Monday, February 4

Crab Dip

I love crab dip because it's equally fitting for a special occasion (holidays, meeting the in-laws) as it is for a casual gathering. I made this version yesterday for the Super Bowl as a tribute to the Baltimore Ravens and it was a huge hit (and I'm not ruling it out as the reason they won the game). It almost seems wrong to combine a bunch of dairy and spices and breadcrumbs with fresh lump crabmeat but it tastes so right. The balance of heat and salty and creamy with the sweet crab provides so much flavor that it gets addicting. I like to pair it with a simple cracker or toast point so that it doesn't compete with the dip.

Crab Dip:
  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet and add in 2 minced shallots.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened, and add in 1 tbsp. of water.
  • Stir in 1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard, 3/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Add in 3/4 c. half and half and bring to a simmer, then slowly whisk in 8 oz. of softened cream cheese, a little at a time.
  • Once all the cream cheese has melted, stir in 1 3/4 c. grated white cheddar cheese and stir for a minute or two.
  • Turn off the heat and add in 3 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 10 oz. fresh crabmeat, and 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley.
  • If desired, transfer crab dip to a small baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the top of the dip with 1/4" pieces of bread* and dot with 1 tbsp. of butter, torn into small bits.
  • Bake in a 400F oven for 20 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbling.
  • Let cool slightly and serve with toast points or crackers.

Serves six-eight (appetizer)
*I used brioche but white or sourdough bread would be great too. Remove the crusts.