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Colossal barbecued shrimp with crab cake stuffing

(Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff)
May 23, 2012
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Serves 8

Andy Husbands and Chris Hart write that people eat with their eyes first, so when they’re in competitions, they use really big shrimp. In industry talk, standard cocktail-size shrimp are called 16/20, which means 16 to 20 per pound, each weighing an ounce or less. Here they call for U4s, meaning there are under 4 per pound. You can also use jumbo shrimp. They brine the shrimp, serve them with hollandaise sauce, and make their own rub. This version is shrimp and stuffing, without brine and sauce.

8giant U4 shrimp (each 3 to 4 ounces)
1tablespoon butter
1medium carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice
1rib celery, cut into ¼-inch dice
1medium onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
1clove garlic, finely chopped
2tablespoons mayonnaise
Grated rind of 2 lemons
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
¼cup chopped fresh parsley
1teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
½cup panko or bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1cup lump crab meat
Butter (for the pan)

1. Shell the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Devein them from the belly side.

2. In a skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl; cool.

3. Stir in the mayonnaise, lemon rind, thyme, parsley, Old Bay, panko or bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the crab meat, trying to keep the large pieces intact.

4. Prepare the smoker and bring temperature to 300 degrees. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet.

5. Meanwhile, place about ½ cup of stuffing in your hands and shape into an oval. Set it inside the curve of a shrimp, wrapping the tail up and over it. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Place the shrimp on the baking sheet and set it on the grate.

6. Smoke for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and no longer translucent, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the shrimp registers 145 degrees. Adapted from “Wicked Good Barbecue”

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