People usually don’t think of seafood and cheese as a winning combination, but crabmeat and Neufchatel cheese make for a rich, gooey, addictive dip. In this recipe, the delicate sweetness of the crabmeat is complimented by the slight bite of the dry vermouth and lemon juice. Easy to make and twice as easy to devour, serve it up at your next gathering (as quarantine permits) and everyone will be impressed!
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
Dry vermouth, to deglaze
8 oz Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese), room temperature, cut into chunks
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp paprika
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 lb lump crab meat, canned
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Fresh chives, thinly sliced, to top
Crostini, to serve
In a slow cooker with a sauté function,* melt the butter at 300F. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, turning the heat down if the shallot seems to be browning too quickly. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), and then deglaze with a generous splash of the dry vermouth. Cook down the vermouth until the vermouth has reduced a little and taken on a saucy texture from combining with the butter, about 1 minute.
Turn the heat to Slow Cook: LOW. Add the Neufchatel, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, Dijon mustard, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, scallions, and crab meat. Mix well (the mixture will still be lumpy, but the different ingredients should be evenly distributed), put on the lid, and allow to cook on LOW for 1 hour.
Mix the dip again, until it’s smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Serve hot or warm, on top of crispy crostini and lightly showered with the chives.
*Or in a small sauté pan over medium heat, cook the onion, then the aromatics, then add everything to the slow-cooker.