Easy Crabby Snacks In 5 Steps - Takes ’N Plates (2024)

Snacks...With Crab

Easy Crabby Snacks In 5 Steps - Takes ’N Plates (1)

What Are Crabby Snacks?

Crabby snacks are a delightful homemade treat, featuring buttered crabmeat and orange cheese on English muffins. This dish combines the rich flavors of seasoned crab meat with a creamy and sharp cheese blend, possibly incorporating cream cheese for its smoothness and Parmesan for its distinctive taste.

In Silver Linings Playbook,these appetizing snacks are emblematic of the Solitano family’s traditions and the nurturing character of Pat’s mother, who prepares them with affection.

Ingredients For Crabby Snacks

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1/4 Cup Green Onions

1/4 Cup Parsley

4 Garlic Cloves

1 Lemon

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1/4 Cup Mayonaise

4 Oz Cream Cheese

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

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16 oz Lump Crab Meat

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1 Tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Pepper

How To Make Crabby Snacks

Step 1

Prep Produce

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Start making your crabby snacks by first preparing the ingredients. Wash the lemon and cut it into halves, ready for squeezing or garnishing. Clean the green onions, removing the roots, and slice them into thin pieces. With the parsley, rinse it well, remove the leaves from the stems, and chop them finely. Lastly, peel the garlic cloves and mince them finely. You may opt for garlic powder as an alternative to garlic cloves if you prefer.

The lemon juice will bring a fresh zing, the green onions add crunch and a mild flavor, the parsley offers freshness, and the garlic provides a savory depth. Together, they enhance the overall taste and presentation

Step 2

Make Base

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Creating the base for the crab mixture is an essential step in crafting this recipe. Start by taking the cream cheese out of the refrigerator to allow it to reach room temperature, which ensures a smoother blend. In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with mayonnaise. These two ingredients are crucial as they form the creamy bedrock of the dish. The cream cheese offers richness and a velvety consistency, while the mayonnaise introduces a subtle tang and further creaminess that complements the cream cheese.

This is the same base as the Bacon Onion Dip.

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Start by adding a small amount of Dijon mustard. The mustard will infuse the base with a sharp and tangy element, bringing a depth of flavor that cuts through the richness. Following the mustard, a splash of Worcestershire sauce is key; its complex blend of fermented flavors imparts a savory umami quality and a hint of sweetness that enhances the overall profile of the dish.

Finally, sprinkle in some Old Bay seasoning. This classic spice adds a warm, peppery taste with a bit of zest. The combination of mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Old Bay doesn’t just season the mixture; it creates a rich, complex flavor. These ingredients work together to turn these simple snacks into something special, with each bite offering a delicious mix of tangy, rich, and spicy flavors.

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Now it’s time to add the Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic to your creamy mix. Stir in the grated Parmesan, which gives a nutty, slightly salty flavor that enhances the crab’s sweetness. The Parmesan also helps create a golden crust when broiled.

Next, mix in the minced garlic. Garlic adds a strong, zesty flavor, making the crab snacks bold and aromatic. The fresh garlic gives a sharp, spicy taste that complements the creamy base, ensuring each bite is rich and full of flavor.

These ingredients transform the simple mixture into a delicious crab spread, ready to be combined with the crab meat and other ingredients in the final steps of the recipe.

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Once the Parmesan cheese and garlic have been well integrated into the creamy base, it’s time to brighten and freshen the mixture with parsley, green onions, and lemon juice. Finely chopped parsley is folded in, dispersing flecks of herby freshness throughout. The parsley not only adds a pop of color but also introduces a fresh, grassy note that cuts through the richness of the cheeses and the boldness of the garlic.

Next, the green onions are added. Their crisp texture and mild onion flavor enhance the complexity of the snack, offering a slight bite that contrasts nicely with the creamy texture. Green onions also contribute a visual appeal with their vibrant green, adding specks of color that stand out against the paler hues of the mixture.

