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.