Traditional holiday recipes are a funny fare: They are dishes served only once a year at a festive occasion. Yes, it seems almost sacrilegious to serve those special foods at non-holiday times of the year. So if I actually had the nerve to prepare my great grandmother’s Crabmeat Casserole for an occurrence that were not Christmas Eve, I wouldn’t dare tell Mom or my sisters; and I would be a little worried that Grandma might be admonishing me from heaven. That is why, since I’m sharing it here with you all, I had to make a few modern updates for my version of Wasabi Crab Casserole!
My grandmother, as well as Mom baked individual casserole servings in giant scallop shells. So when I was a little girl, even though I didn’t particularly care for this dish, I always asked for some so I could eat off of the super special real seashell. (As a girl from land-locked Montana cattle ranch, this was as close as I ever got to eating anything from the sea inside any sort of shell!)
As I mentioned Crabmeat Casserole was always served Christmas Eve alongside sweet white zinfandel with a variety of cheese, crackers, sausage and crudité: Carrot sticks, celery sticks, pickled beets and dill pickles. These were served on the fun card party tin snack plates seen below. I have a tall stack of Grandma’s snack plates now and love to use them instead of paper plates at any sort of party. They’re so festive! As is this simple crab casserole; serve it on a buffet table with other appetizers – or as a first course to a special meal.