 1984.

There are rides for the kids, all sorts of vendor booths, raffles, cash drawdowns, live entertainment, and of course lots of food. Besides the usual fair foods, you'll find loads of seafood dishes and of course, many of them made with crab.

One of the most sought after foods at the festival every year are the crab stuffed potatoes and while I don't say that mine can stand up to the ones those ladies make, I do have to say these are super yummy. A take on twice baked potatoes - just creamy and delectable with an unexpected surprise of seafood. Lump crabmeat is the best, of course, but the pouches or cans work just fine too, and of course, you can omit the crab altogether and have a mighty fine twice baked potato that can stand all on its own.

Here's how to make them.



Recipe: Crab Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 1 hr/baking |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 2 teaspoons of grated onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of half and half or cream
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound of fresh crab meat, or 2 pouches or cans, drained
  • Paprika, to garnish
Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Scrub potatoes and poke several holes in each of them. Bake for 45 minutes directly on the oven rack, spacing them at least an inch apart. Check by inserting a knife into the potato to see if it is tender; if not, return to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or as needed. Set aside to cool.

Turn out the crab into a colander; pick through for shell and set aside to drain. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the potato pulp. Combine the potato pulp with the cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and onion until well blended. Add enough cream to moisten the potatoes; stir in the cheddar. Add the crab meat and toss gently to combine. Refill the potato shells and sprinkle each potato lightly with paprika. If serving immediately, bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until heated through.

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. Use small red potatoes and a small cookie scoop and serve these as a party appetizer.

Basic Twice Baked Potatoes: To make these regular twice baked potatoes, eliminate the crab and increase the shredded cheese to 1-1/2 cups. May also add some extra cheese on top toward the end of baking if desired.

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes: Omit the crab. Prepare and bake potatoes as above, topping with shredded cheese. Spoon tops with a layer of sour cream, top with cooked, crumbled bacon and slices of green onions, before serving.

To Freeze: Prepare potatoes and stuff. Place on a baking sheet and flash freeze. Wrap individually, then bag in a labeled freezer bag. To cook preheat oven to 400 degrees F, thaw potatoes (may use defrost on the microwave) then cook until warmed through, about 30 minutes. Test centers with a fork.

Source: http://www.deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on August 28, 2009

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