My goal for Small Bites is to find recipes that are low fat, fairly healthy, and still nice enough to serve guests. I don't know about you, but I get awfully tired of crudites at parties as I'm eying all the delicious saturated fat and bad carbs being passed around. With so many people needing to watch what they eat to maintain their health, I'd like to offer guests some tasty options. Crab is such a low calorie ingredient, but the trick was to find an appetizer recipe that wasn't fried or be loaded up with high fat ingredients.
Luckily, I found my crab recipe very quickly by using my good friend Google. Crab and jalapenos, sounded good to me! I served them with a fruit salsa (melon, onion, lime, cilantro, chili) to cut the heat. If you don't want to serve something spicy, just use the cute little mini sweet peppers many markets carry. The original recipe is here: http://www.crabplace.com/stuffed-jalapeno-peppers.asp
I changed the ingredients to use lower fat cheese and some citrus, and by my calculations, each pepper half runs about 15 calories, which is amazing for an appetizer. These were a big hit at my house. I'd certainly serve them to guests, probably using half jalapenos and half sweet red mini peppers (and warning guests about the spicy green ones).
This made 24 halves, the recipe would easily double or triple. To make ahead, just stuff the peppers, refrigerate, then bake before serving.
12 small jalapeno peppers
1 cup crabmeat (I love the 1 lb can from Costco)
1/4 cup shredded lowfat cheddar
2 oz lowfat cream cheese
1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper (or use grated zest and black pepper)
Juice of 1/2 lime
PAM or other cooking oil spray
1. Cut the stem off the peppers, slice in half the long way, and working under running water at the sink,scoop out all the seeds and inner membranes. You may want to wear gloves for this, since your hands may sting if you have a cut or dry skin.
2. Put the pepper halves into a pot of boiling water, and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove and cool.
3. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature, or slightly warm in the microwave. Combine the filling ingredients, mixing well.
4. Stuff some of the filling mixture into each jalapeno half, and place the peppers on a PAM-coated baking sheet. When all are done, lightly spray the tops with PAM.
5. Bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Then, turn the oven to Broil, and broil 2-3 minutes, watching carefully, just until tops begin to brown. Don't let them burn!
6. Serve with a fruit salsa.