Crab Soufflé

rrcelery.jpg

Here’s another recipe that calls for canned soup. Some cooks swear by it, some avoid it like the plague. If you’re in the second category, substitute for the soup 1 cup of béchamel sauce or 6 ounces of log goat’s cheese melted in 3 ounces of water. But, in addition to being convenient, the canned soup makes it awfully good. SAM

2 cups garlic croutons, divided
2 cups cooked crabmeat or 1 pound imitation crabmeat
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (1/2 cup)
4 medium inside ribs celery with leaves, finely chopped (1 cup)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese or other mild cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish and cover the bottom with 1 cup of croutons. In a medium bowl, combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, onion, bell pepper, celery, salt, and pepper and spread over the croutons. Spread the remaining 1 cup of croutons on top. In another bowl, combine the eggs and half-and-half and pour over the croutons. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Bake the crab mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the soup and paprika and pour over the crab mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour more.
Makes 8 servings.

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