Crab Meat Mornay

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Four to six


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About


  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup grated Swiss, Gruyere, or sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound fresh or canned crabmeat
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place the broiler rack about five inches from the source of heat. Heat the broiler.

  2. Melt half the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour, using a wire whisk. Add the milk, stirring rapidly with the whisk. When the sauce is thickened and smooth, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the Swiss cheese. When the cheese melts, add the cream. Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the sauce just to a boil and keep warm.

  3. Pick over the crab meat to remove all bits of shell or cartilage.

  4. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet and add the crab meat. Heat thoroughly but do not break up the crab meat. Spoon the crab meat into four or six small, ovenproof serving dishes, shells, or casseroles (ramekins) and then divide the sauce over the crab meat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and arrange the filled dishes on a baking sheet. Place the dishes under the broiler until bubbly, hot, and lightly browned.