Monday, July 2, 2012

Cajun Crab and Shrimp

There was a time that I made Crawfish Etouffee on a regular basis.  But after I read about sustainable, clean eating in Barton Seaver's book For Cod and Country, I started checking labels on everything that I bought to see where it had been farmed or caught.  In the past, it was convenient to buy a package of crawfish in the frozen section of the grocery store and throw it right in.  But now that I've been exposed to the potential of eating seafood from countries with lower standards, I've made it my standard to choose U.S. caught or farmed only.  So to recreate the flavors that I love in my old favorite Cajun dish, I decided to substitute wild - caught U.S. shrimp and canned crab.  Now if only I could remember if canned crab is okay....
Lately I've been lamenting the upcoming loss of my red kitchen.  You see, the house is on the market.  We're relocating soon to the Memphis area for my husband's job, and we're hoping to get moved in time for the girls to start school.  Last weekend, as I cooked in a friend's home in Germantown, I really started to miss my own kitchen.  I picked out every little thing in this custom - built home, and the details that I most specifically chose from the heart were in the kitchen.  I was much more particular about how I wanted things in that room.  More than in any other room.  I hope the buyers are deserving of my loss!

Anyway, I learned from a girl in my Communications department at UALR that when she used canned crab meat, she also added the liquid from the can for the extra flavor.  That was many years ago, but I've always been thankful for her tip!

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. wild - caught American shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 can of crab meat
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • garnish of 1 diced green onion, cilantro, and chopped white onion
  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add the butter and olive oil.
  2. When the butter has melted, swirl the pan to evenly coat the bottom.
  3. Add the bell pepper, then the green onions, then the cajun seasoning.
  4. Cook until the bell pepper is soft, then add the canned crab meat with its juices.
  5. When the ingredients are gently simmering, add the shrimp.  Lightly toss the shrimp until it is done.  This will take about 5 minutes.
  6. Top with garnish, and serve alone or on top of rice or pasta.  Add more cajun seasoning if needed. 

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