Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hot Crab Dip

Here's where I see myself for the rest of the summer:

Evening time, dining outside with good friends, eating a big dish of this Hot Crab Dip with crostini and celery for dipping, plus a chilled glass of white wine to wash it all down.

Yes, seriously. This dip is the real deal. Bring it to your next potluck or BBQ or game night and watch it disappear.

Like any good dip, this one is creamy and cheesy, melty and bubbly. Fresh lump crab meat is mixed into every bite. I amp up the flavor with a few sprinkles of smoked paprika, a glug of Worcestershire sauce, and a shake of celery salt. 2 types of cheese give this dip a little something extra-special: parmesan, for a salty nuttiness, and muenster, for the ultimate meltiness (YES, cheese. I know we aren't supposed to be combining cheese and seafood but for some reason, hot crab dip is a very delicious exception to this rule).

Besides the fact that this dip is so. ridiculously. delicious, it is also sure to become one of your all-time favorites because of how super simple it is to make! Just mix it up, spoon into a casserole dish, sprinkle with parm and bake until golden brown and bubbly. That's it. A few stirs and a little patience is all that stands between you and a perfect summer dip :-)

Here's what you need for Hot Crab Dip* (Print Recipe!)

8 ounces lump crab meat
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated meunster cheese
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon celery salt
cracked black pepper to taste
crostini and veggies for serving

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except 1/4 cup of parmesan and stir until well combined. Pour into a small casserole dish and spread smooth. Sprinkle remaining parmesan on top and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Garnish with additional green onions or paprika if desired and serve with crostini and vegetables.

Note - depending on the size of your casserole dish, you may want to place the dish on top of a sheet pan to prevent oven spills. This may add 5 to 10 minutes to your cook time.

*Adapted slightly from Will Cook for Smiles

Monday, June 25, 2018

Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Sooo, 3 of my last 5 recipes have included goat cheese. I'm just a tiny bit obsessed...

This, however. THIS is the recipe for only the BIGGEST lovers of goat cheese. Those of us who order a dish at a restaurant simply because there's goat cheese in it. Anyone who can make a meal of crackers with goat cheese and fig jam. Someone who understands that the funky tang and creaminess of goat cheese is something you can't get anywhere else.

This is a Fried Goat Cheese Salad and it is basically everything I have ever wanted. It is tangy, tart, sweet, and crunchy. Although there is a little bit of work involved to bread and fry the cheese, it's an elegant appetizer or meal that can be made in no time at all with just a bit of planning.

Besides the goat cheese, which, no doubt, is the star of this dish, this salad is made up of some very simple but very delicious ingredients. I like mixed field greens as the base, topped off with a sliced green apple, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, finely crumbled feta, thinly sliced scallions and your favorite balsamic vinaigrette. If goat cheese doesn't tickle your fancy, this salad base would be just as delicious with grilled chicken or shrimp!

To be sure the goat cheese fritters stay together, keep their shape and don't melt all over the pan, you want to be sure to freeze the cheese at 2 different intervals. First, after slicing into rounds and then again after breading. I did notice that the egg at times would slide right off the goat cheese round. The best way to avoid this and get a really strong breading is to beat the egg vigorously until totally combined. Beyond these minor modifications, if you've ever breaded chicken before - you can absolutely make this! And you should! Seriously, I am soooo obsessed with this recipe! I hope you are too!