Seafood

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

by Shawnda on December 12, 2013

in Appetizers,Bread,Seafood,Tailgating Favorites

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

One of the things I look forward to most every December is my friend (and realtor extraordinaire) Brandi’s cookie exchange. Two dozen women each bring six dozen cookies, dump them in the dining room on their way into the kitchen, and then proceed to drink two dozen bottles of Prosecco.

It’s a cookie exchange that isn’t totally about the cookies. And it is a good time.

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

This year, my favorite part of the party wasn’t the cookies (never is). Or the Naughty Punch (always is). Or even the straight Prosecco when it was too much work to get up and walk into the kitchen for more punch (because why do that when you can carry a bottle around the house with you).

My favorite part was the artichoke bread. Guys. A loaf of bread split in half and topped with a creamy mixture of artichokes, cheese, and garlic and then baked to bubbly, melty perfection.

Who need chips or crackers when you bake your dip directly on the bread?

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

Bubbly, melty, cheesy perfection only gets better with that container of crab that has to be eaten, like, yesterday later. But, you know wasn’t. Because Prosecco.

Serve it with dinner. Or as dinner. And then lunch and dinner again.

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

Cheese, artichokes, and crab are baked on top of ciabatta for the ultimate party food.

Ingredients

  • 1 large loaf ciabatta (my loaf was ~15in x 6in)
  • 2 cans quartered artichokes, drained well
  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (sour cream or mayo would also work)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 green onions, sliced and dark green parts reserved for garnish
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (I used half cheddar, half Monterrey jack)
  • 8 oz lump crab

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Cut the loaf of ciabatta in half horizontally and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, a couple of dashes of Worcestershire, white and light green parts of the green onions, garlic, parsley, and Old bay seasoning.
  4. Stir in the cheese, artichokes, and crab until everything is nicely coated.
  5. Generously top the two halves of the ciabatta with the artichoke mixture, spreading it all the way to the edges of the bread.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the broiler on for an additional 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese (keep an eye on it while broiling).
  7. Slice into strips and serve warm/hot.
  8. I had ~3/4 cup of the topping leftover that I put into a ramekin and baked along side the bread.
  9. Leftovers will keep tightly wrapped in the fridge - reheat in the oven for ~10 minutes.

Notes

Yields: A lot. Servings vary.

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 35 minutes

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Crabby Mac

by Shawnda on October 30, 2013

in Pasta, Rice, and Grains,Quick & Easy,Seafood

Stovetop Crab macaroni & Cheese

I spent almost my entire October doing nothing that was on my To Do List.

Or fun.

We didn’t have time to move this blog over to its new location at The Brewer and The Baker (but that’s still coming), we let the blog’s 7th birthday go by (that, too, is still coming), we almost let our 7th anniversary go by but Jason swooped in and saved the day with emergency margaritas, and here I am on the day before Halloween, marathon training on pause thanks to plantar fasciitis, and looking at a 90% chance of a Trick-or-Treat rain-out.

Seriously – waaaaaaah, right?

Stovetop Crab macaroni & Cheese

My family has sustained on Chick-fil-A and Jason’s Deli, I haven’t cleaned anything in 3 weeks (well, not the house we live in), and I bought new underwear to avoid “wasting” time by doing laundry. I also set a new personal-best for the number of F-Bombs dropped in a 12 second period. (Related: No. I do not want to talk about the paint incident.) (And yes, my power-tripping 3 year old put me in time out.)

If I could turn back time , I’d go back to 2008, look Past Shawnda in the eye, which would totally freak her out long enough to distract her, kick her in the girl parts, and scream “THIS IS WHAT BUYING RENTAL HOUSES DOES TO FUTURE SHAWNDA. PUT THAT MONEY IN APPLE AND VALERO STOCK AND GO GET A REAL JOB!”

Stovetop Crab macaroni & Cheese

For nearly 4 full weeks, I have not been a real joy to be around. But that all changed the second I dropped those house keys into my Realtor’s hands. We were free. FREE!

Free to come home to a house that smelled funky because no one remembers the last time we were here long enough to put garbage in the kitchen can, much less take it out to the street. Free to eat food that wasn’t handed to us through a drive-thru window. Free to realize that you’re better off just burning wet bath towels and the washer in which they were forgotten than trying to fix them.

