Tasty Tuesday – Crab Dip

    For some reason when I think “New Year’s Food” seafood is the first thing that comes to mind. Pretty funny since I don’t eat seafood, but when I was little it was the only day of the year that my parents got shrimp from the grocery store. It turns out that for some cultures eating fish (because of the silvery scales) is supposed to bring you good fortune in the coming year. Luckily my family stuck with that tradition (probably because my Dad’s from MD) rather than going with the more Pennsylvania standard, pork and sauerkraut!
So this year I wanted to share a little of my family’s habits with Ant who is from up-state New York and only seems to associate New Year’s with alcohol. (Not much drinking happening for this baby bump ; ) And what could be more Maryland than crab? 
      Crabs are to Maryland what lobster is to Maine, and even though I don’t eat them, I spent many a summer day trolling the Chesapeake Bay with my Dad and Grandpa trying to catch those little buggers. Then we would haul ’em home, steam ’em with plenty of Old Bay, and then dump them out on the table for cracking. (Everyone wants to sit next to you if you like to dig out the meat, but don’t eat it yourself!)

    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup sour cream
    2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    garlic powder to taste
    1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    3/4 pound fresh crabmeat
    3 dashes hot sauce
    Old Bay Seasoning to taste

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 1 quart baking dish.
    In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, garlic powder and about 2 tablespoons of the Cheddar cheese. Fold in crabmeat, hot sauce and 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning.
    Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining Cheddar cheese and seafood seasoning. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.
    Serve with a good french bread, butter crackers, or even as a topping for soft pretzels.

    Unfortunately Ant has never had the “real stuff” and I didn’t have any resident Marylanders around to speak to this recipe’s authenticity, but Ant really seemed to like it, and most of the reviewers seem to as well. I did change the amount of spice though and only used one dash of tabasco and about a tablespoon worth of Old Bay. I’ll have to try it again at our next family get together and see what the rest of the bunch has to say about it.

    Do you have any “traditional” New Year’s dishes at your house?
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