Casquinha de siri is super popular in Brazil, mainly in coastal towns where you get fresh crab aplenty. Brazilian crabs are tiny compared to the gigantic Dungeness from the North American Pacific Rim. Really, they look more like blue crabs from the Northeastern U.S. Big or small, these sometimes scary but always amazing and tasty prehistoric creatures are the ticket for living the highlife. Check out this post to learn more about preparing live Dungeness crab. What an experience!
To make traditional Brazilian casquinha de siri, the crab is boiled, then the meat is extracted, seasoned and cooked, then stuffed back into the creatures’ shells and baked. We had some really good ones at Part.Alto restaurant in Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil on our last visit. It was hot, damn hot. The casquina de siri appetizer went perfectly with cold beer in this tropical summertime weather. (Wow! It has been a year already since we were there. How nice it would be to hang out by the beach, soaking up the Sun right about now, instead of enduring yet more cold rain!)
I have to thank Joumana from taste of Beirut for this trip down memory lane that this dish is evoking. Sometime ago, she commented on our blog that she had seen the dish somewhere and was excited about tasting it. Her description made my mouth water. So here it is!
I served it at our last dinner party before kitchen remodeling really starts. The crowd was extremely pleased. Since I used fresh frozen pre-cooked and cleaned Dungeness crabmeat, I didn’t have the shells to fill. That makes it look more stunning. Instead I used a glass baking dish. Perhaps not as cute, but the taste remains the same: incomparable. It was super fun having Jocelyn, Devin, JT and Chris for dinner. Thanks for the new, equally great memories.
Dungeness crab casquinha de siri
2lb fresh crabmeat (ours came from Sun Fat)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp colorau (anato powder)
½ green bell pepper
4 tbsp coconut milk
3 tbsp olive oil
Crushed red pepper
~4 tbsp bread crumbs
4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped small
2 whole scallions, chopped
½ white onion, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 400F.
Add olive oil to a pan on high. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, colorau and bell pepper. Continue cooking for a minute or so. Add tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes until they start to dissolve. Add crabmeat, salt, red and black peppers and coconut milk. Bring everything to a vigorous boil. Turn off heat. Adjust flavors if necessary. Stir in scallions and bread crumbs just enough to soak up the juices in the pan. Transfer mix to glass dish. Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese and a bit more bread crumbs. Bake about 10 minutes or until top is golden. Serve!