Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shrimp Stuffing

Why Shrimp Stuffing?

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re reminded that stuffing is one of those rare foods that just about everyone likes in some form or other. And while that’s a good thing, there’s still a problem.

As much as we’ve all come to love stuffing as a side dish, we’ve traditionally limited its use to turkey, chicken, and other poultry dishes. If we’re feeling adventurous, we might serve it with pork. And all the while, the large, wonderful world of fish dishes is left asking why they’ve been forgotten in all of this, and wondering if they, too, will ever get to be included with this great, classic side dish.

They need wonder no more. Step aside, Chicken and Turkey. Take a rest, Pork. A new guest is about to be introduced at the Stuffing-as-a-Side-Dish Ball, and her name is Fish.

And why not? Just as we serve potatoes or rice with both fish and poultry, all a fish-friendly stuffing would require is a combination of flavors specifically designed to complement fish.  Here’s one I feel confident you’ll enjoy.

A couple of side notes:
  • This recipe attempts to strike a middle-ground in the age-old argument over whether stuffing should be dry or moist. You can vary the moisture either way by adjusting the amount of fish stock. 
  • In the photo above the stuffing is shown served as a side dish with Pollock poached in fish stock and green beans cooked in, well, I don’t know what they’re cooked in. My wife made them, along with the Pollock. My contributions to the plate pictured were the stuffing, the fish stock, and folding the paper napkin.
To make about 8 servings of stuffing:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter substitute in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup of chopped onions, 1 cup of chopped celery, and a spice mix consisting of 1 teaspoon of chopped oregano, 1 teaspoon of ground celery seed, 1 teaspoon of chopped thyme, ¼  teaspoon of  dried sage, 1 teaspoon of chopped marjoram, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest . Add salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add 1-1/2 cups of fish stock, ¼ cup dry white wine, and the juice of one lemon, and bring to a simmer.

In a large bowl, combine 1 egg-substitute egg and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Add 14 slices of stale potato bread (about 8 cups) torn into bite size pieces, ¾ cup of chopped raw shrimp, and the vegetable-stock mixture. Toss to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish and dot with more butter substitute. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes more.
So the next time you serve fish, surprise everyone by having this special stuffing on the side. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your family or guests.

If you want to make shrimp stuffing and would like a cookbook-style, notebook-ready copy of this or any other Kissing The Cook recipe, just let me know in a comment or an e-mail and it will be sent post haste!

See you next week! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. I've never heard of "egg substitute" eggs. I don't think we can get that here. I suppose by butter substitute you mean something like Flora? Never mind - here's a kiss anyway: MWAH!!

  2. Hi Angie! Egg substitute eggs are something like "Egg Beaters" or similar brands sold in containers much like milk. They're made, somehow, from real eggs but have no cholesterol. If you can't find them, a regular egg beaten would be a one-for-one substitution. Butter substitutes are a little trickier. They're made from buttermilk or other such things and are low-fat, not fat-free. The thing to remember with butter substitutes is that they have a higher moisture content than regular butter so it's not a one-for-one substitution. One cup of butter would usually be replaced with about three-quarters cup of butter substitute. Having cholesterol issues, I find things like these helpful, but if you prefer to cook with real eggs and butter they can be used in any of my recipes as long as you keep the above in mind. A big MWAH right back to you, dear!

  3. Many years ago I tried shrimp in garlic & chocolate sauce...this sounds a little more normal. ~Mary

  4. I'm not easily left without words, Mary, but chocolate covered garlic shrimp seems to have done it. How did it come out?

  5. Hate to admit, it was great. Still sounds awful though.

  6. Use stuffing as a side...why not? I like the idea.

  7. Thanks, Mary and Angie! I think it is true that sometimes food that tastes delicious doesn't sound all that appealing at first. I was actualy thinking about that just yesterday; I got to take a great class in cooking with beer, and one of the dishes featured was beer can chicken. Today we know this to be a wonderful way to cook chicken, but I started wondering about who in history was adventurous enough to be the first to do that to a chicken, and what in the world was he/she thinking?

    Ah, Angie, definitely a useful side dish, without having to do the boxed stove-top thing. I hope you like it!