Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Books That Make Us Hungry: Skinny Dips

Janet here: So far, we've focused on books about food rather than cookbooks in this feature, and it struck us that this was just silly. The best cookbooks have me salivating as I turn the pages and filling it with sticky notes about recipes I can't wait to try. So we will periodically feature cookbooks we like to get you juiced about all the wonderful recipes out there.

First up is a new book by Diane Morgan called Skinny Dips. (Chronicle Books). I don't know about you, but I love to nosh. One of my favorite parts of dinner parties is the appetizers.

Which also means I tend to fill up on these tasty goodies. Enter Diane and 60 recipes for dips, spreads, chips and salsas minus some of the calories. She's got all of your favorites and then some. Baked crab dip? Check. Hot Artichoke Dip? Check. I made the crab dip this past weekend and it was absolutely wonderful. Four of us ate The. Whole. Thing. Probably not Diane's intent for the lower calorie thing, but it was that tasty. Clearly when I serve this again, I will have to make double.

Baked Crab Dip


6 ounces lump crabmeat, well drained
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (I only had dried so I put in about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives (again I only had dried to about 1 teaspoon if you use dried)
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (I'm not going to lie; I don't own reduced fat mayo so I used the real full-fat option)
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used a bit more because I like my food spicy)
1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the crabmeat in a bowl and flake with your fingers. Stire in the bell pepper, parsley and chives. Gently stir in the mayo, cream cheese, lemon juice and hot sauce.

Transfer to a shallow 1-quart baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the panko and lemon zest. Just before baking, sprinkle the panko mixture on top and bake until it's toasty brown and the dip is bubbling at the edges, about 12 minutes. Serve hot.

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