1/2 pound butter
2 cups onions
1/2 cup bell pepper
3/4 cup celery
3 cups evaporated milk
1 can Rotel Tomatoes with Chilies, (10.5 ounce size)
1 pound Velveeta cheese
1 cup water
3 pounds shrimp
1 pound crabmeat
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped for garnishTHE CRISPY-FRIED OYSTERS
3 dozen fresh Louisiana oysters, shucked
2 cups corn or peanut oil
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

12 bake and serve pistolettes (pillows)
2 cups corn or peanut oil

First, in a deep-sided fry pan or 3-1/2 quart saucepan, melt down the butter until sizzling.

Then drop in the onions, bell pepper, and celery and saute them gently until all the veggies wilt and soften.

Then, a little at a time, whisk in the evaporated milk and the Rotels and cook everything until the liquid begins to reduce slightly.

At that point, begin adding in the cheese slowly, allowing it to melt into a creamy, cheesy sauce.

Then cook the mixture once again to thicken up the sauce.

You can also plan to stir in whatever water you need at this time (if needed at all) to keep the sauce from becoming too thick and pasty.

When the sauce appears to be emulsified, drop in both the shrimp and the crabmeat, along with the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne.

Then lower the heat and allow the sauce to simmer to develop an intense seafood flavor.

Note: Watch it so that it doesn't scorch! Full cooking time for this step should be about 10 minutes.

When it's ready, run it through a food processor to completely blend everything together!

Then set it aside on a simmer (you will need to stir it occasionally while it's on the heat) until you're ready to stuff the pillows.

When it's time to eat, heat up the first pan of oil to about 325 degrees.

Then a few at a time, so as not to crowd the pan, drop in the pistolettes and fry them quickly , turning them over only once, so that they brown evenly.

When they're done place them in a paper-towel lined pan inside a warm oven.

At the same time the pistolettes are frying, heat the second pan of oil to about 375 degrees.

Then dredge the wet oysters through a pan of fish fry, taking care to thoroughly coat them in the breading.

Then, as they come out of the fish fry, drop them a few at a time so that they, too, are not overcrowded and fry them until they turn a rich, crispy, golden brown.

As you remove them from the hot oil, place them on a wire rack placed inside a sheet pan so that they can drain.

By the way, as they fry place each batch on the rack in the warming oven to retain crispiness.

All that's left at this point is to 'stuff the pillows.'

Simply take a pistolette, put a slit in one end of it with a sharp paring knife to give you access to the inside, push an oyster or two down inside the hole with some tongs, and immediately pour the cheesy seafood sauce over the oysters, allowing it to trickle down inside the bread to completely surround the oyster.

For best flavor, I recommend that you eat them immediately as you stuff them; but if you must stuff a number of them in advance, as they're filled with the oysters and the sauce set them upright in a disposable aluminum muffin pan and return them to the warming oven until you're ready to serve.

Figure two pistolettes per person per serving, especially if they're accompanied by mashed potatoes or rice pilaf.

If, however, you're doing 'just pillows' and a salad, I'd count on making three per person! Incidentally, be prepared they're kinda messy to eat but well worth the messiness.!

Chef's Notes:

To add additional flavor to this recipe, it's perfectly acceptable to fry the pistolettes in the same oil that you fried the oysters.

An ice cold tossed green salad with tomatoes and baby Bella mushrooms is a good compliment to this recipe.