Mini Crab Cups

We had our holiday party at work last week. We’re a pretty casual group – 9 people, Wii games for entertainment, and of course a potluck. When the call to sign up for potluck fare went out, everyone wanted me to bring The Famous Jezebel Sauce. When I asked what they wanted to dip in it, they said “their fingers”. So I brought it with cold cooked shrimp and green and red peppers for dipping.

But a potluck is, for me, an excuse for manic cooking, and a chance to try new recipes, preferably those with the well-known Wow Factor.  Browsing through a recent holiday issue of Cooking Light, I found these Mini Crab Cups that definitely had wow.  And they tasted good, too.  I also made a rum chip cheese cake, which I will post later.

This recipe is actually much easier to make than the end results looks. It is a cold appetizer, so doesn’t need last minute cooking to be palatable. I used a 1 pound container of Costco crab, which is already well-cleaned (and an excellent ingredient to have in the refrigerator – it is pasteurized and has a long shelf-life.) I chopped everything in the food processor, starting with chopping the celery, then adding everything but the tomatoes, pulsing a few times, and adding the tomatoes last so I still had texture in my chopped ingredients.  The crab mixture is not really spicy, but you could leave out the jalapeno if your guests absolutely don’t want any warmth.

The crab filling would actually be very good served with crackers if you don’t want to fuss with the cups, but the cups are easy to make. I made the crab filling the day before, and baked the cups the morning of the party. I filled them just before taking them to the office, since after a time the cups get soggy. I didn’t have gyoza skins, so I used wonton wrappers and they worked just fine.

My apologies for the slightly fuzzy photos. My camera had a temporary melt down so I had to borrow a camera.

Mini Crab Cups

1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons canola oil
30 gyoza or wonton skins
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cooked lump crab meat, shell pieces removed

For the filling (which is, in essence, crab salad): Combine celery and next 10 ingredients (though crab meat) in a large bowl; toss gently.

For the cups: Preheat oven to 375°. Combine water, honey, and canola oil, stirring with a whisk. Brush mixture evenly over both sides of each gyoza skin. Fit 1 gyoza into each of 30 miniature muffin cups, pressing the gyoza firmly into base of cups. (You don’t need to spray the cups with cooking spray because you have brushed them with the oil mixture.) Don’t worry if the cups tear a little at the bottom. It won’t affect the finished product. Try to shape the cups so they are open at the top and the sides of the gyoza don’t fall inward. I baked a few extra cups just in case, but I didn’t need them. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned; I advise watching the cups carefully – mine were pretty brown by 10 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack. Carefully remove cups from pans.

To assemble: Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons crab mixture into each gyoza cup.

Makes 30 mini crab cups, at about 2 grams of fat/cup.

You could garnish them with a bit of chopped cilantro if you like.


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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