Learn to cook like a Cajun and develop your own style with help from south Louisiana cook and humorist, Jacques Gaspard, who's been cooking great Cajun foods for nearly 50 years. Learn how to prepare the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared – pure and simple. Besides great original recipes you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! ... Ahheee!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Palacios Crab Stew

Ingredients:

  • 12 medium crabs with claws, cleaned
  • 2  lbs. shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 qts shrimp stock, (from shells and heads)
  • 2 qts crab stock
  • 8 Tbs powdered gumbo roux
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • season to taste


My son Scott and I, over the years, worked on and perfected this mid-south Texas coast seafood specialty which is absolutely and unequivocally (without a doubt) one of the best meals we have ever conjured-up together.

For the past several years Palacios Crab Stew has become the centerpiece and main entrée during our annual Thanksgiving celebrations. We would like to share it with you.

We use what Cajuns refer to as "Gumbo" crabs (medium-size). After cleaning the crabs ('cept this year we purchased them already cleaned) we boiled them in an 8 - 10 quart stockpot for about 20 minutes (adding  just enough water to cover them).

The crabs were then removed from the hot liquid and set aside to cool. We kept the liquid to use as stock which we later mixed with the shrimp shells stock (in a word, this is the secret to making a great tasting crab stew - the crab and shrimp stocks).

At this juncture we already had our shrimp cleaned and deveined. This year for T-Day we decided to use 2 lbs. of  (9 - 12 ct.) wild Gulf of Mexico white heads-on shrimp (whew! ... that was more than a mouth full). In a separate pot, with a dash of salt, we boiled the shells and shrimp heads for about 20 minutes also, using just enough water to cover.

Next, using a colander, we separated and discarded the shrimp shells from the stock and retained the liquid to mix-in with the crab stock.

We ended up with about a gallon of combined stock (4 quarts), so I added-in 8 heaping tablespoons of dark powdered gumbo roux. You can find out how easy it is to make your own powdered gumbo roux in your microwave oven (without any oil) in about half the time it takes to do it the old fashioned way by following this link: Easy Microwave Gumbo Roux.

In another pot I sautéed all the vegetables in the 4 Tbsp of butter until they were translucent.

After mixing together the stocks and powdered gumbo roux, we added the sautéed vegetables, the salt and seasonings, then we let that simmer for 30 more minutes.

Next, we broke-up the crabs into smaller parts and added them to the pot to boil with the vegetables for another 20 minutes.

Finally, we added the fresh shrimp to the pot and cooked the stew for another 10 minutes until the shrimp were cooked but still tender.

Served over a bed of white rice this south Texas mid-coastal dish is truly fit for royalty and should win some kind of grand prize or award for its heavenly taste - even if it did take awhile to prepare. Serves 8 - 12.

Ahheee!!  C'est bonne!

Bon Appetit!

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2 comments:

  1. Although my dad has graciously shared credit with me for this delicious recipe -- in reality my job was to help clean the shrimp and to do the final taste-test. This is absolutely his creation. It does taste really good though, and I am glad it has become one of our Thanksgiving day traditions. I hope you enjoy it too!

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  2. What a great looking recipe. Sounds delicious!

    I also run a Cajun recipe site and would love it if we could exchange links. I've already added a link to your site at:

    http://www.hotcajunrecipes.com/links.php

    Best regards,
    Charlie

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