A Sophisticated Entree For The New Year

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - December 30, 2009
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Choosing a path in life is often triggered by our experiences. For Dr. M. Kathryn Schaefer, the relief she got with an epidural during the birth of her children gave her a strong desire to help people with chronic pain.

Schaefer is a graduate of the University of Hawaii School of Medicine. She was trained in anesthesia at the University of Southern California, with specialty fellowship training in pain management, is board certified in both anesthesiology and pain management, and has 20 years of experience in dealing with difficult-to-manage pain syndromes.

The Hawaii Kai resident believes that family time is most important and enjoys spending time with her three children: daughters Renee, 17, and Amber, 5, and son Eric, 21.

Schaefer and her husband Dr. Ron Schaefer, a hospitalist at Straub, enjoy keeping fit with hiking, yoga and aerobics.

This column is dedicated to Schaefer for her kind and compassionate caring to those in chronic pain.

She can be reached at http://www.gotpain.reachme.at.

If you are entertaining for New Year’s Eve, this is a favorite for a buffet supper, along with salads, turkey and vegetable side dishes.

Of the approximately 4,000 different species of crab, some of the most common are:

* Atlantic common crab, aka “edible crab”: It has very flavorful flesh.

* Snow crab: The male of the species is much larger than the female and most often sought, as it can be more than 5 inches in width and weigh about three pounds. It has a uniquely flavored flesh that is highly sought after.

* Pacific common crab: Weighs between two and four pounds. This species is sold live, cooked, canned and frozen. It has a delicious-tasting flesh.

* Blue crab, aka Atlantic blue crab: This species is very popular in the U.S. and thrives in Atlantic coastal waters. It has a sweet flesh that is excellent for most dishes.

When purchasing live crab, make sure the limbs are still moving, and hold the crab by the rear to avoid the pincers. When purchasing frozen crab, avoid dried out or meat that is covered with frost, as it is not fresh. Crab meat is rich in vitamin B12, niacin, copper and zinc.

Happy New Year!


* 2 pounds jumbo shrimp (16/20 to a pound), butterflied, peeled and de-veined, leave tails on
* 1 tablespoon Smart Balance margarine
* 1 cup minced celery
* 1/2 cup minced Maui onion
* 1 cup minced green bell pepper
* 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
* 6 ounces crab meat
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 4 tablespoons vegetable stock
* 1/4 cup fresh minced curly parsley
* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 2 stacks low-sodium saltine crackers, crushed in small pieces
* paprika

Sauté celery, onion and peppers in margarine until onions are wilted. Remove from burner.

Add crab meat, Worcestershire sauce, stock, parsley, red pepper flakes and crackers.

Mix well, but lightly. Mixture should be moist, but not mushy. If too dry, add a little more stock. If too wet, add more crackers.

Preheat oven to 350; coat baking dish with cooking spray.

To stuff shrimps: Put about 2 tablespoons of stuffing on top of each shrimp. Sprinkle with a generous amount of paprika. Bake shrimp until pink (about 15 minutes).

Makes four to six servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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