Not Audrey's Crab Casserole

>> Monday, June 6, 2011

{Audrey, Finley & Andrew, Christmas 2009}

My husband's beloved grandmother, Audrey, passed away last April. She was one of the kindest, most loving, humble and humorous women I ever met and I feel like I am a better person for having known her. Auj made it seem as though her husband was in charge, but anyone who knew her well, knew that she truly was the backbone, and the matriarch, of the entire family. I never saw her happier than when she was holding one of her great grandchildren, and boy, did the babies love her right back! We have so many sweet and treasured pictures of Audrey and Finley!

When I first met Auj she was already in her late eighties and didn't cook much anymore. But the one dish she would cook for every family gathering was her famed crab casserole. Andrew mentioned yesterday that he'd been craving it lately. The only problem was that I didn't have a copy of her recipe and wasn't able to track one down on short notice. At first I set out to try and recreate Audrey's recipe as best I could from memory, but I quickly realized that my imitation would never live up to the real thing. So since I didn't her actual recipe in hand, I decided to make my own, totally different version of a crab casserole, aptly named Not Audrey's Crab Casserole. It was a really warm, comforting dish that we all enjoyed. After my husband took his first bite, he said, "oh my gosh, this is so good...but it's not Audrey's crab casserole." I had big shoes to fill and I tried my best! At least I knew I picked the right name for this dish :-) And it may not have been Auj's crab casserole, but he did go back for seconds...

{Not Audrey's Crab Casserole}

Not Audrey's Crab Casserole

4 T butter
4 green onions, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
8 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t Old Bay seasoning
1/2 t Creole seasoning
1/3 c white wine
8 oz cream cheese
4 oz Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1 lb. lump crab meat
2/3 c seasoned croutons, crushed
salt & pepper, to taste
parsley, for garnish
mashed potatoes, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add green onions, bell pepper, celery, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add Old Bay and Creole seasonings and white wine. Allow vegetables to simmer until liquid is reduced by half.

Reduce heat to low and stir in cream cheese until it has fully melted. Stir in colby-jack cheese. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper, if needed. Gently fold in crab, being careful not to break up the lumps. Pour mixture into a greased casserole pan. Top with seasoned crouton crumbs.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve over mashed potatoes.

3 comments:

Erin F. June 6, 2011 at 7:35 PM  

This looks great! I never had Audrey's crab casserole so I am sure I will think it is amazing :)

Jennie June 7, 2011 at 12:44 PM  

Omigosh that casserole looks amazing! And I really enjoyed reading about Audrey!

Erin June 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM  

Thanks Erin & Jennie! As soon as I get Audrey's recipe, I'm going to post that one too.

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