Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crab Dip

One of the things that makes American food great is that it is a conglomeration of the best things of many different kinds of food. In most American homes in any given week you will find anything from Italian, Mexican, Asian and yes, even American style foods. And every region of the U.S. has it's own unique foods that it does really well. If you want good Chicken & Dumplings - go south. If you want good Cajun - go to Louisiana. For baked beans - go North to Boston.

But if you want good crabs - you gotta go to Maryland. Some of my friends who grew up in Louisiana complain that Maryland's cooking is generally bland - they like their foods spicey. But there is one thing they will tell you we do well - and that is crabs. The Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab is the best crab meat you'll ever eat. The recipe I'm going to share today is all about the crab. I've tried several different crab recipes, but this one is without a doubt, the best. It tastes wonderful and is extremely easy to make.

I make this dip about twice a year - both in December. I make it for a family gathering on December 26 and I make it for New Year's Eve. I have no explanation why I crave seafood on New Year's Eve. I just do.(I apologize that I don't have a picture. Hopefully I'll remember to snap & load a picture before we eat it all New Year's Eve.)

Warning: If you serve this in Maryland - even if it's only to 2 people - you will not have any leftovers. It's that good!

Maryland Crab Dip*

  • 1 lb Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab meat**
  • 1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ Cup sour cream
  • 1-1½ tsp Old Bay seasoning*** 
  • 2 Tblsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tblsp lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 Tblsp milk
  • ½ Cup grated cheddar cheese - divided
  • additional Old Bay to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. In large bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, Old Bay, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and garlic powder until smooth.
  3. Add enough milk to make creamy (but not too thin).
  4. Stir in ¼ Cup of cheddar cheese. 
  5. Fold crabmeat into mixture.
  6. Pour into a buttered 1 qt. casserole.
  7. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay to taste and top with remaining cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake at 325° until bubbly and mixture is slightly browned on top (~30 minutes).
  9. Serve warm with array of crackers or petite breads.

* the original recipe came from a church cookbook about 25 years ago.
** Backfin crabmeat is best for this; buy it in July or August when it goes on sale for ~$8.00/lb and freeze it instead of paying $16.00/lb in December & January.
*** Old Bay is most definitely the best. Do not try to substitute other seasonings.
This recipe makes about 4 cups of dip. The number of servings will vary greatly depending upon the size of the appetites and whether I am there to eat it or not.
It also makes a great appetizer for a graze-the-buffet style event.

You can find other great New Year's Recipes & Ideas on the Ultimate Recipe Swap @ Life As Mom.
This post is also linked to the Recipe Swap @ Grocery Cart Challenge.


Amy -Cutting Coupons in KC said...

This recipe looks delicious!! I will definitely have to try it.

Bugaboo said...

I live in MD, just north of Baltimore, and this sounds like a great recipe. I've tried several since moving here and haven't found one I can make at home that's as good as I can find at a restaurant. I'm anxious to try this one --- thanks!


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