Source: The Wednesday Chef via Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeuvres Handbook, which is a classic — I’ve had this book for over 10 years, and every time I open it, I find new inspiration. Watch a video of Martha making the dip here.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¾ cup half-and-half
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1¾ cups)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 10 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
- ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into ¼-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- bread, crackers, toast points for serving
- extra lemon for serving, optional (I like a little extra)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the cayenne, Old Bay, and dry mustard until well combined.
- Pour half-and-half into saucepan and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the cream cheese, a few pieces at a time. When the cream cheese is fully incorporated, whisk in the cheddar cheese, a handful at a time. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce; stir to combine. Stir in crabmeat and half of the parsley. Transfer mixture to an ovenproof baking dish.
- Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. In a small bowl, toss bread with the butter, remaining parsley, and paprika. Season with salt. Spread bread mix over crab and bake until bread layer is golden and dip is hot, 18 to 22 minutes — depending on your vessel, it might take less or more time. Once it is bubbly and beginning to look golden, it’s done. Serve with bread and extra lemon if using.