Boy, do I love Oscar season. Sure, it’s kind of a boys’ club, and sure, the winners are often rigged… but there’s something about that spirit of entertainment, of celebrating movies, of the red carpet and designer anticipation and terrible hosts and practiced speeches and moments of honesty, that gets me every time. This year, our shining star was Jennifer Lawrence, that spitfire young talent who makes me feel like I haven’t done quite enough in my life, and also that we should be BFFs. (I know I’m not alone in this; the entire internet seems to agree.)
This year, I joined an Oscar party tradition that dates back years amongst my boyfriend’s group of friends. Everyone was invested in the whole shebang, from filling out painstakingly researched ballots, arguing over which film really deserved Best Animated Feature (hint: not Brave), and, to my utter delight, Best Picture themed food.
Crabby Snacks in Phyllo
(makes 24 cups)
1 roll phyllo dough
12 oz crab meat
4 oz cream cheese
4 tbsp mayo
2 tbsp chopped chives, plus extra for garnish
3 tsp Sriracha
ground pepper to taste
You’re going to want a mini cupcake tin for this. I made one batch with a regular one and the filling to phyllo ratio was terribly skewed. They were also so heavy, the phyllo started to fall apart – not good.
Preheat your oven to 350˚. Thaw your phyllo dough if it’s frozen, but make sure you don’t leave it out too long or it will start to harden. Take one sheet and brush with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and do the same, continuing until you have five sheets. Using a pizza cutter, cut your phyllo into 3″ squares. Fit into the cupcake tin, using other layers to make sure your cups fill the tin.
Combine crab, cream cheese, mayo, chives, Sriracha and pepper in a large bowl. Fill the cups with crab mixture. They’ll rise in the oven and sink back down once they start to cool, so don’t be alarmed when you take them out! Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Wait until they cool to top with extra chives, or they’ll sink into the soft center.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I was assigned Silver Linings Playbook crabby snacks. I’m generally not a huge fan of crab. It’s not that I hate it, but let’s just say I try to avoid California rolls whenever possible. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t know if my dish was any good, but luckily this had enough cream cheese and Sriracha to dispel my fears.
These were nearly bite-sized, and so good that I may even make them for my birthday party in a few weeks. After you get the hang of the phyllo dough, the process moves fairly quickly. These little crabby snacks turned out be a creamy, buttery appetizer guaranteed to win over any crab haters.