Spoon this dip into a baking dish up to a day ahead, but top with panko and chives just before baking. If it's chilled, leave the dish out at room temperature while the oven preheats. Scoop into multiple bowls that you can set at different grazing stations.
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Place 1 cup crab in a food processor. Add the shallot mixture, 1/4 cup water, pepper sauce, and Cajun seasoning to crab; process until smooth. Spoon mixture into a large bowl, and stir in remaining crab, mayonnaise, and the next 5 ingredients (through black pepper).
Transfer the mixture to a 1-quart glass or ceramic casserole dish coated lightly with cooking spray. Combine panko and chives in a small bowl; sprinkle over crab mixture. Coat panko mixture with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.
My issue with the recipe is my own issue - i'm too cheap to get real crab so i used the fake crab. Which i would not recommend, or if you do, use the cheap stuff when you put it in the processor and the good stuff for leaving chunky. The cajun spice gave it a nice kick, but trying to spray the panko on top with pam made it spray all over! Don't think it helped anything! I thought the flavor was good, but the texture was definitely weird and the color...
I did the like the option of making it the day prior, that helped with my party prep!
Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. Made the dip a day ahead, which was super easy, and baked it the day of as the recipe suggests. Everyone loved it, and the leftovers reheated very nicely. I used a mixture of lump and flaked crab to save some money, and it came out just fine. Would be great for a potluck or as a holiday appetizer.
This dip is delicious with the right amount of kick! My only problem with it is how expensive lump crab is. I think I will make this again using part crab and part mini-shrimps to make it more of a seafood dip and more affordable.