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12-30-2008, 07:20 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
- outside Philadelphia, PA
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Paula Deen's Crab and Spinach Casserole
2 10-oz packages of frozen leaf spinach (thawed and drained)
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tblsp grated yellow onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk (“Not 1% or 2%,” says Paula.)
1 cup (1/4 lb) grated Swiss cheese
1 cup half-and-half
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of garlic powder
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh crabmeat, picked through twice for shells
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1. Preheat the broiler. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish or eight ovenproof individual ramekins.
2. In a 12” skillet over medium heat, sauté the spinach in 2 tblsp of the butter with the garlic and onion for 3 minutes. Drain the spinach mixture and chop finely. Transfer the spinach into the baking dish.
3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tblsp of the butter. Stir in the flour and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to low and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly with a spoon until smooth and thickened; this should take 8 to 10 minutes. Once the sauce is thickened, add the cheese, half and half, lemon juice, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and cayenne. Cook over low heat until thickened again, about 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and carefully fold in the crabmeat.
4. Pour the mixture evenly over the spinach. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tblsp butter (you may need more bread crumbs if you're preparing individual servings).
5. Broil about 5 minutes, until browned
6. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
NOTE: If you're making this ahead of time, skip the broiler. After you top off the breadcrumbs with the butter, cover and refrigerate. When you're ready to cook uncover and bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly in a pre-heated 350º oven. Then change the oven setting to “Broil” and broil the top for about 5 minutes.
This casserole utilizes the rarely touched underbelly of your oven—the broiler!—making the top wonderfully crispy. But it can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated, then baked in the regular part of the oven we all know and love. This can be made in one large serving or in 8 individual ramekins.