A wonderfully rich hot dip, balancing the sweet, delicate taste of crabmeat with melted Fontina cheese.

1 shallot, minced

2 Tbsp butter

1 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional

8oz cream cheese, softend

8oz Fontina cheese, shredded, divided

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tsp. sherry vinegar

8oz good quality lump crab meat, picked over

4oz creme fraiche

2-4 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded

3-4 chives, minced, optional

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

1 pinch saffron, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  While the oven is preheating, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and saute until soft and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.  Add saffron and red pepper flakes, and saute for one minute more.  Set aside.
  2. In a mixer or large bowl, combine cream cheese, creme fraiche, mayonnaise, shredded Fontina cheese, and sherry vinegar, and mix together until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Fold crab into cheese mixture until just combined.  Pour into a baking dish, and top with remaining Fontina and Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly bubbly.  Then broil for another 3-5 minutes, until top begins to brown.  Remove from oven, garnish with chives if desired, and serve immediately.
Original recipe found at thatsquareplate.com
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