Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hot Dip

I have made this dip many times and never get tired of it! You can serve this dip for any occasion and best of all... you can prepare it days ahead and freeze it! Just take it out of the freezer and reheat in the oven before serving.

Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip

Prep. time: 45 mn
Servings:  8

24 oz frozen artichoke hearts
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup half and half, or milk
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2+ oz Parmesan cheese, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 Tbsp pickled Jalapeno chile, drained and chopped finely
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 lb lump crab meat, picked over
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the frozen artichokes in a heavy skillet, over medium heat, until soft - about 5 minutes. If there is water remaining in the pan, drain well. Set aside to cool.When cooled, chop small.

In the same skillet, saute the red bell pepper with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Stirr in the chopped artichokes and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

Melt the remaining butter in the skillet, over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to make a roux, about 3 minutes. Add half and half , or milk, in a stream. Whisk the mixture and bring to a boil. Keep whisking fr about 3 minutes, until thickened.
Remove from the heat and stir in the artichoke/red pepper mixture. Add the scallions, 1/3 cup of Parmesan, the lemon juice, the jalapeno, celery salt and salt and pepper if needed.
Gently stirr in the crab meat.

Preheat the oven to 375F.
Transfer the dip to a baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake until bubbling, about 25 minutes.

Serve hot with Pita bread wedges.

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