Hot Crab Dip
This dip is great for any time, but I think it is particularly good for this cold grey January weather. It is warming, tasty and easy to make ahead. Just throw in a hot oven for 15 minutes when your guests arrive and they will be able to enjoy the enticing aromas as it cooks. Using tinned crab meat means it doesn't work out prohibitively expensive either, which is a bonus. It's good as a sharing starter too, just double the quantities for a generous dish for 4 and serve with chunks of toasted crusty bread.
1 tin of crab meat (around 150g, drained weight is a bit less)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 tsp paprika
6 drops of Tabasco (add a few more drops if you like heat)
1 tsp English mustard
1 tbs lemon juice
60ml double cream
75ml cream cheese
30g strong cheddar, grated + an optional extra 2 or 3 tablespoons to sprinkle on top
Seasoning to taste
Melt the butter and cook the chopped shallot until has softened, but not browned.
Stir in the mustard, paprika, Tabasco, lemon juice and double cream.
Add the cream cheese and grated cheddar and stir until well combined.
Finally mix in the drained crab meat and seasoning.
Spoon the crab dip into a small oven proof serving dish, sprinkle with the extra cheddar cheese, if using. Cook for about 15 minutes at 180°c or 160°c fan, until bubbling.
Serve with pitta crisps or toasted bread.