Artichoke or crab are probably some of the first hot dips I had ever eaten. They both became quite popular in the 1980’s when served in restaurants and cafes, but I mostly became quite fond of them at my parents parties, or at gatherings with my family. Both dips have very similar ingredients, except one is vegetarian of course, and I thought it would be fun to change things up, and allow some jumbo scallops to join the party.
Scallops come in three different varieties sea, bay and calico, the latter is not seen very often on the West Coast. For this recipe, I chose jumbo sea scallops because they’re plump and juicy, and when seared, chopped, and folded into a creamy dip, taste truly delightful. However, bay scallops are smaller and still, have nice flavor too. So, if you can’t find good sea scallops, you can buy triple the amount of bay scallops, and eliminate the need to cut them into pieces, before adding them with the other ingredients. One tip when cooking scallops, it only takes a couple of minutes to achieve a little caramelization on the outside, and less time if you’re using bay scallops.
This dip contains some of the creamiest of cheeses and after it’s warmed in the oven, will become one of the most pleasing recipes of the night. It certainly makes a great party dip, or appetizer before a light meal. I think my seedy crackers are the perfect vehicle to enjoy with this dip, but some toasted French bread, vegetable sticks, or pita chips will work nicely too.
3 jumbo sea scallops
8 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce, any variety
pinch of salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a sauté pan over high heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil. After 2 minutes add scallops and sear for 2 minutes. Flip over and cook for 30 seconds. Remove scallops from pan and let cool.
2. Dice scallops into pieces and add to a bowl, along with cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere, Worcestershire, onion powder and hot sauce, stir to combine. Add salt and pepper and stir.
3. Pour into an oiled baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.
4. Remove and serve with your favorite crackers or chips. Enjoy!