Crab cakes, with their rich, meaty interior, are always a special treat. While they make a lip-smacking main entrée, they also have the potential to make a killer canapé – you know, the kind that you can pop into your mouth in one flavour-packed bite and feel really glamorous eating.
We have a few tricks up our sleeve to turn entrée-sized crab cakes into an elegant appetizer. To start, they’re baked (not fried) in mini cupcake tins to retain the perfect shape and size. To finish, they’re garnished with a dollop of chipotle mayo and a some fresh micro greens greens for a treat that will impress even the most discerning gourmands.
An appetizer this good deserves the company of a boozy beverage. We love the idea of pairing it with Chuck Hughes’ Snow Crab Bloody Caesar.
Mini cupcake tins
Squeeze bottle, available at Kitchen Stuff Plus
1 package (200g/7oz) frozen crabmeat, thawed and well drained (canned will do)
¼ cup finely diced carrots
¼ cup finely diced sweet red peppers
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 ¼ cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1. Place crab meat in a sieve, and pick through it to remove any bones. Press firmly to remove liquid and transfer to a bowl.
2. In a bowl, add red peppers, carrots, onions, egg, 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, Cajun seasoning, and 3 tablespoons of chipotle mayo (see recipe below). Stir to combine. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours covered, if desired.
Now for the twist…
3. Preheat oven to 375 F.
4. Grease mini cupcake tins.
5. Scoop out 1 heaping tablespoon of crab cake mixture and roll it into a loose ball. Press into the cupcake tin. Repeat until you’ve used up all the crab meat.
6. Sprinkle a pinch of panko breadcrumbs on top of each crab cake and spread to cover the surface. Drizzle with oil.
7. Bake for 8 minutes. Switch the oven convection to broil, and leave crab cakes in the oven for 5 more minutes until the tops begin to golden.
8. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
½ cup light mayonnaise
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1. Add mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce to a small mixing bowl.
2. Wearing rubber gloves, finely grate chipotle peppers into the bowl and whisk ingredients together. Grating the chipotle peppers (opposed to chopping them) will create a pale orange hue and smooth texture.
3. Transfer Chipotle Mayo to a squeeze bottle.
4. To garnish the crab cake canapés with Chipotle Mayo: using the squeeze bottle in a circular motion, pipe on a small dollop in the middle of the canapé.
5. Top with parsley, pea shoots or micro greens.
Adena Lazowski is founder of the charming food blog, Lace and Lemon Drops. A bona fide domestic goddess, she loves her sea-blue KitchenAid mixer, big bowls of pasta, and most of all, preparing food for family and friends.