Well, get ready for an amazing culinary encore because Cook Your Catch veteran Blaine Garrett has done it again. A few weeks ago, Garrett introduced us to his Lobster- and Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms, a recipe he shared in homage to the Feast of the Seven Fishes, the Southern Italy tradition of serving seven different seafood dishes on Christmas Eve. If you liked that one, you’re going to love his shrimp-stuffed potatoes.
Shrimp-stuffed potatoes are a delicious spin on the tried and true twice-baked potatoes with which most of us are familiar, only in the same sense that a modern Ferrari is a spin on Henry Ford’s Model T. To put it another way, prepare to meet your new favorite potato dish.
- 1 pound of shrimp (peeled and deveined, with the heads and tails cut off)
- 6 baked Russet potatoes
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese
- Diced green onion
- Bake the potatoes and then let them cool enough to be handled.
- Once the temperature of the potatoes has gone down enough so that you can hold them comfortably in your bare hand, place a cast iron skillet on your grill (or in the oven) and preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the grill is up to temperature, pour a few tablespoons of melted butter in the skillet and add the shrimp. Add a dusting of your favorite seafood seasoning, stir just a bit and close the lid.
- While the shrimp is cooking, slice each potato in half the long way. Using a spoon, scoop out most of the “meat” of each potato and put it in another cast iron skillet. Be careful that you don’t tear or puncture the potato skins. You should have 12 hollowed out potato skin “boats” at the conclusion of this step. Place them skin-down on a large, flat pan, such as a cast iron griddle or a baking sheet.
- Keep an eye on the shrimp; they should be fully cooked in just a few minutes. If you watch the thickest part of the shrimp, in the opening where the vein was removed, the meat will turn from a grayish translucent color to a whiter opaque hue when they are done*. Pull them off at that point and put your skillet full of potato scoopings on the grill to get it heated back up.
* If unsure, use a meat thermometer. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends all shellfish be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Set aside 12 whole shrimp – one for each potato half – and then cut the rest of the shrimp into quarter-inch chunks.
- Put the shrimp chunks into a large mixing bowl, then add:
- 1 stick melted butter (less the amount used to sauté the shrimp)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese
- Stir the mixture with a large wooden spoon to get all the ingredients evenly distributed.
- Take the skillet full of potatoes off the grill. Use a potato ricer (or a masher, if a ricer is not available) to reduce all of the potato chunks down to very small pieces that will be easy to mix. The ricer, which looks and functions much like large garlic press, can be held over the mixing bowl to add the now-tiny potato pieces directly to the shrimp mixture. Stir thoroughly, adding a bit of salt, pepper and seasoning to taste.
- Use a spoon to stuff the potato skins with the shrimp-potato mixture, taking care to put an even amount of stuffing into each skin. Top the stuffing with the remaining 4 ounces of cheese. Place the whole pan on the grill for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When you get within a couple of minutes of being done, raise the lid of the grill. Take the whole shrimp you set aside earlier and place one on top of each stuffed potato half. The whole shrimp only take a couple of minutes to heat back up, and you don’t want to overcook them by putting them on for the entire 20-plus minutes.
- Once off the grill, top each stuffed potato with a bit of diced green onion. Serve as an appetizer or a hearty side dish.
Want to give it more of an Italian flair? Try a little minced garlic in the stuffing. Or go Southwest with some diced jalapeno. You can also experiment with different cheeses and spices to make it truly your own. And whether you’re entertaining a houseful of friends and family for the holidays or just livening up a regular Tuesday night, there’s a great chance that everyone at your table is going to remember your shrimp-stuffed potatoes for a long time.
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