Monday, November 2, 2009

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Can you really ever have too much of a good thing? You can when you've got a Tupperware container full of if, your household consists of two people (plus dog) and it's shelf life in the refrigerator is about 3 days. I'm talking crab here folks.

I recently found the best seafood deal going. My fave fish monger, John Yi at the Reading Terminal Market, sells a two cup container of fresh crab claw meat for under $10. I know what you're thinking..."way to cheap out on quality there Jessica...ever heard of lump crab meat?". I do love me some lump crab meat, but when you're stuffing flounder or mushrooms, or mixing it into a creamy seafood bisque all you're really looking for is that sweet crab flavor and a tender texture, and I promise you, for about 1/3 of the price of lump, claw meat delivers. The only problem? I can never eat it all! Hmmm. Doesn't really sound like a problem huh? You're right. It's not really a serious issue, but one that I felt needed solving...I suppose that means that world peace can wait huh?

Last week I got a hankering for some crab stuffed flounder and realized I was still looking for something to serve at a cocktail party I was hosting that weekend. At that moment I knew I had found the solution to my "can never eat it all" crab dilemma...Hot Crab Dip! It's the perfect way to use the rest of that delicious crab AND make my guests happy at the same time. Hot crab dip, to me, is like the love child of seafood bisque and a Maryland crab cake. How could that NOT be amazing!? So next time you're perusing the seafood counter grab a container of crab claw meat and make this dip. You'll probably have to invite some friends over to give you a hand eating it all, but I'm sure they won't mind helping you out. What are friends for right?

Hot Crab Dip:

-1 1/2 cups fresh crab claw (or lump you high rollers) meat *note* This will be pre-cooked by your fish monger and packaged fresh - I'm not a big fan of the canned stuff - ask your fish monger for a hand if you're confused
-1 tbs. butter
-1/4 cup chopped onion
-1/8 cup chopped celery
-1/8 cup chopped green pepper
-5 oz neufchatel OR cream cheese
-1/3 cup mayo
-1 tbs. brown mustard
-1 tbs. worcestershire sauce
-1/3 cup grated munster cheese
-1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
-1/2 tbs. onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a saute pan on medium-low heat sweat the onion, celery and green pepper in the butter until soft (about 7 mins). Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl combine the neufchatel (or cream cheese), mayo, mustard, worcestershire sauce, grated munster, parsley and onion powder in a bowl and mix thoroughly (if you leave the cream cheese out for 30 mins before hand it will help this process). Now add the onion, celery, green pepper mixture as well as the crab and mix well. The crab has been pre-cooked prior to your purchasing it so you can taste this mixture cold. Add salt and pepper as you see fit. I usually add about 1/2 tsp. of pepper and about the same amount of salt. Once combined transfer mixture to a greased baking dish (preferably one that is shallow and wide) and bake at 350 for about 30 mins or until the edges begin to bubble and it's warmed through. Let cool for a minute or two then serve while still warm. You can dip anything in this...pita chips...tortilla chips...pretzels...crackers. Enjoy!

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