One surprise when my husband, Dave, and I began cruising was how much we socialized over appetizers. Cruisers love to get together and happy hour, even if you don’t drink alcohol, just seems to be the perfect time for relaxing after the day’s activities.
Most days, we have an “ordinary” appetizer, such as crackers and cheese or salsa. Some days, however, just call out for something special. Perhaps meeting up with old friends we hadn’t seen in months, or a party for everyone in the anchorage to listen to a playoff or bowl game aboard a boat with satellite radio.
Years ago, I learned to make baked Crab Rangoon as a healthy alternative to deep frying. Aboard a boat, it’s also practical—deep frying just isn’t safe with the chance of the boat moving and hot oil splashing or spilling.
Not difficult to make, yet perfect for when we wanted something special!
Orange Dipping Sauce :
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (Dijon-type is best)
Dash of ground cayenne or white pepper, to taste
NOTE: You can also use a commercial sweet-and-sour dipping sauce
8 ounces light or regular cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or other crab seasoning mix
Few drops of Worcestershire or hot sauce
1 (6-ounce) can crab, drained
25 wonton wrappers
Mix Orange Dipping Sauce ingredients together and set aside.
Place softened cream cheese in a medium bowl and mix in seasonings. Add crab meat and gently combine. If you like spicy food, increase the Old Bay and use hot sauce (I like Pickapeppa Sauce; it’s flavorful, but not too hot), but remember that there is a bit of kick in the dipping sauce, too.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Put a dollop of the crab mixture in the middle of each wonton wrapper, and pinch the corners together on top. Place on a cookie sheet (as close as you want—they won’t spread out) and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
Fresh Seafood: Use 3/4 cup of any fresh-cooked fish or seafood; fresh crab is wonderful, as are clams, mussels, oysters, shrimp or almost any fish.
Bacon: Use 4 to 6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon. Mrs. Dash or Montreal Steak seasonings are good in place of the Old Bay.
Other Canned Fish/Seafood: Canned tuna, oysters, clams, shrimp, salmon and other fish are all tasty. Drain well before using.
Dairy-free: Use 1 cup mashed potatoes in place of the cream cheese.