Breton Bay Baked Oysters in Tomato Cups

6 large red tomatoes, cored then cut from top to form 4 petal-like sections (not cut through to bottom)
24 shucked raw oysters, drained (see note)
6 ounces fresh-picked or special lump crabmeat
3 scallions, white and light-green parts, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons hot-pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons low-fat or regular mayonnaise
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have ready a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

If necessary, carefully trim a little off bottoms of the tomatoes so they sit flat. Turn tomatoes upside down and scoop out seeds (to reduce juiciness). Place tomatoes in baking dish and spread apart their "petal" sections, nesting 1 oyster in space between each petal.

Combine the crabmeat, scallions, hot-pepper sauce, to taste, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice and mayonnaise in a medium bowl; mix well.

Divide crab mixture among oyster-stuffed tomatoes, covering tops of them. Bake for 10 minutes, until warmed through, then remove from oven and top tomatoes with the blue cheese.

Set oven to broil and return baking dish to oven, repositioning it on top rack closest to broiling element. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until cheese has begun to melt but has not browned.

Use a skimmer or wide, flat-slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes to individual plates. Garnish with the rosemary sprigs; serve immediately with a green salad.

Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: A 16-ounce container of shucked select oysters is enough for this recipe; cut some of them in half to create the 24 pieces needed.

— Recipe from Leonardstown, Md., resident Ellynne Davis.


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