Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Crabmeat Gratin

Last night, I had a pound of jumbo lump crab meat and too many ideas. Given the price, I wanted to do something fabulous that would impress my fellow diner -- B, my 11 year old. My original idea had been to make a gratin, but I'd yet to find the perfect recipe. My first online searches suggested that a recent episode ("Cheesy") of The Best Thing I Ever Ate featured John Besh singing the praises of The Bon Ton's Crabmeat Au Gratin. I've never eaten the crab meat gratin at the Bon Ton, but the restaurant is a sentimental favorite of mine. I had my first fancy restaurant lunch there. I was ten and my parents had taken me to New Orleans to an allergist. I don't remember much about the allergist, but I do remember loving the crabmeat gratin, enjoying my first green salad and driving through the New Orleans' lakefront.

When I couldn't find the Bon Ton's recipe I considered another option -- Crabmeat Maison, one of my favorite dishes from another French Quarter restaurant (and sentimental favorite), Galatoire's. When I moved to New Orleans in my early twenties, my first boyfriend was a Galatoire so the restaurant was an obvious choice for all special occasions. I pretty much worked my way through the menu but now, 20+ years later, I have definite favorites: Souffle Potatoes, Shrimp Remoulade, Crabmeat Maison, Fried Soft shell Crabs, Cafe Brulot. Unfortunately, while Crabmeat Maison served in one of my perfectly ripened avocados sounded divine to me, I was concerned that B would be less than excited. I still have a little less than a half-pound of the crabmeat left though, so may still make it for lunch one day.

After giving up on finding the right recipe for the gratin online, I turned to my cookbooks and found this one in Emeril's Louisiana Real and Rustic, which also turned up online here at as well.
Crabmeat Gratin

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup dried fine bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Rustic Rub
  • 4 ounces grated American cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine the butter and flour in a skillet over medium heat. Stir for 3 to 4 minutes, or until well blended.
  3. Add the onions, celery, salt, and cayenne. Cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly soft. Add the milk. Stir for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. 
  4. Add the crabmeat, parsley, and green onions. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch glass pie dish or 6 small ramekins.
  6. Combine the bread crumbs and the rub. Sprinkle over the top of the crabmeat mixture. Sprinkle the cheese over the bread crumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes before serving.

What a treat! It is without a doubt B's favorite new thing.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

This is a post I wrote at some point last summer, and just discovered that I had never published...