Saint Nick & Christmas Eve Crab Dip

After a few weeks of emailing back and forth, I met up with Nick for dinner on Friday night at a Cuban restaurant that seems to be the “hot spot” of southern Orange County. I’m not really sure why- it wouldn’t last a weekend in NYC. They do deep-fry avocado though so I did my best to forget that the last time I had been there it was with Terrible Tyler and that I had spent that date scanning the floor to see if anyone had dropped some xanax that I could crush up and put in his food. I may write about Tyler at a later date, but I will have to see my therapist first to get the PTSD under control.

Anyway, Nick was tall, dressed really nicely and the perfect combo of nerdy intellectual and successful confidence. Conversation flowed easily and without incident, except for when he tried to describe where his house was and I kept asking if it was near the bar “Scotty’s”. He repeated that he had never heard of Scotty’s. Of course he hadn’t; It’s in Springfield, NJ, not Newport Beach and I’m not sure how I got there mentally but I was relieved to finally be out with a man who seemed to be less brain damaged than I. Nick unfortunately seemed to be very busy between his job and his MBA classes- but texted me that he had a great time and we should do it again.

More importantly, it was a welcome change from the endless parade of clowns that has been in rotation lately. No giant fireworks were needed, just a little validation that there are gentlemen out there who will be polite and allow me to eat deep-fried fat without asking if I worked out that day.

And speaking of food…..

crab-woman-467

I began cooking (food- not meth) to cope with stress several years ago when I was working night shift.  I resumed it, along with baking, after ending my most recent relationship.  I find it very soothing, and methodical, yet mindless, and since I am so crazy smart and my brain is always working overtime, I enjoy the mental break.  I decided to include some recipes at the urging of my lifelong friend/wildly talented writer, Nicole.

I made this recipe on Christmas Eve.  The night before, I had gone out with Bryan (see previous post) which had concluded with me eating crab cakes in my car in the parking lot of the restaurant after I had fled.  So here you have a delightful crab recipe perfect for sharing with friends as you recount your own horrendous evening, or for celebrating the birth of our Lord.  It’s that versatile.

Low-Carb/Low-Bullshit Crab Dip

*adapted from Whole Foods Recipe*

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) container lump crabmeat
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Neufchâtel cheese (or Mascarpone or cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, break up crabmeat into slightly smaller pieces, feeling through mixture to make sure no shell pieces remain. Stir in artichokes and bell pepper and set aside.
    Place Neufchâtel, mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons chives, lemon juice, Worcestershire and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just combined. Transfer to bowl with crab mixture and gently stir to combine. Spread into a 1-quart shallow baking dish. Bake until mixture is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon chives and serve.

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