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Baked Crab Dip: A Recipe for Hot Crab Dip Made with Cream Cheese
Hot, creamy crab dip is a luxurious and decadent dish that is often reserved for special occasions due to the prohibitively high price of crab meat. For those special occasions when you want to make this impressive dish, or maybe you've just stumbled across a really good sale on crab, you’ll need to have just the right recipe. Let me assure you, this is that special recipe. This creamy, gooey, luscious dip perfectly highlights the flavor of the crab meat without overwhelming it. Cream cheese adds wonderful texture, while the flavors of Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice and several other ingredients blend together to set your taste buds alight! This is a great recipe to set out impressively at get-togethers like dinner parties, New Year’s Eve festivities or other intimate gatherings. Conversely, once you taste this dip, you may just want to keep it all to yourself!
Picking Your Crab
When choosing your crab meat to make this dip, I suggest you check in the refrigerated seafood section of your local grocery store. Here you will find containers of fresh-picked crab meat, and also pasteurized crab meat. Either type is fine for this recipe. You may also notice a fairly wide variety (and price range) within these types of crab. At the high end of the price range you will see Jumbo Lump and Lump crab meat. These are the best, and make for a really nice crab dip, but they will also make a pretty big hole in your wallet. At the lower end of the price range is claw meat. Claw meat is also acceptable for use in crab dip, so if your funds are limited, by all means, pick the claw meat!
Of course, any type of crab meat you choose could be a little pricey. I try to keep an eye out for sales, and buy my crab meat at that time. You may be tempted to try to save even more money by using canned crab meat (like the type you find in the aisle with canned tuna and sardines), or even by using imitation crab meat. Please do not. This dip will not simply not taste as good with either of these ingredients!
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup onion, finely minced
- 3 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 lb crab meat
- Parmesan, shredded
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Whisk together cream cheese, milk, onion, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, and Old Bay seasoning in a medium sized mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Fold in the crab meat.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top.
- Sprinkle with shredded parmesan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until browned on top and bubbly.
- Allow to cool slightly, then serve.
You can serve this dip with toast points, crackers, or my personal favorite: toasted baguette slices. If serving at a party, be sure to garnish with a little parsley for a nice, festive touch. Another way you could serve this dip, which would be quite impressive, is to bake it in a bread bowl. If you would like to do this, simply prepare the dip as instructed, without placing in a baking dish. You will need a large round loaf of bread (sometimes called a boule). Cut a circle into the top of the bread and carefully remove, cutting out most of the bread on the inside to hollow out the boule and make room for the dip. You should leave about ½” of bread all around. Cut all of the bread you removed into large chunks, about 1” square. Place the cubes on a baking sheet to toast along with the dip. These will be used to eat the dip once it is done. Fill the bread shell with the dip. Anything that does not fit into the bread bowl can be placed in a greased baking dish and baked separately. Wrap foil around the bread bowl to protect the bread from burning, place on a baking sheet and bake as directed. During the last 5 minutes of baking, place the bread chunks into the oven to toast. To serve, carefully remove foil and place the bread bowl on a platter surrounded by the toasted bread chunks.