We use a lot of seafood stuffings in New Orleans cookery, particularly in casual seafood restaurants. The most common ingredient is crabmeat, followed by shrimp, oysters, and crawfish. This variation uses the first three. However, you can use what you have at hand, adjusting the quantities logically. You can also skip the baking step, roll up the stuffing into balls, and fry them to make what they used to call “crab chops” in West End.
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups shrimp stock
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 Tbs. Creole seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 dozen oysters, chopped
- 1 lb. claw crabmeat
- 24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. freshly-grated French bread crumbs
- 3 green onions, snipped finely
- 6 sprigs parsley, leaves only, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and heat it until is begins bubbling. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and cook until it turns soft.
2. Add the wine, shrimp stock, salt, Creole seasoning and bay leaf. Reduce heat to a low boil and reduce by about half.
3. Remove the bay leaf. Add the oysters, shrimp and crabmeat and cook for two or three minutes.
4. Add about a quarter of the bread crumbs at a time, stirring just enough to mix everything evenly. Add the green onions and parsley with the last batch of bread crumbs.
5. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Load the stuffing into a baking dish and bake, uncovered, in the center of a 400-degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until toasty on top.
This gives enough stuffing for about eight fish, twelve crabs, sixteen shrimp, or eight to ten side dishes.