10 December 2012

A Savannah Christmas

We have been rather enamoured of picture books lately.  A Savannah Christmas by Kimberly Ergul & Holley Jaakkola is a vision of Savannah at Christmas time.  OK, we admit it not so much a cookbook as a Savannah Wonderland with a handful of recipes.  Yes, you have to wade though page after page of gorgeous homes, lovely tables settings and wonderful rooms to find the recipes, but what better way to spend Christmas.

Let's face it.  You overdo everything at Christmas.  This book has everything you need:  pickled shrimp, warm pimento cheese, a red velvet cake and a big old vat of Chatham Artillery Punch.   Really you will be the talk of Christmas.  Throw in this classic from Martha Nesbit and you are good to go.

Crab Stew

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 cup green onions roughly cut
1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
1 (2-inch) piece of carrot
6 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
ı⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup cream
1/4 cup sherry
1 pound claw crab meat, picked through for shells

Melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan. Mince the green onions, celery, and carrot in a food processor, or by hand. Add the vegetables to the butter, over the saucepan, and sauté over low heat for 5 minutes.

Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes more to remove the starchy taste. Whisk in the milk and broth. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Add seasonings, cream, sherry, and crab and mix. If you’re not serving immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container.

Reheat over very low heat until very hot.

It helps if you serve it on trays just like this.

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