Thursday, February 24, 2011

Don't Save This Dish For a Special Occasion Creamy Crab and Shrimp with Linguine

There is simply nothing like crabmeat from the Chesapeake Bay. I've tried lots of different types from all over the world, and you will never convince me that there is any better than our local favorite. The one drawback, naturally, is the price. Even in season, in Richmond, VA, the price hovers around $16 per pound. I created this dish to make that pound go a long way and feed a crowd. Rich and creamy, with a little shrimp thrown in for added texture, this will satisfy your yen for crabby goodness!
Creamy Crab Casserole
1 lb. regular crabmeat, picked clean of shells and debris
1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 stick butter
1 clove minced garlic
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. flour
8 oz. light cream (table cream, not heavy whipping cream)
2 T. light cream cheese
2 - 3 T. white wine or sherry (totally optional, a matter of taste)
about 10 basil leaves, rolled and thinly sliced.
1 lb. linguine cooked to just al dente (should be firm to the tooth)
Melt butter in a large, deep skillet and add the minced garlic. Saute for a few minutes and add your picked over crab meat (DO NOT omit picking over the crabmeat for shells and cartlidge -- no matter who you buy it from, there will be stuff in there you don't want to chew!). Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir till well combined. Grind in a little black pepper, and stir in the flour. Saute this mixture until ALL of the flour is absorbed, then add the cream, wine and cream cheese. Continue to stir until the cream cheese melts and you have a smooth, creamy, crabby sauce. At this point you may want to taste the mixture for seasoning, it may need a little salt, or more pepper. If it still has a little raw flour taste, continue to saute over low heat for a few more minutes.
Spray a 9"X13" pan with cooking spray. Layer the barely cooked linguini in the bottom and top with the crabmeat mixture, thinly sliced basil and the raw shrimp. Over the top sprinkle 1/2 c. parmesan reggiano cheese, if desired. (I know, I know, no cheese with seafood, but I like it!)
At this point you can cover and refrigerate your dish for up to 2 days or bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until hot throughout and the shrimp on the top have turned pink.
This dish will serve 6 adults as a main dish. If you make a 'surf and turf" kind of dinner, with a grilled meat, you can easily serve 8 to 10 people. This is a rich, decadent kind of casserole that makes it perfect for company -- but don't just serve it on special occasions -- treat yourself now and then!


Constance said...

Sounds incredibly good with all ingredients I love! It's similar to my Mom's deviled crab dish that I absolutely love.

Keri said...

Ooooh,, man does that look awesome. I'm going to try.