Swiss krab casserole

During Prohibition, was it Will Rogers who once said something like, “The man who named it Near Beer was a damn poor judge of distance." So it is with Imitation Crab, or Krab. It just doesn’t taste a lot like crab. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t make a good casserole, properly disguised.

  • 8 oz Swiss cheese, grated
  • 8 oz krab
  • 4 medium shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • ¾ cup egg substitute (X)
  • ½ cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic purée
  • <salt> to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup flour

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until well blended. Transfer to a small oiled casserole pan and bake at 325°F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until cheese has melted, eggs are well set, and a brown crust has just begun to form around the sides. Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Fish Au Gratin ✠

In watching a TV travelogue recently I was reminded that Newfoundland and Labrador form the most easterly province of Canada. But I also learned that they were settled for fishing and for centuries the bounty of the sea has been its center of life. When the people here say fish, they mean cod. If they eat salmon, they say salmon. If they eat cod, it’s fish. Served in innumerable forms, the people here have spent four centuries perfecting the preparation of each.

So I thought, why not use one of those perfected recipes from the extreme north-east coast and apply it to some fish I can get here on the extreme south-west coast. I elected to prepare their Cod Au Gratin, my style.

Searching for recipes I could adapt, I found many, many variations on the theme from which to choose. I settled on one from a small community in Newfoundland. It had a creamy sauce with big chunks of cod topped with cheese and baked “to perfection like comfort food at its best.”.

  • ¾ lb firm white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, in small dice
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 4 tsp Butter Buds® butter substitute
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spray a sauté pan with oil and sprinkle in the olive oil. Cook the onion until translucent—maybe 5 minutes.

Put the milk, Butter Buds® and flour in a small bowl and whisk until the flour is totally incorporated. Add this to the sauce pan with the onions, and cook, while whisking constantly until the mixture coats a spoon evenly. Add pepper, lemon juice, zest, and dill.

Spray a casserole dish with oil, add the fish, and cover with the onion mixture. Add the cheese on top and press lightly down into the sauce. Top with the panko bread crumbs.

Bake 20 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered, until brown and bubbly on top.

Serves 2 to 3.