|Crab dip for a party, without the added browned butter crab.|
One of the joys of living in Maryland is the crab. I cannot tell a lie and this is a glorious feature for me.
I simply love Maryland Blue Crabs.
I have family and friends that ask me to compare our crab to theirs (dungeness on the West Coast) and it's hard for me to even compare.
Blue crabs are a bit sweeter and I believe the texture of the meat is softer as well. You don't need butter or seasonings to indulge in the pieces that you pick.
Blue crabs come in a variety of sizes, male or female and are available everywhere in my community.
You will find them in baskets being sold out of the back of trucks, sold at restaurants by the dozen and half dozen or, and this is awesome, you can simply go out your back door, drop a trap and BAM..you will have a few crabs to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Yes, I did say breakfast. When you love crab as I do, there is never a bad time to eat crab. LOL
I eat crab picked fresh from their warm shells, in soup, in crab cakes, dips, soups, raviolis and even a few pieces added to the top of a Bloody Mary. We DO know how to partake of crab in Annapolis.
This dip was prepared on Saturday for a group of friends that meet once in a while to celebrate, cook and enjoy the company of other chefs, culinary specialist and friends. We simply love food.
I wanted to get adventurous with my recipe but I stayed true to the course and presented a simple version of my dish. This changed when I returned home, I chose to add a gourmet flair. You will find the recipe below and I will share with you the two versions.
I also experimented with adding Old Bay Seasoning to my breadsticks. I found the seasoning on the breadsticks to add a lot of flavor to the dip.
I hope that you will enjoy this simple yet gourmet way of eating Maryland Blue Crabs.
|Individual size portion with the brown butter crab.|
Recipe: Maryland Blue Crab Dip
1 lb of crabmeat
2 (8oz) pkg. of cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning, feel free to add more if this is a flavor you want to be strong
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of shredded cheese, for inside the dip (I used sharp cheddar but you can also use mild)
3/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of finely chopped green onions, tops only
shredded cheese for topping
To add the brown buttered crab topping:
1 cup of crabmeat
3 T. of butter
NOTE: As with any shell fish, make sure to run your fingers through the meat to make sure there are not any shells. To find a shell freaks some people out…LOL
Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, add cream cheese, mayo and sour cream. Using an electric mixer, whip the three together for two minutes until smooth. Add the Worcestershire Sauce and Old Bay. Blend until smooth and well combined.
Fold in the crabmeat, cheese and green onions.
Using a pie dish, rectangle pan or stone ware, add your dip. The smaller the pan the deeper the dip and the longer it will take to warm up. I use a small rectangular pan that measures 6X9. I also make individual portions in ramekins. It just depends on the party and amount of guest I have.
Add a sprinkle of cheese and a few green onions.
Bake dip for 30 minutes, or until sides are bubbly and the cheese starts to brown. Individual size ramekins will require their cook time to be less, 15 minutes.
To add the brown butter crab:
Right before the dip comes out of the oven, 5 minutes before hand. Melt your butter in a small pan and brown the butter. Stir and watch it carefully so that it does not burn.
When the butter is browned, turn off the heat and add the 1 cup of crab. Toss gently and remove from heat.
Remove the dip(s) from the oven and gently spoon the brown butter crab on top. I garnished my dip with a few green onions.
Serve warm with crackers, fresh bread or breadsticks (recipe below).
Recipe: Old Bay Seasoning Breadsticks
5 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of dry yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 cups of warm water
1 tablespoon of salt
1 stick of soft butter
Old Bay Seasoning
Preheat oven to 425.
While oven is preheating, find a cookie sheet and add the stick of butter. Set aside.
In your Kitchenaid with the dough hook, add the flour and salt.
In a two cup glass bowl, add the warm water, sugar and yeast. Let yeast activate. 3-5 minutes.
Add yeast to flour.
Turn on mixer and let the two combine. Set timer for 5 minutes and let the kitchenaid knead your dough for the 5 minutes.
Cover dough for 15 minutes while it rest.
5 minutes before dough is done resting, add the cookie sheet to the oven so that the butter melts and starts to brown. Use the middle rack in your oven.
Spray an area on your counter or table with Pam and roll dough out to a bit less than 1 inch thickness. I try to roll the dough the length of my cookie sheet, not as wide because as you pick up the sticks they tend to stretch.
Remove your cookie sheet from the oven, sprinkle Old Bay on to the butter and bring to your work space. After you have rolled the dough out, use a pizza cutter and cut into strips.
Pick up each strip and roll in the warm butter and bay seasoning. Line them up close to each other.
Because the pan and butter are both hot, the dough will start to rise before your eyes.
Sprinkle the breadsticks with more Old Bay, Kosher salt and Parsley Flakes (this is a personal choice as to how much you want to add).
Let rise for 5 minutes and return to the oven to bake.
Bake breadsticks for 8-12 minutes. Watch them towards the end.