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Category: Seafood

She Crab Soup

[ 2 ] February 13, 2009

She Crab Soup

She Crab Soup is a flavorful taste sensation of cream, crab, seasonings and wine. She Crab Soup is a southern recipe that is a cross between a bisque and a chowder. In fact, it’s hard to tell the difference between she crab soup recipes and crab bisque.

I first experienced She Crab Soup in Panama City Beach, Florida at the well renowned restaurant Captain Anderson’s. They serve She Crab Soup by itself of course, but my favorite is the She Crab Pie. She Crab Pie is a grilled fish of the day stuffed inside a puff pastry with She Crab Soup ladled on top. Yum Yum.

In our version of She Crab Soup, we added cut asparagus and fresh sweet corn.

Ingredients for She Crab Soup

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups Cajun Trinity
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tony’s Creole Seasoning
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 pound white crab meat
1/2 cup Sherry or white cooking wine
1 bunch of fresh asparagus stalks (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 ear fresh sweet corn (kernels cut from the cob)
2 boiled eggs (chopped egg yolks only)
Chopped green onions
White Cheddar cheese (shredded for garnish)

In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cut corn.

Cook for 6-8 minutes.

In a deep 6 quart pot, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat (#5-#6).

Saute the Cajun Trinity until well cooked. Add the minced garlic and sauté another minute.

Remove from pot and set aside.

In the same pot, melt the 4 tablespoons butter. Blend in the 4 tablespoons flour stirring well.

Cook about 2 minutes.

Slowly add the milk blending well with the white roux. Add the heavy cream.

Stir constantly with a whisk to prevent scorching for 8-10 minutes. Mixture will become thickened.

Add all seasonings, Cajun Trinity, crab meat, asparagus, corn and chopped egg yolks. Stir well.

(If a thinner consistency is desired, add 1 cup vegetable stock).

Cook another 5 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat.

Add and stir well the 1/2 cup wine.

Serving Suggestions for She Crab Soup

Serve in a deep flat bowl. Garnish with chopped green onions and a lump of white cheddar cheese; accompanied with crusty French bread or rolls.

Serves 6-8.

Beryl Stokes

Beryl Stokes

How to Cook Snow Crab Legs

[ 23 ] January 28, 2009

Snow Crab Legs

eating snow crabs

Eating Snow Crabs

Snow Crab Legs are not only easy to cook, but also easy to eat.

Snow Crab Legs are typically from the Alaskan seaboard and a smaller cousin to the King Crab.

Snow Crabs are usually sold pre-cooked and frozen.

You can actually just thaw and eat; however, we prefer boiled in crab boil and other seasonings, Cajun Cooking style, and dipped in melted butter or Cajun cocktail sauce.

Snow Crab Ingredients

1-2 Snow Crab clusters per person (depends on the size)
1/4 cup Zatarain’s Shrimp & Crab boil
1 medium sweet onion
3 celery stalks (or celery powder)
2 tablespoons garlic powder or several garlic pods
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 Bay leaves

Fill a large 8-12 quart stock pot with water.

(Leave a few inches or so from the top to allow for adding the crab legs.)

Snow Crab Legs

Snow Crab Legs

Add in all the seasonings.

Bring water to rolling boil.

Add the Snow Crab Legs.

Bring back to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes.

Turn off the heat.

Remove the crab legs and eat.

Pretty simple.

Serving Suggestions for Snow Crab Legs

Serve your Snow Crab Legs on large platters with crab or nut crackers and small pick seafood forks.

We typically serve with boiled new potatoes by boiling the potatoes in the boiling seasoned water for 20 minutes before adding in the Snow Crab Legs.

beryl stokes

Crabmeat Stuffed Shrimp

[ 5 ] November 11, 2008

Crab Meat Stuffed Shrimp

Stuffed Shrimp Video

Stuffed Shrimp Video Production Crew

Stuffed Shrimp is another Cajun restaurant favorite of mine only second to Crabmeat Au Gratin.  The best stuffed shrimp I have found in Baton Rouge (besides making at home) is found at The French Market Bistro.  Two of their Jumbo Stuffed Shrimp and French Fries and you are so full.  In fact you’ll need a nap.

