New Year’s Eve is always a time to try new appetizers and this year it is an easy crab dip recipe. This is not one of those cheese-laden gooey dips. It’s a full blown, in your face, crab meat delight.
The crab appetizer idea all started when our local Winn-Dixie store had a buy one, get one free sale on pasteurized canned crab meat. Well, buy a one pound can of lump crab meat and get a free one pound can of crab claw meat. Not a bad deal for 20 dollars. Then Barb, a friend of mine, dropped off a full year’s worth of Food and Wine magazines. This recipe was in the December 2015 issue and it’s from a Boston raised chef, Matt Jennings, who recently opened a restaurant in Boston called Townsman. I’m thinking that any chef from Boston must know how to make a pretty darn good crab dip, so I had to try it and share it with you. If you are in the Boston area, check out Townsman…the menu looks fantastic.
I decided to serve this with crostini, and I used the claw meat for this recipe. I’ll save the lump meat for crab cakes. To make the crostini, slice a baguette into 1/4 inch slices, then coat one side with olive oil and place on a cooling rack set in a baking pan. Bake until lightly toasted, which takes 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and lightly season with salt. You could cut out lots of carbs by serving the crab in radicchio leaves. That would look really cool and taste really good, too.
Matt’s recipe is packed with crab flavor and has just enough heat to entertain your flavor buds. It should be on your short list to prepare for New Year’s Eve celebrations and the upcoming football playoffs. This easy crab dip recipe is a winner.
Easy Crab Dip Recipe
- 1 pound crab meat , picked of shells
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 stalk celery , minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper , minced
- 2 tbsp grated sweet onion , (about 1/2 an onion)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp tabasco
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 3 slices hearty white bread , crust removed, cut into 1 in. cubes,
- 3 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper
- Mix the crab, mayo, celery, green pepper, onion, parsley, lemon, tabasco and cayenne in a medium sized bowl, taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour, (this could be done a day in advance of baking)
- Preheat oven to 400° F
- Put bread cubes in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Spread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 6 to 8 minutes until just starting to brown.
- Melt butter in a large skillet on moderate heat and let the milk solids brown, about 4 minutes
- Add the bread crumbs to the butter and stir to evenly coat, lightly salt
- Pour the crab mixture into a shallow 1.5 quart baking dish
- Sprinkle with bread crumbs
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned
- Let cool 5 minutes
- Serve with crostini or radicchio leaves