French Food Friday...Crab and Mushroom Gratin

Crab & Mushroom Gratin - Russian Recipes
photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

It has been a lovely sunny week here in south west France and I am starting to put some recipes together for entertaining friends over the festive period. French Boyfriend loves anything that has cream in it and gratin is a dish that the French love gratin type dishes as they are tasty and quick to prepare.

Crab and Mushroom gratin

Serves 6

This is an old-fashioned Franco-Russian dish using bechamel, a rare thing these days. Don't serve anything with cream in it for the main course.

  • 200g white fish fillets (e.g.cod, haddock,gurnard or sea bass)
  • 315ml milk (plus extra, if needed)
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1¼- 1½ teaspoon ground cayenne (according to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 150ml double cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Generous squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 325g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 400g white crab meat
  • 30g white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 35g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 25g melted butter


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/mark 6. Put the fish fillets and the milk into a saute pan and gently heat to a simmer. Poach the fish for about 5 minutes, or until only just cooked. Lift the fish out with a slotted spoon and break it into chunks (remove skin if the fillets weren't skinned). Strain and measure the milk; you need 315ml, so add more if necessary.
  2. Heat the butter in a medium-size saucepan and saute the onion for 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook for a futher 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir for a minute or so until it is well incorporated. Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the poaching milk, stirring continuously. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the cream, mustard and lemon juice. Taste and season. Set aside.
  3. In a frying pan, heat the oil and saute the mushrooms until they are golden. Turn up the heat to evaporate any juice from the mushrooms. Add the brandy and let it bubble away to about 1 tablespoon. Stir the mushrooms into the sauce.
  4. Divide the white fish and crab between 6 small gratin dishes. Season to taste. Pour the sauce over the top.
  5. Mix the breadcrumbs with the parsley and Parmesan. Sprinkle over each gratin, pour the melted butter on top and bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until golden. Serve immediately. 

très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x


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