By Felicia Scocozza
If you are lucky enough to have a secret crabbing spot, you can easily catch enough fresh and tasty blue claws to make this recipe from mid-summer through mid-fall. If you can’t get them on your own, lump crabmeat will be fine.
Blue claw crab, by the way, freezes well as long as you keep it in a sealed container. You can freeze the crabs whole after removing the top shell and lower section and rising out the tomalley, or pick all the meat free and freeze it separately. Claws can be frozen as well. Do not store crabs or claws with shells in freezer bags as the shells will eventually puncture the plastic and spread their scent throughout the freezer.
Stored shells and legs also make a good starter for a seafood or crab stock or chowder.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes or until golden brown on top
- 12 ounces fresh or lump blue crab meat (about 12 crab bodies, save claws for chowder)
- 24 ounces of large white mushrooms (10 – 12), wiped clean with a damp paper towel and stems removed. Retain stems.
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped bell pepper, your choice of color
- 3 tbsp. butter
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. Old Bay or similar seafood seasoning
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- Olive oil or canola oil spray
- Fresh lemon juice
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Finley chop mushroom stems.
- Heat butter on medium-high in a heavy-bottomed or cast iron skillet.
- Saute mushroom stems, onion, bell pepper, Old Bay and salt for about five minutes. Deglaze pan with wine and allow to cool.
- In a bowl, mix until well combined the crabmeat, breadcrumbs, dill, egg, hot sauce, Parmesan cheese and cooled mixture from pan.
- Spray a pan or cast iron skillet with olive oil or canola spray.
- Using a spoon, fill each mushroom cap generously, rounding off at the top.
- Sprinkle paprika over the mushrooms, then spray tops with olive oil or canola spray.
- Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and squeeze fresh lemon juice over each mushroom. Allow to set for one to two minutes before serving.
Note: Unlike baking, cooking is not an exact science. Readers are encouraged to adjust and modify these recipes to their own tastes.
By Tom Schlichter
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