Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring
Tybee Island Coastal Blend (or River Street Cobblestone Blend, or Southern Herb Garden Blend)
Ripe tomatoes filled with local shrimp and crab and baked are an old Lowcountry-Savannah favorite in the summer, when all the ingredients are seasonal and at their most flavorful. They’re pretty simple to make, but even simpler with The Salt Table’s Tybee Island Coastal Grinder Blend. Other great seasonings for them are River Street Cobblestone Blend and Southern Herb Garden Blend.
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- ½ pound small to medium shrimp
- ½ pound (1 tightly packed cup) picked crabmeat
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- ½ cup minced yellow onion (about half a medium onion)
- 1 cup coarsely crushed cracker crumbs
- Salt Table Tybee Island Coastal Grinder Blend,
- ¼ cup fine cracker crumbs
HOW TO MAKE IT:
- Cut ¼-inch from the stem end of the tomatoes, scoop out and discard their seeds, and carefully scoop out the inner pulp with a sharp spoon or melon baller, leaving the outer walls of each tomato intact. Roughly chop the pulp. Lightly salt the shells and invert them over a colander for 30 minutes.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add the shrimp. As soon as they’re curled and pink, about a minute or less, immediately drain them. Rinse them under cold running water, peel, and if they aren’t very small, cut them into 2 or 3 pieces. Pick over the crabmeat for bits of shell.
- Put 2 tablespoons butter and the onion in a sauté pan over medium heat and sauté, tossing, until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato pulp and cook until it is beginning to break down and its juices are thick, about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the coarse cracker crumbs, crab, and shrimp and toss to mix. Season well Tybee Island Coastal Blend.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 375° F. Bring a teakettle full of water to a rolling boil. Butter a 9-inch casserole. Pat the inside of the tomato shells dry and put them in the casserole, open side up. Divide the filling among them, mounding it on top.
- Wipe out the pan in which the filling was made and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Melt it over low heat, add the fine crumbs, and toss until the butter is evenly absorbed. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the tops of the tomatoes. Carefully pour boiling water around them until it comes not quite halfway up their sides. Bake until the tomatoes are barely cooked and the filling is hot through, about 20 minutes.
This recipe also works well with River Street Cobblestone Blend or Southern Herb Garden Blend