Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Last week I posted on my facebook account a request.  I was trying to find a local "day old" bread store and didn't want to travel all over the country to find one.  (Thanks to Rondi, Melanie, Debbie, and everybody else who helped me)  I had forgotten about the one within two miles of my house!  

If you're not familiar with "devil crabs", don't let those northerners fool you (giggle) what some people call devil crabs are really crab cakes.  Trust me, these are devil crabs!  One of my favorite places to get devil crabs is La Tropicana in Ybor City (Tampa, FL)  Their devil crabs are giants.  (And their cuban sandwiches are great too!)

I made these last night and hubby ate four, so I'm thinking he liked 'em.  Ok, I know he liked them because I got a standing ovation.  No, really, I did!   Granted my "shaping" of the devil crabs leaves a bit to be desired, but I guess that doesn't deter from the taste.   So if you would like to try your own I'm going to share the recipe.   Before you do though, I might warn you...this is not a quick-to-prepare dish  but it's worth it!


3 LARGE loaves of stale bread
1 large can Italian Bread Crumbs
1 TBSP Paprika
1 tsp salt

Soak the three loaves of bread in water 15 minutes (just enough to moisten and get mush)(notice I removed the crusts)

Drain and squeeze almost dry.
Add crumbs until dough is formed.
Add Paprika and salt and form into balls.  Chill in frige for 2 hours

5 tablespoons olive oil
2 Bay leaves
3 large onions, chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup red or gree pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
5 cloves garlic chopped
6 oz tomato paste
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
couple splashes of hot sauce
1 lb. crab meat, picked over for shells

Fry onion, pepper, salt and garlic in oil for 15 minutes.  Add other ingredients and crab meat, and cook 10 minutes.  Chill approximately  2 hours in frige.
Flatten dough balls, Put one tablespoon filling into each roll and roll like crouquet, football shape.
Dip into egg and roll in Italian bread crumbs.
Deep fry until brown.
Keep warm to serve or freeze for later (after cooled)


  1. Look great and definitely will try. How many does this make?
    Am I correct you freeze them not cooked?? Jan

  2. Read again ... you fried, cooled and then froze. How to you re-warm???

  3. Wow...these sound so good! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Jan - we just pop 'em in the oven at 375 and heat them that way. We have, on occasion, (when we can't wait) nuked 'em in the microwave, but that just makes then soft and I prefer the crisp outer crust and baking preserves that. Enjoy!

  6. How Yummy looking! This was one of my mom's favorites growing up.

  7. Oh, they look so good! :) I have to try them, too!

  8. Never had them this way. They do sound like a crab croquette. This is going into my "must try soon" file. Thanks. Visiting from Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

  9. Yum! This is really an appetizing meal! Eventhough it's not drench in sauce or soup like I always ate it's really making me hungry. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  10. Hey lady! Thank you for sharing! Made these today, being from Tampa in my childhood I was craving some today and wanted to *hopefully* impress my fiancee who have never tried them. Mission accomplished!! He kept eating them and could not stop! LOL! And I insisted on Texas Pete Hot sauce after they cooked..(He didn't think it would be good and would "over power the crab" but he was moaning in the kitchen while eating them! I added some black pepper to the mixture probably close to a tablespoon)and used Panko crispy bread crumbs instead of the canned type.

    1. Joanie! Panko bread crumbs. I've gotta try it with that! Thanks for the tip!

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I'm from Tampa and miss these from Alessi Bakery!! I've searched for a recipe and the original was ridiculous and made me too afraid to try! I can't wait to try yours, again, thank you!

    1. Oh Diane! I love Alessi's! So you moved from Florida, or are you still a Florida girl? :-) I hope these help bring a bit of the memory alive at your house. Let me know when you make them how you liked 'em!

  12. I always wanted to know how to make this. Thanks. Will b tryin this recipe soon. I usually get mine from Bocartos on 50th.

  13. I'm going to try to make some today. Im not going for perfection, just something good.
    When i lived in Tampa i had them from several places. Alessi's being one of the best, but i never complained about the ones from a corner store,
    I guess im glad i wasnt addicted to them or i would really be craving them.
    (sorry for typos..on my phone)

  14. Omg thank you for posting this recipe! I'm from Tampa and La Tropicana is the only place I like to get them, my bf is obsessed with them and wants me to make them for his birthday next week! I couldn't find a real recipe until I stumbled unto yours. Only one question - where did you find the bread?

  15. Thank you Jeanette! I made softball sized dough balls and got about 10 crabs. This Tampa girl now lives in Wyoming (where I can't get anything even close to a deviled crab.) I am so glad I can make these at home now! Thanks for sharing! :-)

  16. I am also from Florida and miss the cuban food. You wouldn't happen to have a good cuban sandwich recipe do you?


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