Crab and Shrimp Stew
Warm Up Your Dinner Table With A Healthy Crab and Shrimp Stew
When the weather is cold outside, nothing warms you up quicker than a rich, hot meal. Instead of red meat, why not fill your family's belly with a delicious and healthy shrimp and crab stew? This may seem like a complicated recipe, but crab stew is much easier to prepare than you may realize. All you need is some fresh crab, fresh shrimp, your favorite seasonal vegetables and you are ready to go. Still not convinced? Check out our easy to make crab stew recipes and then let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Hearty Crab and Shrimp Stew Ingredients & Prep
This hearty crab stew recipe is one of our favorites for the cool fall season as well as deep winter nights. This preparation is enough to serve 6 people moderately, or 4 people with very generous portions.
Ingredients You Will Need
- ¼ a cup of vegetable oil
- 1¼ cup of finely chopped onion
- ¼ of a cup of densely chopped red bell pepper
- 2 washed bay leaves
- ½ of a cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ of a teaspoon fresh or ground cayenne pepper
- ¾ of a cup chopped crisp celery
- 14 large cleaned live blue crabs (frozen is ok)
- 1 pound lump crabmeat (optional)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ of a cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 7 cups fresh seafood stock
- 1 pound of frozen or fresh lump crabmeat
- 1½ pounds peeled and deveined large raw shrimp
Before we move on to the best Dungeness crab recipe, it is important to note that you can sub some items for others. If you are unable to find live crab, or if you simply don’t want to battle with the clawed fiends, chilled or frozen crabs will suffice. For your shrimp addition, saltwater shrimps will add the best flavor, however rock shrimp will work just as well in the same recipe.
Frozen shrimp is also acceptable, just make sure that you know how to defrost shrimp properly to prevent damaging the meat. The best way to allow the white shrimp to thaw in refrigerator overnight. You can also submerge the shrimp in a bowl of cold water and let it sit for 15 minutes. Just avoid using hot water to thaw frozen shrimp or you will end up with parboiled shrimp!
For those who are using live crabs, start by putting on a large, tall pot of clean water to boil. Once the water has reached a low boil, toss in the crabs to disable them. Next, remove the shells from the crabs and clean the lungs, gills, and center. Once they have been cleaned, crack them in half and declaw them. Set all of the claws aside to make seafood stock for your crab and shrimp stew. Take your live shrimp, then clean them by removing their tails, shell and devein them. Put them aside after washing them in a bath of cool saltwater.
If you are using frozen or thawed crab, simply prepare them by cracking the shells, removing the claws, and setting them aside as in the step above. For frozen uncooked shrimp, simply thaw in cold water and double-check each to make sure there are no lingering veins.
Next, using an extra-large heavy gauge stockpot, add your flour and oil. Place this pot on the stove over a medium flame. Stirring continuously for 15 minutes until this mixture becomes a rich roux with a dark brown color. Next, add in your bell peppers, onion, and celery to the roux mixture. Shrimps are pretty rich in flavor and the crisp medley of vegetables and roux will help to balance those flavors along with the crab meat.
Stir the vegetables often and cook them for five minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Next, add in your salt, seafood stock, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper. Stir well and allow the whole pot to come to a boil over a high flame. Once it boils, reduce to a low flame and add in your crabs, cover, and allow to simmer for 18 to 20 minutes. Stir again, then add your shrimp and crab meat and allow to cook uncovered for another 10 minutes.
Seafood can be expensive, but if you find crabs and shrimps on sale then this makes an excellent affordable dish to serve your family for the holidays or anytime. Once the stew has simmered for the remaining 10 minutes, take the pot off of the stove. You can add parsley to garnish in the pot, you can plate it in a fancy dish and garnish it on the table. Serve hot with a side of crusty bread for a wonderful cool-weather stew to remember.