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Crab Casserole - with Sherry and Cheese
I made a new crab casserole today, along with some other crab recipes. I love crab meat, but that’s not what prompted me to make several different crab recipes in the same day. The main reason was that I got some free crabmeat from Jack’s Catch, a seafood company that provides some popular national chain restaurants with their seafood. The vice-president of marketing had read some of my online seafood recipes, and he really liked them, so he shared them with some of his co-workers at Jack’s. He emailed me and informed me that they were sending me some free gifts, including some of their crab. They wanted me to come up with a couple of crab meat recipes for their website, which I did. While I was elbow-deep in crab meat, I decided to go ahead and make a couple of recipes for myself, to be featured on Hubpages. For the Jack’s Catch site, I made crab crepes and deviled crab casserole. For my hubs, I made crab fritters and crab casserole with cheese. You can see the crab fritters recipe by clicking the link, and the crab casserole recipe is below.
I have a lot of experience with blue crab. My family and I enjoy catching our own blue crabs when we visit the coasts of Georgia and Florida, so I’ve caught, prepared, cooked, and eaten lots of blue crabs. Actually, I like all sorts of crab meat – from blue crabs, snow crabs, Dungeness crabs, stone crabs, and Alaskan king crabs. Blue crab, however, is special. It has a unique flavor that’s superior to other varieties of crab meat, in my opinion. Okay, I’m not a professional chef, but I’m not alone in my opinion. I read that the majority of seafood chefs agree.
Blue crab is great straight from the cooked crabs, with just a little butter and spice mix like Old Bay. In fact, that’s how my youngest daughter, another big crabmeat fan, wanted to eat some of the crab meat I got from Jack’s. I didn’t think the folks there would be too impressed with that, however. I’m sure they expected a little more in the way of crab recipes.
The only bad thing about blue crab, compared to other types of crabmeat, is that the meat is more difficult to retrieve. You don’t get the long chunks of meat like you do with snow crab legs and Alaskan king crab legs. You don’t get the big portions of claw meat like you get with stone crab claws, either. Imagine how delighted I was when I got free crab meat that was already picked and ready to eat! Even better, it was blue crab meat. I felt like I was in crab-cooking heaven.
Catching Blue Crabs in the Everglades:
How to eat Blue Crabs:
I think I’ve always enjoyed eating casseroles, and that includes seafood casseroles. Heck, I think I can turn almost anything into casseroles. I make them from vegetables, beef, chicken, pasta, wild game, pork, shrimp, crab, oysters, and other main ingredients. I think one reason I like casseroles so much is because I can make them, put them in the oven, and forget about them for a while. Unless you really forget about a casserole and cook it “to death,” it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Plus, of course, they can be extremely tasty! I make casseroles several times during a typical week, and for holidays and special occasions when I’m feeding a crowd, I usually include a wide variety of casseroles. Sometimes we have seafood casseroles at Thanksgiving, along with the traditional ham and turkey. Sometimes I include an oyster dressing casserole, in addition to my old fashioned cornbread dressing.
I made two crab casseroles today. One was a deviled crab casserole, which was sort of like a giant deviled crab - hence the name. It was savory and sweet, with just a touch of hot spices. The other one is the one I’m sharing with you here. It’s sort of like crab Newburg with cheese on top. It’s delicious, and it’s super rich and satisfying. If you like crab Newburg, imagine it with a layer of melted, ooey-gooey cheese on top!
Crab Casserole Recipe
This crab recipe is pretty easy to make, so don't let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. As I already mentioned, I used blue crab, but I'm sure other varieties of crabmeat would work here. I used claw crab meat, but you might prefer to use lump crab meat. For the buttery crackers, I used Ritz. Although the dish isn't difficult to prepare, it would make a great dish for serving to guests. Just add a green salad and some rice on the side.
Rate my crab recipe! Thanks!
- 1 pound crab meat
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup diced or chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced or chopped red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups crushed buttery crackers
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups grated or shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9-inch dish or baking pan.
- Pick through crabmeat and remove any shell and cartilage. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, microwave onion, celery, bell peppers, and butter until veggies are just fork tender. Allow to cool slightly.
- Place crackers in a large bowl. Whisk together mayo, milk, eggs, sherry, garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour over crackers. Add veggies and melted butter. Stir to combine. Gently add crabmeat.
- Turn into baking dish and top with cheese.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, or until crab casserole is set.