We had fun making these Stuffed Shrimp at home with my Godchild Ashley and her sister Amanda.  They love to help me in the kitchen.  I am glad they are interested.  My grown children do not know how to cook unless it goes in the microwave or comes out of a can.  So find time to spend with your kids or grand-kids in the kitchen.  Let them get messy.  It’s all in good fun and they will remember you for taking the time with them. Cajun cooking is fun.

Let get started because there are 3 steps here:

Ingredients for Crab Meat Stuffed Shrimp

12-16 large or jumbo size fresh shrimp
½ pound white or claw crab meat
1 package Shrimp/Fish Fry or corn flour
1 cup plain or Italian bread crumbs
2-3 eggs
1 cup Cajun Trinity with 1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ teaspoon each:  Worcestershire sauce, Tony’s Creole Seasoning, yellow mustard, and parsley flakes.
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Oil for frying
Milk for egg wash
Mixing Bowls
Deep fat fryer

The Crab Stuffing

Crab Meat Stuffed Shrimp

Stuffed Shrimp Ready to Fry

With a tablespoon of butter, sauté the 1 cup Cajun Trinity and minced garlic.

Pour into a medium size mixing bowl.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, Tony’s Creole Seasoning, yellow mustard, parsley flakes, and one egg.

Fold in the breadcrumbs and crabmeat.  Mix well.

Form the mixture in small meatball sized balls.  Place on a platter.

Refrigerate for approximately one hour to chill and become firm.

The Shrimp

Peel, clean and de-vein the shrimp.  Leave the tails on.  Carefully make a deep cut in the shrimp to butterfly it open.

Prepare your egg wash by mixing 1-2 eggs with a ¼ cup or so of milk and squeeze in some lime or lemon juice.

Prepare the Shrimp/Fish Fry by mixing in ½ teaspoon seal salt and 2 tablespoons Tony’s Creole seasoning.

Place a crab ball on the open shrimp.  Press firmly.

Dip in egg wash.  Shake off excess.

Place in the Shrimp/Fish Fry mixture and toss around to coat.  Place on a platter.

The Frying

Heat your oil.  Do not put drops of water in the hot oil to see if it’s hot enough like Mike Stokes does!

Carefully place 2-3 shrimp in the fryer (depends on what size fryer you have).

Fry the shrimp until golden brown.

Remove to a platter lined with an ample amount of paper towels.

Serving Suggestions for Crabmeat Stuffed Shrimp

Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon or lime and sides ketchup, tartar sauce, or my favorite hot cocktail sauce for dipping.  Um Um they were so good cher!

Beryl Stokes

Beryl Stokes

Crab Au Gratin

[ 10 ] November 6, 2008

Crab Au Gratin Recipe

Crabmeat Au Gratin

Crabmeat Au Gratin

Crab Au Gratin has got to be my all time favorite thing to order at a seafood restaurant.  I order Crabmeat Au Gratin every time we go to Mike Anderson’s Seafood Restaurant or Boutin’s Restaurant.  They each make it a little different, but both are excellent.

Occasionally, I travel for my job to places that have no clue what good Cajun cooking is.  So, the first thing I want to do coming from the New Orleans airport is stop in Gonzales, Louisiana at Mike Anderson’s and get some Fried Crab Claws and Crab Meat Au Gratin.

Mike likes the Shrimp Norman.  I’ll have to show you how to make that soon.  Anyway, here is my version of Crabmeat Au Gratin.  Enjoy!

Fresh Louisiana Crab Meat

Fresh Louisiana Crab Meat

Ingredients for Crab Au Gratin

1 pound fresh white or lump crab meat
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups Cajun Trinity
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 quart Half and Half
3-5 cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese
Green onions – chopped for mixture and garnish
Parsley – chopped
¼ teaspoon each
nutmeg, white pepper, salt and Tony’s Creole Seasoning
4-6 oven-safe baking dishes
Deep skillet
Baking sheet

How to Make Crab Au Gratin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place your baking dishes on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and sauté the Cajun Trinity and garlic until well wilted.

Gradually add 4 tablespoons of flour and stirring for 2 minutes or so.

Add in Half and Half mixing well.

Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes to form a thick white sauce.

Stir constantly to prevent scorching or burning.

Turn off the heat.  Stir in seasoning at ¼ teaspoon each, 3-4 cups of cheese, small amount of green onions and parsley.  Mix well.

Fold in the crabmeat.  Spoon the mixture into individual baking dishes.  Cover with additional cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

You can probably bake longer for a darker browning on top.  You just need to watch it to keep from burning.

