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Chef Emile's Crawfish and Shrimp Stuffed Pasta Shells

Buffs on the Bayou - Tomorrow - 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. - WTAMU Alumni Banquet Hall - $75 -RSVP to 806-651-2037

Yield - 40-45 Shells or about 1-2” Hotel Pan

Ingredients
1/4 LB BUTTER
1- CUP ONION (Diced about 1/4 inch)
1/2 CUP RED BELL PEPPERS (Diced about 1/4 inch)
1 TBSP GRANULATED GARLIC
1 TSP LOUISIANA HOT SAUCE (Cayenne based)
1/2 TSP GROUND WHITE PEPPER
1 TSP WHOLE LEAF THYME
2 TSP LEAF OREGANO
1 TSP SWEET BASIL
1/2 BUNCH FRESH PARSLEY (Chopped)
1 TSP LOBSTER BASE
1 LB LOUISIANA CRAWFISH TAILMEAT (With fat and chopped)
1 LB SHRIMP (Precooked and chopped)
1-1/2 CUPS PLAIN BREAD CRUMBS
2 EGGS (Beaten)
1/2 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE

1-1/2 LBS FRESH SHREDDED MOZZARELLA
1-1/2 LBS RICOTTA CHEESE
1- 12 OZ BOX LARGE SHELLS (Boiled al dente)
 
1-1/2 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Method
In a large skillet and over medium heat, add the butter and onions, simmer until the onions are almost clear (about 10 minutes). Add red bell peppers and all of the seasonings and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes. Next add the crawfish and shrimp and saute until heated, 3-4 minutes. (This is not intended to cook the seafood, for they should already be cooked; but instead to kill any bacteria that might be present.)

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the remaining ingredients (except shells). Mix thoroughly, allow the residual heat from the pan and other ingredients to heat and melt the cheeses.
Meanwhile, boil the shells in a large stock pot (at least 20 quart), and add a little salt and olive oil to the water. Drain and rinse in cold water.

If you plan on baking the shells and thus serving them directly out of the hotel pans; then fill each chafer insert pan with about 2 quarts of Aurora’s Shrimp Marinara Sauce or White Rose Shrimp Pasta Sauce.

To stuff the shells, use a rubber spatula and stuff each shell with about 1-1/2 TBSP of stuffing. The shells should not be over-stuffed, the edges should gently curl inward toward the center. Arrange the shells in the 2” hotel pans, (6) six rows of (7) seven shells. They should easily fit side by side with little or no spacing between each. Cover with film and refrigerate.

Alternate Method
Crab claw meat, scallops or lobster can be substituted for the seafood called for above. 

Plate Presentation
If you are serving the shells directly from a chafer, then bake the shells in the sauces, covered with foil in a 300F oven for 12- 15 minutes. The shells should be warm throughout and the cheeses slightly melted, do not over cook! Garnish with fresh parsley sprigs.

Serve the shells with the availability of freshly grated Romano cheese.

Chef's Notes: 
This is a good catering dish because the preparation is performed in advance and requires little work to serve, the stuffed shells are extremely well received by the general public.

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