A few weeks ago, before this terrible heat wave started, I paid a crabby visit to McCaffrey’s Market in Princeton. No, I wasn’t feeling crabby, but had crab meat on my mind.
I headed right to the ice case in front of their seafood counter. There’s always something interesting nestled in those ice chips. For starters, I bought a container of their Krab dip, which I have a real weakness for. Nevermind that it is made with imitation crab, barbecue sauce, cream cheese, and the like (soooo sinful), the stuff is darned good, with its big pieces of fake Krab and scallions. Okay, now you know my dirty little secret. (Actually, by now you probably know quite a few of those!)
But I hankered for the real stuff, too, and picked up a tub of good looking lump crab from the same icy display. At home, I decided to forgo the predictable crabcakes, and make a gratin instead. I made a Béchamel sauce with milk (I didn’t have cream, and didn’t add any egg yolk to enrich it). I made sure to add a little sherry and nutmeg, then blanked the crab in a buttered au gratin dish with the sauce. A topping of bread crumbs tossed with Parmesan and paprika went over the Béchamel, and into the oven it went, just until bubbling. It was quite good, if I do say so.