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Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip in a Bread Bowl


The “City by the Bay” goes into a Dungeness crab frenzy each season around Thanksgiving with the annual opening of crab season. This pairing of crab and artichoke is a perfect way to extend and complement the flavor of the crab. This recipe invokes visions of the Golden Gate Bridge with its oh-so-very San Francisco pairing of a superb crab dip served in a toasted bread bowl.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium leek, white and light green part only, cleaned and thinly sliced

2 medium shallots, minced

1 Tablespoon of “Old Bay” brand seafood seasoning

1 cup half-and-half

8 ounces cream cheese, cut into ½” cubes

1cup grated white cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium leek, white and light green part only, cleaned and thinly sliced

2 medium shallots, minced

1 Tablespoon of “Old Bay” brand seafood seasoning

1 cup half-and-half

8 ounces cream cheese, cut into ½” cubes

1cup grated white cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


Yields about 5 cups Serves 15 or more as an appetizer


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F bake or 400°F convection.

  2. To make the toasted bread bowl, cut off the top inch of the loaf and scoop out the bread inside leaving a ½” thick crust. Cut the bread you removed from the inside into bread cubes for dipping. Place bread bowl with the bread lid and bread cubes beside it on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove and set aside.

  3. To make the crab dip, melt butter and oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat, add leeks and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add shallots and sauté for 2 more minutes. Stir in Old Bay seasoning. Add half-and-half and heat gently to a simmer. Reduce heat and whisk in cream cheese, a few pieces at a time. Remove from heat and slowly stir in grated cheddar cheese. Add mustard, Tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon juice and salt. Blend well. Add artichoke hearts, crab meat, parsley and black pepper to taste. Stir, taste and adjust seasonings.

  4. To serve: place the toasted bread bowl on a sheet pan, pour warm crab dip into the bowl and heat at 400°F for just 10 minutes until heated through. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and surround with any combination of celery or carrot sticks, cooked artichoke petals, pita chips, sliced bread and toasted bread cubes. When the bread bowl is almost empty, cut it into two bite pieces for a final treat!

* For a vegetarian version, substitute crab for one pound of cooked, drained, finely chopped spinach.




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