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Cracked Crab Cheese Bread

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Cracked Crab Cheese Bread is a mouthwatering appetizer that combines creamy cheese, savory crab meat, and a touch of Old Bay seasoning, all baked into a crispy French bread loaf. This dish is perfect for parties, gatherings, or as a decadent treat. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making this delicious appetizer.

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Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz canned crab meat, drained
  • 1 cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 French bread loaf, sliced and hollowed in the middle

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Crab Cheese Mixture

  1. Soften the Cream Cheese:
    • Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature, or microwave it for about 20 seconds until it is soft and easy to mix.
  2. Mix the Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, drained crab meat, shredded Colby Jack cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, and Old Bay seasoning. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.

Step 2: Prepare the French Bread

  1. Slice and Hollow the Bread:
    • Slice the French bread loaf in half lengthwise. Carefully hollow out the middle of each half, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges to hold the crab cheese mixture.

Step 3: Assemble the Bread

  1. Fill the Bread:
    • Evenly spread the crab cheese mixture into the hollowed-out halves of the French bread loaf. Ensure the mixture is spread to the edges and is evenly distributed.

Step 4: Bake

  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Bake the Bread:
    • Place the filled bread halves on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the bread is golden brown.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Cool Slightly:
    • Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing.
  2. Slice and Serve:
    • Slice the bread into individual servings and serve hot. Enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Crab Meat: Ensure the crab meat is well-drained to avoid excess moisture in the cheese mixture.
  • Cheese: Use freshly shredded cheese for the best melting quality and flavor.

Variations:

  • Spicy Version:
    • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to the cheese mixture for a spicy kick.
  • Garlic Butter:
    • Brush the inside of the hollowed bread with garlic butter before adding the cheese mixture for extra flavor.
  • Herb Addition:
    • Add finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley or chives to the cheese mixture for a fresh touch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use fresh crab meat instead of canned?

Yes, you can use fresh crab meat instead of canned. Just make sure to pick through it for any shell fragments and drain it well if it’s been cooked with any liquid.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover crab cheese bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

3. Can I freeze the crab cheese mixture?

Yes, you can prepare the crab cheese mixture ahead of time and freeze it. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before spreading it into the bread and baking.

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4. What can I serve with Cracked Crab Cheese Bread?

This dish pairs well with a fresh green salad, a bowl of soup, or as part of a larger appetizer spread.

5. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the crab cheese bread ahead of time, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. Remove the plastic wrap before baking.

The Indulgence of Cracked Crab Cheese Bread

Cracked Crab Cheese Bread is an indulgent and flavorful appetizer that is sure to impress your guests. The combination of creamy cheese, savory crab meat, and the subtle spice of Old Bay seasoning all baked into a crispy French bread loaf creates a dish that is both comforting and delicious. This recipe is perfect for parties, gatherings, or whenever you want to treat yourself to something special.

Tips for Success

  1. Use Quality Ingredients: Using high-quality cheese and crab meat will enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
  2. Don’t Overfill the Bread: Ensure the cheese mixture is evenly spread and doesn’t overflow to prevent a messy bake.
  3. Serve Hot: This dish is best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the oven when the cheese is melted and gooey.

Cracked Crab Cheese Bread is a delicious and indulgent appetizer that is perfect for any occasion. With its combination of creamy cheese, savory crab, and crispy French bread, this recipe is sure to be a hit with family and friends. Whether you’re making it for a party or just as a special treat, this dish is simple to prepare and full of delicious flavors. Give this Cracked Crab Cheese Bread recipe a try and enjoy a satisfying and delightful appetizer. Happy cooking!