How can I use crab on a pizza? I had crab - if not just out of the ocean fresh it was caught by my friends steamed and brought home to me. In my mind that's far better than just caught fresh any day! As I hope you've already read, I had decided to make one pizza with some of the fresh cracked crab placed on top of the warm pizza after it baked. I thought that would be a great way to use the crab as close to it's original form. But, what else do I love with crab? What other ways could I use the rest of my supply? That's simple. Crab Dip! I love crab dip.
Crab Dip is already practically a pizza topping waiting to happen. It's a warm cheesy topping that you spread on a cracker, or a slice of bread. What does Peter always call pizza? He says it's basically "dough with something on it." That pretty much brings your typical crab dip served up on a slice of a nice baguette into the realm of Pizza. Wouldn't you agree? The simplified instructions would be: Place crab dip onto pizza crust. Cook. Eat.
So, off I went to the internets, as I like to say. Let's see what kind of Crab Dip recipes we can catch there. I browsed a few references for Crab Dip and Spicy Crab Dip until one jumped off the page from the Food Network. It was Emeril's "Hot Jalapeño Crab Dip". It looked Hot as in spicy and it had the word Jalapeños! I didn't need to wander any more. I was hooked (or, netted to play the pun) as I read the ingredient list and surprised to see he didn't call for just jalapeños, but pickled jalapeños! Well, who do we know who has his own pickled jalapeños sitting in the fridge that were made by none other than MOM herself! It was me. I had Mom's Pickled Jalapeños, which is what I wanted to use anyway. Crab, Emeril and Pizza - how could that be a bad combination? This was going to be fun.
You can go to Food Network, or simply google "Emeril's Hot Jalapeño Crab Dip" to get his original recipe. I didn't create this, I just used it as the basis for my pizza. I will post the recipe here as I modified it for my use. For the original, please go directly to the master himself!
A Cracked Crab Dip Pizza
- Peter's Classic Pizza Dough *See archives for recipe
- Peter's Herb Oil *See archives for recipe
- Emeril's Hot Jalapeño Crab Dip *I did a modified version. Or, use your favorite crab dip.
- Monterey Jack and Mozzarella Cheese
- A little Cream Cheese
- A little grated Parmesan Cheese
- Limes for drizzling
My version of Emeril's "Hot Jalapeño Crab Dip"
I halved his recipe as a guide because I was making one pizza and had about 1/2 the crab called for in his original recipe! The left overs were delicious as well the next few days!
- 1/2 pound Cracked crab, or packaged Lump Crab
- Chopped Garlic - about 1/2 teaspoon
- Grated Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Cream Cheese
- Chopped Mom's Pickled Jalapeños
- 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon of Hot Sauce - I used Frank's Red Hot
- 1/4 cup of Mayonnaise
Combine the Crabmeat, Garlic, Mom's Jalapeños, Cheeses, Worcesterchire, Hot Sauce and Mayo in a mixing bowl. I added the 3 cheeses by eye - wanting this cheesy, but not too cheesy. For my version I added a little cream cheese to make it a little creamier. I did not add any salt at this point because I felt that my Mom's SOY Pickled Jalapeños had enough and I like to finish the warm pizza with a little anyway.
There is no need to pre-bake this. Just mix it and set it aside. Bake the rest of it after you are done making your pizzas for later. Again, check out Emeril's original for the official version.
The Crab Dip Pizza
Pre-heat your oven to the highest temperature (about 550 degrees) for at least an hour prior to baking your pizzas to make sure your pizza stone comes up to temperature.
Spread your dough out on the pizza peel and cover lightly with some of Peter's versatile Herb Oil.
Add the Crab Dip onto the pizza. Spread it out a bit. It will cook down and flatten out as it bakes. I sprinkled a little more cheese on top as well before baking.
That's it: Dough then Dip. Now it goes into the oven. My oven was now on Convection Bake at 525. This pizza went in at 12 after the hour and came out at 19. That's 7 minutes. Pretty fast for a home oven. And, look at the bits of char I got. This was a nice bake for a home oven.
Right when it comes out of the oven hit it with some fresh squeezed lime and don't be shy about it.
Top with some wild arugula and a little grated parmesan cheese to finish.
Cut and Serve!
This was rich and spicy! This is not a pizza you'll sit down and eat by yourself. But, as an appetizer, or if you are sharing, it was really nice. Imagine taking your favorite crab dip and spreading it over a warm hot slice of an amazing bread that you just pulled out of the oven. Ok, that's this pizza! Delicious.
Try it out. Let me know if you've ever done this, or if you do, what you did to make it your own. Interestingly, I pulled a slice of this out of the fridge the next day and took a bite of it cold. It was really good - cold. It wasn't as rich and I ate a couple slices as my breakfast of champions meal of the day.
Thanks Emeril and thanks to my friends the Wildermuth's for bringing me some of their Dungeness catch to both enjoy with them and take more home to explore some new pizza ideas!