- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons minced tasso
- 1/2 cup minced yellow onions
- 1/4 cup minced green bell peppers
- 1/4 cup minced celery leaves
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 pound lump blue crabmeat
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubes French bread
- 1 cup shrimp stock
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Essence
- 8 blue crab shells, well cleaned
- 3/4 cup finely grated pepper Jack
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the tasso, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery leaves, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaves, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and hot pepper sauce, and stir well. Add the crabmeat and parsley, gently stir to combine, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- In a bowl, combine the bread cubes and shrimp stock. Let sit until the bread absorbs the stock. Add the egg and mix well. Add to the crabmeat mixture and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, oil, and Essence. Lay the crab shells on a large baking sheet. Spoon the mixture into the shells and sprinkle with the seasoned bread crumbs.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle cheese over each crab shell. Bake until hot, golden brown, and the cheese is bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.