Friday, July 19, 2013

Crab Melts

Crab melts, also known as crabbies and crab canapes, are English muffins, topped with a mixture of crab, mayo, cheese, green onion and seasonings and passed under the broiler or baked.

Crab Melts

These are a treat that's a real throwback for sure, because for me they are another recipe that dates back to the 70s. I call them crab melts, though they have picked up a number of names over time, including crabbies, crabmeat bites, crab pickups, and crab canapes, to name a few.

Though they can be baked, which is my personal preference, during the heat of the summer, you can also just run them quickly under the broiler. They have always been a great make-ahead party appetizer, perfect for entertaining any time of the year, because they can be assembled, cut into quarters and then frozen for heating later.


I use good ole shredded Cheddar, but for some reason I do seem to recall that back in the day, these were often made with jarred Old English cheese from Kraft, though I'm not sure why. Maybe it was because, like the garlic cheese rolls, the jarred cheeses were also popular then. I don't know if it's a product that is even still widely available anymore.

I didn't have any tomatoes when I made this batch, but they are a great addition to these melts. Top them with slices of fresh summer tomatoes and smear just a tiny, thin layer of mayo on top. Finish with additional shredded cheese before broiling.

Add a side salad and some fruit, and this is a wonderful summer meal. Here's how to make them.


Recipe: Crab Melts

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 5 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound of fresh crabmeat
  • 6 English muffins, split in half
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of sliced green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Couple dashes of hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt
Instructions

Pick through the crab for any stray shell; set aside. Use a toaster to lightly toast English muffins; set aside. Preheat broiler. In a medium bowl combine all of the remaining ingredients, except English muffins, until well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings. Gently fold in the crabmeat and spread evenly between the English muffin halves. Place under the broiler, with the door ajar, until light brown and bubbly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes: May also bake on a Silpat or parchment covered baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree F oven, for about 10 to 15 minutes. I prefer this method. I like to use fresh, lump crab for these, but frozen, as well as well-drained cans or pouches of crabmeat and imitation crab will substitute nicely. Other breads, hot dog buns, sliced French bread and sliced baguettes may also be used. May substitute 6 ounces of softened cream cheese for most of the mayonnaise, but include 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise in the mixture. Very good when topped with slices of tomato. Spread with a thin layer of mayonnaise on the tomato slices and sprinkle top with additional shredded cheese before baking or broiling.

To Freeze: Spread the filling on the English muffins, and cut into quarters if serving as an appetizer. Place onto a piece of wax paper or a parchment covered pan and flash freeze uncovered. Once frozen, bag or transfer to an airtight freezer container. When ready to serve place the frozen quarters on a parchment or Silpat covered baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through, browned and bubbly.

Hot Dip Variation: To make this a dip, increase the crab to a full pound, increase mayonnaise to 2 cups and mix all ingredients together, except for the cheese, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheese, garnish with a light sprinkling of paprika and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. Serve with toast points, baguettes or crackers.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on July 19, 2013
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12 comments:

  1. My mom always makes these, and maybe it's just because I don't like crab, but I always thought it was a strange recipe. She still buys the Old English spread (Wal-Mart, I think) to make them! Now I'm curious where my mom got the recipe...she wasn't even married yet in the 70s. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably that you don't like crab I'd say Ellen, because for those of us who love crab, these are wonderful and tasty! I'm not sure the full history of these but I'd bet they were around even earlier than the 70s, but they've stood the test of time. As you know, folks still make them! It's really not much different from a tuna melt - just made with crab. Fresh lump (blue crab for us down here) makes a world of difference, though the other options are pretty good too.

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  2. I need to make something like this as a grilled appetizer. It's a classic but would be something different coming off of the grill.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I dislike mayo. Do you think I could sub in greek yogurt or sour cream for the mayo? I remember similar appetizers from the 70s, and I think I've seen them in 50s cookbooks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diana! Yep, they've been around longer than me I guess! As to the substitute, I've only ever used cream cheese or mayo, but even with cream cheese, I still add a bit of mayo. Although I've not tried it, I do think the Greek yogurt and/or sour cream would work, since I've not actually tried it myself I can't attest to how it would taste without any mayo at all with the crab though.

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  4. Made there today and loved them! Going in my tried and true file

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just love these - so glad you did too & thanks so much for taking the time to stop back by and let us know!!

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  5. I was thinking about adding some diced green chilis to mine. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete

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