Here’s another childhood favorite of mine. Its origins are unknown to me (Mom?), but it was a fairly regular dinner item in my house. I remembered it several years after I moved to New York and had to call my Mom each time I wanted to make it because I neglected to write down the recipe. This time I just kind of made it up based on the three main ingredients: shrimp, minced clams…and crushed Ritz Crackers. I know it sounds a bit weird, but the tastes and textures all work quite well together.
Shrimp and Ritz Cracker Stuffing (serves 4-6)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 Tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 cans minced clams, drained, reserving the juice
1 12-ounce box Ritz Crackers, roughly crushed
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the shrimp, garlic, lemon zest, parsley and clams in a mixing bowl. Mix in the Ritz crackers, lemon juice, melted butter and white pepper. Mix in just enough of the reserved clam juice to achieve your desired consistency – more juice will make a moist stuffing, while less will be a bit drier and more crackerey (is that a word?). Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until the shrimp are just cooked through. Run under the broiler for several minutes if you want a crisper top. Serve immediately, with an extra squeeze of lemon juice if desired.