Sunday, January 1, 2012

Panko Crusted Crab Cake Bites with Roasted Pepper Chive Aioli

How amazing do these sound?? I knew as soon as I got the "Dish from Food" email that these would be on my NYE menu. And they were a HIT! I just wish more people would have been able to try them; we had 5 no-shows. :^{

These hors d'oeuvres are simple and delicious. The only change I had to make to this recipe was using dried chives instead of fresh. Why? Because my grocery store had NO fresh chives! I bet the fresh zing of those tiny little onions would have made all the difference. And actually, I had some green onions that I could have diced up and added, but I didn't think of that at the time. Next time I can't find fresh chives, though, I'll do that. Because I am making these again.

Panko Crusted Crab Cake Bites with Roasted Pepper Chive Aioli

12 ounces shelled cooked crab
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/4 cups panko (see notes) or fine dried bread crumbs
Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli (recipe follows)
Fresh chives, rinsed and cut into 1-inch lengths

Sort through crab and discard any bits of shell.

In a large bowl, combine celery, minced chives, mayonnaise, egg, mustard, and hot sauce; mix well with a fork. Add crab and 1/4 cup panko; stir gently just to mix.

Put remaining 1 cup panko in a shallow bowl. Shape crab mixture into 24 cakes, each about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Turn each cake in panko to coat on all sides, pressing gently to make crumbs adhere. Place cakes slightly apart in an oiled 12- by 17-inch baking pan.

Bake in a 475° regular or convection oven until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. With a spatula, transfer crab cakes to a platter. Spoon a dollop of Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli onto each cake. Garnish platter with fresh chives. Serve hot.

Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli

In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup chopped drained canned roasted red peppers, 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Makes about 1/2 cup.

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