This second hors d'oeuvres was the result of my yearning to marry the following two classics, the jalapeno popper and the crab cake. In search of a creamy, crabby texture, I did something some may consider blasphemy...but hear me out...
I put the entire mixture (crab meat and all) in the food processor....yes that's right I said crab meat and all... but this was claw meat (not jumbo lump) and so at $7.99 a lb. (compared to lump's hefty $24-25) ...I figured for experimentation's sake, why not give it a shot!
I tried to keep them relatively simple and in the interest of time (or lack there of on Thanksgiving Day) they're even better made a day in advance! Feel free to leave out the jalapeno if spicy is not your thing - you'll be left with a creamy textured crab cake.
If you do add the diced jalapeno, add as much or as little as you like. What's nice about these jalapeno crab cakes...you can easily taste the mixture before forming into balls and baking, as there's no raw egg in the recipe.
Broiled not fried...creamy, crabby, spicy, crunchy and delicious! Top with (or serve along side) a warm marinara, classic cocktail, cooling ranch or tarter sauce...for a crowd pleasing, holiday worthy display!
*Shown above is a sour cream, cream cheese mixture placed in a plastic bag, corner clipped and drizzled on top. Below, diced jalapeno garnish.
Jalapeno Popper Crab Cakes
1 lb. Crab Meat, claw meat used here for to conserve cost (I use Phillips Brand)
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 shallots, finely diced
2-4 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and finely diced
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 scant teaspoons Old Bay
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped (dried fine too)
5-6 ounces, softened Cream Cheese (Only Philadelphia Brand!)
1 heaping tablespoon good mayonnaise
1/2 cup Panko Crumbs (plus more for rolling)
Cook up celery, shallot and jalapeno pepper in bit of butter until soft about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
Drain and pick through crab meat to remove any shell bits that may have been left behind. Place claw meat, jalapeno, celery, shallot, Old Bay, lemon juice, parsley, cream cheese and mayonnaise in food processor and pulse until well combined and creamy (pushing down sides as needed).
Place mixture in large bowl and add 1/2 cup Panko Crumbs and stir until well combine.
Place extra Panko on a flat plate, form crab mixture into bite size ball shapes and then roll in the panko. Place Crab Balls in a roasting pan with sides, sprayed with a bit of cooking spray. (Spray the tops of the crab with the cooking spray too to encourage browning.)
Broil for approximately 4-5 minutes, then flip over and broil an additional 3-5 on the other side - keeping an eye not to over brown. (You could fry these as oppose to broiling in oven, but I opted to broil and they came out great!)
Place on serving tray and serve with favorite sauce.