February 07, 2007
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.