Friday, July 13, 2012

crab and peppers cream cheese dip

The last time I made a crab dip, I wasn't entirely happy with how it turned out. I've been muddling around with dips for awhile now, and I've figured something out. I like cream cheese dips. Given how much I love my spinach dip this shouldn't surprise me. I loathe mayonaisse, so there's no way I'm ever going to base a dip on the stuff. I tolerate yogurt in curries and while cooking, but I don't actually like the stuff. Sour cream? Even the name grosses me out, and I won't even use it in cheesecake. Apparently I have an issue with viscous white condiments. Who knew? (I used to hate cream cheese too, actually, but have recently embraced it for baking purposes.) That all being the case, I'm not even going to try and use any of those. I'd just hate the results. That being said, if you're into dips based on those things there's a million on the internet for you, or you can use these as a base to build from.

So, this dip? It has tons of crab in it, because I tend to feel like crab dips tend towards the runny and I wanted this to be a little more hearty. And I used real crab, though the canned kind. I didn't see a point in making a dip with the fake crab that doesn't have the right texture. I added the onions and peppers to give this some more crunch and texture (and so I can pretend I'm having a vegetable).

For the record, this was a hit. And just as good the next day for lunch. With the crab meat, grated parmesan and vegetable pieces this has a great textural contrast. I served this with tortilla chips (ummm ... well, let's not pretend that this is a healthy dinner, shall we?) and found that between the chips, the parmesan and the crab the salt levels were pretty perfect. If you're using pita or bread to dip this in, add a bit of salt to your dip to round out your flavours.

Ingredients
  • 400 grams of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 cans crab meat
  • 2 green peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400* F.
  2. Drain the canned crab.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, parmesan, garlic powder and white pepper until the spices are pretty evenly mixed.
  4. Add the onions and peppers and mix until things are well combined.
  5. Add the crab meat to the mixture and stir it in carefully. By adding the crab last and stirring gently, we're able to keep the crab in chunks and get more contrast in texture.
  6. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish, and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the dip is bubbly and the top has begun to brown.
  7. Serve with some amazing things to dip!

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