Creamy Crab and Rice Casserole
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium red onion, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 cups cooked long grain white rice
1 pound Neufchâtel cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 pounds lump crabmeat
¼ cup chopped fresh chives or scallions
3 tablespoons butter
1½ cups panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
For the first layer: In a food processor, pulse together the red pepper, celery and red onion until finely chopped.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and rice, then spoon into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
For the second layer: In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk and Old Bay Seasoning. Gently stir in the crab and chives. Spoon over the rice mixture.
For the third layer: Return the skillet to the burner over medium heat. Add the butter and melt, then remove the skillet from the heat. Add the panko, paprika and salt, then stir until well mixed. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the crab mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving: 320 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated), 18 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 17 g protein, 65 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium.
Alison Ladman for The Associated Press