February 07, 2007

Crab Pretzel

When we first moved back here, somebody told my wife about crab pretzels. I hadn't heard of any such thing, but there are a lot of things I haven't heard of. So we went to an Italian place nearby, called "The Olive Tree". It's quite popular locally, for good reason.

One thing about living on the Chesapeake -- every eating establishment makes the "Best crabcakes in Maryland". It doesn't have to be a seafood place. I've seen the signs at bars, family restaurants, truck stops, Italian restaurants, Greek restaurants, you name it. Well, the Olive Tree is no exception.

But a friend of my LCB told her that their crab pretzels were "to die for". (I always hated that phrase). So we went, and she tried it, and of course, she loved it. It's a soft pretzel, smothered in a very rich cheese sauce, with lump crab meat all over it. I enjoy picking the crab meat out of it, but the whole thing is way too rich for me.

Anyway -- I have a recipe for a hot crab fondue, and after trying this crab pretzel, I thought, -- That's not so different from the crab dip I make. If I used a heavy cream in lieu of the wine, it would be just like this.

My recipe for crab dip comes from Recipe Source, and instead of the cayenne, I use Old Bay. So here's how we make the crab pretzel:

Use your favorite soft pretzel, and fix it according to the directions, then put it in a pie pan.

8 oz. cream cheese
1 jar cheddar cheese spread. (like Olde English)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 lb. good crab meat. (none of that artificial stuff here)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce.
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning.

Set up a double boiler, and melt the cheeses together. Once they melt together, and are nice and smooth, add the cream while stirring. This will thin it out just a bit. Now you can add everything else. Once it's all heated up, pour enough of it over the pretzel to cover it, letting it drip into all the spaces. Now if you like, you can sprinkle some shredded cheddar, or grated parmesan over it, and pop it into the oven at about 400 until the cheese melts. If you're not adding any more cheese, just put it in there for a few minutes to let everything heat up together. When it comes out, just use a spatula to slide it onto a plate, and get all the sauce on there.

This is a really easy dish, and folks will love it.


Lisa said...

Wow, that looks gooey and delicious. What a great combo!

Rachel said...

While I have been know to eat a crab pretzel, the Olive Tree is so gross! Once they served me frozen (still cold) veggies on pasta and called it primavera. Even worse: they didn't understand why I was displeased.

Charles said...

lisa -- It tastes gooey and delicious too!

rachel -- Were you at the Olive Tree in Aberdeen? It's not a chain, so as far as I know it's the only one around here. We've had excellent service there, and we've had lousy service there. It's kind of a crap shoot.

Rachel said...

Ooh, no, I was at their cousin Olive Tree in Linthicum. Maybe the Aberdeen one is better?

Charles said...

rachel, -- I've never been to the one in Linthicum, so I don't know if it's better. Like I said, the service in Aberdeen is pretty much hit-n-miss, but I've never gotten cold food there. (that would bother me, too.) In fact, the food has always been consistently good for us.

Catherine said...

I am glad to have been able to find this recipe for the crab pretzel like the one at "The Olive Tree". We moved from Maryland in July. That was our favorite resturaunt to go to in Aberdeen, MD and we miss getting their food and the crab pretzel. The Olive Tree is where my husband proposed to me and we never had bad service or bad food there. It was one of the few places where everyone was actually nice. I wish we had one here in Chesapeake, VA.

Charles said...

I'm glad too that you found something here that you can use. Isn't it cool to find out how to make something that reminds us of home?

Anonymous said...

I loveeee the Olive Tree Crab pretzel in Aberdeen i actually am waiting for my girlfriend to bring me one back ..Ive been looking for the recipe FOREVER