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Slimming down on stuffed shrimp

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Dear Jeanne: I just love this, but I think you can make it better. Thank you.

— Brenda, Austin, Texas

Dear Brenda: This seems like something special that you only get when you're at a restaurant, but it really is very easy. The most difficult part is butterflying the shrimp. This is a great appetizer to serve to company, so even though some of the ingredients are expensive, the shrimp are spread among many people. Shrimp are sold by the amount it takes to make a pound. For jumbo shrimp, you get 21 to 25 per pound. This is the minimum size you should buy for this recipe; otherwise, you will not have enough.

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her website, jeannejones.com.

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6 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons parsley

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

1/2 pound crabmeat

1 pound jumbo shrimp

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet, and saute the celery, onion, pepper and garlic until softened. Add the lemon juice, mustard, parsley, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, then mix in the beaten eggs. Stir in the breadcrumbs. Add the crabmeat. Butterfly the shrimp and mound the stuffing on top. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 F.

Makes 24 shrimp.


1 pound jumbo shrimp

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs

1/2 pound lump crabmeat

Paprika, for garnish

1. Buy the shrimp raw and peel all but the very tail end off, which you leave on for decorative purposes. Then, cut through the backside, where the "mud vein" is, and rinse it off. Continue cutting almost all the way through, until you get what looks like a butterfly. Flatten the shrimp and keep them chilled until you fill them.

2. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet and add the celery, onion and peppers. Saute over medium to medium-high heat, adding water as needed to prevent burning, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 3 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and add the parsley, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, mayonnaise and egg. Add the breadcrumbs and combine thoroughly. Add the crabmeat and mix again.

4. Place the prepared shrimp, cut side up, on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick baking spray, and place a walnut-size mound of stuffing on top of each shrimp. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and the stuffing is hot.

Makes 24 shrimp.

Each shrimp contains approximately: Original Recipe: 107 calories; 6 gm fat; 63 mg cholesterol; 171 mg sodium; 6 gm carbohydrates; 7 gm protein; trace fiber. Revised Recipe: 54 calories; 1.5 gm fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 117 mg sodium; 4 gm carbohydrates; 6 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.