Acquiring Your Crab
If you are like me, you want the best most fresh crab you can get your hands on. Visit your local seafood shop or grocery store and have a conversation with them about the crab they offer. They will recommend you the best crab and even offer to cut and clean it most likely. When you get home, you'll still have to take out all the meat, so just be careful with how you're breaking the legs and shell because you do not want to get little pieces of shell in your crab meat and dip.
But if this is not an option, canned crab meat or even imitation crab meat works perfectly with this recipe!
Making any Cheese Dip
Making a cheese dip is a lot easier than you might think it is. It really is just throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pot or pan with a ton of cheese and letting it all mix and cook together. The secret to the best cheese dips are mixing the right ingredients. In this case, the crab and artichoke really compliment each other, especially with the hints of tarragon, lemon zest, Italian Topper, and Worcestershire sauce.
You might also see that there are a couple different ways of making your cheesy base for your cheese dip. If I am not melting a bunch of cheese I am most likely making a roux for the base of my cheese dip. A roux consists of melting 1 part butter at low temperature and adding 1 part flour to it and mixing it together. For these dips you do not want your roux to be too dark. A roux is mean to thicken a liquid mixture, so in this case, once your roux is done you can add your liquid whether it is heavy cream or a kind of milk to make your dip base.
What You'll Need
Serves 4 | Prep Time: 10 - 30 minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes
2 packages (8 oz) Soften Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Mayo
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 tbsp Italian Topper
1 tbsp Garlic (minced)
1/3 cup Green Onions (chopped)
1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper (finely diced)
1 can (14 oz) Artichoke Hearts or Bottoms (chopped)
1 lb Lump Crab Meat
6 oz White Cheddar Cheese
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Zest and Juice from 1 Lemon
2 Tsp Fresh Chopped Tarragon Leaves
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1. Start your smoker, and get it up to 375 degrees F (if you do not own a smoker you can always use an oven).
2. In a mixing bowl, throw in your cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, Italian Topper, green onions, red bell pepper, garlic, artichoke hearts or bottoms, crab meat, lemon zest and juice, Worcestershire sauce, tarragon, crab meat, salt & pepper, and most of your cheddar cheese (save some to top the dip with). Mix it well and transfer to a cast iron or grill/oven safe pan.
3. Cover your mixture with your remaining cheese and add some Loubier Gourmet Italian Topper to the top as well.
4. Place your pan onto your smoker and let it cook for 30 minutes or until the top looks crispy (You can also smoke it lower and slower for a more smoky flavor).
*If you do not own a smoker, you can throw your pan into your oven at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or so, and even broil it at the end on High for a minute or two to ensure the top is crispy.
5. Scoop with chips or bread and enjoy :)