Jennifer Beckman describes this improvised dish as a kind of deconstructed crab Rangoon. She says backfin crabmeat is fine to use here. To serve a party of 40, double the recipe. The dip can be made 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. But make the wonton chips the day of the party and keep them at room temperature, uncovered, until ready to serve.
Servings: 20 - 30
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups mayonnaise (do not use nonfat)
- 10 to 15 large (2 bunches) scallions, white and tender green parts, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 pounds crab meat, picked over to remove cartilage and shells
- Coarse kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
- 50 (14 ounces) wonton skins
In a large heatproof glass bowl, combine the cream cheese and mayonnaise; blend until smooth. Add the scallions, garlic and sherry and mix well. Gently add the crabmeat, folding until just combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until about an hour before serving.
Pour 2 to 3 inches of the oil into a large Dutch oven or wok and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees.
While the oil heats, line 2 rimmed baking sheets with paper towels or brown paper bags. Halve the wonton skins on the diagonal, forming 2 large triangles from each square. Cover with damp paper towels to keep them from drying out.
Working in batches of 10 to 15, fry the wonton triangles for about 30 to 40 seconds or until crisp and golden brown. Use a Chinese skimmer (a wide metal strainer with a long handle) or slotted spoon to transfer to the paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt to taste. Store on paper towels at room temperature until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, uncover the bowl and place it over a pot containing an inch or two of barely boiling water. Stir occasionally until heated through; adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer to a chafing dish. (Alternatively, you can transfer the dip to a preheated 350-degree oven -- adjusting seasonings before it goes into the oven -- and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.) Serve hot, with a basket of wonton chips.
Adapted from Jennifer Beckman of Falls Church.
Tested by Leslie A. Garcia.
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