Seafood Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves 6. Recipe from Rhanetta Ruffins, of Plaquemine, is the first-place winner in the entree category of The Advocate’s Thanksgiving Recipe Contest sponsored by Calandro’s Supermarket.

6 medium bell peppers

1/2 lb. peeled crawfish tails

1/2 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup each of the trinity (onions, bell peppers and celery)

1/2 stick butter

1/2 lb. lump crab meat

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbl. Cajun seasoning

A few good shakes of Tabasco

Salt to taste

11/2 cups Italian bread crumbs

11/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Cut tops off bell peppers and wash and remove seeds. Parboil in a large pot of salty water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. In large skillet, sauté crawfish, shrimp, garlic and the trinity in butter for 10 minutes. Add crab meat, seasonings, salt and Tabasco and cook for 5 more minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add bread crumbs and 1 cup cheese and mix thoroughly.

4. Stuff peppers and top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and place in a shallow baking dish. Add 1 cup of water to bottom of the shallow baking dish and bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes.

Note: If you don’t have crawfish, the stuffed bell peppers are just as good with shrimp and crab.