Baked Stuffed Mushrooms with Buttery Crab Stuffing

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24 Each  White Mushrooms-stems removed, cleaned, patted dry
¼ Cup  Olive Oil
1 Stick  Butter
3/4 Cup  Onions-finely chopped
3/4 Cup  Celery-finely chopped
2 Each  Garlic Cloves-minced
2 Tbsp.  Paprika
1 tsp.  Lemon Zest-grated finely
½ tsp.  Fresh Thyme-chopped fine
4 Tbsp.  Italian Parsley-chopped
½ Lb.  Crabmeat-lump style best-picked through to remove any shells
2  Cups  Crackers-Ritz, Saltines, etc. crushed to consistency of coarse crumbs
   Salt, Black Pepper and Sweet Sherry to Taste

Preheat oven to 400°f. Place mushrooms in a bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, season lightly to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat with the olive oil. Lay out in a single layer with stem side facing up. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes just to lightly tenderize prior to stuffing. Meanwhile prepare stuffing.

Heat saute pan over medium high heat, add butter, onions and celery. Cook stirring for about 3 minutes until soft and sweet smelling. Add garlic, paprika, lemon zest, and thyme, cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and crabmeat. Add the cracker crumbs and season to taste with salt, black pepper,cayenne and sherry. Salt may not be necessary depending on how salty the crackers are. The stuffing should just hold together when squeezed, if too dry, add a little melted butter or olive oil to moisten. Cool stuffing by spreading out on a cookie sheet and refrigerating.

Stuff each mushroom with an equal amount of the stuffing and place back on cookie sheet. When ready to serve, cook in a preheated 400°f. oven for about 15 minutes until heated through and the stuffing gets slightly crisp on top. Garnish with flat parsley leaves and lemon wedges and enjoy!

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