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Casquinha de Siri (Stuffed Crab Shells)

Updated 6:02 PM EST, Mon, Dec 14, 2009

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Casquinha de Siri  (Baked and Stuffed Crab Shells)

from Chef Leticia Schwartz, author of The Brazilian Kitchen
 
Makes 6 to 8 stuffed shells
 
For the crab filling:
1 cup diced white bread (about 2 slices)
1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onions, about half an onion
½ cup diced yellow peppers, about half a pepper
½ cup diced green peppers, about half a pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 3 cloves
½ cup diced tomatoes (about 2 tomatoes)
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup unsweetened grated coconut
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp Old Bay seasoning
 
For the crust:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup manioc flour
¼ cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Maldon Sea Salt or kosher salt for presentation
 
 
Prepare the Crab Filling:
Trim the crust from the bread and  discard. Dice the bread handling it lightly, so the pieces remain fluffy.  Place the diced bread in a bowl, pour the coconut milk over, and let it soak  for 10 to 20 minutes while you prepare the other  ingredients. 

Pick over the crab meat to remove  any excess shell and set it aside. 

In a medium saucepan,  warm the olive oil over low heat. Add the onion and the yellow and green  peppers and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until they are  soft and tender. 

Add the garlic and  cook for another minute, until it is tender. 

Add the tomatoes and cook for  another minute, until they get hot. 

Add the wine and let  half of it evaporate, about 1 to 2 minutes. 

Add the bread and  coconut milk together. 

Add the grated  coconut. Cook, stirring, until everything starts blending together, about 3  minutes. 

Turn off the heat and  add the crab, mustard, and lemon juice. Fold everything together using a  wooden spoon. Some pieces of crab will naturally shred, but try to keep some  big lumps as well. 

Add the butter and  cilantro. 


Season the crab  mixture with salt, pepper, and Old Bay. At this point the crab mixture  should look colorful, soft, well mixed and feel very moist. If your mixture  looks dry, don’t hesitate to add one or two tablespoons of liquid like coconut  milk, or wine. 


Transfer everything  to a bowl and let it cool completely. This can be done up to two days ahead  and kept in a container with a tight-fitting cover in the  refrigerator.
 
Prepare the crust:
In a medium saucepan,  melt the butter over medium-low heat. 

Add the manioc flour  and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, toasting the flour until it reaches a  light golden color. This is a step during which you cannot take your eyes off  the pan, otherwise the manioc flour might burn. 

Transfer the mixture  to a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Let it cool for 5 minutes at room  temperature. 

Add the Parmesan and  mix it in evenly.
 
Assemble and bake the crab shells:
1.  Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Using an  ice-cream scoop to measure out equal portions, scoop the crab mixture into the  scallop shells and press it down so it fits into the shape of the shell.  Repeat until all filling is used. 
 

Spread a thin  coat of crust onto the filling. 
Place the stuffed shells onto a  sheet pan and bake in the oven until the filling is hot and the crust is a  light golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. 

Place a small pile of Maldon Sea Salt on the bottom of a soup plate and place the shell on  top.

First Published: Dec 9, 2009 8:13 PM EST

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