Crabmeat Casserolettes

My mom recently purchased A Southerly Course by Martha Hall Foose. The pages are garnished with beautifully written recipes, stories and enticing photos. I give credit for finding the sumptuous recipe for Crabmeat Casserolettes to my mom.

Having an abundance of Dungeness crab at home, thanks in part to my husband going crabbing on a regular basis, I have been on the look out for amazing new ways to use this delicious, yet sinfully decadent meat.

I altered the recipe to include additional crabmeat though I should have thought ahead and seen the “notes” section of the page, which recommended adding fresh fennel. Of course, I would overlook that and not use the farmer’s market bargain fennel I recently purchased. However, this exclusion does give me an excuse to re-execute the recipe sometime in the near future.

I served this rich casserole with a side salad of romaine, arugula and yellow cherry tomatoes with a walnut oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

Crabmeat Casserolettes

A Southerly Course

By Martha Hall Foose

4 cups (1/2-inch) diced sweet potato

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter (I used 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter)

1 cup half-and-half, or more if needed (I used ½ cup half-and-half)

2 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3 garlic cloves, minced)

½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated (2 cups), (I used 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated, and 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated)

¼ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped green onions, white and green parts (I omitted, as my husband does not care for green onions)

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ pound fresh crabmeat (I used a whopping 1-1/2 pounds)

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Paprika

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the sweet potatoes until soft, about 8 minutes. Drain well and return to the pot. Add the butter and let it melt over the hot potatoes. Add the half-and-half and mash it with the potatoes, mixing until they are smooth and not stiff and adding more half-and-half if needed. Add the garlic, cheese, parsley, green onions, fennel seeds, and cayenne. Fold in the crabmeat.

Put the mixture into greased individual ramekins or a single baking dish and sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and beginning to brown.

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