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Author Notes: Growing up on the coast of North Carolina, I've had my share of creamy, cheesy, briny dip loaded with shell fish or crab of some sort. This dip is one I created on the fly with that canvas with ingredients I had on hand. You could easily replace the shrimp with crabmeat or oysters, even, and you can make this one day ahead. Win-win! —Mary Catherine Tee
- 2 tablespoons butter (plus more for gratin dishes)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound fresh, uncooked shrimp
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup summer ale or white wine
- 1/2 packet frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 packet cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 lemon, halved
- 3/4 cup finely shredded swiss cheese or gruyere
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- lemon quarters, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is preheating, shell the shrimp and cut into 1/4 inch pieces. I was using 31-40 count shrimp and cut each into thirds.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallots and stir to coat with butter; cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cut shrimp, season with salt, pepper, and the juice of one lemon half, stirring the mixture to coat. Cook, continuing to stir occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until the shrimp are lightly pink.
- Pour in the beer or wine, whichever you are using, to deglaze the pan, cooking until all the liquid has cooked off. Take off heat.
- In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, spinach, the juice from the other halved lemon, and the gruyere. Add the shrimp and garlic mixture to the cheese and spinach mixture, folding lightly until everything is well combined.
- Prepare four 10 oz. gratin dishes or an oven proof with softened butter. If using multiple dishes, distribute the mixture evenly among the dishes. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown and the dip bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let cool a bit before serving. Garnish with chopped green onions and lemon quarters, and serve with crusty bread or crackers.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for the Shore