Crab-stuffed vegetables are certainly delicious, but I always feel a little guilty mixing expensive, high-quality crab meat with cheese and crumbs and shoving it into a mushroom. You can cut costs by buying whole crabs and breaking them down yourself, but I am prone to eating crab meat the moment it comes out of the shell. Store-bought crab cakes, however, are an entirely different deal, both fiscally and (to me) mentally.
For one, since they’re already mixed with other stuff, they are pretty cheap, and mixing them with cream cheese doesn’t elicit quite the same emotional reaction as mixing cream cheese with huge chunks of pure crab meat. I can usually find pre-formed crab cakes at the seafood counter for about three bucks each. They’re also pre-seasoned with herbs and (usually) held together by some sort of binder, so all you have to do is break the cake apart and scoop the filling into whatever vegetable you think needs to be stuffed with crab meat. Mushrooms are a classic, but squash, zucchini, and squash blossoms are all delicious when stuffed with a bit of crustacean.
If you want to add some cream cheese, or extra herbs, or some sautéed garlic or onion, you certainly can. You can also top your crab-stuffed veg with a little fresh parm or homemade breadcrumbs. The world is your oyster (or, in this case, your crab).
Once your veggies are stuffed, you just need to pop them in a 190-degree C oven until the filling is hot and any cheese is melted and browned on top. This should take about 20 minutes. If you’re using a vegetable that needs a little more time than that to soften, you can par-cook them for about 10 or 15 minutes before filling. (I do this with my stuffed mushrooms, as I like them nice and soft.)
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