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Red Lobster Stuffed Shrimp and Stuffed Mushrooms

By Todd Wilbur


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Bill Darden was only 19 when he started his restaurant career in 1939 by opening a 25-seat lunch counter called The Green Frog in Waycross, Georgia. From the start Bill's business was a hopping success. That success helped Bill springboard into other restaurant acquisitions throughout the years including 20 Howard Johnson's restaurants. Then, in 1968, as he reached his mid fifties, Bill took another gamble and opened a seafood restaurant in Lakeland, Florida. When deciding on a name for the new restaurant, someone suggested the name "Red Lobster" since he had great luck in the past with the name "Green Frog." And so it was.

Here are a couple of great dishes to serve as appetizers or on the side with an entree such as broiled lobster or fish. These recipes include a stuffing that varies in the restaurants only in the type of seafood used—the stuffed shrimp contains crabmeat and the stuffed mushrooms contain lobster meat. If you like, you can use the stuffings interchangeably.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green chili pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornbread crumbs (Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing mix is good)
  • 1 cup lump crab meat (fresh, frozen, or one 6-ounce can)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 20 large shrimp
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • Paprika
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Red Lobster
    • Instructions

      Stuffed Shrimp

      1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

      2. Boil the water and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan.

      3. Add the celery, onion, peppers, parsley, salt, pepper, and sugar.

      4. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

      5. Add the bread crumbs and remove it from the heat.

      6. Mix the crabmeat with the beaten egg. Add to the bread crumb mixture, cover, and let it sit for 5 minutes.

      7. In the meantime, prepare each shrimp by cutting along the back to remove the vein and remove all of the shell except the last joint and the tip of the tail. Cut deep into the shrimp where the vein was, but not all the way through, and spread the meat open (butterfly style) so that each shrimp will sit in a pan, spread open with its tail sticking up. Repeat for all of the shrimp and arrange them in a roasting pan or baking dish.

      8. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of stuffing onto the top of the spread-open shrimp.

      9. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush it over the surface of each stuffed shrimp. Scoot all of the shrimp close together after you do this.

      10. Spread thin slices of cheddar cheese evenly over the entire surface of all of the shrimp. Sprinkle on a dash of paprika.

      11. Bake the shrimp for 15 to 20 minutes or until the shrimp are completely cooked. Broil for an additional 1 to 2 minutes to brown the cheese just slightly.

      Stuffed Mushrooms

      1. Follow the directions above for the stuffing, but substitute 1 cup cooked lobster meat for the crab meat. If you broil the tail from a live lobster for another recipe, such as my clone recipe for Red Lobster Broiled Lobster, you can use the meat from the legs and claws for this recipe. Simply cook the remaining lobster in the shell for 8 to 12 minutes in rapidly boiling salted water. Use a nut cracker to remove the meat. You may also used canned lobster meat for this recipe, although fresh lobster meat tastes much better.

      2. Instead of shrimp, use 20 to 24 (about 1 pound) mushrooms with stems removed.

      3. Fill the mushroom caps with 2 to 3 tablespoons of stuffing, brush with melted butter and top with slices of Monterey Jack cheese.

      4. Season lightly with paprika, then bake the mushrooms in a roasting pan or baking dish in a preheated oven set on 375 degrees F for about 12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes to slightly brown the cheese.

      Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.

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