Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stuffed Shrimp: Finally a Great Home Recipe!

I love shrimp.  Shrimp scampi, fried shrimp, shrimp burgers, shrimp with pasta, shrimp Island of Scorpios, shrimp creole, shrimp and grits, Sea Island shrimp...ok, I know I'm sounding like Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump, but I jess cain't hep myseff.  I love shrimp!

My latest foray into my new cookbook that I got for Christmas was for a marvelous stuffed shrimp recipe.  This is one of those dishes that I've enjoyed in restaurants, but for some reason, haven't ever attempted at home.  But, guess what?  Yes, you can try this at home.  I did and with stellar results.

Aside from the flavor there is the lesson:  so often people become frustrated with this dish because they cut a slit in the shrimp, along the back (logically), stuff it, then during baking all the stuffing is popped out by the shrimp as it cooks.  Well, guess what?  There's a very simple technique that solves this problem. All you do is slit the back of the shrimp as you'd expect, cutting almost all the way through, in order to open, or "butterfly" the shrimp like a book.  But here's the trick...actually cut a 1/2"-1" hole through the bottom of the shrimp.  Then, flip it over.  This flattens the shrimp out onto your baking pan, causing the tail to flip up.  Then, you add your stuffing, which can then adhere to the shrimp via that hole.  In this position, as the shrimp cooks, it curls around the filling rather than against it and forcing it out.  Duhhhh...this seems like I should've figured it out by myself.

See the holes?
To top it all off, I used extra large shrimp from Beaufort that I found at the All Local Market on Saturday.  Fresh, South Carolina shrimp make all the difference!  Here's the recipe...I hope you'll try it and love it!

  • 4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn (I used the Italian sandwich bread from the Publix bakery)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup clam juice (I didn't have this, so I used chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped (remember this is NOT a shallot)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp grated zest & 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs colossal shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails left on
Heat oven to 375. Pulse bread in processor to coarse crumbs.  Transfer to the bottom of a broiler pan and bake until golden and dry, 8-10 min, stirring halfway through.  Remove from oven and reduce heat to 275.

Stuffed and ready for the oven!
Combine crumbs with remaining ingredients (except shrimp of course) in a bowl.  Prepare the shrimp like I told you, pat them dry then place on the lightly greased broiler pan bottom.  Divide the stuffing mixture among the shrimp and press to adhere.  Bake until the shrimp are opaque, about 20 minutes or so. 

Remove from the oven, turn on the broiler then return to the oven to broil 1-3 minutes, to crisp up the stuffing.  Devour.

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