Stuffed Shrimp Viala

Stuffed Shrimp Viala

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - This unique shrimp presentation was created at Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant for use during the height of shrimp season. The dish was named in honor of J. P. Viala, builder of Viala Plantation, the original home of the restaurant.

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yields: 6 Servings


3 dozen (10–12 count) head-on shrimp

1 pound crawfish tails, finely chopped

1 cup melted butter, divided

½ cup minced onions

¼ cup minced celery

¼ cup minced red bell pepper

¼ cup minced yellow bell pepper

2 tbsps minced garlic

¼ cup sliced green onions

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon

1 tbsp Creole mustard

½ cup heavy whipping cream

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

¾ cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

½ cup dry sherry

1 cup water

Method: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place shrimp right-side up on cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, cut through the tail shell from the top of the tail to the bottom of the flipper, making sure not to separate head from tail. Using your thumbs, open the tail flat, remove the vein and gently pry the meat away from the shell, leaving shell and meat intact at the head and flipper. Refrigerate until ready to use. In a sauté pan, heat ½ cup melted butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic and green onions then sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add chopped crawfish tails, blending well into the vegetable mixture. Add basil, tarragon and Creole mustard, blend in and cook 2 additional minutes. Add heavy whipping cream, bring to a low boil then reduce to simmer and cook 2–3 minutes. Season mixture to taste using salt, black pepper and granulated garlic. Pour crawfish mixture into a bowl then add bread crumbs, a little at a time, until all is incorporated. Allow to cool slightly. When cool enough to work, stuff tail of each shrimp with equal portion of crawfish stuffing and place in a large baking pan with 2-inch lip. NOTE: Once stuffed, the tail should lay flat on baking pan. Drizzle with remaining melted butter and sherry. Pour water into the bottom of the baking pan and place on center oven rack. Bake 15–20 minutes or until stuffing is golden brown.

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