I hate to brag, but isn’t that sometimes what blogging is all about…and as Julia Child said, “Don’t ever apologize [in the kitchen]!” She knew everyone who cooks a meal deserves a little bragging rights…no matter how good or bad the meal turns out.
So here’s my (not-so-humble) brag: Some of my writing was recently published in the beautiful new Cooking Light cookbook Good Mood Food. This book is all about healthy comfort food, whether you are comforted by pizza or brisket or Bibimbop or Lebanese Peppers or Plum Kuchen or Warm Coconut Rice Pudding or Sweet & Salty Peanut Chocolate Chunk Cookies or Sticky Buns. (Yes, I know it’s a long list, but I need to remember all the recipes I want to try!)
Some of the blogger members of the Cooking Light Bloggers Connection program were asked to submit thoughts on some of our favorite comfort food recipes from book. Here’s what I wrote:
“Traditional holiday recipes are funny fare. Why are some dishes served only once a year? In my family, it seems almost sacrilegious, even impossible, to serve those special foods at non-holiday times of the year. If I actually had the nerve to prepare my family’s Baked Crab Meat Casserole, served in crab shells, any day other than Christmas Eve, I wouldn’t dare tell Mom or my sisters, and I’d be a little worried that Grandma would admonish me from heaven. So, when I found this recipe for Cajun Hot Crab Dip, I was overjoyed that I could still have the comfort food flavors my heart craved with out breaking any family rules.”
I made the Good Mood Food version of the crab dip recently, and well, let’s just say if I didn’t have so much history with my family’s crab dish, the Cooking Light version might be my new favorite. It was so good my husband and I ate practically the whole dip one night and just skipped dinner.
Here are the few changes I made to the original recipe to make it Hot Corn & Crab Dip:
- Added 3 cobs of fresh corn since I literally have it coming out of my “ears,” thanks to farmer friends
- Subbed 1 leek instead of the shallots and green instead of red pepper; forgot the garlic
- Used canned instead of fresh crab (and actually subbed a can of oysters for 1 can of crab since I only had 1 can of crab – so if you don’t sub in oysters, your dip will probably be a more – ummm – appetizing color) Added more lemon juice since the oysters have a stronger flavor than crab; this made ALL the difference!
Hot Corn and Crab Dip
This easy dip is so good you will be eating the whole thing and skipping dinner.
- Yield: 12 servings or less if you eat as dinner as we did! 1x
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 small leek, thinly sliced
- 2 cans crabmeat, divided (or 1 can crabmeat plus 1 can oysters)
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 cup canola mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
- 3 cobs corn, kernels cut off
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons Italian or regular panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Heat a sautee pan over medium heat; add oil. Toss in leek and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently; add juice from 1 can of crabmeat and cook 2 more minutes. Place 1 can crab (or oysters if using) in a food processor. Add the leek mixture, pepper sauce, and Cajun seasoning to crab; process until smooth. Spoon mixture into a large bowl, and stir in the other can of drained crab, mayonnaise, and the next 6 ingredients (through black pepper).
- Transfer the mixture to a 1-quart glass or ceramic casserole dish coated lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle panko over crab mixture. Coat panko mixture with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Serve with crackers and/or fresh veggies.
What are you cooking with corn these days? Do you have any foods that you only serve on Labor Day or other holidays?