There are shallow bowls full of raw vegetables. And there is, in its earthenware dish, the crab casserole Clarissa made herself, for Richard, because it was his favorite.
The Hours, Michael Cunningham
Handwritten notes on ageing cards. Scribbles in the columns of cookbooks. Newspaper recipes, either clipped neatly, or hastily torn, showing the 50 cent discount for baby food, uncovered between pages. I have a love of old cookbooks (and a tendency to buy them!), but it’s not just because it’s one more I might use. I enjoy seeing the first owners of the book. Which recipes were used enough to have dog-eared corners. Where you can place the book on its spine, pages up, and let it open to where it’s used to. The turned to again and again recipe. The pages ruffle to that spot.
This recipe is adapted from Retro Food, a “hand written recipe tucked into a cookbook’ of the author’s mother’s. I only had a 170g can of crab in the cupboard to work with, and fortunately it was just me for dinner that night. So the recipe has been adapted for a one person serve, for what I had in the cupboard at the time, and my taste for smoked paprika that night.
- ⅓ tsp dry mustard
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 hard boiled egg, chopped roughly
- ⅓ lb crabmeat (170g can of crabmeat in this case)
- 1.5 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp flour
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup cracker crumbs
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Stir together the butter and flour.
- In a saucepan, mix together the smoked paprika, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and milk.
- Add in the crab meat, eggs, and bread crumbs and stir for 3-4 minutes until combined and starting to heat up.
- Scoop it into a casserole dish and sprinkle with cracker crumbs and a bit of extra smoked paprika. Bake at 175C/350F for ~20 minutes, or until the top starts to golden.