I’m having a hard time transitioning with the seasons. Not summer to fall. Crab to oyster! Just when I thought I had had my fill of those luscious Louisiana blue crabs in all their glorious incarnations, bam! I remembered this gem of a finger food that I’ve never shared with you all. Years back, this bread was the first appetizer I made for any get-together. Then, somehow, it got overshadowed by the likes of Cajun Egg Rolls, Andouille Baked Brie and Corn Dip. Today, I’m putting it back in the limelight for reasons you’ll soon understand!
This recipe deserves to be at the top of any entertaining menu because it’s super simple and can be made in advance. I like to prepare four to six loaves at a time and freeze the extras by wrapping them individually in a layer of wax paper followed by plastic wrap. I then tuck them into freezer bags and freeze away. They’ll keep for at least three months. When I’m in the mood or have last minute or unexpected company, I defrost what I need and bake away.
Although the recipe’s straightforward, I do want to say a word about the bread. Traditional New Orleans French bread, which has a shatteringly crisp crust and fluffy interior, is by far the best bread for this job. If however your choices are limited (like mine are here in the Atlanta burbs), a baguette or some knockoff version of our French bread will work. Just remove some of the doughy insides. Too much of that yeasty … stuff will fill you up long before you’re ready to call it quits and it will take away from the dreamy crabmeat spread on top.
My beer of choice this evening is a Terrapin Phlux Capacitor. Remember the “flux capacitor” from Back to the Future? That was the name of the device that made time travel possible! Well, this is Terrapin’s interpretation of a totally fictitious “Bully” beer brewed in another dimension. (It’s hard to get in these beer peoples’ heads sometimes. Don’t overthink it. Just drink and be happy!) I’ve at least made sense as to why I like it with my crab bread. It’s the smoky, dark fruit and toasted bread elements. They match up perfectly with the oven-toasted French bread without overwhelming the crab. There’s nothing fictitious about that!
Until next week …
Crab Bread Recipe
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire sauce)
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons Blackened Seasoning Mix, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt
1 pound Louisiana blue crabmeat (any type or combination)
1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add green onions and garlic; cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add cream cheese; cook, stirring frequently, until melted and fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, Lea & Perrins, Tabasco, Blackening Seasoning Mix, garlic powder and salt Remove pan from heat and gently fold in crabmeat. Place French bread on a large baking sheet. Spread crabmeat mixture evenly on both sides of bread. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 8-10 minutes. Dust with paprika, slice into 2-inch pieces and serve immediately. Makes 6-8 appetizer servings.