Lastly, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is incorporated. This is the final flourish that ties all the flavors together. The acidity from the lemon juice balances the mixture’s richness, preventing it from becoming too heavy on the palate. It acts almost like a seasoning, enhancing and lifting the natural sweetness of the crab and ensuring that each ingredient can sing. The lemon’s bright zestiness is essential in cutting through the fatty mouthfeel of the mayonnaise and cream cheese, making the crab mixture moreish and ensuring these snacks are as refreshing as they are indulgent.

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The goal is to create a consistent, hom*ogenous blend without overworking the mixture, which should retain a certain lightness despite the richness of the cream cheese and mayonnaise. As you whisk, the vivid green of the herbs will become distributed throughout, the garlic will mingle its aroma with the tang of the mustard and lemon, and the Old Bay and Parmesan will introduce a savory depth.

The final texture should be creamy with a slight fluffiness, indicative of a well-emulsified base that’s ready for the addition of the crab meat. It’s important to whisk just enough to ensure even distribution of flavors and a cohesive mixture, without deflating the volume you’ve achieved by adding all your ingredients together.

Step 3

Add Crab

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Lump crab meat is a high-quality type of crab meat from the crab’s swimming fins. It’s known for its large size and excellent taste, with a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and tender texture. This makes it ideal for dishes like crab cakes, salads, or as a fancy topping, where the crab’s flavor is the main focus.

There are different types of lump crab meat. “Jumbo lump” is the biggest and most expensive, made of whole pieces from the crab’s swimming leg muscles. “Backfin” contains smaller pieces, a mix of jumbo lump and large chunks. The regular “lump” variety includes smaller body meat pieces. Lump crab meat keeps a firm yet flaky texture when cooked, making it a versatile ingredient for many recipes and a delicacy that can be enjoyed with little seasoning to bring out its natural taste.

For this recipe, I used Chicken of The Seas Lump Crab Meat and was really impressed.

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After your creamy base is smooth and all the seasonings, herbs, and lemon juice are mixed in, it’s time to add the lump crab meat. Be careful at this stage to keep the crab’s delicate pieces intact. First, drain any extra liquid from the crab meat container. Then, gently mix the crab into the mixture with a soft spatula or spoon, lifting from the bottom of the bowl to the top. This method coats the crab evenly with the creamy base without breaking the tender lumps.

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After your creamy base is ready, with all the herbs, seasonings, and lemon juice mixed in, add the lump crab meat carefully. This is important to keep the crab pieces whole. Drain any extra liquid from the crab meat, then gently fold it into the mixture using a soft spatula or spoon, moving from the bottom of the bowl upwards. This way, the crab gets evenly covered with the creamy base without breaking.

Remember not to mix too much. You want to keep the crab lumps whole for texture and ensure each bite of your snack has a good piece of crab. The final mix should be well-combined but still show the crab lumps, offering a contrast in texture with the smooth base. It will be chunky but unified, ready to be spooned onto English muffins for baking.

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Fine-tuning your crab mixture’s flavor with more Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper is key to getting the taste just right. You’ve already added some Old Bay, known for its special blend of spices for seafood, so a little more can enhance the flavors. Add the extra Old Bay carefully, letting the current flavors guide you.

After adding the Old Bay, stir gently and taste. The seasoning should enhance the crab’s sweetness and the creamy base without dominating. If it needs a boost, add a pinch of salt, which helps intensify and brighten the flavors. Freshly ground black pepper brings a mild heat and earthiness, completing the seasoning.

Taste again after these additions to ensure a balanced flavor, where no single taste stands out too much. You want a mix where the warmth of the Old Bay, the brightness of the salt, and the kick of the pepper enhance the crab mixture’s rich, savory flavor. Adjusting the seasoning now is important, as baking will blend these flavors further.

Step 4

Scoop, Spread, & Broil

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Thomas’ English muffins are a popular choice for this recipe due to their unique texture and flavor profile. These muffins are known for their distinct “nooks and crannies” — a term coined by the brand itself — which refers to the muffin’s porous surface. When toasted, these crannies become crispy and golden, providing an excellent contrast to the creamy crab mixture. The exterior of the muffin remains slightly chewy, offering a satisfying bite that complements the softness of the crab topping.

