Maryland Crab Imperial

"This is a wonderful crab dish, full of chunks of crab in a delicate cream sauce- no fillers here! This makes an elegant dinner entree for a special meal or can also be served as a first course. It can be made 2 to 3 hours ahead of when you want to serve it and refrigerated. Originally from a May 1983 issue of Bon Apetit magazine that featured Baltimore, Maryland."
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Ready In:




  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add onion and stir until very lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Blend in flour, ground red pepper, white pepper and mace and stir 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add milk,half and half, and sherry and cook until thick and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat;stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt; set aside.
  • Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add crab and cook 1 minute, being careful not to break up chunks.
  • Gently fold sauce into crab.
  • Spoon mixture into 5 or 6 cup au gratin dish.
  • * Recipe can be prepared 2 to 3 hours ahead to this point. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate immediately.
  • Sprinkle top with paprika.
  • Bake until mixture is bubbling and lightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • * If crab has been prepared ahead and chilled, cooking time may increase to 20-25 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Made this for today's lunch, and found it very, very bland. Maybe I should have kicked up the red pepper or cut down on the mayo, or done SOMETHING! More, it's not a pretty dish, even with the paprika. It just sort of sits there. With the price of lump crabmeat in the stratosphere, this is not something I'd make again or recommend to friends.....not if you like crab! It's edible. That's about it. Mary
  2. Excellent recipe! The only thing I did differently is that I added some diced red and green peppers for flavor and color. This is a welcome change from the classic mayonnaisy crab imperial. I liked it much better!



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