Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bread Bowl Seafood Dip

Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes
Yield: 2 1/4 cups

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 can (6 ounces) small shrimp, rinsed and drained
1 can (6 ounces) crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 round loaf (1 pound) sourdough bread
assorted fresh vegetables

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise and mustard. Stir in the shrimp, crab, 1/3 Monterey jack cheese and onion. Cut the top fourth off the loaf of bread; carefully hollow out bottom, leaving a 1/2-in. shell. Cube removed bread, set aside.

Spoon seafood mixture into bread shell. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Wrap tightly in heavy-duty foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Unwrap, bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and dip is heated through. Serve with vegetables and reserved bread cubes.

Tips and Tricks
I make my own whole wheat bread dough in my bread machine, then shape into a round loaf and bake in the oven. Whipped cream cheese is the easiest to work with, but if using a block of cheese, cooking for 10 seconds in the microwave before whipping helps soften it just enough to easily beat. Chop green onions with kitchen shears. The dip can be made ahead of time before baking to save time.
Make It Healthier
Use low-fat mayonnaise and cream cheese. Serve with whole wheat or whole grain bread.
How Kids Can Help
Older kids can use the hand mixer to beat the cream cheese mixture. Younger kids can dump ingredients into the bowl and spoon into the bread bowl.

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