The art of cooking... by men... for men

Our chefs this month are notably manipulative. We can just see them moving ingredients around, adding, subtracting, adjusting, postulating questions. They are shifty fellows, but they can be trusted. The proof is in the recipes.

Crab and spinach make surprisingly good casserole mates, which you might never know if you hadn’t tasted Jon Michael Overstreet’s concoction with the no-nonsense name: Crab and Spinach Casserole. The nutmeg is an apt addition, but take care that the dash does not become a deluge; for some reason the taste comes through very strongly in this dish. We have taken the small liberty of decreasing the amount of tomato soup originally specified, knowing that such adjustments of quantity aren’t likely to harm this sort of recipe.

Crab and Spinach Casserole

  • 2 pounds fresh or 2 boxes frozen spinach
  • 1/4 pound shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 can (101/2 oz. tomato soup
  • 1/2 pint sour cream

Cook spinach about 1 minute in a small amount of water; drain thoroughly and chop. Arrange in bottom of greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with half the cheese, then crab meat and onion. Add lemon juice and a dash of nutmeg. Melt the butter and blend in flour; add soup and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and pour over spinach mixture. Sprinkle with remaining half of cheese. Back in moderate over (350 degrees) for 20 minutes. Serves 6. ― Jon Michael Overstreet, Berkeley 

Something about eating fish and shellfish together makes one feel doubly fortunate. Sole and shrimp are each fine in their own way; but both ― what riches!

Chef B.A. Getschmann has put in certain touches of elegance: parsley, dill, egg in tow forms, and capers. However, experimenters might try one more discreet addition of herb or other seasoning. Warning: Don’t overcook the fish. The thin fillets should not be cooked so long that their texture becomes crumbly.

Fillet of Sole Rolls

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • Milk
  • 15 cookied shrimp (about 1/2 pound), finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered dill or 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 hard cooked egg, mashed fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 egg white, beaten stiff
  • 6 fillets of sole, of approximately same size

Melt butter in a saucepan and add onion. Stir for a moment but do not brown. Add bread crumbs (previously soaked in as much milk as they will absorb, but with superfluous milk squeezed out just before you use them). Add shrimp, parsley, dill, egg, salt, and pepper. Cook gently for 3 minutes. Add egg white, beaten stiff, and fold in. Remove from heat.

Fill fillets of sole with shrimp mixture. Roll and fasten with toothpicks. Arrange in a greased shallow baking pan. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) for 20 minutes, or just until sole flakes with a fork. Remove toothpicks and serve with Egg Sauce.

Egg Sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper; stir until smooth. Whipping with a wire whisk, add 1/2 cup consommé diluted with 1/2 cup dry white wine. Simmer 5 minutes. Add 2 hard cooked eggs, chopped fine, and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Heat but do not boil. Remove from heat; add 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 teaspoon capers. Serve hot over Fillet of Sole Rolls. Serves 6.

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