Monday, August 22, 2005

Crabmeat Imperial

Crabmeat Imperial

One of South Louisiana's finest seafood is our fat blue crab-in any form it is a delicacy. This is my favorite way to enjoy the best of our fresh blue crabs-using jumbo, lump white crabmeat. Spend the money for the freshest and the best. It is worth every cent. Keep it simple so that the flavor of the sweet crabmeat is never obscured. Be sure to remove any shell from the crabmeat.
Serve this dish with a fresh spinach salad with Creole tomatoes, our best New Orleans French bread and maybe a crisp Chardonnay. With this you will have an "imperial meal", fit for a king ("...or a queen, if that's all you have")!

1 lb. fresh, jumbo, lump crabmeat
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
3 tbsp. diced red pimentos
1/4 cup minced scallions
1 cup Bechamel sauce*
Salt, white pepper, cayenne to taste
2 tbsp. cognac or sherry
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
4 tbsp. butter

A. Bechamel Sauce* (medium white sauce):
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. butter
salt, white pepper, cayenne to taste

Place all ingredients in microwave measuring cup and microwave on high for 2 min. Whisk with a wire whisk and microwave for another 2 min. Adjust seasonings lightly to taste. Set aside.

B. Crabmeat: Saute scallions, bell pepper and pimentos in 3 tbsp. margarine or butter for 3 min. Add Bechamel sauce, cognac and mix well. Add lump crabmeat and lightly toss to coat-be gentle to avoid breaking up lumps. Place in ramkins, top with breadcrumbs and dot with butter. Bake at 375 for 15 min. or until bubbly.
(serves four)

Bon appetit,


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