Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
2 tablespoons minced carrot
2 tablespoons minced celery
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound fresh lump crab meat, picked over (about 1½ cups)
fresh lemon juice to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Accompaniment: lightly toasted thin French bread slices
In a small heavy saucepan cook carrot, celery, and bell pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, vermouth or wine, and tarragon and boil mixture until liquid is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add cream and boil sauce until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in crab meat, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and divide mixture between two 1-cup shallow baking dishes. Sprinkle Parmesan over crab mixture and set dishes in shallow baking pan. Broil gratin about 4 inches from heat 2 minutes, or until bubbling and golden, and serve with toasts.