Thursday, April 6, 2017

Alaskan King Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

     Classic East Coast Style Stuffed Mushrooms Made With Alaskan King Crab!
     Crab Stuffed Mushrooms have been popular in east coast restaurants for more than 100 years.  Crab Stuffed Mushrooms are a standard appetizer menu item in casual eateries, classic fine dining restaurants and especially at old fashioned east coast seafood restaurants.
     At an old school seafood restaurant, the same Crab Stuffing that is made for shrimp, fish and lobster is used to make Stuffed Mushrooms.  Chesapeake Blue Crab is the top choice for making a traditional Crab Stuffing.  The classic stuffing is made with Blue Crab, minced aromatic vegetables, bread crumbs, egg, herbs and a little bit of broth.  In recent years, many restaurants have switched to using a heavy mayonnaise and Blue Crab concoction that is marketed as Crab Imperial, which it is really not.  The heavy mayonnaise and crab stuffing may be easy to make, but it leaves plenty to be desired.    
     When I originally published today's recipe in 2009, the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast Gulf Stream was contaminated with the British Petroleum oil spill and toxic cleanup chemicals.  Purchasing Gulf Seafood or Blue Crab for recipes posed a health threat.  When considering that it takes 50 years for oil spill chemicals to break down, it is still too soon to safely recommend seafood from these waters, so I still tend to minimize featuring seafood from these fisheries.
     Alaskan Crab is a good alternative choice for Blue Crab from the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Stream fisheries.  The Alaskan Crab Fishery is well managed and it heavily protected.  Alaska currently is the leading state for providing sustainable seafood, so using Alaskan Crab for old fashioned recipes is a good choice.  Better still, Alaskan King Crab is easier to work with than Blue Crab and the meat has a classic "sweet" crab flavor.
     Portobello Field Mushrooms come in many different sizes.  Small to medium size Portobello that range from 1" to 2" wide are best for making stuffed mushrooms.  Portobello have a rich flavor that goes well with crab.

     Alaskan King Crab Stuffing:
     This recipe yields a little more than 1 cup.  (About 9 ounces.)
     It is better to have a little too much crab stuffing than not enough.  Any extra crab stuffing can be used for more stuffed mushrooms or other recipes. 
     Step 1:  *The size of King Crab Legs can vary greatly.  About 1 pound of whole King Crab Leg (with the shell) will yield about 3/4 pound of clean crab meat.
     Crack the shell to expose the crab meat.
     Pull the crab meat out of the shell.
     Remove any cartilage.
     Coarsely chop the crab meat.  
     Step 2:  Measure 8 ounces of coarse chopped shelled Alaskan King Crab Meat.  (About 1 loose packed cup.)
     Step 3:  Place the chopped Alaskan King Crab Meat in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced celery.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced onion.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced red bell pepper.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of thin sliced green onion top.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Step 4:  Add 1 small pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 small pinch of tarragon.
     Add 1 small pinch basil.
     Add 1 small pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 small pinch of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 5:  Add 1 tablespoon of whisked egg.
     Add 2 tablespoons of plain fine French bread crumbs.
     Gently mix the ingredients together.
     Step 6:  Place the Alaskan King Crab Stuffing in a container.
     Chill for 1 hour, so the stuffing becomes stiff and the flavors meld.

     Alaskan King Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms:
     This recipe yields 1 appetizer portion.
     *The amount of mushrooms needed depends on the size of the small casserole dish.
     Step 1:  Select an individual portion size round casserole dish that is 6" or 7" in diameter.
     Step 2:  Select enough small Portobello Mushrooms to fill the casserole dish, by placing the mushrooms side by side in the dish.
     The Portobello should be 1" to 1 1/2" wide.  About 10 to 14 small Portobello should be enough.
     Step 3:  Brush the Portobello clean.
     Remove the stems.  (Save the stems for another recipe.)
     Step 4:  Place the Portobello Mushroom Caps in the casserole dish, so they fit tightly next to one another.  (The gill side must face up.
     Use a small Sorbet Scoop (or your fingers) to scoop enough of the crab stuffing to fill each mushroom cap with a small mound of stuffing.
     Gently press the stuffing in place, so it looks uniform.
     Step 5:  Drizzle a small amount of melted unsalted butter over each stuffed mushrooms.  (About 1/4 teaspoon per stuffed mushroom.)
     Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over each stuffed mushroom.  (About 1/4 teaspoon per stuffed mushroom.
     Add 1/4 cup of dry white wine to the casserole dish.  (Try not pour the wine over the stuffed mushrooms.)
     Squeeze sprinkle 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over the stuffed mushrooms.
     Step 6:  Place the casserole dish in a 350ºF oven.
     Bake till the mushrooms are fully cooked and golden highlights appear on the crab stuffing.  (About 8 to 10 minutes)
     Step 7:  Remove the casserole dish from the oven.
     Temporarily remove 1 stuffed mushroom from the casserole dish.
     Use a spoon to baste the stuffed mushrooms with the butter-olive oil-wine jus that is in the casserole dish.
     Return the reserved stuffed mushroom to the casserole dish.
     Step 8:  Place the Alaskan King Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms casserole dish on a doily lined serving plate.
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     The aroma of freshly baked crab stuffed mushrooms is simply divine!

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