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Baked Crabmeat Dip

Contributed By: Sandra, GA | See all of Sandra's recipes
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  45 Minutes
  2 quarts
Wonderful make-ahead dish - prepare and refrigerate until up to 2 days before cooking. Remove from refrigerator about 45 minutes before baking. Use fresh or pasteurized crab meat.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup sweet or mild onion, finely chopped
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
½ cup half and half or cream, plus a little more if needed
¼ cup dry sherry
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh snipped chives (optional)
½ - ¾ lb lump, claw or back fin crab meat, picked over to remove any shell pieces
¼ cup grated Swiss cheese
½ cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan (optional)
¼ cup sliced almonds
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


Prepare a 2 quart shallow casserole, au gratin or deep dish pie plate.


Coat the bottom and sides of dish with 1 tablespoon soft butter.


Place dish in freezer for a few minutes to firm the butter for a more non-stick surface.


Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in saucepan over med-low heat.


Add onion and celery and simmer gently to soften but not brown – about 3 minutes.


Cut cream cheese into about 8 pieces and add to vegetables, stirring to blend.


Add the half & half (or cream) and blend well.


Add sherry and blend Bring to just below boiling point, then reduce heat and simmer for a minute or so.


Stir in cayenne, salt, pepper, nutmeg and optional chives.


Add crab meat and fold very gently to avoid breaking crab pieces.


Stir in more half & half or cream if needed to make a mixture about the consistency of cooked custard.


Fold in Swiss cheese gently – the cheese does not need to dissolve or blend completely.


Taste and add more salt, pepper and cayenne, if needed.


Pour mixture into prepared dish.


Cover surface of mixture with grated cheese, sprinkle parmesan over and spread almonds evenly over top.


Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until bubbling around edges and almonds are light brown. Check every few minutes after 10 minutes to be sure the almonds are not burning.


Remove from oven and let set about 5 minutes before serving with crackers, chips, or toast rounds.


Serves 14 – 20 as an appetizer.


Comment:


If you have any left over, cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Use it to fill baked stuffed mushrooms or fill an omelet, or thin with cream as use as a sauce with noodles for a mini-casserole – just don’t throw it away.


Date Added: 10/30/2009
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