Crab Meltaways Always Perfect For Parties

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BentRecipe_112515AThis time of year it’s important to have a few appetizers that you can prepare ahead of time before everyone storms your house looking to be fed. I love crab meltaways because they store in the freezer and cook up nicely in about 20 minutes or less.

Right now, my household wants something with a nice spicy kick however, if that isn’t your thing, simply omit it. Great fresh herbs to include are cilantro, parsley, or tarragon; however, sprinkle the herb on top after the meltaways have had their time in the oven, otherwise the fresh herbs will wilt. This recipe also works for chopped-up cooked shrimp, codfish, smoked salmon or lobster.
This recipe’s base is a combination of all the Maryland grandmothers I’ve cooked with over the years, so don’t be surprised if this tastes deliciously familiar.

Spicy Crab Meltaways 
Fresh Crabmeat with Sharp Cheddar Cheese

½ pound butter, softened
1 ½ heaping cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or Thousand Island salad dressing
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (spicy Thai sauce)
1 pound fresh crabmeat (not the most expensive, to watch costs use backfin or claw)
8 English muffins

Mix together the butter and the sharp cheddar cheese until blended. Add the salts and mayonnaise.
Stir in the crab meat. Cut each English muffin half into quarters. Evenly divide up the crab mixture on each quarter. You can put on more or less depending what suits your taste. Use more English muffins if needed.

Put the quarters under the broiler (about six inches away from the heat) until light brown and the cheese is melted. Watch this carefully, as it only takes a matter of minutes to burn.

To store and cook from a frozen state:

To store meltaways in the freezer until the time of use, prepare them as instructed above and carefully place them in a long Tupperware container, separating layers by wax paper.
Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 15 minutes until meltaways are quite warm and the cheese
starts to melt. Broil the meltaways for the last minute to turn the tops golden brown.

Serve immediately with a liberal sprinkling of your favorite fresh herbs.

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Elizabeth Johnson is former editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.

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