Saturday, November 7, 2015

Crab Puffs with Garlic Aioli

I made these for an appetizer at Thanksgiving not really knowing what to expect. The original recipe was one I had clipped out of a magazine years ago and put in our mom's recipe tin under the cupboard and then forgotten about. 
After re-discovering it just before Thanksgiving I decided to give it a go. 
Turns out this was a fantabulous idea. 
These are addicting. They are baked, not fried so are a tad healthier. (Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying they are healthy. Just... heathier.
The crispy crust on the bottom is excellent with the savory cheesecake-esque filling on top. 
Plus they are actually super easy to make. I think they took 10 minutes to put together and then throw in the oven. 
In case you need another reason to make them... you can serve them hot, fresh out of the oven, but they are also just as tasty at room temp which makes them a perfect appie for entertaining when your guests will be milling around snacking for a while.
And definitely make the garlic aioli. It takes them over the top. So. Much. Garlic. It's amazing!

Crab Puffs With Garlic Aioli

Garlic Aioli
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tbsp dried chives
1 tsp prepared coarse mustard
1 clove (large) garlic, minced
salt & pepper

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/4 cup Panko type bread crumbs (I used Glutino Gluten Free Breadcrumbs Original)
1/4 cup butter, melted
salt & pepper

2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temp
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 Tbsp mayo
2 tsp prepared coarse mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire 
1 egg yolk
6 oz crab meat (cooked)
1 Tbsp dried parsley

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 24 tin, mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Prepare the Garlic Aioli - Whisk together mayo, chives, mustard, garlic, and salt & pepper. 

Place in fridge to chill until ready to use. (This can be made up to a day or two ahead so the flavors have time to blend.)
Prepare the puffs - In a mixing bowl, stir together the crust ingredients (Parmesan cheese, Panko, butter, salt & pepper) until well combined. Press about 1 Tbsp of this mixture firmly into each of the mini muffin tins so it is well packed and is up the sides slightly to form a "cup". 

In another mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire, and egg yolk. When well mixed together, fold in crab meat and dried parsley. 

Scoop approx 1 Tbsp of the filling into the crumb crusts.

Bake at 350 until well browned and cooked through, about 20 - 25 minutes. When done, remove from heat and let cool at least 5 - 8 minutes in tin before attempting to remove.

They need to firm up a little or they will fall apart when you take them out. 

Run a knife carefully around each puff to loosen from pan. Remove to serving tray.

Serve hot or at room temp with the chilled garlic aioli.

Try not to eat them all before sharing with your guests. 

A few notes - **With my mini muffin pan size I ended up getting a total of 30 puffs. 
**Make the aioli ahead of time so the flavors can blend. You want it to be garlicky. That is what makes it so good. I used a LARGE clove of garlic but you could use 2 smaller ones to the same end.
**I bought Glutino Gluten Free Original Breadcrumbs (link HERE) as my niece is currently gluten free and they worked just as well as Panko would. You just want to use a crumb similar to Panko in consistency. 
**If you can't get fresh cooked crab meat then it will work just as well with canned/packaged. 

We're sharing over at Carol's Chatter. Be sure to pop by and say hi!


  1. Inspirational - crab is going to feature really soon. Thanks Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

  2. Wow, these look incredible! I am definitely going to make them very soon! Maybe today! Thanks!!!

  3. What is prepared course mustard?

    1. Coarse ground mustard is like the mustard pictured here - As an example. :) Hope that helps!