December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Carla


So sorry to be tardy in getting another post out. The good news is that I’ve been busy meeting deadlines for an e-book, a couple of magazine articles and finishing the editing on a book to be released in spring 2011.  I hope to get a post online next week, but in the meantime, here’s an easy, easy appetizer to get you over the entertaining hump. It is from Meredith and my book Everday to Entertaining (2011) Happy, happy, everyone!

Crab Dip with Artichokes and Jalapeno

Hands on time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour
Makes about 3 cups

In our experience, crab dishes really add razzle-dazzle to a cocktail party, especially when combined with goat cheese, artichoke hearts and nutty Parmesan. When served in a chafing dish (so it stays hot) this retro crabby dip reaches back through time to the 50’s and 60’s when neighbors dressed up and met for hors d’oeuvres and cocktails before dinner. Remember the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. If only Holly Golightly had had the sense to make this little nosh for her guests to nibble, her little party mightn’t have gotten so out of hand.

Must have - Chafing dish: Savvy hostesses love chafing dishes because they keep hot foods hot and require minimal attention during the party. We prefer chafing dishes with a pyrex liner dish and sterno heat source. That way you can fill the pyrex dish with the crab dip and heat it in the oven, then transfer it to the chafing dish and essentially forget about it for the night.

Makes about 3 cups
2 tbsp vegetable oil 25 mL
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper 50 mL
2 green onions, minced 2
1 stalk celery, minced 1
1 clove garlic, minced 1
5 oz goat cheese, crumbled 150 g
1 tbsp pickled jalapenos 15 mL
1 14 oz (400 g) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 1
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 75 mL
3 tbsp cup mayonnaise 45 mL
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 15 mL
1 tsp lemon juice 5 mL
1/4 tsp salt 1 mL
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 mL
8 oz pasteurized crabmeat, drained 125 mL
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, minced 50 mL
1/4 cup toasted almond slices 50 mL
Pita chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)

1. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the red pepper, green onion and celery and sauté, stirring until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the goat cheese and let the heat from the vegetables melt it.
2. To the bowl add the jalapenos, artichoke hearts, Parmesan, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, lemon juice, salt, pepper, crab and parsley and stir to combine. Transfer to a 4 cup (1 L) oven safe dish and top with the almond slices. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the dip is hot all the way through. Serve hot with the pita wedges as an accompaniment.
Make ahead: The dip can be assembled 24 hours in advance and kept covered and refrigerated. If baking the dip off cold, add 10 minute to the warming time.