Creamy Crab Dib with Jicama Spears

Creamy Crab Dib with Jicama Spears

We served this dip at our very first New York City New Year’s Eve party. Lauren’s handwritten note on the recipe is “monster hit.” It’s appeared at many parties since.

Ingredients Directions

For the crab dip

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 pounds lump crabmeat, drained and picked over to remove any shell, then shredded*
4 tablespoons grated onion
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

*We have also successfully used high-quality canned crabmeat in this recipe. It, too, needs to be picked over to remove shell pieces. 

For the jicama

1 large jicama, pared
juice of 1 lime
2-3 teaspoons ground cumin

Prepare the dip

Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in the crabmeat, then the rest of the ingredients. Microwave the dip in the bowl for about a minute, or until heated through. Stir again.

Prepare the jicama

Cut the pared jicama into square-sided spears—think of the shape of thick-cut french fries. (The best way to pare this somewhat intimidating vegetable: Cut it in half crosswise. Set one half, cut side down, on a cutting board and, starting from the top, cut down toward the cutting board, slicing fairly deeply to get through the thick skin. Work in strips around the circumference. Repeat with the other half.)

In a bowl, toss the jicama spears with enough lime juice to lightly coat. Drain on paper towels or use a paper towel to blot off excess juice, then sprinkle liberally with cumin.

Makes about 3 cups of dip.

MO’ EFFORT Create a bread bowl by hollowing out a large round loaf of Italian or sourdough bread. Cut the bread you removed from the bowl into chunks, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Put the bowl on a baking sheet, toss the bread chunks around it, and bake until lightly toasted in the oven. Fill the bowl with crab mixture and put the extra bread out with the jicama. (Don’t forget to add serving spoons or spreaders if you’re using bread chunks; they’re not as easy to dip by hand as the jicama spears.)

Make-Ahead Factor

The jicama can be cut, tossed with lime juice, and kept covered and refrigerated for 1 day. Sprinkle on the cumin just before serving. The crab dip can be made 3 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

From Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! Easy Hors D'oeuvres, Delicious Drinks and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining with Style by Lauren and Anne Purcell.