Cheesy, Crabby Breads: Josephinas


Last week I shared one version of a cheesy, crab bread based on a family favorite from Fish Market, where we often go in Del Mar. We’ve been revisiting favorite foods from childhood, and I mentioned this was one of two similar yummy, crabby breads we’ve made recently. Version number two comes to us courtesy of our friend Lucy. While Quaranteaming at the “Culinary Cabin” in Tahoe one weekend, we dug the recipe out from her mom Gretchen’s recipe collection. Greg, being on a bit of a crab-bender, requested we add it to the recipe, which has the nice benefit of making this viable as a meal or as an appetizer.

Just like last time, I made this one with a homemade loaf of sourdough bread using the No-Knead Bread recipe. Of course, you can just buy the bread as well.

I will admit that Lucy ultimately preferred it without the crab, but by her own admission this is due largely to the fact that this is how it lives in her memories from childhood. It’s tasty either way, so take your pick!

I’ve looked at other recipes for Josephinas since and noticed that some have garlic in some form and/or green onions in the mix as well, which both sound like they’d be very tasty additions.


We popped open a bottle of bubbles to go with this cheesy goodness. The Benovia Blanc de Blancs Russian River Valley 2012 had some years on it, but was holding up fairly well. The nose had taken on some almond and cocoa butter notes, but was crisper and more citrusy on the palate, as well as showing baked apple notes. It had richness, but the bubbles refreshed the palate after every cheesy, creamy Josephina bite. 

I think a sparkler like this one would also work with last week’s cheesy, crab bread, and likewise, both of the wines recommended for that dish would work well here as well.

Josephinas with Crab

Josephinas with Crab

By: Nicole Ruiz Hudson, Adapted from recipe by Gretchen Milligan
Prep Time: 5 MinCooking Time: 25 MinTotal Time: 30 Min


  • 4 oz diced green chilis
  • 4 oz butter, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ lb jack cheese
  • 16 oz lump crab meat
  • zest of one lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 large loaf sourdough bread


  1. Mix together the first four ingredients. Gently mix in the crab, followed by half of the lemon zest, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise (horizontally) so that you are left with two long halves.
  3. Spread the cheese mixture over both halves of the bread. Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest on top.
  4. Place on a baking sheet, then place under the broiler until the bread is warmed through and the cheese on top is browned and bubbly.
  5. Allow the bread to cool enough to handle, then cut into thin slices.
crab, cheesy garlic bread
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