BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK
My mother first made this for cocktail parties and I thought it the most elegant of hors d’oeuvres. When I grew up and made it myself, I was shocked to find how easy it was, even though guests think you’ve gone to a lot of trouble.
In this instance, I used a medium sized baking dish to serve, but if I’m having a party, I use a sterno-heated chafing dish. Buy yourself one for about $25. You’re going to use it many times over when you have guests for lunch, brunch or dinner. It’s great to keep warm everything from grits, scrambled eggs, red beans & rice, gumbo – you see?
- Chopping board
- Chopping knife
- Wooden spoon
- Small dutch oven
- Food processor (if you want to grate your Swiss cheese from a block)
- 8 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, fresh or dried
- 1/2 lb. grated Swiss cheese
- 8 oz (pint) heavy cream
- 1 lb. lump crabmeat (I’ve also used “fake” crab meat)
- 2 tablespoon dry white wine (I like Cognac instead)
- salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
LET’S GET STARTED:
Wash and chop your green onions and parsley.
Rinse your crab meat in a sieve. Check to make sure there aren’t any shell pieces. This isn’t necessary if you’re using “fake” crab meat. (I use the “fake” if I’m not trying to impress anybody like at a big function where lots of people have brought things.) Heat dutch oven on medium. Add butter and melt. Saute’ green onions and parsley in a stick of butter about 5 minutes until soft.
Add flour. Blend well.
After you cook the flour at least 5 minutes, it’s lost that “floury” taste, so you can add the cream slowly (I put the cream in the microwave for about 30 seconds to take the chill off, which prevents your buttery mixture from cooling off.)
Add cayenne, salt/pepper, wine/Cognac. Combine, then turn off the heat and add your cheese and crab meat.
Blend gently until the cheese melts. Serves 6-8.
Pour into bowl or chafing dish to be served up by sturdy crackers like melba toast or baguettes. You may want to provide your guests with small ramekins (little baking dishes) to spoon out some crab mornay onto their cocktail plates so they don’t have to keep coming back to the serving bowl.
- Cutting board
- bread knife
- baking pan
- kitchen paintbrush
- Loaf of french bread
- olive oil
- optional – garlic, dried oregano, paprika
LET’S GET STARTED
Place your bread loaf on your cutting board and, using a bread knife, thinly (1/4″) slice diagonally for a prettier toast on which to spoon your dip.
Place slices on a baking sheet. Using a small (kitchen-use) paint brush or teaspoon, thinly spread olive oil atop each slice.
I also sprinkle a little salt and other flavorings, like dried oregano and paprika atop.
Toast slices in a 400 oven for 5-7 minutes. Watch closely to avoid burning. (You also can use this technique with flour tortillas you’ve cut into chips or triangles. Makes much better chips than you can buy.)
Come back every Wednesday for “Southfacin’ cook” at New in NOLA for Patsy’s basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous recipes from Patsy: