Wintertime means that it’s the perfect time of the year to whip up some classic Louisiana recipes. So, if you’re in the mood for a hearty, rich, and delicious shrimp and crab stew, then look no further than this recipe from Louisiana Cookin’.
Ingredients for Shrimp and Crab Stew
- One dozen large live blue crabs
- 1 pound of lump crabmeat, picked free of shells
- 1½ pounds of large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 6 cups of seafood stock
- ¼ cup of vegetable oil
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups of onion, chopped
- ¼ cup of green bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup of red bell pepper, chopped
- ¾ cup of celery, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Directions for Shrimp and Crab Stew
- You’ll want to begin this recipe by scalding your dozen blue crabs with hot water in order to stun them. You’ll then remove the back from each crab (which is the top shell) so that you can clean out the gills (also affectionately referred to as “dead man fingers”), lungs, and the center of each crab. Afterward, crack the crabs in half and remove the claws, placing them aside for a future seafood stock. You’ll also want to peel and devein your shrimp for this recipe. You can also put the shrimp heads and shells along with your crab claws for a future homemade seafood stock.
- Next, in the large heavy stockpot, you’ll want to combine your vegetable oil and flour over medium heat. Begin stirring slowly to make a dark brown roux, and continue stirring for about 15-20 minutes. Once your roux is of a dark brown coloration all over, you’ll add your celery, bell peppers, and onion (also known as the holy trinity in South Louisiana cooking circles). You’ll cook the vegetables in the roux until the vegetables are soft, which should take about 5 minutes if you are stirring frequently.
- After the vegetables are soft, add your bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper, and seafood stock to your stockpot. Stir all of the ingredients in order to combine them, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the stew ingredients and base are boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, add in your crabs, and let them simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
- Next, add your crabmeat and shrimp, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the stockpot from the heat, add your parsley, and serve the dish hot. Enjoy!
Notes for Shrimp and Crab Stew:
- To make cooking easier and more humane, place your live crabs in the freezer for about 15 minutes before preparing them. Fill your largest stock pot with heavily salted water and add 3 bay leaves, a tablespoon or so of black peppercorns, and a teaspoon of paprika. Bring the water to a boil and then, using a pair of tongs, grasp each crab from behind so you don’t get pinched. Depending on the pot’s size and the number of crabs being cooked, you may want to cook one at a time. Lower each crab into the boiling water with its legs facing down and allow it to cook for roughly 15 minutes (when it floats to the top give an extra two to three minutes). To cool off after cooking, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes then drop in each crab briefly before beginning the cleaning process.
- Crab and shrimp stews definitely pair nicely alongside some homemade potato salad, french bread, or rice.
For more delicious recipes, click here.