This is my favorite Brazilian appetizer. It's typical of Bahia but you can find it anywhere on the coast. It has a rich and exotic blend of flavors.
The traditional way of serving this appetizer is inside real crab shells
or in large sea shells.
I bought Irish Deep Scallop Seashells from Naples Sea Shells Company. I was very happy with their service and the quality of the shells. click HERE to go to their website.
It is hard to find dendê oil in the US markets. The palm oil you find in Indian stores tastes different than the Brazilian palm oil, so don't use it. The 'malagueta' pepper is also very typical of Brazil cuisine and it has a scent and taste that take your palate to an exotic trip. The best substitute in my opinion is cayenne pepper or tabasco.
What You Need:
- 6 seashells or crab shells or ramekins
- 8 oz (250 gr) dungeness crab meat chopped or shredded by hand
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon dendê oil (Palm oil) (if you don't have it don't use any substitutes)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 roman tomato chopped with no seeds or peel
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper finely chopped
- salt to taste
- Malagueta pepper to taste (Cayenne or tabasco are substitutes)
- 1 tablespoon flour dissolved in 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley *
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan to top the 'casquinhas'.
What To Do:
Note: In the pictures you will see small quantities of the ingredients as I am making 'casquinhas' for 2 people only.
Put olive oil, butter and dendê in a saucepan to warm.
Add the onions and garlic and sauté.
When the onions are soft add the tomatoes and red pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the crab meat and cook for a minute.
Add flour dissolved in coconut milk, salt, and cilantro and cook until the mixture has thickened.
Place a large scoop of the crab mix in each crab shell or ramekin.
Top with the bread crumbs and Parmesan mix.
Before serving place the shells or ramekins in the oven to 'broil'.
Serve while hot.
Serve with lime wedges.
Updated July 6, 2013