Big T Deviled Crab With Oysters On The Half Shell

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes
Yield:  18 servings

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Craig Claiborne's recipe, Thanksgiving Deviled Crab With Oysters On The Half Shell. Claiborne was the long time food editor and restaurant critic for the New York Times and his The New York Times Cookbook is one of my all-time favorites.  Big T Crab Dip adds a certain richness to the dish so I've eliminated the two egg yolks from the original recipe. Trust me ... this one's a crowd pleaser! And, it's relatively easy to make and and can be prepared a day before baking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 container Big T Original Crab Dip
  • 1 container Big T Jalapeño Crab Dip
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced sweet red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green herbs such as parsley or chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared spicy brown mustard
  • 1/1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 18 oysters, shucked
  • 18 oyster shells
  • 1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs

Steps:

  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet and add the garlic, onion and diced peppers.  Cook, stirring until the vegetables are softened. Add the herbs and cayenne pepper.  Stir to blend.
  2. Sprinkle with flour and stir to blend. Add the cream gradually, stirring rapidly with a whisk. Cook until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat.  
  3. Stir in the spicy brown mustard, and when blended, add the Big T crab dips. Stir gently to blend. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl and let stand until thoroughly cooled. The mixture can be refrigerated overnight if desired.  
  4. Combine the oysters and oyster liquor in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 30 seconds or until edges of the oysters start to curl. Line a dish with paper towels. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the oysters from their cooking liquid and spoon them onto the towels. Discard the cooking liquid.
  5. Place the oysters in the refrigerator until thoroughly cooled. They may be covered overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Rinse the oyster shells and pat them dry. Fill the oyster shell with the crab mixture. Make a slight indention in the center of each filling. Place one oyster into each indentation.
  7. Top each oyster with equal portions of the remaining crab mixture and smooth over the top, rounding if necessary. Sprinkle the oysters with the bread crumbs and chopped parsley if desired. Arrange the shells on a baking sheet and bake on 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until the filling is lightly browned and piping hot.  

Cooks Note: If you have any remaining crab mixture filling, toss it in with some warm linguine noodles for a fabulous main course.