Also, optional after the 15 minutes, turn the oven on broil to brown the cheese on top.

Crab Au Gratin

Crab Au Gratin

Carefully remove from the oven and garnish with chopped green onions or a parsley sprig.

Serves well with a steamed vegetable or side salad and crusty French bread.

Note:  The leftovers reheated well and were fantastic served with crackers like an appetizer. 

Beryl Stokes

Beryl Stokes

Honey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

[ 6 ] October 31, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp is a quick and very easy Cajun recipe that can be either an appetizer or main course.  A variety of sauces or glazes can be made for topping and dipping.  For this demonstration we made a honey glaze sauce.  You can experiment with many other combinations such as olive oil and Italian seasoning or butter and Tony’s Creole Seasoning.  Anything you want – give it a try.  And now let’s make Bacon Wrapped Shrimp.

Ingredients for Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Fresh Gulf Shrimp

Fresh Gulf Shrimp

12-18 fresh jumbo or large shrimp
Lemon juice
Orange juice
1 cup brown sugar
¼ – ½ cup honey
Tony’s Creole Seasoning
Cooking spray
Non-stick baking sheet

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Recipe

Turn your oven on Broil and keep the rack in the middle.  Peel the shrimp leaving the tail on.  Carefully slice the top of the shrimp and remove the black vein and discard on a paper towel.

In a small saucepan and on medium-low heat, mix the lemon juice, orange juice, brown sugar and honey.  Simmer on low while the shrimp are prepared and cooked.

Cut bacon sliced into 2-3 inch pieces.  Wrap around the shrimp overlapping and secure with a toothpick.  Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Broil for 4-5 minutes.  Turn the shrimp and broil 4-5 minutes more.  Remove from oven.  With a basting brush, cover each shrimp with the honey glaze.  Broil for another minute.

Serving Suggestions for Bacon Wrapped Shrimp:

Serve 4-6 shrimp per person.  Goes well with potato salad, pasta tossed in olive oil or a rice pilaf.  Don’t forget to sprinkle some Tony’s Creole Seasoning for a bit of spice.

Enjoy and Happy Eating!

Note: Honey Glazed Shrimp can also be cooked in the same manner on the grill.

beryl and alex

Beryl and Alexandra

How to Boil and Eat Louisiana Blue Crabs

[ 22 ] October 15, 2008

Cooking Louisiana Blue Crabs

Louisiana Blue Crabs are available in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The word for Blue Crab in the Greek means beautiful swimmer and savory. Louisiana Blue Crabs are also known for a sweet and hearty texture. I personally love the claw meat of Blue Crabs, but the lump white crab meat is certainly the best.

blue crab

Blue Crab

On this sunny day in August, we visited the Folse & Company Seafood Market in Gonzales, Louisiana. It had been about 20 years since I actually boiled my own crabs. Usually, it is so easy to get boiled crabs at local restaurants.

We recommend about 2-4 crabs per person depending on the size. Of course, we only buy the best grade #1 crabs, so they are rather large and full of incredible meat.

 Getting Started with Your Louisiana Blue Crabs

Buy fresh local live crabs.  Once home place the crabs in a large basin or bucket and cover with ice.  The ice stuns the crabs and miraculously keeps the claws from falling off during the boiling process.  Soak for 30 minutes.

Prepare a large stock pot with boiling water.

Zatarains Crab Boil

Zatarains Liquid Crab Boil

Add seasonings:
2 large sweet onions, quartered
Several whole garlic pods, cut in half
3-4 Bay leaves
2-4 tablespoons Zatarain’s Liquid Shrimp & Crab Boil (I use about 4 ounces – Mike)
2 tablespoons white vinegar (helps crabs peel easily)
lemon or lime juice.

Carefully place the crabs in the boiling water.  Boil about 15 minutes.  The crabs instantly turn a vibrant red once placed in the boiling water.  Turn off the heat.

Remove the crabs and serve.

If you want to let the crabs soak in the water in order to soak up the wonderful seasonings, place cold water or more ice on top of the crabs in order to stop the cooking process.

Eating Louisiana Blue Crabs

You can do this in any order you like, but this is just how I was taught to eat crabs as a little girl at the age of 8.  There would be about 10 family members sitting all around this large dining table in the dining room of my Aunt Linda’s house in New Orleans.  Newspapers were spread the entire length of the table and each person had a plate and a little bowl for dipping with either butter or ketchup.  What a wonderful memory.

