“It’s fennel and sweet potato and garlic and onion. This one I can claim. I really like crab; it’s just so inherently sweet. And I think we’re a very casserole-prone culture. In Yazoo City or here—or even if you’re in Greenwood—there aren’t fifteen restaurants in town. You don’t call up ADD for takeout. If you want Chinese food, then you cook Chinese food. And also since there aren’t a lot of restaurants, there’s a lot of going to each other’s houses. Casseroles are such an easy pack-it-up choice.”- Martha Hall Foose, author of A Southerly Course.
Food & Drink
Crabmeat Casserolettes Recipe
A favorite recipe from Martha Hall Foose’s A Southerly Course
photo: Chris Granger
4 cups (1/2-inch) diced sweet potato
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup half-and-half, or more if needed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated (2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 lb. fresh crabmeat
Heat the oven to 400°F.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the sweet potatoes until soft, about 8 minutes. Drain well and return to the pot.
Add the butter and let it melt over the hot potatoes. Add the half-and-half and mash it with the potatoes, mixing until they are smooth and not stiff and adding more half-and-half if needed. Add the garlic, cheese, parsley, green onions, fennel seeds, and cayenne. Fold in the crabmeat.
Put the mixture into greased individual ramekins or a single baking dish and sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and beginning to brown.
Recipe from Martha Hall Foose, excerpted from her cookbook, A Southerly Course
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