Crab Imperial

Ingredients:

for the imperial
16 oz lump blue crab meat
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground mustard (I like Colman’s)
2 tablespoons Old Bay
1 egg, beaten
juice of 1/2 lemon

topping:
1/2-3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used cheese bread from the bakery)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, stir together imperial ingredients until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Spread evenly in a 1 1/4 quart baking dish. Top with a layer of breadcrumbs. Bake 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve with crackers, bread or just a fork.

My thoughts:
Crab imperial is one of those dishes you don’t see on menus too often, even here in crab-loving Baltimore. You see it more often as part of a larger dish (like shrimp stuffed with crab imperial–my fave) but not always by itself, either as a main dish or an appetizer. I don’t know why not! If you like crab cakes you will love crab imperial because it is very, very similar but in some ways even better—there is literally no filler of any kind in crab imperial. So if you are a crab cake fanatic who searches for the crab cake with the least amount of bread cubes, crackers or bread crumbs, crab imperial is going to be your new favorite dish.

I personally had never made it at home before but crab season is still going strong so Maryland crab meat has been on sale and I’ve picked it up a few times. Last time I made crab cakes, which I love but are a little time consuming and hands-on so I thought I’d try something different. This was so easy! You just stir everything together, top with some crumbs for some crunch and there you go! Perfect for a meal or appetizer. I served it with bread slices and crackers but you can also serve it in spoons or individual ramekins. It is so flavorful and impressive. 

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