"I was delighted to discover this rich casserole years ago when we had a large asparagus patch," recalls Nancy Thibodeau of Overgaard, Arizona. "It's so easy that I've fixed it many times since, even for a baby shower. The compliments were unending."
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen asparagus cuts, thawed and drained
- 1 can (6 ounces) crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed or 1 cup flaked imitation crabmeat
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs
- Place asparagus in a greased 1-qt. baking dish. Top with crab and sprinkle with cheese; set aside. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Whisk in milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Pour over asparagus. Melt remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Asparagus Crab Au Gratin in Quick Cooking March/April 2001, p22
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