How to Eat Louisiana Blue Crabs

Take the crab in one (be careful of the hard prickles on the shell). Carefully pull the legs out right at the join closet to the body. Some good meat will come out. Don’t be shy to pull the meat through your teeth and suck out the juice.

Next, turn the crab over and pull open the crabs private part. Grasp the bottom of the body in one hand and the top shell in the other and pull apart. Discard the top shell. Then, pull the lungs and other yucky guts items off. You should be left with 2 compartment separated by much thinner shell membranes.

Using a sharp knife carefully cut the compartment in half. Then, make a cut lengthwise on each compartment to reveal the sweet, savory white meat. Pull out the lump crab meat and work your way through the other smaller membranes.

Now for the legs – break apart the legs at each joint. Sometimes the meat will come right out. Other times you need to use crab crackers or nut crackers to open up the segments.

My favorite part is the claw. I always save it for last. Delicately crack right in the middle and once at the place where the claws start. You should be able to peel the shell off and reveal a big, full claw. Take the claw into your mouth and pull between your teeth. Now that’s some good stuff Cher!

P.S.: My first and last time that I cooked live crabs, I was 23 years old and still wet behind the ears when it came to cooking. We lived on a small island in northeast Florida – Amelia Island. A local seafood market had a sign for “Dozen Crabs – $12.00”. I thought, “Wow, I love crabs and I can figure out how to cook them.” So, I bought a dozen crabs. I didn’t realize that they were LIVE. I thought crabs were like fish and already dead.

Needless to say, to my surprise these things were all rustling about in the paper bag. I get them home and I no idea what to do with them. So, I call my mom back in Louisiana. She tells me to pour them in the sink and soak them in salt water. I thought that was just for crawfish, but I attempted it anyway. I took the bag and dumped them in the sink. Oh my gosh, they were rustling about and trying take off running on the counter.

One fell on the floor. I was hopping around like firecrackers were going off. My golden retriever was having a good time playing with one.

Well, I managed to boil and season some water and one by one placed the poor innocent crabs into the boiling hot cauldron and saying sorry to each of them. My Cajun cooking beginnings, lol.

They must have been good for I remember this crazy story. C’est la vie!

Beryl Stokes

Beryl Stokes

Shrimp Creole

[ 2 ] October 7, 2008

Shrimp Creole Recipe

shrimp creoleShrimp Creole is another favorite Cajun/Creole dish.  Traditionally, Shrimp Creole is a Creole recipe from New Orleans.  Shrimp Creole only differs slightly from Shrimp Etouffee in that tomato sauce is added to the Roux and great big jumbo Gulf of Mexico shrimp of course. When it comes to recipes for shrimp, this is about as easy a Cajun recipe as you’ll ever find. Let’s get cooking!


Fresh Gulf Shrimp

Fresh Gulf Shrimp

Shrimp Creole Ingredients

2 pounds large shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes
1 stick of butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups Cajun Trinity with minced garlic
6-8 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 cup rice
Olive oil
Green onions chopped for garnish
Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
Tabasco sauce to taste

Making the Roux

Making the Roux

How to Make Shrimp Creole

As with all Cajun recipes, you start with a Roux. But, first we need to sauté our Cajun Trinity and garlic.

Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or 6 quart pot.

On medium heat, sauté the Cajun Trinity until vegetables are wilted and tender.

Pour into a side bowl and set aside.

For the Roux – melt 1 stick of butter on medium heat.

Gradually add ½ cup flour and stir constantly until a light golden color.

cajun trinity ingredients

Cajun Trinity Ingredients

Carefully mix in Cajun Trinity and stir as to not stick or burn.

Add 6-8 cups stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add Rotel, tomato sauce, and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.

Simmer another 10-15 minutes.

Add shrimp. Cook another 10 minutes.

Make rice according to package directions.
1 cup rice + 2 cups water + 20 minutes = cooked white rice.

Serving Suggestions for Shrimp Creole

Serve Shrimp Creole over mound of rice in a deep plate or bowl. Garnish with chopped green onions. Also, Shrimp Creole is wonderful with crusty French bread for dipping.

Remember cooking from scratch is so easy and very rewarding. Bon Appétit!

beryl and alex