Ultimate Corn Cheddar Crab Dip
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you actually consume this entire dip yourself.
But if, say, YOU DID, I wouldn’t exactly blame you.
I mean, you see this right?! It’s like summer glory in a skillet.
I’m having a real moment with corn right now, which means I’m basically adding it to everything. In pasta salads, on top of flank steak, blended into hummus? Been there, corned that. It’s a literal cluster of corn in the WRY kitchen these days, this epic dip being no exception.
The first time I had crab dip was at my in-law’s beach house, and I was hooked from the first dunk — creamy and cheesy with just the right amount of fresh crab, I pretty much bogarted the whole thing myself. But while I’ve always been one of those people who eats dip like crack — french onion? spinach artichoke? I’m getting chills just thinking about them — I was pretty surprised by how much I loved not just the cheesy, creamed dip, but the actual crab! When you think about it (or at least when I do) putting fresh fish into a hot, gooey dip kinda sounds like a recipe for disaster. But crab dip is actually incredibly tasty, SO easy to make, and even better when you combine it with corn.
Traditional crab dips are a mix of crab, cream cheese, mayo, and Old Bay, so I took that base and converted it into my own shebang. It all starts with a simple roux that’s used to create the thick, creamy sauce made of cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and white wine. Now when I tell you this sauce is thick, I mean THICK. It won’t be runny or watery whatsoever, and you’ll probably start freaking out that it almost looks gelatinous — Worry not! It’s a little weird-looking as it comes together, but so is your makeup.
Once the sauce is prepped simply combine it with fresh lump crab meat marinated in Old Bay, freshly cut corn kernels, and diced green chiles — That’s it! Top with more cheese + toasted panko crumbs, and you’re on your way to dip heaven.
Being the texture nut that I am I love how the corn adds not only sweetness, but a supple crunch that gives the dip crazy amounts of depth, it’s so damn good. The diced green chiles add subtle heat — I’m a sucker for a hint of spice! — and the toasted panko crumbs? Swoon! It creates the crunchiest, crispiest veil for the cheesy insides to bubble over, you might pass out just looking at it.
Using high-quality claw meat is a must for this, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping. And for entertaining ease, you can prep this up to a day in advance! Simply chill (uncooked) in the refrigerator until needed, then serve it piping hot fresh out of the oven. xo
Ultimate Corn Cheddar Crab Dip
- 1/2 cup Panko Crumbs
- 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8oz Lump Crab Meat
- 1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 ears of Corn
- 1 1/2 tbsps Salted Butter
- 1 1/2 tbsps Flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup Low Fat Cream Cheese (approx. half an 8oz block)
- 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 cup Dry White Wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc is good)
- 3 tbsps Diced Green Chiles (if using from a can, drain of liquid)
- diced Scallions to garnish (optional)
- Pita Chips and/or Bread for dipping
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- In small skillet toast panko crumbs in EVOO over a low flame until well browned, stirring as needed.
- Meanwhile, in mixing bowl combine the crab and Old Bay seasoning, tossing well to coat. Next, on cutting board remove the corn kernels.
- In another, large skillet, melt the butter over medium flame before whisking in the flour to create a roux. Add the cream cheese, white wine, and 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar to the skillet, incorporating each slowly and in alternate doses (approximately a large tbsp of cream cheese, tbsp of wine, and small handful of cheddar at a time – stir until smooth, then add more). Once all ingredients have been melted into a thick, creamy sauce, gently stir in the crab, corn, and diced green chiles until well combined.
- Top skillet with toasted panko crumbs and remaining cheddar cheese, then bake for 20 minutes until piping hot and bubbling. Serve immediately, garnishing with scallions if desired and pairing with pita chips or bread.