Thursday, November 20, 2008

A lighter crab gratin

Crab -- sweet, fresh crab -- pairs so nicely with a bubbly, creamy sauce, replete with vegetables and topped with a grating of cheese. But the traditional gratin, full of butter, cream and topped with a thick layer of cheddar, flies in the face of healthy eating. If you're trying to watch your fat intake, take heart. Here's a flavorful crab gratin that doesn't depend on cream for its creaminess.

Lori's lighter crab gratin

Serves 2

1         tablespoon olive oil
¼       cup small-diced onion
2         stalks celery, minced
½       tablespoon butter
2         tablespoons flour
1         cup milk
½       asparagus, blanched and sliced
8         ounces fresh lump crab
2         ounces grated fresh Parmesan

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add onion and celery and sautée until translucent. Add butter and when it melts, add flour. Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk slowly, using a whisk to get out the lumps. When thick and smooth, add asparagus and crab. Turn out into two gratin dishes and top with Parmesan. Put in center of the oven and cook about 10 minutes until bubbly. Serve with crusty bread and a simple salad.

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