Where This Meets That
My wife and I eat at a wonderful restaurant called Pappadeaux about once a year, and every time, I order their Stuffed Shrimp Montage. Basically, it’s butterflied shrimp stuffed with crab cake and buried under a mound of melted cheeses.
A couple months ago, I boldly tried to re-create the dish at home – a reduced carb version at that – and came pretty close. Last night, to kick off the first Friday of Lent, I attempted to perfect it.
Here’s how it went.
You need big shrimp for this. Big ones. Costco’s jumbo easy-peel shrimp are perfect, since they already partially butterflied and super-easy to peel. Regardless of your starting point, your desired end result is to have about a dozen big butterflied shrimp with tails still attached.
Place shrimp on baking sheet so the tails curve upward.
It’s expensive, I know, but this meal is a treat. Get the real stuff, not the imitation meat. Be sure to pick through the meat to remove all the little bits of shell, but don’t break up the crab meat anymore than necessary (you want chunks). Helpful hint: spread the meat out on a baking sheet and broil it for minute or so; the shell bits will change color and be easier to spot.
Mix together all ingredients EXCEPT butter and crab meat.
Stir butter into mix until combined.
Add crab meat and mix only lightly.
Separate tablespoon-sized portions of mixture, roll into oblong balls, and stuff firmly into each of your prepared shrimp.
Bake at 375° for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven, pile on cheese to your liking, and broil quickly only to melt the cheese. Pappadeaux says it uses a blend of parmesan and romano cheeses, but those are both hard cheeses, so I also added a mozzarella-based Italian blend..
So, did I achieve perfection?
No. But they were pretty darn tasty! Next time, I’ll turn the shrimp over before stuffing, as it might better bind the crab cake to the shrimp during cooking. Or better yet, I might remove the tail altogether. No, it won’t be “like Pappadeaux”, but it might make for an all around even more pleasurable experience.
If you decide to try this on your own, be warned that the entire process takes awhile. Hopefully once you have a taste, though, you’ll agree that it’s totally worth it! Enjoy!