Monday, October 21, 2013

Warm Cheesy Shrimp Dip

Warm Cheesy Shrimp Dip
Adapted from Charlotte's Hot Shrimp Dip
Serves 8 to 10
  •  1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons liquid crab boil - I use Old Bay
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 cup minced red or yellow bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 20 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced green-onion tops
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled butter crackers
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add 1 quart cool water, 1 tablespoon salt, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon liquid crab boil. Stir to dissolve salt. Add 2 quarts ice and set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full with water, add 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning , and bring to a boil. Season shrimp additional Old Bay seasoning, if desired. Add shrimp to saucepan and return water to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and allow shrimp to sit in hot water until just cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Remove shrimp from hot water and transfer to ice bath until completely cool.

While shrimp are cooling, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are thoroughly wilted, about 10 minutes. Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool.

Remove shrimp from ice bath and drain well, then finely chop and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add cooled vegetable mixture, cream cheese, mayonnaise, Jack cheese, green onions, thyme, black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer mixture to a baking dish, using the back of a spoon to evenly spread mixture. Sprinkle cracker crumbs in an even layer over top of dip. Bake, uncovered, until dip is heated through and golden brown on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm, with crackers or sliced baguette for dipping.

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