Saturday, August 9, 2014

Creamy Hot Crab DIp


Creamy Crab Dip on Crackers
                                       
OK, this is a "treat" kind of recipe, I know. However, my husband recently had a birthday and I'd saved some crab meat in the freezer from when we'd picked crabs back in July. So it was a given that I make the King some Crab Dip! I can tell you, picking crabs to save the meat is a true labor of love. I had to pick 12 crabs to get 1/2 pound of clean crab meat! We'd picked all the "big" ones while we were eating them, so I was left with the ones that everyone picks up, experimentally weighs by lifting them over the pile and then drops them back on the pile while they search out another heavier one. If you've never had or picked Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs read all about it in my post here from Father's Day 2012.

This crab dip has more than great taste for us, it also holds great memories. I catered our wedding myself (yes I know that is crazy, but I was on a budget) and crab dip featured hugely in the spread we set out. In addition, it's made an appearance at every Christmas party we've ever had, and we've had a few. It's not quite as ubiquitous as my husbands famous Shrimp Dip, but almost. (That shrimp dip is a story for another blog, another time.) Let me also say that the recipe you see here is much lighter than the original one, which included an entire stick of butter, as well as whole fat sour cream and cream cheese. I honestly don't miss the additional fat, it still tastes creamy and rich to me.

Enough talk, here it is, in all it's glory. Fabulous, creamy Crab Dip. I've written the recipe for a whole pound but it's easily halved or doubled. If the picture doesn't look like it's much, it's because I've halved it. I must say, that this recipe will make a little bit of crab meat go a LONG way!

Crab dip saute'ed with butter
Creamy Crab Dip 
1 pound crab meat, picked clean
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
5 T. salted butter
1 T. lemon juice             
1 dash Worcestershire sauce                
8 oz. light cream cheese
8 oz. light sour cream
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. dry sherry
1 cup grated Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Have your butter and cream cheese at room temperature. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add minced garlic. Saute' the garlic for a few minutes until it begins to soften (not brown!) and add the creab meat, folding it into the butter/garlic mixture until completely combined. Add the lemon juice and stir it in. Next fold in the softened cream cheese. I find it easier to do if you score the block into smaller squares so that they incorporate more evenly. 
Add the cream cheese and stir until the crab and cream cheese are totally mixed together.

Now stir in the sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and dry sherry, making sure that all ingredients are well combined. Regarding the cayenne, 1/4 tsp will make the dip mildly hot, 1/2 tsp will give it just a little kick. If you don't like things hot at all you can sub Old Bay Seasoning or plain paprika. 

Dry Sherry, be SURE to buy DRY Sherry! 
Lastly, fold in most of the cheddar, saving a little to sprinkle on top. Transfer the dip into a baking dish that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. OR if you plan to make this for a big group, and need to keep the dip hot for a longer time,  put the dip into the serving vessel of your chafing dish. That's the way I serve this special dish when I am having a lot of different appetizers for a holiday party (or a wedding reception!). Sprinkle the reserved cheddar over the top of the crab. At this point, you can bake it immediately for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or refrigerate it (covered) for up to two days and then bake it when you  need it (be sure to bring it to room temperature by setting the casserole out on the counter for at least 20 minutes before putting into a hot over.)

Hot baked Crab Dip! 
Serve with assorted crackers or toast points.We like a combination of crackers, like Triscuits, Club and Whole Wheat. Toast points are good as well, but a little more trouble. No matter how you do it, it's delicious! 

Makes at least 10 appetizer servings. Now, go and find something to celebrate! 
CELEBRATE!


3 comments:

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I love crab dip and this looks delicious!

Susan Ayers said...

I know for a fact that it's delicious!

Trina Wallace said...

I have have tasted Beth's crab dip before and it is wonderful! : )