Mesmerizing meatless meals

No meat? No problem! New Jersey chef Ryan DePersio shares his favorite recipes and cocktails for Good Friday. Meatless meals have never tasted better.

Peekytoe crab-stuffed cremini mushrooms

Ingredients

    • 15 large cremini mushrooms (destemmed)
    • 1/2 pound peekytoe crab (dried on paper towels)
    • 1/2 pound lump crab (dried on paper towels)
    • 1/2 cup of ground panko breadcrumbs
    • 1 teaspoon of mayonaise
    • 1 teaspoon of mustard
    • 1 tablespoon of chopped herbs (parsley, basil, chives)
    • 1 egg
    • Salt and pepper
    • Extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.In a large mixing bowl fold crab, mayo, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper and egg together lightly to keep the crab from breaking too much.Place mushrooms cap size down and drizzle olive oil  on mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon of crab filling in each mushroom and pack lightly. Then sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the crab. Drizzle olive oil over breadcrumbs and place in oven for 20 min. Serve hot.

Shellfish chowder

Ingredients

    • 1 cup of mirepoix (small dice of carrots, onions, celery)
    • 1/4 cup of small dice of fennel
    • 1/2 cup of diced potatoes
    • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
    • 1/4 cup of basil julienne
    • 6 little neck clams
    • 6 mussels
    • 4 black tiger shrimp
    • 1/4 cup of peekytoe crabmeat
    • 1 cup of white wine
    • 1 cup of brandy
    • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin (ground)
    • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (ground)
    • 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds (ground)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Place all spices in a saute pan and toast on medium for 4 min., constantly moving the pan around.Set aside on a plate and when the spices cool down, grind in a coffee grinder.Place oil and butter in a large sauce pot on high heat. When the butter begins to foam add mirepoix and fennel in and sweat on medium heat for ten minutes. Then add spice mixture, potatoes, garlic, clams, mussels and shrimp.Deglaze with wine and brandy and cover.When clams begin to open add cream and cook on low for five min. Then add crab and basil.

Serving Directions:

Serve with toasted bruschetta.

Mediterranean bronzini Livornese style

Ingredients

    • 4 bronzini filets
    • 2 cups of diced canned plum tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup of sliced kalamata olives
    • 1/4 cup of chopped capers
    • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
    • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
    • 1 cup of white wine
    • 1/2 cup of diced shallots
    • Olive oil
    • Unsalted butter
    • Salt and pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Place a medium sauce pot on the stove on med heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter begins to foam add your shallots and sweat for a few minutes. Add your garlic and let cook 5-10 seconds without getting brown. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by half. Add tomatoes, olives and capers and lower heat to a simmer for 5-10 min. Check seasoning, most likely only need black pepper because the olives and capers will provide the salt. Add parsley right before serving over fish.

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