One of my favorite appetizers as a child was my mother’s crab mousse, one she always turned out expertly onto a plate from one of her copper-lined molds. She used gelatin to set the mousse’s shape and its elegant appearance belied the use of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup which was the foundation of the dip. When I moved out on my own in my 20s and started entertaining friends I tried the recipe a couple of times but I remember failing miserably at my efforts . I could never figure out why my version would never set…so I gave up trying for many years. There are some things (okay, many, many things) that moms just do best and for me, this was one of them.
When I started dating Mr. L&A crab dip returned to my life. One friend’s signature appetizer was a crab dip that looked and tasted remarkably like my mother’s. Whenever this friend would show up to a get-together I would find myself parked in front of the appetizer table enjoying bite after tasty bite of her crab dip. If my friends wanted to chat with me, they knew where to find me and on the occasion that I didn’t eat all of the dip at the party, the rest would be sent home with me.
Eventually I learned to make my own version. I don’t remember where I found the original recipe but my version skips the cream of mushroom soup and gelatin altogether in lieu of some fresher ingredients. While canned crab meat would work just fine here, I do prefer to use fresh crab and bay shrimp–the small amount needed of both in this recipe won’t break the bank but it’s certainly enough to make you want to park yourself in front of the appetizer table after you taste it.
* This dip is wonderful with crackers and/or veggies but for a bit more elegance, this would make an ideal filling for my popular Cucumber Cups.
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise, can't tell the difference)
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ lb crabmeat, flaked
- 3 ounces cooked small bay shrimp
- ½ cup chopped celery
- Process cheeses, mayo milk, garlic, Worcestershire and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the crab, shrimp and celery. Best if covered and refrigerated for a few hours before serving.
lovely picture delicious combination lovely to snack
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
Love this! It would be so perfect as a dinner party appetizer.
All That I'm Eating says
What a lovely summery dish. It looks fab.
I could eat this for lunch or dinner. Great recipe!
Christine, I’m the same way–I could eat this any time of day. 🙂
Choc Chip Uru says
This is such a stunningly presented dip – beautiful flavour and texture 🙂
Choc Chip Uru
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
What a delicious and beautiful appetizer! I will pass this on to my seafood loving friends – I love crab but it doesn’t love me so sadly I can’t partake any longer.
Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers says
Well, I think you have a reason for parking yourself at the appetizer table. With something like this, I would do. There really are some recipes that are best left to the Moms who can do them better. 🙂 I tried one of my Mom’s recipes too but it never came close.
Lea's Cooking says
This sounds so delicious:) I will give it a try.
Lawyer Loves Lunch says
I can attest to the deliciousness of this dip! 🙂
Purabi Naha says
Oh wowey! this looks very tempting indeed! I am going to make this for my next get-together party. Yum yum!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Despite I became allergic to crab (ugh!), I still enjoy small portion of crab dish because I LOOOOVE crab. I am already in love with this dip. A couple of surprise in the ingredients – Worcestershire Sauce (one of my fav combination is Worcestershire Sauce and mayo) and vegenaise (I didn’t know what it was!). Hoping to try this soon. Perfect snack with crackers. I’m so hungry passed midnight here…
Hi Jean! I like the idea of parking myself in front of this dip,lol! The combination of fresh crab and bay shrimp sounds heavenly 😉 My mother in law used to make a spread with salmon that she always referred to as a
‘mold’ which never sounded very appetizing but it was very good spread on crackers. Thanks for bringing this recipe back, such a great appetizer to bring to a party;-)
Jennie @themessybakerblog says
This is a beautiful dip! I love all of the fresh ingredients. Can I be that friend at the appetizer table at your place 😉
I love both crab and shrimp dip. The locals make something like it but it’s a bit more wet, not sure why. Anyway yours is making my mouth water. Thanks for sharing. It looks amazing:)
oh dear crab!! i love it in any form and the dip sounds absolutely yum.
Jen @ Savory Simple says
This is perfect for summer parties!
Lora @cakeduchess says
I don’t eat enough crab I just realized. I think this is marvelous and fun for dinner on these hot summer nights. It’s been hard getting in the kitchen and bearing the heat to make my usual dinners. This gave me a delicious inspiration.:)xx
Scottsdale Bubbe says
The secrets to the molded crab/shrimp appetiser: 1) Use small package Lemon Jello plus lemon juice; 2) at least 1/2 cup less water than the Jello package calls for; 3) if it is still available, use Campbell’s cream of celery soup, not mushroom; 4) thin the cream cheese with the milk and mayonaise before incorporating it with the liquid Jello; 5) add finely chopped red onion, and small cut water chestnuts for more crunch and color. You can also substitute cut up chicken meat.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with me! Maybe my mother used Cream of Celery instead of Mushroom? Now I’ll have to try it again! 🙂
DB-The Foodie Stuntman says
Funny story, only because my mother ha her own crab dip and this looks similar…
Congrats on the DailyBuzz top 9 feature:)!
Magic of Spice says
What a beautiful dip and recipe! I love the fresher version better as well…very lovely!
Diane Curtis says
I’ve been making this for about thirty years only minus the Parmesan, garlic, mayo, and celery and using a can of water packed tuna. It is always popular and a fraction of the price. We used to call it tuna pate. You can mold it. Put it in a bowl lined with Saran Wrap, chill, then unmold and sprinkle with parsley to serve. Give it a try! I’m going to try it this way but with the tuna. I’m sure it will be great.