Crabmeat Berdou

Berdou’s was a time warp long before it closed in the 1990s, operating in the style of a much older restaurant. Locals loved it because, while the food was as fancy as you’d find in even the best traditional Creole restaurants, the restaurant itself was very modest. This dish was such a specialty that I’m asked for it often. People are surprised when I say I actually have it. George Berdou himself demonstrated it for my television show, and it was a keeper. It will appeal especially to garlic lovers. This is also a great dish made with crawfish tails or small shrimp.

  • Bechamel:
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbs. chopped garlic
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat

Preheat the broiler with the rack about four inches below the heat.

1. Make the bechamel by heating the butter in a saucepan until it bubbles. Stir in the flour to make a blond roux; don’t allow it to brown. Whisk in the milk over low heat until the sauce thickens. Add the salt and keep warm.

2. In a second saucepan, heat the butter until it bubbles, and in it saute the green onions, mushrooms, garlic and cayenne until the mushrooms are tender. Add the sherry and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.

3. Carefully add the lump crabmeat, agitating the pan to combine with the rest of the ingredients so as not to break the lumps. Spoon the mixture onto an oven-proof serving dish.

4. Nap two or three tablespoons of the bechamel over the top of the crabmeat. Put the plates into the hot broiler for about a minute. Serve immediately, warning that the plates are hot.

Serves four entrees.

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  1. Don Nolan on February 1, 2015

    I ate at Berdou’s for many years with my family. Mr. George was a wonderful gentleman and an amazing chef. He served so many dishes not found much anymore in New Orleans like pampano en pappiotte (spelling). This recipe is one on his best as is a similar one for crabmeat imperial.
    His turtle soup was the best I have ever eaten and I’ve tried it in every restaurant i go to that serves it. Thanks, Tom for sharing this recipe with your readers.