Pretzel Crusted Crab Cake Bites with Beer-Cheese Dipping Sauce

Crab cakes seem to be on almost every menu. One of the recent trends is small, crispy, shareable crab cake bites. We took that idea with our classic crab cake recipe and add a crunchy crust of crushed pretzel crumbs and paired it with a warm beer-cheese dipping sauce.

  • Prep Time: 45m
  • Cook Time: 15m
  • Total Time: 1h

Ingredients

  • For the Crab Cake Bites
  • 1 pound Crab Meat
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
  • 1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Seafood Seasoning, such as Old Bay brand
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Pretzel crumbs (buy or make using 3 cups pretzels)
  • For the Beer-Cheese Dipping Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Beer (use your favorite, I prefer IPA)
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 3 cups Shredded Sharp yellow Cheddar

Instructions

  1. For the Crab Cake Bites
  2. In a large bowl add one egg, mayonnaise, seafood seasoning, lemon juice, Worcestershire and Dijon and mix to combine. Add the crab meat in an even layer and cover with an even layer of the breadcrumbs. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the mixture until fully combined, being careful not to break up the pieces of crab meat. Use a ¾ - 1oz portion scoop to form into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill under refrigeration for at least 30 minutes until firm. Place the eggs, flour and pretzel crumbs in separate bowls. Lightly dust the crab bites with flour, then the egg and finally coat with the pretzel crumb. Return a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator to cool. Heat oil in a deep fryer or in a heavy bottom pot, heat the oil to 350⁰. Fry the crab bites in small batches until golden brown and heated through.
  3. For the Beer-Cheese Dipping Sauce
  4. In a medium sauce pan over medium, melt the butter and whisk in flour. Slowly add the milk, whisking while adding to incorporate. Add the beer and whisk to combine, followed by the garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Continue whisking over heat until thickened, remove from the heat. Add the cheese in batches, whisking to combine. Season to taste.

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