Crab. I love crab. Crab in salads. Crab cakes. Crab all by itself. Well, with cocktail sauce. [But NOT with tartar sauce]
Since we all enjoy crab, and since crab can be a tad pricey, here’s a lovely way to enjoy crab flavor with many people at once. This Creamy Crab Dip appeals to all your senses. The smell of crab, the visual excitement of red peppers, and the smooth texture of cream cheese on your palette. Author Patty Fallon of Great Party Dips suggests serving this dip with water biscuits, toasted brioche or endive spear. Actually any cracker will pair marvelously with this dip. Blanched asparagus spears? Heaven.
I’ve enjoyed Peggy’s recipes because they are balanced: they reflect lots of testing and tasting. Still, you’ve got your options here. A little more lemon juice, perhaps lime. More crab, of course. Another scallion or two. There’s plenty of maneuvering room here for you to play and personalize.
This dip is distinctive, easy to make, and memorable. Don’t count on having leftovers.
Creamy Crab Dip
Yield: 1 ¾ cups, enough for 6 to 8
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon prepared white horseradish
- ¼ teaspoon celery salt
- 8 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over to remove any bits of shell or cartilage, and well drained
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, horseradish, and celery salt. Mix until well blended.
Stir in the crab, bell pepper, and scallion.
Transfer to a small serving bowl, cover, and chill for 2 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to develop. Remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving.
Source: Great Party Dips by Patty Fallon
Earlier this week I posted a recipe for a Creamy Horseradish Dipping Sauce from Peggy Fallon’s Great Party Dips. We’ve tried this sauce/dip, of course, and instantly fell deeply in love. The “creamy” part comes from folding in whipped cream, which does not just add to the recipe: it transforms it. This idea is one you may one to apply to the other entries in your “dip portfolio.”
Many dips begin with sour cream, perhaps with some mayonnaise added in. Those dips, particularly when chilled before serving, are very thick. You remember, a potato chip made for dips might work but a regular potato chip will snap apart as you try to plow through that very viscous dip.
Folding in whipped cream [as much cream before whipping as you had sour cream] transforms that “pasty” dip into something more like a mousse. Light, rich, decadent. It’s a different experience, beginning with the “pull” of the chip to how your mouth enjoys the airy delight.
Try the technique and you’ll see what a wonderful, elevating difference it can make. [Yes, this dip will elevate other things too, so don't do it the day before your next blood test is scheduled.]