Growing up on the East Coast, we'd go crabbing several times a Summer. Of course, we'd have feasts of boiled blue crabs, but some were always spared for Crab Imperial. Less trouble than a crab cake (no frying or worrying about binders) and very elegant. On a recent trip back home to Mom's, she lovingly parted with her set of scallop-shaped ramekins, which make the presentation of this dish even more special.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine all Crab Imperial Ingredients-except for the crab meat-in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add crab meat and fold gently until combined, taking care not to break up lump crab meat. Divide mixture equally among 4 ramekins (or natural crab shell). Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for Imperial Sauce and whisk until smooth.
In another small bowl, add remaining melted butter to bread crumbs and stir until combined.
Top each ramekin (or natural crab shell) of crab imperial with imperial sauce, then the bread crumbs and a good sprinkle of paprika. Place in broiler until golden brown.
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