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Hot Crab Dip or Spread

Makes about 3-1/2 cups

If you love crab, you will love this recipe for hot crab dip. It is a quick, easy and delicious appetizer or party food, and my version of a southern favorite. Serve it with homemade crostini, as in the similar and related links, or mild-flavored crackers. See the notes below for variations.

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, horseradish and lemon juice. Add the crabmeat, salt and pepper; combine well. Place in a lightly greased 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. (Can be prepared several hours ahead and refrigerated until baking.) Bake until hot and bubbly, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: Both Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard are high in sodium, so go easy on the salt. The mixture will appear very thick when cold, but will thin out during baking. Add a little milk if you prefer a thinner dip. You cam keep the spread hot on a chafing dish when serving, or just let it stand at room temperature. If desired, reheat in microwave.

Variations: Sprinkle top with sliced almonds or chopped pecans before baking. Substitute cheddar cheese for the Parmesan, which is more common in southern dips. After baking, garnish the top with chopped fresh parsley or paprika for color.