In early April, I went on vacation with two of my best friends of 25 years, including our families — kids, pets and all. We rented a beach house on St. Simons Island and spent the week eating to our hearts’ content, lounging on the beach and having jam sessions by the pool. It was the ideal vacation, complete with dolphin watching, strolling on the pier and working on our tans, but the most fun I had all week was when we rode our bikes to the pier for a little crabbing adventure.
I had purchased a basic crab net from the St. Simons Island Hardware Store in the village a few years back, and had tried my luck a time or two without success. Somehow, this trip was different though, and that night, we caught more than 15 wild Georgia blue crabs right off the pier, using chicken necks as bait. We gently tossed the female crabs back, because they are illegal to keep, but got to keep nine big males — just enough to make a delectable crab dip.
When we returned home with our catch, we got right to work cooking the crabs. We set a big pot of water on the stovetop and began to season it, when suddenly we realized we didn’t have enough salt, which is an absolute must. It was pretty late by this time, and all the grocery stores were closed. So, after a brief detour to the local gas station and $10 later, we were back in business. We seasoned the water liberally with salt, lemon juice and half a lemon, and boiled the crabs until they turned bright red, about 10 minutes. Old Bay is another great seasoning you can add to your pot. Then, we let them cool completely and popped them in the refrigerator until the next day when we could begin picking the meat. If you’ve never been crabbing, it is an incredibly exciting activity and really rewarding when you can catch your own food and return home to make something delicious. I highly encourage you to visit a local fishing pier and cast your own net.
My friend, Angela, taught us all how to pick the crabs and get to the best meat. She learned from her husband Levi’s sweet Aunt Adela. Adela lives on the Georgia coast, and as a young boy, Levi spent many summers crabbing in the tidal rivers of Shellman Bluff. On a recent trip to visit Adela, Angela learned this valuable skill and shared her knowledge with the rest of us. Over a glass of wine and great conversation, we sat and picked crab meat and loved every moment. We developed the recipe I’m sharing today together and named it to honor Aunt Adela.
Creamy, sweet and cheesy, this crab dip is served cold and makes a Some Kinda Good appetizer. Serve it chilled at a baby shower, Lowcountry boil get together or nice dinner party when you really want to impress your company. The dip has just enough punch from the hot sauce to make you want more.
As if going crabbing and creating a prized recipe with my best friends wasn’t heavenly enough, we carried this Cold Georgia Blue Crab Dip with us on a St. Simons Island Dolphin Tour that very night, munching on buttery crackers to the sound of the seagulls and sight of dolphins weaving in and out of the ocean. I can’t think of too many more perfect scenarios, and I can’t wait to dip my crab net again.
Aunt Adela's Cold Georgia Blue Crab Dip
Enjoy this crab dip as an appetizer with buttery crackers. This tops the list as one of my most favorite recipes ever.
Serves 8 – 10
- 1 (8-oz) tub of whipped cream cheese
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 cup of sharp cheddar, freshly and finely grated
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- A few healthy dashes of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of fresh picked blue crab meat (from about 9 large crabs)
- Club crackers, for serving
In a medium bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients until well blended. Gently fold in the crab meat, stirring to combine. Finish the dip with a few dashes of Old Bay right over the top. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until cold. Serve with buttery crackers. Refrigerate leftovers.
Food Network Star finalist Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a food enthusiast and writer. Her blog, Some Kinda Good, features Southern, coastal recipes, locally sourced and in-season. A Georgia Southern University alumna, she also attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. To learn more, like Some Kinda Good on Facebook, follow @SKGFoodBlog on Twitter and Instagram or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.