Herbed Lobster and Saffron Dip Recipe

By Antoni Porowski - From his book Antoni in the Kitchen available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 
Makes 5½ cups; serves 8 to 10

This dip is an homage to one of my favorite French products, Boursin, a creamy, tangy, herbaceous French cheese that was the epitome of gourmet in North America in the 1970s and still deserves a place at the table. Folding in saffron and chunks of meaty lobster turns my version of the cheese into a chic party dish. Couple any leftovers (if you’re lucky to have them) with good-quality shredded cheddar to make a very special grilled cheese sandwich.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 teaspoon packed crumbled saffron threads
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pound cooked lobster meat (see Tip), cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2¾ cups)
  • 6 ounces Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (1½ cups)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • Assorted crudités (such as carrots, celery, bell pepper, snap peas, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and endive), waffle potato chips, and/or Ritz crackers for serving
Preparation 
  • In a small bowl, combine the saffron and 2 tablespoons hot water. Let stand until the water has turned a deep orange, about 10 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until airy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. 
  • Fold the saffron mixture into the cream cheese mixture to combine, then fold in the lobster, Parmesan, and herbs. Adjust the seasoning to taste. 
  • Transfer the dip to a serving dish and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 6 hours, to allow the flavors to blend. Let stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before serving. 
  • Serve the dip with your choice of crudités, chips, and/or Ritz crackers.

TIP: You can purchase cooked lobster meat for this recipe, or cook 3 (1 1/2-pound) lobsters to get 1 pound cooked meat.

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