Friday, July 9, 2010

Dungeness Crab and Artichokes: Unbeatable Dip Duo

dungeness crabIf you are looking for a luscious dip for the office potluck or even a romantic dinner for two, try either (or both!) of these well tested recipes using fresh Dungeness crab and artichoke hearts.

These fabulous crustaceans from the waters of the Pacific get a “sustainable” rating from Seafood Watch, so you can indulge to your heart’s content. The earthy taste of artichokes is a perfect foil for the sweet taste of fresh Dungeness crab, especially when melded in a creamy cheese base.

Hot Dungeness – Artichoke Dip

 For the luxurious blend of artichokes and Dungeness crab, you’ll never go wrong with this easy crockpot recipe. Mix in a medium size bowl these ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked Dungeness crab meat
  • 14 ounces artichoke heart quarters, drained and chopped
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
Pour ingredients into a well-oiled 2-1/2 quart crockpot (non-stick cooking spray works great). Cover; cook on low for 60 minutes or on high for 30 minutes. Stir the mixture until the cheese is smooth. Turn crockpot to low, then put on serving table (watch the cord, please). Serve with pita wedges or your favorite crackers.

Baked Spicy Dungeness Crab and Artichoke Dip with Crostini

When you want to create a special presentation, try this baked fresh Dungeness crab dip. Get your fresh crabmeat from your favorite seafood market and grab a crusty baguette from the French bakery and enjoy! This recipe makes approximately one cup—and it can be doubled easily.

Prepare the dip by mixing the following well in a medium bowl:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 ounces fresh Dungeness crabmeat
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, fresh and grated finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)

Lightly butter two half-cup ramekins and fill with the crab mixture. (Tip: Do this in advance, then refrigerate until ready to bake so that it is served hot.) Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and beginning to brown. Serve on plate with pate knife and a host of crostini slices.

More recipes: When you are ready for more Dungeness crab recipes, check out this site from the Pacific Northwest, where they know crab! Also keep in mind that you can buy fresh lobster or pre-cooked.

Do-It-Yourself Crostini: Making your own crostini is simple. Slice a baguette thinly on an angle, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, and toast lightly both sides. You can substitute other toast or crackers as desired.

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