Double the cheese, a bunch of the crab, none of the crabbiness, all of the tastiness. That’s what this dip is all about!
Wait, is that a children’s song? I don’t remember. My mind is too preoccupied with party things and my mouth is too full of this cheesy crab dip to think about it too much.
You see, my newborn, my baby girl, the one I gave birth to, you know, like, two weeks ago? She’s almost a year old. In T-minus less than a month, I will be throwing her first birthday party. There will be balloons and flowers and colorful pom pom decorations and banners and a cake and appetizers like this dip and also maybe a lot of tears from yours truly over the fact that she’s turning one and I don’t know how to deal. At least there will be cake and this crab dip (and probably some vino, WHO CAN SAY) to help me out.
I almost hesitated to share this recipe with you because it reveals one of my secret food loves that I should probably be ashamed of, and that is imitation crab meat. I know it’s not for everyone, but I LOVE IT. Like a lot a lot. I mix it with mayo and seasonings and put it on a roll with butter lettuce and devour it on the semi-regular, and I’ve been looking for other excuses/ways to eat it. Behold, double cheese crab dip.
I’ll save my love stories of Velveeta mac and cheese and day-old popcorn for another day.
Of course, I know imitation crab meat isn’t for everyone, so you are more than welcome to use canned crab meat in the recipe, or swap the crab thing entirely for shredded chicken, ground beef or black beans. Really, most anything goes well with a combination of cream cheese, salsa and shredded cheese. Just be sure you have a boatload of tortilla chips at the ready when this comes out of the oven all bubbly and hot, gooey and cheesy. Because if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to wait longer than approximately threeve seconds to dig in.
My little one’s first birthday, however? That I can wait a bit longer for. While I am so excited to throw a party for her (it’ll be a small family one, but nevertheless I’m imagining epic fun times ahead with decorations and a hot pink frilly dress for the birthday girl and the glorious food spread, of course), I’m also in total denial that a year has passed already. I have been told time and time again by those who have gone before me that the days are long but the years are short… and you guys, it’s so very true. So I try to treasure every millisecond I have with my babe before she’s grown and off to college.
One day, probably sooner than I realize, she’ll be enjoying imitation crab meat sandwiches and cheesy crab dip right along with me, maybe even helping me in the kitchen to prepare them and I’ll look over at her and be all, “YOU WERE A YEAR OLD JUST YESTERDAY,” and then I’ll probably cry again and she’ll roll her eyes and tell me to calm down and stop being so embarrassing. It’ll be great.
But I digress. For today, I’m going to think about dunking
my face I mean, a bunch o’ chips into this delish dip situation. I recommend you do the same.
- 1 (8 oz) package Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 (8 oz) package imitation crab meat or canned crab meat (drained)
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread softened cream cheese evenly in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.
- In a small bowl, combine salsa and chili powder. Pour mixture evenly over cream cheese. Top evenly with crab meat, then sprinkle with shredded cheese and black olives.
- Bake 20 minutes until mixture is bubbly and cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.