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Emerilized Pilau

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces Smithfield Ham
  • 1 1/2 cups onions
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 3 medium (1 1/2 cups) fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • Salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 quart shrimp stock
  • 18 large Gulf oysters, shucked
  • Essence
  • 12 large softshells, cleaned
  • 3 cups corn flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 2 cups Lemon Butter Sauce, hot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 cup English peas, frozen


  • In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the ham and render until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Season with salt and pinch of pepper flakes. Continue to sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Season the oysters with Essence. Add the oysters and peas, continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  • Season the softshells with Essence. Season the corn flour and egg wash with Essence. Dredge the softshells in the seasoned flour. Dip each softshell in the egg wash. Dredge the softshells for a second time in the seasoned flour, coating completely. Carefully drag the legs of the softshells in the oil for 30 seconds. Then carefully drop the softshells in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with Essence. To serve, lay two of the softshells, legs up on the bottom of each plate. Spoon the pilau in the center of each softshell. Drizzle the sauce over the top and garnish with parsley.