N'Awlins Shrimp-N-Pasta-Stuffed Tomatoes

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Posted on June 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 23 at 3:30 PM

 

 

24 oz. tiny pre-cooked cocktail shrimp, thawed
1 lb. ditalini pasta, cooked al dente
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups Blue Plate Real Mayonnaise
3/4 cup green onions, very thinly sliced
3/4 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup parsley, finely minced
1 tsp. sweet basil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning
2 tsp. Frank Davis Sprinkling Spice
8 whole medium-size tomatoes, halved and cored
2 tsp. paprika
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

First, in a 6-quart stockpot bring 4 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil. Then drop in the ditalini and boil them for 5 to 7 minutes until they are cooked "al dente" (tender, but not soft). Oh-I suggest you stir the pasta occasionally as it boils so that the little macs do not stick together.
When they are cooked, pour them into a colander to drain, toss them vigorously with the olive oil, and set them aside momentarily.

Meanwhile, take the two packages of defrosted shrimp and let them come to room temperature. Then take a large mixing bowl and completely blend together the mayonnaise, green onions, yellow onions, celery, garlic, parsley, basil, apple cider vinegar, and seafood seasoning. I suggest you take your time and combine all the ingredients well so that they are uniformly mixed into the mayonnaise.

Finally, thoroughly fold the mayo mixture into the pasta, cover tightly with plastic film, and set it into the refrigerator for about an hour so that all the flavors "marry."

When you're ready to stuff the tomatoes, season the insides lightly with the "sprinkling spice," take the shrimp and pasta mixture from the fridge, and with a small rubber spatula pack the mixture into the hollowed out tomato shells until each one is slam full. At this point, go ahead and season the crown of the stuffing with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Then garnish each one with a drizzle of paprika to dress it off.
Of course, you can serve them right away. But to make 'em the best they can be cover 'em with plastic wrap and allow 'em to rest overnight in the bottom of the refrigerator.

Y'all, you just can't get it any better than this! And they're equally good served hot or cold.

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Chef's Notes:

 

1-I suppose you could use the brand of mayonnaise you like, but over the years this recipe never seemed to come out right unless I made it with either Blue Plate or Hellmann's. And without reservation, "low fat" mayo, "fat free" mayo, and Miracle Whip are completely out of the question!!!

2-For a creamier stuffing, just add a little more mayo!

3-If you can't find the frozen cocktail shrimp at your supermarket, you can use several cans of the Orleans Brand tiny shrimp (4-¼ oz. size) in their place. But the cocktail shrimp work much better.

4-If you don't have any of my seasonings on hand, you can find them at the Frank Davis icon on this website. In the meantime, however, simple salt and fresh ground pepper will substitute nicely.

5-To prepare the tomatoes for stuffing, first place them stem-side down on a cutting board and slice off horizontally (not vertically) about a quarter of each blossom end (the rounded end). Then core out the pulp with a melon baler, being careful not to poke holes in the sides of the tomatoes. Incidentally, you should keep the tomatoes ice-cold before and after coring; so as soon as they are hollowed put them back into the refrigerator until ready for stuffing.

6-Almost any variety of tomato (except Romas or cherry tomatoes, of course) can be used to make this dish. But undoubtedly the intensity of the Creole tomato produces the very best flavor.

7-By the way, this very same recipe can be prepared and used to stuff ripe avocados. And if you'd rather create a crabmeat stuffing instead of a shrimp stuffing, go right ahead! They both work very well!

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