Well, started going through my file cabinets, and came up with this oldie…
When I was at Annapolis (many years ago), I used to go to this pub and feast down on their pretzels with crab… Absolutely loved them. Now, many years later, I've recreated the crab part (and that’s what we’re here to make), but instead of doing these on soft pretzels, first, we’re going to use nice butter-toasted croissants, and second we’re going to stuff them into small red potatoes, and make an awesome appetizer.
Combine the old bay, black pepper, worcestershire, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and softened cream cheese in a large working bowl. Blend until completely smooth.
Chef’s Note: Taste and salt once or twice. It should have a slightly salty tang to it.
Pick over the crabmeat to find any leftover pieces of shell; but be ginger, and try not to work so hard that you break up the crab. It should stay as clumpy as possible.
Carefully, and I mean very carefully fold the crabmeat, into the cream cheese mixture.
Chef’s Note: This is where having very soft cream cheese will help. If it’s too cool it will begin to stiffen and make it difficult to incorporate the crabmeat without it breaking into little tiny pieces. I hate it when that happens.
That’s it for the crabmeat part… the next part is in deciding how you want to serve it.
CRABMEAT CROISSANTS (about 8 medium croissants)
Cut a nice fresh croissant in half, and brush some butter on the cut side of the bottom half. Reserve the top half for later.
Lay the buttered side in a skillet set over medium-high heat, and allow to cook until the buttered side is well toasted.
Chef’s Note: I use a spatula and press to slightly flatten the croissant as it toasts in the pan.
Carefully spread a nice thick layer of the crabmeat spread on the toasted croissant bottom, and top off with a nice sprinkling of the cheese.
Chef's Note: At this point they can be covered and retired to the refrigerator, until needed. You can make this part 12 hours in advance.
Just before serving, spread some melted butter to the reserved top half of the croissant.
Set a rack in the second to the highest position and set the oven to broil. Add the croissants on an unlined baking sheet (if you use parchment paper, it will burn), and broil for just about 2 or 3 minutes… the top half should be buttered side up. And, of course, the bottom half should be crabmeat side up.
Keep an eye out because it will happen quickly. The cheese should be bubbling and the tops slightly browned.
Remove immediately from the oven, sprinkle on a little sliced green onion, add the now toasted top half, let rest for about 20 minutes, and then let people dig in… And dig in they will.
SMALL RED POTATOES (makes about 20 appetizers)
Boil some small red potatoes in a pot of water, until cooked, about 20 minutes.
Slice the potatoes in half, and using a melon baller (or whatever you have handy), scoop out the inner flesh, but leave about a 1/4-inch thick wall.
Put one heaping tablespoon of the crabmeat spread into the cavity of the red potatoes, and then bake and serve as we did for the croissants.
Chef’s Note: It helps to stabilize the potatoes, by using a paring knife, and slicing just a tiny piece off the bottoms of each potato half. This will help them stand up during the baking, and during the presentation. But I promise you, they won't have to stand around for long...