Mini Crab Cakes
A Savory Amuse Bouche Helps To Ring In The New Year

One way to spice up an informal New Years Eve bash is to pass bite size dishes around for your guests to enjoy without ever having to put their drinks down. This simple crab cake dish is a great addition to any menu and quite easy to make. There is no excuse to deprive you or your friends from such a tasty bite! So, ring in the New Year with these mini crab cakes, you won’t be disappointed and neither will your guests.

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 large egg

1/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

4 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided

1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Large pinch of cayenne pepper

6 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked over, patted dry, coarsely shredded

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pans

Fresh chives, cut into pieces

Special equipment: 2 mini muffin pans, electric mixer.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan and egg and beat together. Add the sour cream, citrus peels, 4 teaspoons chopped chives, coarse salt, and cayenne pepper and then mix thoroughly. Fold in crabmeat.

Afterward, chill the mixture in the fridge. (To save some time, you can do all of these steps the day before, so the next day all you have to do is assemble and cook).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 2 mini muffin pans. Toss panko, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and 2 tablespoons chopped chives in a small bowl. Drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over, tossing with a fork until evenly moistened. Press 1 tablespoon of panko mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup, forming a crust. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of the crab mixture into each cup. Sprinkle another teaspoon of panko mixture over the top of each crab cake. (this will make both sides of the crab cake delightfully crunchy, while still keeping the inside moist and flavorful).

Bake the crab cakes for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Let them cool in the pan for a while (this can be up to 2 hours). Run a knife around the perimeter of each delectable bite and transfer the crab cakes to a baking sheet; reheat in the oven at 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until golden brown.

Arrange the crab cakes on a serving platter and sprinkle with chives to finish the dish.