Hot Crab Dip
A longtime party favorite, this dip contains a number of assertive seasonings that balance the richness of the cheeses and the crab. The recipe comes from "Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook."
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 10 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Toast points, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the cayenne, Old Bay, and dry mustard until well combined. Pour half-and-half into saucepan and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the cream cheese, a few pieces at a time. When the cream cheese is fully incorporated, whisk in the cheddar cheese, a handful at a time. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce; stir to combine. Stir in crabmeat and half of the parsley.
Transfer mixture to an ovenproof baking dish and sprinkle with bread pieces. Dot top of bread pieces with remaining tablespoons butter; sprinkle with paprika. Bake until bread pieces are golden and dip is hot, 18 to 22 minutes. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup parsley and serve with toast points.