In Melissa Sperka's newest book, "Melissa's Southern Cookbook: Tried and True Family Recipes" you'll find a bevy of recipes that you can adopt as your own, even if you aren't from the south. This dip that would be a huge hit at any party, particularly during the fall, she writes, "You can’t beat a fabulous dip that bakes the dippers along with it in the same skillet. I love placing this interactive dip in the center of the table, then stepping back and watching everyone dig in. There’s never a scoop left over."
Cajun Crab Dip with Garlic-Herb Roll Dippers
16 frozen yeast dinner rolls
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for pan
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, or 4 ounces) unsalted
4 ounces chive and onion cream cheese,
1 cup real mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
11/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
8 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1. To make the rolls: Place the frozen dinner rolls on a waxed paper–lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. The dough should be thawed but still cold.
2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.
3. Sift together the Parmesan cheese, parsley, and garlic salt into a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag.
4. Dip the thawed dinner rolls into the melted butter. Toss them in the plastic bag that contains the Parmesan cheese mixture. Arrange side by side around the edge of the prepared skillet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until doubled.
5. To make the dip: Preheat the oven to 350 F.
6. In a medium-size mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, melted butter, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, seasoned salt, black pepper, and hot sauce until fully combined.
7. By hand, mix in 1 cup of the pepper Jack cheese, the crabmeat, and chives. Unwrap the skillet and pour the cheese mixture into the center of the skillet. Top with the remaining cup of shredded pepper Jack cheese.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and the dip is heated through, covering the rolls with aluminum foil during the final 10 minutes of baking to prevent over browning, if needed.
9. Let rest for 5 minutes on the counter before serving.
COOK’S NOTE: The frozen yeast dinner rolls used in this recipe are unbaked. They are small rounds of frozen dough that can be found in the frozen section of most grocery stores.