Friday, March 22, 2013

Warm Crab Dip is Always a Hit

I love having friends over, but with everyone's crazy schedules, it's sometimes hard to make plans where everyone is free.  A few months ago, I began planning spur of the moment next day dinners or just afternoon cocktails and appetizers.  I text a few friends to see if they are available for a next day get together, and the majority of times, it has worked out rather well.  

A favorite among my friends has been a warm crab dip.  I found the recipe in a magazine I was thumbing through a couple of months ago at the hairdresser.  Jack told me I could take the recipe as long as I made him a copy. (I did).  

As usual, I have adapted the recipe slightly to be a little more calorie friendly. I substituted light cream for the heavy cream, and used light cream cheese.   I prepare the baguettes several hours ahead of time which make preparation of the dip itself fairly quick and easy to whip together. 

The original recipe comes from New Orleans restauranteur Ralph Brennan and is actually called... 

Creole Crab Dip

3 shallots peeled and chopped
5 tablespoons butter divided (I use 3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I use light cream or 1/2 & 1/2)
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
11 oz cream cheese - I use a 12 oz tub of light cream cheese
1/3 cup chopped scallions
salt and ground pepper (I omit salt)
1 pound crabmeat (I used canned if fresh is not available)
2 oz goat cheese (I don't like goat cheese so I use apple smoked gruyere)
2 dozen baguette slices

I begin with the baguettes.  I buy either a regular french baguette, or if I am near a Panera Bread, I sometimes buy a couple of their small loaves of asiago cheese, three cheese or multi-grain baguettes and have them slice them for me.  The original recipe calls for using some of the 'divided butter', but my hairdresser Jack gave me a better tip.  I put a single layer on a cookie sheet, spray them with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter then sprinkle a little sea salt on them.  I then place them, buttered side down on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  I then spray the other side, sprinkle a little sea salt on that side and bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.  I then turn off the oven, put on the broiler and broil just long enough to lightly brown the top.  Let cool and arrange in a dish or put in a bread basket.

For the dip, heat butter on medium low heat and sauté the shallots until tender.  Add the cream and reduce by two thirds.  Add the mascarpone cheese and approximately 3 oz of the cream cheese (I don't measure, I just use a dollop).  Stir to blend into the cream and onion mixture.  Add the rest of the cream cheese and blend until thickened.  Lower heat to low and stir in scallions. Turn off heat.  Add the crabmeat and transfer to a 1 1/2 qt baking dish or several smaller dishes or ramekins.  Instead of the goat cheese, I shred the apple smoked gruyere over the top of the dishes and then broil until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with the bread (or fresh veggie sticks if you wish).

Bon Appetit!

So what do you think?  Will this be one of your new favorites?  I'd love to hear your reviews!  


  1. Sounds yummy and looks decadent. I like artichoke dip as well, very creamy and similar I think.

    1. I like artichokes too! Feel free to share the recipe LOL!!

  2. As you know, I'm a terrible cook but this recipe caught my wife's eye. Maybe if I'm nice, we can give this one a try.
    Thanks for following along with the A to Z. Your support is greatly appreciated. It's tougher than I thought it would be.

    1. It is really delicious and doesn't take too much time - the trick is doing the baguettes ahead of time - your blog is great! The photos are fantastic! Looking forward to seeing more! Remind me next year and maybe I'll try it! if your wife makes the dip, let me know how you like it!! :)