Thomas’ English muffins also have a subtle yeasty flavor that pairs well with the sweet and savory flavors of the crab mixture. Their sturdy structure holds up well under the weight of the topping and the heat of the broiler, ensuring they don’t become soggy.

They are also pre-sliced, making them convenient to use, and their uniform size allows for consistent portions, ensuring that each crabby snack has just the right ratio of muffin to crab mixture.

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To prepare crab-topped English muffins, start by preheating your oven for broiling. This will ensure a quick and even toasting later. Split your English muffins in half and arrange them, cut side up, on a baking sheet.

Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop for consistent size, place a generous amount of the crab mixture on each muffin half. Spread it evenly with the back of the spoon, covering the entire surface to the edges. This prevents burning and creates a crispy border of broiled crab.

The layer’s thickness depends on your preference, but it should be enough for a warm, soft center after broiling. Aim for a balance between the muffin and the topping. Once spread, the muffins are ready to bake. In the oven, the crab mixture will bubble and brown, while the muffin toasts perfectly, creating a delicious crab-topped snack.

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Before broiling your crab-topped English muffins, add a layer of grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor and texture. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the crab mixture. Parmesan is great for melting and will create a savory, crispy crust as it broils, adding a nutty, salty taste and a crunchy texture.

Keep an eye on the muffins while broiling until the cheese turns golden brown, indicating it’s crisped just right. This adds a mix of creamy and crunchy textures. The cheese also helps protect the crab mixture from direct heat, allowing it to cook gently and stay moist. The final result is a toasted, cheese-crusted top with a succulent crab mixture underneath, creating a delicious appetizer or snack.

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Place the prepared English muffins halved on the sheet, spaced out so that they have room on all sides for even heat circulation.

Now, it’s time to broil the crab-topped muffins. Slide the baking sheet into the preheated broiler, positioning it so the muffins are near the heat source but not so close that they might burn. Broiling is a rapid cooking method that uses high, direct heat from above, so it’s crucial to remain vigilant. Set a timer for 5 minutes to begin with.

As the muffins broil, stay close to the oven and keep a watchful eye on them. The high heat will cause the Parmesan to melt and bubble, and the edges of the muffins will start to toast to a golden-brown. This is a quick process, and the difference between perfectly broiled and burnt can be a matter of seconds. Depending on your broiler’s intensity, it may take between 5 to 10 minutes for the these to reach the desired level of doneness.

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You’re looking for a golden and crispy top on the muffins, indicating that the cheese has melted and created a crust, and that the crab mixture is hot and cooked through. Once they’ve reached this stage, carefully remove the baking sheet from the broiler. Use oven mitts or a potholder, as the sheet will be extremely hot. Place the baking sheet on a heat-resistant surface or a cooling rack, and let them cool for a brief moment before serving. This rest period allows the toppings to set slightly, making them easier to handle and ensuring the flavors are at their best when eaten.

Step 5

Enjoy Your Crabby Snacks!

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After these have been broiled to golden perfection and removed from the oven, the finishing touch is a garnish of fresh parsley. This is more than just a decorative step; the parsley will add a final burst of freshness and a slight herbaceous contrast to the rich, savory flavors of the crab and Parmesan.

Take a small amount of fresh parsley that you’ve finely chopped and sprinkle it lightly over the top of each muffin. The vibrant green of the parsley will stand out against the golden brown of the cheese, these visually appealing and signaling that they’re ready to be enjoyed.

Allow the snacks to cool just enough so they can be handled comfortably. The garnish of parsley not only completes the presentation but also adds a fresh aroma and a clean, crisp taste that cuts through the richness of the topping. Now, with the garnishing done, your these are ready to be served.


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Silver Linings Playbook

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Dolores Makes Crabby Snacks And Homemades

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More About Crabby Snacks

This appetizer draws inspiration from the film Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, both avid fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. Crafted by Jacki Weaver’s character, it’s a perfect dish to enjoy while gearing up for a Sunday game.


Easy Crabby Snacks In 5 Steps - Takes ’N Plates (2024)
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