Broiled Crab Backs with Fiery Pepper Sauce

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
30 min
30 min
15 min

6 appetizer portions

  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero, seeded and minced, or 1 tablespoon prepared scotch bonnet pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • For the crabs:
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage and shells
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt
  • 6 cleaned crab backs (shells), for stuffing (optional), or ramekins
  • In a heatproof bowl, combine the onions, scallions, bell peppers, garlic, peppers, salt, and thyme. In a small non-reactive saucepan combine water and vinegar and bring to a boil. Pour over the onion mixture in the bowl and stir. Allow to cool. Stir in the lime juice and vegetable oil. (The sauce can be prepared up to this point 2 days in advance, tightly covered, and refrigerated.) Before serving, bring to room temperature and stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve drizzled over the stuffed crabmeat mixture.

  • Preheat the broiler.

  • In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the soy sauce, garlic, celery, onion, parsley, scallions, and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until vegetables are begin to soften. Add the lime juice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, crushed red pepper, crabmeat, and water and stir to mix well. Add 3 tablespoons of the bread crumbs and salt, and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and with a spoon divide the crab mixture evenly among the 6 crab shells. Sprinkle lightly with the remaining tablespoon of bread crumbs and broil until golden brown on top, about 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with the sauce spooned over the top.

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