Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Or, in Vietnam–Happy Year of the Cat!  Whichever animal you are celebrating, I find the occasion a fun time to experiment with luxury appetizers.  I am a cultural oddity in that I care about the Super Bowl about as much as I care about a new line of Thomas Kinkade figurines–which is to say, not at all–so I reserve my appetizer enthusiasm for the Chinese New Year.  However, if you are hosting or attending a Bowl party with people who appreciate food that is a cut above frozen pizza rolls, these would also be great.  I did two things with my favorite splurge food, lump crab meat.  First I made some warm deviled eggs with crab, drizzled with some chive pesto.

These are easy to make and the full recipe follows.  They would also be lovely with a tarragon pesto or just sprinkled with fresh chives.  I then made some very easy (but time consuming) Crab and Mango Potstickers.

The recipe is really simple: I combined light cream cheese (light is softer, and makes it easier to mix in the crab without shredding it) with chopped green onions, finely chopped ripe mango, and a whole lot of lump crab.  Dab a teaspoon or two of the filling in the center of a gyoza wrapper, skim a little water around the edge of the wrapper, and seal the edges.  I pan-fried these in a little olive oil and served with sweet chile garlic sauce, and there were astoundingly awesome.

They would also be good steamed, but I love a crispy potsticker.

For the deviled eggs I used eight boiled eggs–why eight?  Well, that’s what I had on hand.  A couple of notes on boiling eggs: fresh eggs are very, very hard to peel when boiled, so it is best to use eggs that have had a little time to age in the fridge (especially if you use local eggs, which haven’t spent a bunch of time on a truck).  My egg boiling method is to place my eggs in a pan of cold water, which I bring to a boil, cover, and then remove from the heat.  Let them steep in the hot water for 20-25 minutes, then cool completely before peeling.

I like to add the “devil” to my eggs with horseradish, because I freaking love horseradish, but feel free to use mustard if that is your preferred flavor.  Here is the recipe:

Warm Deviled Eggs with Lump Crabmeat and Chive Pesto

8 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons grated horseradish (I like two)
1/2 teaspoon of honey
pinch of ground white pepper
heaping cup of lump crab meat (I used pasteurized, refrigerated crab meat)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 small bunch fresh chives, chopped
1/3 olive oil
pinch of salt

Place the cooked egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and mash them well with a fork.  Stir in the mayo, horseradish, honey, and white pepper.  Whip the mixture with a fork until smooth, then fold in the crab.  Heap the mixture back into the egg whites, and place them in a baking sheet or an oven-safe plate to heat.

Sprinkle the panko over the tops of the filled eggs–this is optional but adds a nice crunch.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  For a really golden top, run them under the broiler for a minute after baking.  Serve two per person, with some of the pesto drizzled over the top.

For the pesto:  In a blender, puree the chives, olive oil, and salt until almost smooth.  If you want a more refined look, make chive oil using these directions.

Thanks for reading!


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4 Responses to Happy Year of the Rabbit!

  1. Karen Harris February 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    I always hit the movie theater Superbowl Sunday but leave my boys with something in the crockpot to munch on. I LOVE crab so I might try these bites on Valentines Day so I can enjoy them too.

  2. Eric February 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    OMG! These both sound fantastic! Too bad only Ian and I would enjoy them.


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