ADVOCATE-TESTED RECIPE

Shrimp and Crab Meat Mornay in Patty Shells

Serves 8. Recipe is from Patsy Carona, of Baton Rouge.

1 lb. lump crab meat

1 pound small or medium shrimp

10 tablespoons butter, divided

8 ounces sliced white mushrooms

½ cup flour

¼ cup grated onion

½ cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup sherry

2 teaspoons salt or to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper (white or black)

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

2½ ounces grated Gruyère cheese

3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

8 to 10 cooked puff pastry shells

Garnish top of each serving with small sprig of fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, basil)

1. Spread crab meat out and remove any shell or cartilage. Refrigerate until ready to add to sauce.

2. Rinse and devein shrimp and sauté in 1 tablespoon melted butter just until shrimp are pink. Remove and set aside until ready to add to sauce.

3. Meanwhile, cook mushrooms in 1 tablespoon butter on stove or in microwave. Set aside.

4. To make sauce: In large skillet, melt remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter and whisk in flour. Cook and whisk over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until flour is heated but not browning.

5. Add grated onion, green onions and parsley. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

6. While stirring, slowly add the half-and-half. Cook over medium heat and stir while mixture heats. Do not boil. Mixture will thicken. Stir in the sherry and the salt and peppers. Continue heating on simmer. When hot, stir in cheeses, remove from heat and cover.

7. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then add the fresh lemon juice.

8. Heat pastry shells right before serving. Meanwhile, add the reserved cooked mushrooms and the cooked shrimp to the cheese sauce and carefully fold in the crab meat, being careful not to break up the lumps. Cook over medium heat until heated through.

9. Spoon seafood sauce into each hot patty shell and garnish top with fresh herb sprig.

Note: Any leftover seafood sauce can be served for another meal over toast points or, if desired, over artichoke bottoms