Goat Cheese Stuffed Softshells with a Pecan Pesto Butter Sauce

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

1 1/2 cup basil leaves, washed and patted dry

6 crushed garlic cloves

1/3 cup toasted pecan pieces

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

8 ounces (2 sticks) cold butter, cubed

8 Louisiana softshells, cleaned

8 ounces goat cheese

1 cup flour

Essence, recipe follows

2 cups mashed potatoes, hot

2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

2 cups fine dried bread crumbs

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat the oil to 360 degrees F. In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, combine 1 cup of the basil, garlic, pecans, and cheese. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream. Process until a paste is formed. Season with salt and pepper. Place the pesto in a saucepan, over low heat, heat the mixture. Whisk in the butter, a cube at a time, until all of the butter is incorporated. Reseason the sauce if necessary. Set aside and keep warm. Season all sides of the soft-shells with salt and pepper. Season the flour with Essence. Season the egg wash with Essence. Season the bread crumbs with Essence. Stuff each cavity with 2 tablespoons of the Goat's cheese. Press the cheese firmly into the cavity to secure the cheese. Dredge the soft-shells in the seasoned flour. Dip each soft-shell in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dredge the soft-shells in the bread crumbs, coating the legs completely. Fry the remaining basil leaves in the oil until crispy, about 1 minute. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Holding the cavity, carefully drag the legs in the hot oil for about 30 seconds. Carefully drop the shells in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season with Essence. Fry the soft-shells in batches. To serve, spoon the sauce in the center of each plate. Mound the potatoes in the center of the sauce. Place two soft-shells on top of each mound of potatoes. Garnish with the fried basil.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
  2. Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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