Grandma Patti’s Crab Coquille

To continue with the theme of family recipes, today I am going to share a recipe that is very close to my heart with you all; my late Grandma Patti’s crab coquilles. Coquille is the French word for shell, as this dish is served in a scallop shell or I have also seen it served in the crab shell.

Crab coquille is my most memorable recipe of my grandma’s, and I think that is because she usually made it for a special occasion. I remember her in the kitchen making them, mumbling what she was going to do next. I would help her with the crumb topping, mixing the melted butter with the bread crumbs, trying not to eat some; then on to buttering the shells (easy enough for a pre-teen). She was quite the character, always multi-tasking in the kitchen, therefore, it was hard to get her to explain the whole recipe to me. Not to mention I don’t think she made it the same way twice, always adding or taking out different types of seafood. This recipe is her basic version, you can also add scallops and or shrimp to bulk it up.

My husband and I got married in 2014 and my Great Aunt Peggy and Great Grandma Mitzi ever so sweetly gifted us my late grandmother’s handwritten recipe cards. Her original crab coquille recipe card was in there, tears instantly came pouring out, as I had nothing from my grandmother after she passed. I was overjoyed going through the recipes, most of which were different types of fondues. My Aunt Tracie was kind enough to send me the shells that Grandma Patti would always make the coquilles in, now my set was complete and I could not only make her recipe but present it just as she did.

Hand written recipe card.

Now enough about this mushy feel good story let’s get to the food! This recipe isn’t hard, I had almost all the ingredients in my kitchen already. Also, scallop shells are not necessary to serve them in, you can just put them in individual serving size ramekins or a baking dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1- 8 oz can of crab meat
  • 4 shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
  • 4 scallops (optional)
  • 1 can of condensed cream of celery soup
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped green peppers (about half of a green pepper)
  • 2 Tbs. chopped green onion, white and green part (about 1 green onion)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tbs. breadcrumbs (I used panko)
  • 2-3 Tbs. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. of chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Butter the chosen vessel for your filling, if using shells, set them on a baking sheet
  3. Mix the crab meat (and optional scallops and shrimp), condensed cream of celery soup, green peppers, green onions, lemon juice, mustard and a pinch of salt and a bit of cracked black pepper together in a bowl.
  4. Scoop mixture into you baking vessel
  5. Mix together the bread crumbs, melted butter and optional- parsley.
  6. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top of the filling
  7. Bake for 30-35 mins, until its golden brown on top.

Left to Right: Great Aunt Peggy, Sister Julia, Cousin Miranda, Me, Grandma Patti; 2007

Cheers, from my family to yours!

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