Stone Crab and Artichoke Dip

I can’t wait host another brunch or take part in another brunch. That’s because I’ve found a very interesting recipe to share. The recipe is called Stone Crab and Artichoke Dip, which comes from “The Flavors of the Florida Keys” (Atlantic Monthly, $27.50) by Linda Gassenheimer.

Gassenheimer is the Miami Herald’s Dinner in Minutes columnist who I’ve followed over the years in my newspaper’s association with Knight Ridder Newspapers and now McClatchy Newspapers. The book is a follow-up to her “Keys Cuisine.”

Gassenheimer has taken an interest in the Keys as a culinary destination, and in the process has reached out to the chefs and beach-shack cooks for many recipes in her column who have made it so. Seafood stars in a lot of the book’s recipes, including the crab-artichoke dip that caught my eye. I’m a big fan of dips at parties or get-togethers.

In this holiday season, I’m sure a lot of entertainers will find the recipe to their liking, too.

Stone Crab and Artichoke Dip
¾ cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and diced
¾ lightly sauted spinach, well-drained and chopped
¾ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¾ pound fresh picked stone crab meat (from about 2 pounds stone crabs in the shell)
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together artichoke hearts, chopped spinach, mayonnaise, Monterey Jack and Parmesan. Gently stir in the crab meat, breaking up any large chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow, oven-proof dish, and sprinkle the Pecorino Romano over. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until warmed through and slightly bubbly. Serve with water crackers.
Yield: Serves 8.
Note: Lump crab meat or imitation crab can substitute for stone crab in this rich and creamy dip.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 300 calories, 77 percent of calories from fat, 25.3 grams fat (6.8 grams saturated, 5.9 grams monounsaturated), 59.5 milligrams cholesterol, 14.6 grams protein, 2.8 grams carbohydrates, 0.4 grams fiber, 727 milligrams sodium.

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