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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip

A couple of holidays ago, I wanted an exciting new dip to serve at a party.  I wanted to use my new chafing dishes I got at Bed, Bath, and Beyond as well...so I needed something hot.  A hot dip.  The search began.

I found a recipe that sounded really good - one I knew I could tweak to my tastes - from the Food Network web site and it was sourced from Gourmet Magazine.  It turned out to be just delicious!  I thought of it today while I was walking on the beach snapping pictures of the waves (which, of course, I put in a slide show and put on youtube - because that's just what I do).  Why, you might wonder?  A tiny little sand crab scampered across my toes as I was standing in the sand taking pictures of the waves!  Naturally (???) my mind moved to crab dip.  Really - that's what happened. 

So, now that I've finished playing with photos - I thought it would be high time that I share this delicious recipe with my peeps.  I looked for the original recipe on Food Network so I could give you a link if you didn't want my take on the original - but it said "no match found".  My printout is from 2007, so I guess it's off the site now.

Well, here's how I did it - and it was darn good if I do say so myself (my guests ate up every bit of it so I guess they thought so too).

HOT CRAB, ARTICHOKE, AND JALAPENO DIP
WITH PITA TRIANGLES

Ingredients:
2 (14 oz.) cans or bottled artichoke hearts, drained and chopped finely
2 cups bottled mayonnaise
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (green and white parts)
1/2 cup drained and chopped bottled pimento, or roasted red pepper (I used bottled roasted red peppers)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 bottled  (NOT one BOTTLE - just one out of the bottle) pickled jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (may want to wear rubber gloves)
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 pound crab meat, drained and picked.  If you use frozen, make sure it is thawed and drained
1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Pita Triangles for dipping (you can use store bought - or recipe for home-baked follows - it's what I did)

Now, before I get started, I'll tell you that the original recipe called for a large chopped green bell pepper, sauteed in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil...and instead of one jalapeno pepper - it called for three.  That's just too much pepper for me.

Method:
In a large bowl combine the artichokes, mayonnaise, scallion, pimento or roasted red peppers, Parmesan, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, jalapeno peppers, and celery salt (and the cooled bell pepper if you are going with the original - but I didn't use it).  Thoroughly blend the mixture (by hand) until it is combined well, and gently fold in the crab meat.  Transfer the mixture to a buttered ovenproof 2 quart chafing dish or baking dish and sprinkle it with the almonds.  The dip may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.  I did this - and I was careful to let the mixture sit on the counter a bit before popping a cold glass chafing dish into a hot oven.  If you use a fridge-to-oven approved dish - well, then you don't have to worry about that!
Bake the dip in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the mixture is bubbly.  Serve with pita triangles.


PITA TRIANGLES
8 Large pita rounds, with pockets.  I used whole wheat
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Salt

Cut each pita round into 8 wedges and separate each wedge into 2 triangles.  (OK - that's what the recipe said - but I quickly found it was faster to run a sharp knife along the seam of the pita round and then cut the triangles - it was less labor intensive...and I had a party to get ready for...no time to separate each little triangle!)  Arrange the triangles, rough side up, in 1 tight layer in a sheet pan with edges (a jellyroll type pan).  Brush them lightly with the butter and season lightly with salt.  Bake the triangles in the upper third of a preheated 375 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are crisp and lightly golden.  Let them cool in the pans.  The triangles may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered in an airtight container at room temperature.

I told myself if I ever did this again, I would buy the pita triangles...but I didn't.  The next time I made this, I made the pita triangles again.  They just tasted so good.  So many people asked "where did you buy these?" and I liked saying "I made them" with a big old grin :-)

So, as the holidays approach - you might want to give this a try.  It is a great alternative to the standard hot dip of chile con queso you will most often find at holiday gatherings here in Texas!

Bon Appetit Y'all (and hope you get the hankerin' to visit South Padre Island if you take 5 minutes to watch the youtube...it's verrry relaxing!)StumbleUpon

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