Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crab Bagel Bites

I’m a major mini-bagel fan! I like them for breakfast, I like them for lunch, and I love serving them at parties. One of the tastiest and easiest appetizers I make takes only a few minutes: Allowing 1-½ mini-bagels per person, split each bagel in half, fanning them attractively on a large tray or platter. Place variously sized bowls of soft cream cheese, well-drained capers, and thinly sliced red onions on the platter, remembering to add a spreader for the cheese, a small spoon for the capers, and a cocktail fork for spearing up the onions. Open a large package of smoked salmon lox, separating and pinching up the pieces to create a pleasing display between the small bowls and sliced bagels. A parsley garnish in one corner of the tray and a small pair of tongs or a second fork for the salmon to complete the tableau - et voilà! Prepare this in advance and chill it, covered, in the fridge. I’ve been making this appetizer practically since I was born, so ... 
Time for a change! The other day, I peeked into the freezer and found a package of mini-bagels I’d forgotten about. With a dinner guest due at any moment, I sliced four bagels into thirds and crisped them very lightly at 350 deg. for 5 min. 
When the sliced bagels emerged from the oven, I grabbed some homemade pesto (the commercial kind works equally well), spreading the barest smear over each sliced bagel. I found a chunk of artificial crab in the fridge (canned tuna or salmon would have been fine, too), drained it well, patted it dry, and shredded it thinly. This produced about a cup of crab, which I mixed with 2 tbsp. mayonnaise, ¼ tsp. dill, ⅛ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. lemon juice. Heaping this mixture on each sliced mini-bagel, I dusted the works with a dash of Parmesan cheese and returned it to the oven for a further 10 min., serving them hot.
Challenge yourselves, Dollinks! Check your fridge and kitchen cupboards! There’s always something you can throw together! Relax, keep things simple, and you’ll have as much fun as your guests!

Slice mini-bagels into thirds

Toast very lightly

Spread with a bare smear of pesto

Slice crab very thinly
Combine mayo with a pinch of dill

Heap onto sliced, lightly toasted bagels 

Dust with Parmesan, bake, and serve hot. These go fast!

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