Born as an appetizer on the Bayou Lafourche, this mouth-watering taste treat has taken on many forms. But only when Franko Duet got hold of it in Galliano, gave it a crabmeat and shrimp stuffing, and added crunch to the texture by frying the pistolettes did it become an entr?e that's sure to tempt Cajuns and everybody else. But every year come shrimp season you can forget all the miscellaneous seafood and make pistolettes Bubba Gump style-with shrimp! Bubba and I think this here is great!
2 sticks real butter 2 cups finely chopped onions ? cup finely chopped celery ? cup finely chopped bell pepper ? cup finely sliced green onions 6 cloves finely minced garlic ? lb. coarsely chopped mushrooms 3 cups evaporated milk 1 cup shrimp poaching stock 1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cut in chunks ? gallon vegetable oil 5 lbs. poached and ground shrimp 2 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper ? tsp. cayenne pepper 24 unbaked Hearth Farms pistolettes
First, take a heavy 12-inch skillet and melt down the butter over medium heat until it foams. Then stir in the onions, celery, garlic, bell pepper, green onions, and mushrooms and cook them for about 12 to 15 minutes until they soften completely. But be careful not to let the butter burn!
When the vegetables are ready, pour in the evaporated milk and the poaching stock, mix them together thoroughly, and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Then drop in all the Velveeta chunks and, with the heat still set at medium, stir until the cheese melts and the sauce turns smooth and silky. For the most part this should take you about 5 to 10 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, take a high-sided frypan and heat the vegetable oil to 325?.
At this point, fold the ground shrimp into the hot sauce in the skillet, stir everything together thoroughly, and cook the mixture for 3 minutes. When the stuffing is uniformly blended, sprinkle on and stir in the seafood seasoning, pepper, and cayenne. Then take the pan off the fire and allow the stuffing to cool slightly.
Actually, if you want to develop the maximum flavor in the seafood mix. I recommend that you make the stuffing one day, cover it and place it in the refrigerator overnight, and reheat it and stuff the pistolettes the next day. But to be truthful, these are so good that'll probably never happen-you'll stuff the pistolettes as soon as you make 'em!
So. . .when you're ready to eat, drop the pistolettes into the hot vegetable oil and fry them for about a minute or two on both sides (kinda like doughnuts) until they turn a golden, crunchy brown. Then, while they're still hot, hold them with a towel, make a slit in one end with a paring knife (big enough to insert a teaspoon), push down some of the bread with the knife on the inside of the pistolette to make a pocket, and fill the pocket with the stuffing.
While you can fill them all and keep them warm on a tray in the oven for serving later, Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Pistolettes are at their peak best when you serve them as you make them. They are great as appetizers or hors d'oeuvres for parties. . .but I prefer to serve 2 per person, accompanied by a cold tossed salad and a good glass of wine, as a dinner entr?e.
Maybe 3 per person! Maybe 4!
- To poach the shrimp, simmer them in water seasoned with crab boil and lemon juice only until they turn pink. Do not overcook them or they will turn gummy and rubbery.
- If you want to make the stuffing spicy, instead of using regular Velveeta cheese you can substitute the Mexican-style jalepe?o Velveeta.
- If you can't find Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning, you can order direct by calling 1-800-742-4231 or by visiting the Frank Davis website at www.frankdavis.com.
- To serve the pistolettes at a party, go ahead and stuff them all, place them uncovered on a sheet pan, and slide them into the oven at 200? for up to 45 minutes or so. This way, everyone at your party eats at once.
- If you're thinking an injector or a pastry bag might be an easy way to fill the breads, forget it! You can't get enough stuffing into the center of the bread with an injector or a pasty bag, and what you do get in ends up oozing back out because of the pressure you create inside the bread.
- Finally, experiment with different stuffings. Instead of shrimp, make the basic sauce but substitute saut?ed crawfish, broiled oysters, Italian sausage and mozzerella, smoked turkey, crabmeat, chopped chicken, or ham and bacon. The variations you can come up with are endless-but I guarantee you they'll all be delicious!