I wrote about making the world’s best crab cakes in “Small Foods”. We consider this recipe to be one of the best. I also thought it could make an excellent appetizer, of course it has to be downsized so it is just a bite or two. So instead of a ramekin I used mini muffin trays. You do have to adjust the proportions based on how many you are making, for 12 I use half of the recipe and you’ll probably have enough left over for one large cake to freeze. The full recipe makes about 24 or so. Additionally, I don’t use the super jumbo crab at $10 per can as you just have to break it up to put it in the tray. A small bite like this also needs a burst of crab flavor, so just use less expensive fancy lump. Maybe you have a source for fresh blue crab, that would be really excellent, but check for shell if you haven’t picked it yourself. You and your friends will love this. Enjoy!
2 cans regular crab meat
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. dill
2 dashes each of paprika, cayenne pepper
and garlic powder.
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 stick of butter melted
1 or 2 tbs. of lemon juice
8 sheets of filo dough
Cherry Tomatoes or Salsa for the topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place a frozen filo sleeve (there are usually two in a package) out to defrost. This will take a couple of hours. I usually just put this out to defrost in the morning and refrigerate it until needed. Do not microwave to defrost as it will make the sheets brittle. You can roll the unused sheets back up into the sleeve and refreeze when you are done.
When the filo has defrosted:
Open the cans of crab meat and drain them
Beat two eggs in a medium bowl. Add the crab meat, bread crumbs, onion, basil, spices, 1/2 of the melted butter, a teaspoon of lemon juice and mix well.
Oil the muffin tin with PAM (or a drop of olive oil in each) then wipe out the excess with a paper towel.
Unroll the filo dough and remove two sheets, keeping them together. Cut the sheet into 4″ squares. Press the squares gently into the bottom of the cup and let the overflow fall around the cup. Cut more as needed.
Put about a Tbs. of mixture in each and a drip of the remaining butter. Press firmly to pack the crab mixture in and force out any air. Fold the filo from the sides over the top of the cake and press again.
Bake for about 30 min. or until the top turns brown. Top with a slice of cherry tomato.