Crabmeat Au Gratin

My family lived in New Orleans for several years, and we fell in love with Cajun food.  One dish we especially liked was Crabmeat Au Gratin.  The recipe that I use comes from  my favorite cookbook, Manna From Westwego Assembly of God Church.  It was written by the women of the church, some of the greatest cooks in all New Orleans.  Enjoy.

1 stalk of chopped celery

1/4 lb butter

1 large can evaporated milk.  (I use skim or 2%)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp. red pepper  (I substitute Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning for desired spice)

1 lb. white crabmeat  (Imitation crabmeat may be substituted)

Saute' onions and celery in butter until wilted.  Blend flour in well with this mixture. Pour in the milk gradually, stirring constantly.  Add egg yolks, salt, black pepper and/or Creole Seasoning.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Place the crabmeat in a bowl and pour the cooked sauce over it.  Blend well and then transfer into a lightly greased casserole and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and lightly browned.  Serves 6.

Note:  The secret to the sauce is adding enough milk to obtain the consistency that you prefer.  A little more milk added keeps it from being dry while it is being baked.

Serving suggestions:  Serve with a baked potato, steamed broccoli, and salad.