Charlotte’s Famous Baltimore Crab Dip


Illustration: Tram Nguyen


Hello friends, I have a new hobby. Well, two new hobbies. One is watching The Bachelorette with obsessive interest. Does that count as a hobby? Who here wants to talk with me in the comments about Kaitlyn’s amazing casual-wear wardrobe, and the cryptic definition of “off-camera time,” and, like, how much Ireland must be paying ABC to set half the season there? Anyone? (Tram refuses to watch this show and for that and I will never forgive her.) 

The other new hobby is TENNIS. Rob has recently been teaching me this sport, and it has everything I love: Cute outfits, abundant opportunities for on-court drama and smack-talk, Serena Williams, and a very limited number of rules to remember. It’s also not that hard to be mediocre at it, which is a huge plus. (So far I have beat Rob in one game—not a set, not a match, but a single game—and I did a full Serena Williams victory collapse to celebrate.) Over July 4th weekend we played upwards of twice a day, because we were away from the city and had access to some courts for once, and because I am a relentless child who badgered him until he agreed to practice with me. Our neighbors must have thought we were insane, because theoretically the people who are really intense about sports are maybe also supposed to be good at them? (I mean, Rob is good, but I am bad enough to make up for us both.) To make matters worse, I had insisted we go to my favorite store of all time, Dick’s Sporting Goods, where I bought a visor (!!!!) and a very slutty workout tee to accompany my tennis skirt (duh)—so I was fully geared up. Basically it was the best weekend of my life. We would play tennis for a couple hours, and then we would go home and eat loads of delicious “summer food.” Summer food, of course, is anything that is fried, and anything that is made out of crab. Hey man, we worked out!

One of the best things we ate last weekend was this crab dip, thanks to my good friend Emily’s mom Charlotte, who was kind enough to give me her recipe. Charlotte is a real badass, not to mention an incredibly nice and wise woman, and also she is from Baltimore, so you can be sure she knows her way around a crab dip. This is the kind of dish you make with the intention of serving to guests at a summer barbecue, but then you accidentally devour the entire thing the moment you retrieve it from the oven, without even getting a plate. Whatever, it’s worth it. Those barbecue friends do not need this crab dip. This dip is all for you. You work hard, you have deep thoughts about reality television, and you are on your way to being a tennis goddess. You deserve it.

Charlotte’s Famous baltimore Crab Dip

Makes 6 servings

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2-3 tsp. Worcester sauce
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb. lump crab meat

Combine everything but the crab and 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese into a bowl and mix well. Fold in the crab meat, and then pour it all into an 8×10″ oven-safe dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Eat it immediately, on crackers or pita wedges, or on a spoon. Share only with those to whom you are deeply committed, such as someone who graciously and uncomplainingly puts up with your dilettante tennis antics.

7 Comments Write a comment

  1. Hi there,

    I just discovered your blog through Saveur Magazine’s list of food blogs to check out. I have only read this one post so far, but I love what you’re doing here girl. I’m a writer myself, well, copywriter by day, but I’m trying to do a bit more with my own content these days, including trying to start a food blog. A lot of them seem to be the same, but I just wanted to let you know that yours actually caught my attention. I love your style and how you relate the recipe back to a little anecdote.

    Keep up the good work! And congrats on gaining another reader :-)


  2. Thanks Bridget! We’re so glad you found us :) Good luck with your food blog, and let us know when it’s off the ground so we can check it out!

  3. This looks delicious! I definitely think you can eat as much fried-seafood-y things if you are playing tennis almost everyday ; ) that’s the only reason I ever workout (to eat more)!

  4. Tennis is one of my biggest passions, and, combined with lovely seafood, it’s splendid! Great recipe you’ve got yourself here, I’d love to try it out soon!

  5. I love your writing–great stories!

    I’ve lived in Baltimore my entire life. I’ve never had crab dip without Old Bay. Is there a reason why that quintessential seasoning isn’t included in the recipe?

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