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Ultimate Seafood Croquette Burgers

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Cindy Jarrott | Bryan Texas Utilities

Jarrott’s recipe was chosen for the Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown: Burgers competition. It was inspired by her Spicy Shrimp and Crab Croquettes, another award winner that appeared on Emeril Live: Emeril’s Football Contest. Jarrott serves hers with homemade Garlic Aioli and Shiner Bock Bread.

1 cup long-grain rice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup finely chopped and seeded jalapeño peppers
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
8 ounces crawfish tail meat, chopped
8 ounces crabmeat
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Saltine cracker crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Shiner Bock Bread or 8 French bread rolls
Garlic Aioli or mayonnaise
8 slices pepper jack cheese
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced red onion
Sliced pickles and/or pickled jalapeño peppers, for garnish

1. Cook rice in 2 cups of boiling, salted water 20–25 minutes, or until done. Add butter while the rice is still hot.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and eggs to make a light batter. Add the rice, green onions and jalapeños, and mix well.

3. Add shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat, lemon juice and seasonings. Combine until incorporated but do not overmix, keeping the crabmeat pieces intact. Refrigerate the seafood mixture 30 minutes–2 hours.

4. When you’re ready to cook, shape the mixture into patties the size of buns and about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick, and coat with cracker crumbs.

5. Heat 1/2 inch oil in a 10-inch iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat until bubbles come up from the bottom of a wooden spoon when inserted (oil should be hot but not smoking). Fry the croquettes until golden brown on both sides, about 8–9 minutes total. Drain on paper towels and season with a sprinkle of salt.

6. Grill halved rolls over medium heat until toasted. Spread Garlic Aioli on each half. Place 1 croquette on bottom half of roll and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top, then top with a slice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles and/or jalapeños. Top with remaining half of roll and repeat with other portions. Serve with your favorite spicy potato chips.

Makes 8 sandwiches.

Cook’s Tip

The seafood mixture freezes well for later use, so it can be made ahead of time. A 1/2-cup ice cream scoop helps ensure even portions when creating the patties.

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