Do-Ahead Mini Crab Cakes

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Makes 24


Crab cakes:
 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
 ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
 1 large egg
 ¼ cup sour cream
 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
 Pinch of kosher salt
 ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over and patted dry
 1 cup panko
 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
 ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
 ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add Parmesan cheese and egg; beat until blended.  Beat in sour cream, citrus zest, chives, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Fold in crabmeat.  This mixture can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Coat 2 non-stick mini-muffin pans with vegetable spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together the panko, chives, and the Parmesan cheese.  Drizzle the butter over, tossing with a fork until evenly moistened.  Press a tablespoon of the panko mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup, forming a crust.  Spoon a generous tablespoon of the crab mixture into each cup.  Sprinkle a teaspoon of panko mixture over each.

Bake crab cakes until golden on top and set, about 30 minutes.  Cool in pans for at least 5 minutes.  Run a knife around each cake and gently lift them out of the pans.  The crab cakes can be made 2 hours ahead.  Arrange on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature and then rewarm them in a 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes.