A spicy side dish, appetizer, or entrée: Crab Imperial

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This dish would make a great side dish, appetizer, or entrée as Susan and I did today. To serve as an appetizer, serve this with butter crackers or crostini. Serve in its individual ramekin if served as a side. If served as an entrée, you may want to use a slightly larger ramekin or other individual baking dish. Serve with a warm sourdough baguette.

Note: The number and size of ramekin listed here is for serving as a side.

Ingredients

8 Tablespoon unsalted butter
3 Tablespoon flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 Pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shell pieces
1½ cup Panko bread crumbs
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 Tablespoon sherry
2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1½ teaspoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°. Begin by making a roux. Melt five tablespoons butter in a two quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add flour all at once and whisk vigorously. When mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium and slow whisking. Cook until you smell a nutty aroma and cook about two minutes more stirring occasionally. Next, whisk in cream and whisk until sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until thickened, about ten minutes. Remove from heat and stir in crabmeat, ½ cup bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, half the parsley, sherry, juice, Worcestershire, half the paprika, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture evenly among six shallow, four-ounce to five-ounce ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside.

Mix remaining melted butter, bread crumbs, and paprika until evenly combined. Sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs evenly over each ramekin. Bake until lightly browned and bubbling in the center; about twenty minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve hot.

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