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This is a very rich crab dip which goes over well at cocktail parties. I like to serve it with a nice mild cracker, such as a Bremner Wafer, but it also goes well with small garlic toast rounds, or toast points if you want to go old school. I use either Noilly Prat or Dolin vermouth for the vermouth in this recipe. If you don't want to use vermouth you could just use a dry white wine instead. Do not use the "whipped" or "soft" type of cream cheese which comes in tubs. You need the real cream cheese which comes in a brick for this recipe. Also, please use best quality parmesan here, not the stuff in the green shaker can. This recipe can be doubled or even tripled.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 cup shallot, finely minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, pureed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup dry vermouth
- 1 lb cream cheese
- 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb claw crabmeat
- 1⁄4 cup half-and-half
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons chives, minced
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Feel through the crab meat to make sure there aren't any remaining bits of shell still attached.
- Melt the butter in a 2 quart, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the shallots, cayenne and pepper and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant - only about 30 seconds.
- Pour the dry vermouth and the lemon juice into the pan, and raise the heat to medium-high, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium-low. Cut the cream cheese into large chunks (about 2 tablespoons each), and stir them into the pan, stirring well to make sure the cheese melts and is well combined with the other ingredients.
- Once all the cream cheese is melted, add the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. Stir well until they are melted and combined with the rest of the ingredients.
- Stir in the crab meat, half and half, and Tabasco, mixing to combine the ingredients well.
- Taste the dip - the cheeses add a fair amount of salt, so I don't usually add any more. But if you like you could add some salt at this point.
- Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve with crackers or toast rounds.