Seafood Dish

With canned shrimp and crab held together by stuffing. Sort of like a crabcake crossed with a meatloaf crossed with a loaf of bread.

That said, I don’t think it would be an awful thing to find in the middle of a salad with a lemon dressing. There’s no reward for turning your nose up at canned seafood; while it isn’t fresh and it can’t substitute for fresh, that doesn’t mean it can’t be turned into something tasty.

In a way, we’ve sort of lost the cultural ability to know how to use canned, dried, or otherwise preserved ingredients to their best advantage–we’ve gotten a bit spoiled by the access to fresh ingredients. Quite a contrast to Chinese cooking, where learning how to use and restore preserved ingredients is a fundamental set of techniques at the core of their cuisines. Food snobbery can take on quite a different form in Chinese cooking. “Oh, you got fresh koshin shiitake? I don’t eat those, I prefer dried donko shiitake.”

I’m reminded of the tribal wanderer my mother and her grandfather met in Ethiopia when she was growing up. He asked if they had water. They didn’t, but they had ice. They offered him some and he thanked them, then wiped the ice on his shirt again and again before throwing it down in the desert, insisting it was the devil’s rock, because the more you dried it, the wetter it got.

Just because you don’t know what to do with an ingredient doesn’t mean it isn’t good.

From the box of F.J. from Sun City, Arizona. Some cards suggest a family history in Missouri.

Seafood Dish

1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
7-ounce can shrimp, drained
7-ounce can crabmeat, flaked
2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing, crushed
1 cup mayonnaise

Stir together all ingredients until blended. Spoon into a quart-size shallow casserole or eight ovenproof shells.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From the recipe file of Maxine Cowan

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