Free to throw together a dinner using only things I could find in the pantry and freezer because we’re nearly through November’s grocery budget.

Stovetop Crab macaroni & Cheese

There are a few times that others can appreciate my hoarding tendencies. Finding crab in the freezer to throw in to some macaroni in cheese is one of those. Otherwise, we’d have found ourselves at Jason’s Deli for the 15th time this month.

A slight variation on our standard stove top mac & cheese recipe, I went for cream cheese instead of yogurt and added worcestershire, green onions, and a little mustard to make it more of a “crab dip meets pasta” dish. Warm, creamy, indulgent and still not that terrible for you – I was almost as happy polishing off a second helping as I was throwing the keys at my Realtor’s face and running away while laughing maniacally.

But now? Now it’s time for fun :)

Stovetop Crab Macaroni & Cheese

Stovetop macaroni and cheese meets crab dip - creamy, indulgent, and takes only 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz pasta
  • 4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped (dark green parts set aside)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 oz white cheddar, shredded*
  • 3 oz fontina, shredded*
  • Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp dijon or brown mustard
  • 1 cup crab meat, picked over for shells (this was from 1 1/2 snow crab clusters)
  • *Do not use pre-shredded cheese.

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in salted water, according to package directions (you will be reserving some pasta water so don't forget - put the measuring cup in the strainer in the sink if you need a reminder).
  2. While the water is boiling/pasta is cooking, cut cream cheese into 6-8 blocks and microwave on half power until completely softened.
  3. In a small pan, heat a little oil and cook the white and light green onions parts and garlic for 2-3 minutes (you want to soften and knock the raw edge off).
  4. When the pasta is finished, reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain the pasta and immediately return it to the pot.
  5. Working quickly (it has to be hot to melt the cheese), add ~1/3 cup pasta water, the cream cheese, and 1/3 of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted - pressing on the cream cheese before stirring will help it incorporate faster.Stir in remaining cheese, one handful at a time to prevent clumping.
  6. Add the onions and garlic, few dashes Worcestershire, mustard, crab, and several grinds black pepper.
  7. Add additional pasta water as necessary to thin the sauce and melt the cheese.
  8. Garnish with dark green onion parts and serve hot/warm.

Notes

Yields: 3-4 generous servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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Margarita-glazed Fish Tacos

I get the best dinner ideas when I don’t have the ability to write them down. Like sitting at dinner with a fork in my hand. Or pushing The Little through HEB in one of those soul-killing plastic car-cart monstrosities.

Or playing Candy Crush :oops:

Then 2 nights later, I’m looking at a random collection of ingredients trying to remember what I was supposed to do with them.

That’s why I found myself heavy a pound of white fish and a single orange last week. Since they’re usually for margaritas, I never just buy one orange. It had to be one of those “all I need is X and Y because I have everything else” ideas.

I never did figure it out.

Instead, I whipped up a quick margarita-esque marinade, let the fish sit a bit, and then reduced the marinade down to a boozy, citrusy glaze while the fish cooked and I finished the rest of dinner.

Drizzled over the fish tacos before serving, the glaze really adds a bright punch of flavor to the tacos.

So let this be a lesson: When in Doubt, Margarita.

Margarita-Glazed Fish Tacos

Smokey, grilled fish tacos get a summery, flavorful punch from a margarita glaze.

Ingredients

  • For the fish:
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (1 small orange)
  • 1 lbs white fish (cod, tilapia, etc)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 small tortillas
  • For the pico de gallo
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Add the tequila, lime juice, zest, orange juice, and fish to a large zip-top bag and let sit for no longer than 30 minutes (less if your fish is delicate; tilapia and cod tend to hold up well).
  2. Heat your grill to medium-high.
  3. Stir together the ingredients for the pico de gallo and set aside.
  4. Grill the fish 4-5 minutes each side, until the center is just opaque.
  5. While the fish is grilling, pour the marinade into a large sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil, reducing to ~1/4 cup.
  6. Season the fish with salt and pepper and flake into large chunks.
  7. Serve the fish on tortillas topped with pico de gallo and a drizzle of the tequila reduction.

Notes

Yields: 6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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