I positively love crab cakes. They can make a wonderful appetizer, or a great meal all on their own. Of course, serving crab cakes at a party with 30+ guests is another matter entirely. Sure, it is possible to stand at the stove, pan-frying each of them, but that would mean either hiring a chef (ha!) or missing out on time with my guests, and that is just not how I entertain. When I throw parties I strive to plan a menu that can be prepped almost entirely in advance so that once people arrive, the time required in the kitchen with last minute tasks is minimal.
When I was planning out the menu for my recent holiday party, I came across these mini crab cakes in my spreadsheet of saved recipes and thought it sounded like a party-friendly option. It truly is. The crab mixture can be prepared up to a day in advance, the crab cakes can be assembled and baked two hours before the party and then rewarmed before serving. As Ina would say, how easy is that? (And by the way, yes, I have a detailed spreadsheet of magazine recipes to try. We’ll talk about that some other time.) Of course, being baked and mini sized means that these are not the world’s most perfect crab cakes because they require a bit more binder than normal. But all things considered, I thought they were awesome, tasty little bites and a really nice addition to the party menu. I’m really glad to have them in my entertaining repertoire and I can tell this is a recipe I’ll use over and over again.