Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Family That Cooks- Janelle's Crab Dip

My family is full of great cooks. Holidays and get togethers with my family always include some amazing homemade foods, especially appetizers and snack foods. We definitely love our snack foods. My son in law is the cheese ball master. The girls in the family make fancy cheese plates, delicious appetizers and all kinds of different dips and spreads. In fact, it's not uncommon for us to eat up all the snacks and appetizers and have no room for the turkey and trimmings!

You know when you get together with friends, maybe it's a Super Bowl party, or a neighborhood barbeque, or even the office potluck, and you have to sit and think about what to make? Do you have a go-to recipe for a great dish to share? I have a couple but I like to switch it up and try new things once in a while as well. My daughter in law shared this recipe with me, as well a sample before she brought it to a friend's house for a party, and it was awesome! 

Normally I am a strong and loud spokesperson for real crab and protest loudly against the use of fake crab, or surimi as it's sometimes called. My mind is changing! Besides being a common ingredient in sushi, which I love, and several delicious recipes that my friends have shared with me, I'm really beginning to appreciate this often maligned ingredient as a pretty good replacement for the real thing!

That's where my daughter in law, Janelle's dip come in. Loaded with finely chopped artificial crab, fresh veggies and a lime-infused mayo from the Hispanic market, piled high on a crispy cracker and topped with the slightest drizzle of spicy hot sauce, it's absolutely scrumptious. You can use any hot sauce you like, but Janelle recommends Valentina brand. 

This sauce was smooth, thick and spicy and not messy when drizzled over the top of the dip. It had a smoky quality to it too that went really well with the sweetness of the crab. If you like, you could spread the dip out onto a plate instead of a bowl and drizzle the sauce over the entire dip instead of individual bites.

Janelle's Spicy Crab Dip

1-2 lbs crab meat (imitation is great in this recipe)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup Mayonesa with lime (in the Mexican aisle)
Hot sauce of your choice

Chop the crab meat into small pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Chill to blend flavors. Serve dip with saltine crackers.

This dip was perfect on top of a saltine cracker. You can use any type or brand of cracker you like but choose one that won't compete with the dip's flavors. Throw in a handful of chopped ripe olives or diced bell pepper, or even jalapeno if you like. I especially like that it's not the usual hot crab dip. The tomato is so fresh, the onion adds a little crunch and the cilantro makes it herby and bright. I was also once a cilantro hater, but I have learned to embrace this beautiful herb.

Note: If you can't find the mayo in a Mexican store, you can substitute regular mayo with the zest and juice of a lime added.

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