BAKED SEAFOOD DIP WITH CRAB, SHRIMP, AND VEGGIES!

It’s extremely challenging for me to resist face-planting into my food while photographing it.
The first time I made this delicious dip, I took ten shoddy photos before clumsily diving in with a torn piece of baguette.
I made a considerable dent before deciding I had just enough left to photograph the following day. That was the plan at least. I forgot I have a husband. The kind of husband who comes home from an 11 hour day, sniffs out the newest creation to take up real estate in the fridge, and spoons it into his face like the man has never seen food before.  Round two gave me maybe six or seven extra shots before it suffered the same fate as the first round.

It’s extremely challenging for me to resist face-planting into my food while photographing it.  The first time I made this delicious dip, I took ten shoddy photos before clumsily diving in with a torn piece of baguette.  I made a considerable dent before deciding I had just enough left to photograph the following day. That was the plan at least. I forgot I have a husband. The kind of husband who comes home from an 11 hour day, sniffs out the newest creation to take up real estate in the fridge, and spoons it into his face like the man has never seen food before.  Round two gave me maybe six or seven extra shots before it suffered the same fate as the first round.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb fresh/defrosted raw shrimp
  • 4 ounces quality* lump or claw crab meat
  • 1-2 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery (optional but tasty!)
  • 1 TBSP minced jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic minced and smashed with 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning blend
  • 3-4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2.5-3 cups freshly grated Gouda cheese (not smoked)
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp chopped parsley
  • paprika to taste

Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prep shrimp and crab as needed by defrosting, cleaning, peeling and deveining your shrimp and shredding your crab. If you need a shrimp prep guide, I have some photos and mini tutorial [here] You can also buy yours already cleaned and shelled for ease of use! Whatever you do, skip the pre-cooked stuff; the texture always seems to be off. Once prepped, chop the raw shrimp and set aside.
  3. Next chop your veggies finely, so they'll mix seamlessly into the dip.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet on your stove-top to medium-high heat with a tablespoon or two of butter and saute the onion, bell pepper, celery and jalapeno until tender.
  5. Next add in the spinach, salted mashed garlic, and Old bay.
  6. Stir to combine and wilt the spinach.
  7. Next add the crab and shrimp and cook for about a minute, until shrimp just begin to turn opaque.
  8. Remove from heat. [the shrimp will continue to cook in the pan as well as in the oven]