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stuffed and crabby

As promised, here’s a tasty way to use the leftover crab from yesterday’s crab cakes. Baby potato halves make excellent little hor d’oeuvre cups. And a small melon baller is the perfect tool to hollow them out, so be sure to pick one up the next time you are at the grocery store – that’s right, you’ll find one in the “kitchen aisle” of your neighborhood grocery store. For another vehicle to hold the crab, try small mushrooms, just pull out the stems and use them either fresh or lightly roasted.

Crab Stuffed Baby Potatoes

24 small red and/or yellow potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup (packed) cooked lump crabmeat, picked over
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes in half crosswise. Mix with oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Place cut side down on the heavy large baking sheet. Set aside the bowl with any remaining oil inside. Bake potatoes until just tender, about 25 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking; melt butter in a medium skillet. Add the shallots and cook until translucent.  Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the thyme and crab and cook until heated through, about 1 additional minute, remove from heat and set aside.

When potatoes are done, remove them from the oven, and when cool enough to handle; cut a thin slice off the rounded end of each potato so that it will sit flat on the bottom. Turn the potatoes over and, using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out some of the centers of each potato (reserve for later use for mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, or gnocchi). Lower the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the potato cups on a cookie sheet, brush the inside of the potatoes with the reserved oil from the bowl and return to the oven for about 5 minutes to crisp.

Add the Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of the crème fraîche to the shallot-crab mixture, and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the potato cups with the crab mixture and place them back on the baking sheet.

Return to oven for 5 minutes to heat through. Top each potato cup with a dollop of the remaining 1/4 cup crème fraîche and sprinkle with chives.

Makes 48

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