As newcomers to Woodfin, NC we are anxious to meet our neighbors...we've been here six months and we've met several neighbors, had dinner with 3 or 4 couples. And we're excited tobe invited to "our" mountain's neighborhood wine tasting club. And apparently
they are anxious to meet "the Texans!" I just hope they aren't disappointed that we don't drive a Cadillac with steer horns, don't arrive with our spurs on (or even own a pair!) and neither my husband or I (despite being native Texans) have drawls...we do
say "ya'll!" We didn't own a cattle spread but my husband is retired from the oil andgas business. Many of my neighbors already know I kayak...that explosion of information was apparently a result of my telling a neighbor, "nope, they're NOT my husband's
kayaks...they're mine that I race in 100 mile races. HE paddles 50' long Chinese Dragon Boats with 19 other paddlers!"
What the neighbors don't know is that I cook, that I love to cook and that I have actually been a food reviewer for a major newspaper and have 3 out of print cookbooks under my first name (which I no longer use).
So...what does a Texian, marathoner kayaker take to a Washington State Wine Party held in North Carolina? Fancy, difficult, simple, home made, store bought? Safe? Daring? Gluten free (no...that's an easy one!).
The party's this afternoon...and I think I played it right in the middle of the road...not too safe, but not too showy and hopefully representing the great state of Washington with their crab and artichokes! Someone was already bringing a salmon dip!
Now to decide what to wear...5 gallon or 10 gallon hat????
Hot Crab Artichoke Dip
You can either bake this in an oven until golden brown on top or for an even easier buffet serving, I put it in a small crockpot so that it stays warm throughout the party. This can also be partially made a couple of days in advance.
Just don’t add the artichoke bottoms or crab until you get ready to heat it or the mixture will be very watery.
8 oz marscapone or cream cheese, softened
1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (finely grated Parmesan can be substituted)
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest, grated
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 14 oz can artichoke bottoms, drained and diced
8 oz. lump crabmeat
Buttery crackers or toast rounds to serve
Blend marscapone, Pecorino and mayonnaise until well incorporated.
Stir in the lemon zest, garlic pepper and cayenne pepper. Fold in the diced artichoke bottoms and lump crabmeat, stirring gently so as to not break up the crabmeat lumps.
Check for seasonings; add salt if needed. If you are using the Pecorino instead of Parmesan it is usually salty enough that more salt isn’t needed.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10-15 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden on top or heat on low in a small crock pot (4 cup).
Serve with crackers or toast rounds.
And IF there are any leftovers: scoop a couple of tablespoons of the spread into the center of an omelet before you fold it over!
Perfect for breakfast the morning AFTER you’ve given a party or dinner!