Here’s one from my New Orleans roots. We ate this frequently when I was a kid, especially during Lent. Typically it was a second-day offering after a crab boil if we didn’t eat all the crabs that were boiled. This is a delicious way to deal with that pesky leftover crab meat. I’ve made this occasionally for our kids but, unlike me, they’re native Northwesterners and tend to prefer local (Dungeness) crab boiled in a simple, Cajun style or as Cajun-style crab cakes. Not really a whole lotta difference between stuffed crab and crab cakes, IMO.
approximately 6 servings
- 16 oz. crab meat *
- ¼ lb. butter
- 1 onion (chopped fine)
- ½ cup shallots (chopped fine)
- garlic – a few toes (chopped fine) **
- 6 tsp. Cognac (maybe a *little* more – wink)
- couple of tablespoons of parsley
- couple of bay leaves
- bread crumbs as needed (about one to two cups)
- cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste
- 1 cup Swiss cheese (grated)
- 6 crab shells, foil crab shells, or something to bake this stuff in
*This recipe assumes you’re dealing with blue crab (callinectes sapidus) meat left over from a Cajun boil. If not, cook your crabmeat as desired and adjust your seasonings, and your expectations, accordingly. (That means add a bunch of cayenne.)
In a sauté pan melt butter, add cognac and sauté onion, shallots, and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add bread crumbs and moisten with water (crab stock, if possible) as needed. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add everything else, except the Swiss cheese. Mix and heat thoroughly. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Mix in Swiss cheese and spoon into crab shells (or whatever). Bake on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Wouldn’t hurt to serve this with a fresh sprig of parsley and a fresh sprinkling of Swiss cheese.
A nice white wine washes this down just fine.