Cajun Crawfish Dip for Mardi Gras

In Louisiana, February means two things: Mardi Gras and crawfish. Two-thirds of all mudbugs are harvested this month. Most locals start with a boil (corn, sausage, and 'taters optional), but what's left goes into étouffée, crawfish pie, and luscious appetizer dips. This one works as well for a Super Bowl party as a formal Mardi Gras ball. You'll need 6 to 7 pounds of cooked whole crawfish for 1 pound of hard-earned meat. Or sub in frozen, peeled crawfish tails.

Be it for a formal party or impromptu get-together, this crawfish dip delivers.Be it for a formal party or impromptu get-together, this crawfish dip delivers.

Makes: 8 to 10 servings. Hands on time: 30 min. Total time: 30 min.

½ cup butter
1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 (1-lb.) package frozen cooked, peeled crawfish tails, thawed and undrained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese
Softened French bread baguette slices
Garnishes: sliced green onion, chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until bell pepper is tender.
2. Stir in crawfish and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream cheese until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
4. Serve with toasted French bread slices.

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TIP: Crusty French bread pairs perfectly with Crawfish Dip.