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Seafood Stuffing, Dressing, and Batter Recipes from the Venus de Milo Restaurant

Casino Topping for Clams Casino

New England Crabmeat Stuffing

Ritz Cracker Topping

Sherry and Scallop Seafood Stuffing

 

Casino Topping for Clams Casino

Preparation Time: Approx. 35 minutes
Yield: 2½ cups or enough topping to cover 2 lbs. of fish or to stuff 2 dozen Clams Casino

Ingredients
2 ounces thinly sliced bacon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup diced red sweet pepper
¼ cup diced red green pepper
¼ cup diced onion
½ lbs. butter
2 cups crushed Ritz Crackers
salt and black pepper if needed

Method:
Sautee the bacon over a medium fire until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and the vegetables and sauté until the vegetables begin to wilt. Remove from the fire.

In a double boiler melt the butter. Skim the clear butter off of the top with a ladle and place in a measuring cup discarding the milky portion that remains. Crush 1-1½ sleeves of Ritz Crackers and measure off 2 cups. Combine ½ cup of drawn butter with 2 cups of Ritz Crackers. Adjust the seasoning if needed. 

Combine the Ritz Cracker and butter mixture with the vegetable mixture.

To make Clams Casino wash and open little neck clams being careful to retain as much of the juices as you can. This is accomplished by not tipping the clams. Stuff the clams with casino topping and place a small square of raw bacon on top. Broil in a 375° F oven until the crumbs are brown and the bacon is crispy. Serve with cocktail sauce.


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New England Crabmeat Stuffing

Note: This is a basic and very neutral seafood stuffing. No lemon or wine is used which eliminates the tartness that will clash with complimentary sauces such as Newburg or White Clam Sauces. This stuffing goes very well with Flounder, Scrod, or Haddock and is also a very nice stuffing for broiled mushrooms. 

Preparation Time: Approx. 20 minutes
Yield: 4 portions or enough to serve with 2 lbs. of fish

Ingredients:
¼ cup butter
¼ cup minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup snow crab
¼ cup clam juice
½ teaspoon Lea & Perrins
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon parsley flakes
3 cups fresh bread crumbs

Method:
In a food processor chop enough fresh bread to yield 3-4 cups. By fresh bread I mean do not use commercial bread crumbs, make your own crumbs. Frozen or day old bread will make the best bread crumbs. Using fresh bread will result in a sticky heavy stuffing.

In a sauté pan melt the butter and lightly sauté the onion and garlic. Add the crabmeat, sauté for about a minute and then add the clam juice, the Lea & Perrins, and the salt, pepper, and parsley. Bring the mixture to a strong simmer and remove from the fire. Add the bread crumbs a little at a time until a moderately stiff consistency is reached. Add only the amount of bread crumbs that is needed to completely absorb the liquid.

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Ritz Cracker Topping

Note: Ritz Cracker Stuffing is the most commonly used seafood topping in New England Restaurants. Seafood toppings improve flavor and consistency, prevent drying, and enhance eye appeal. There are many variations of this recipe. Many restaurants add sherry for example. Sherry and other wines do contribute flavor but the added water content will make the topping heavy and sticky like a dressing. A good seafood topping should be light and mild in flavor so that it will not over power the delicate flavor of the seafood. This topping can be used over any type of fish or seafood. Sprinkle this topping liberally over the seafood and cook as usual. 

Preparation Time: Approx. 15 minutes
Yield: 2 cups or enough topping to stuff 2 small lobsters or cover about 2 lbs. of fish fillets

Ingredients:
½ lbs. butter
2 cups crushed Ritz Crackers
salt and black pepper if needed

Method:
In a double boiler melt the butter. Skim the clear butter off of the top with a ladle and place in a measuring cup discarding the milky portion that remains. Crush 1-1½ sleeves of Ritz Crackers and measure off 2 cups. Combine ½ cup of drawn butter with 2 cups of Ritz Crackers. Adjust seasoning if needed. 

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Sherry and Scallop Seafood Stuffing

Preparation Time: Approx. 20 minutes
Yield: Enough to stuff 2 lbs. of fish or 16 jumbo shrimp

Ingredients:
½ lbs. coarsely chopped sea scallops
¼ cup butter
¼ cup finely minced carrot
¼ cup finely minced onion
¼ cup finely minced red pepper
¼ cup finely minced green pepper
1 teaspoon dry dill weed
¼ cup clam juice
¼ cup cream sherry
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup freshly chopped bread crumbs
1 cup ground Ritz Crackers

Method:
In a medium sauté pan over a low fire melt the butter and sauté the vegetables until they begin to wilt. Add the chopped scallops and sauté until they become firm and lose their translucence. Add the clam juice and then the sherry and cook for an additional minute to burn off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and check the seasoning for salt and pepper. Add the bread crumbs first and then add the Ritz Crackers a little at a time until the stuffing has a moderately firm consistency.

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