Carnival Shrimp

In honor of carnival season and crab season, this is a stuffed shrimp recipe—New Orleans style. This dish has all the hallmarks of good creole cooking… butter, wine, and seafood! Unfortunately for me, I had to use prawns in this recipe because jumbo gulf shrimp are unheard of out here. Prawns have a much blander taste than gulf shrimp do (it’s due to their diet), so I compensated by seasoning each shrimp. I didn’t include this step in the recipe because some folks are lucky enough to have access to real shrimp. If you use prawns, sprinkle each raw prawn with Old Bay before topping.

Carnival Shrimp

Carnival Shrimp

1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup water
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 lb. lump crab meat
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 Tablespoon Creole seasoning
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
2 lbs. large shrimp (or prawns)
Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350º. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until the onion glistens. Add flour and make a quick roux. Add water and thin out the roux. Add bell pepper, salt, Creole seasoning and stir until everything is incorporated. Add wine. Cook mixture for 2 minutes (5 minutes if wine was added) until bell pepper is soft. Fold in crab meat and try to keep pieces as whole as possible. Set mixture aside while you clean and peel shrimp. Butterfly the cleaned and peeled shrimp and lay each shrimp on a greased baking sheet. Take a tablespoon and top each butterflied shrimp with a tablespoonful of the crab meat mixture. Sprinkle enough bread crumbs over each shrimp to just cover. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serves 6.

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