Italy has contributed much to the culture of our world, especially for a country barely bigger than the state of Arizona. Art, architecture, exploration, religion and government all come to mind, of course, but few things d'Italia are more beloved than its cuisine.
From pasta and pizza and desserts to wine, many of us eat or drink something that’s at least inspired by Italian cuisine practically every day. One you might not have heard of, however, is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, the southern Italy tradition of eating seven different seafood on Christmas Eve.
In tribute to that time-honored tradition, Mercury Cook Your Catch mainstay and avid outdoorsman Blaine Gabbert has made a video of his recipe for lobster- and crab-stuffed mushrooms, and it’s simply mouthwatering. Watch the video to see how this recipe can make any occasion feel like a holiday.
- 4 small or medium-sized (4-6 ounces each) lobster tails
- 1 stick melted butter
- 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 can of crab meat (6 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 pound mushroom caps with the stems removed
- Preheat your oven or barbecue grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your lobster tails for cooking by splitting them down the back. Then carefully cut the meat away from the sides and bottom of the shell, leaving the meat connected to the end of the tail. Pull the meat through the split in the tail so that the meat is essentially laying on top of the shell.
- Brush the tails liberally with melted butter, then set them (shell-side down) directly on the grates of the grill to cook for 10-12 minutes. If you’re using an oven, the tails should be placed on a baking sheet.
- Coat the inside of a 12-inch cast iron skillet with melted butter and set it aside.
- While the tails are cooking, you can start making the rest of the stuffing. Start by putting your breadcrumbs, crab meat, garlic, mozzarella and the remainder of your melted butter (about ¾ stick) into a large mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- When the lobster tails are done, put them on a cutting board and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Next, cut the meat away from the shell of each tail. Cut the meat up into small chunks and add all of it to your mixing bowl with the rest of the stuffing. Again, mix well with a wooden spoon so the lobster is spread evenly throughout the stuffing.
- Turn the grill or oven down to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using a teaspoon or tablespoon – depending on the size of your mushroom caps – evenly stuff the mushrooms with a generous portion of your mix from the bowl, taking care to get a few lobster chunks in each one. Place the stuffed mushrooms dome-side down in the cast iron skillet.
- Place the skillet on the grill or in the oven for 10 minutes and your stuffed mushrooms are ready to eat.
The result is a unique and memorable flavor and aroma combination. The sweetness of the crab and lobster meat melded with the earthiness of the mushrooms, the zip of the garlic, richness of the butter and the creaminess of the mozzarella will have your family or guests jockeying for the last few portions.
This dish is perfect as an appetizer, but it’s also great alongside your favorite fresh vegetable as a main course. And whether you make it for a traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes gathering, or any old Friday night, it’s a forgone conclusion that everyone at the table will be happy and grateful, and ready for the next time you prepare it.
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