© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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As sold on the streets of Tampa's Latin Quarter.
Recipe from: The Gasparilla Cookbook by The Junior League of Tampa: Hillsborough Printing Company; LCCCN A-543-997
3 loaves stale American bread
1 loaf stale Cuban bread, grind very fine and sift
1 level tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Remove crust from 3 loaves bread and discard crust. Soak remainder of bread in water 15 minutes. Drain water and squeeze until almost dry. Add the sifted Cuban bread gradually until you have dough. Add paprika and salt and mix thoroughly. Form dough into ball and put in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours.
5 tablespoons oil
3 onions, finely chopped
½ red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, mashed or chopped fine
1 teaspoon crushed red hot pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon sugar
1 level teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 pound can fresh crabmeat claws, picked over and shredded
Fry very slowly in oil, the onions, bell pepper, garlic, crushed hot peppers for 15 minutes. Add bay leaves, sugar, salt, and the tomato paste. Stir, then cover and cook 15 minutes at low heat. Add crabmeat and cook for 10 minutes, uncover, put on platter in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Take about 3 tablespoons of the bread dough and press in your hand; put in a tablespoon of crab filling, then seal like a croquette with two pointed ends. Dip into the following mixture: 2 eggs, well beaten with ½ cup milk, salt, and dash of black pepper. Mix 1 cup cracker meal and ½ cup flour. Roll croquettes first in the cracker-flour mixture, then in the eggs, and again in the cracker-flour mixture. Put in refrigerator for 2 hours. Fry in deep fat until brown. Make miniature size for parties.
This sounds like a lot of trouble (and it is), but it's well worth it. A different type of deviled crab that is delicious. If you do wish to try this recipe, I might suggest making the first two steps the night before to save some time. The second step (slow frying the vegetables and peppers eventually adding crabmeat and then storing in the refrigerator for 2 hours) works even better in my opinion by storing the mixture in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to mingle.