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Old Bay Crab Dip for Army-Navy Game Day

Yesterday was the 112th playing of the annual football game between the Army and Navy military academy teams.  Navy has a special place in my heart because my grandfather was in that service during World War II.  Also, I grew up going to summer camp and sailing on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  For a while, too, my alma mater, William & Mary, was in the same football division as the Midshipmen so I’ve had a chance to watch their gridiron traditions in person.

Old Bay, the cupboard staple

This is the second year I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the chili and pulled pork party that a friend of a friend has on game day.  Watching this showdown along with several other members of the Manhattan Sailing Club, to which my friend belongs, you’d think that the room would be packed with Navy fans.  Not true.  As I discovered last year, the assembled crowd swings in the direction of supporters of the Thin Grey Line.

Fresh crabmeat, alas not picked by me

So, in order to sufficiently represent my chosen team on the buffet table as well as in the cheering section, I made a batch of Old Bay Crab Dip.  I was inspired by the Blue Crab Bay Co.‘s Crab Dip which I’d sampled at the Fancy Food Show and which I’d bought to test out on my own family last year at our Christmas dinner.  I found several recipes on line, but none came quite close to what I was looking for except this one from the Food Network.  I took it and doctored it quite a bit to get the right results.  I’m not sure if it was inspiration from the crab dip or just their performance on the field, but Navy won again this year which means I might just have to make this recipe a game day tradition.

Old Bay Crab Dip (ungarnished)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 15 people (appetizer)


1 clove Garlic, finely minced

3 tsp. Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp. Tabasco Sauce

4 Scallions, thinly sliced crosswise

1 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh Parsley

6 Tbsp. Sour Cream

4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

12 oz. fresh Crabmeat


In a heat-proof bowl, mix together garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, Old Bay seasoning, scallions, and 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley.  Add sour cream and stir together until thoroughly combined.  Blend mixture with softened cream cheese until there are no lumps of cheese.

Check crabmeat to make sure there are no stray pieces of cartilage or shell hidden within it.  Fold crabmeat into cream cheese mixture taking care not to break up the meat too much.  Sprinkle a pinch more Old Bay seasoning and 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley on top before serving.

This dish can be served hot or at room temperature.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve or heat up.  If serving warm, put in the microwave for about 30 seconds at the lowest temperature.  It does not need to be piping hot.

Buon appetito!

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