These Crab Melts are great for a light lunch or brunch with some chips or a salad. You can also cut the panini or ciabatta into smaller pieces and serve them as hors d’oeuvres or on a brunch buffet. Easy and delicious, they are perfect for warmer days when you don’t want to have the stove going for too long. In cooler weather, I like to serve them with a bowl of hot soup for an easy supper.
I buy my crab meat ready prepared in a little pot from the grocery store. It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way. These are very rich; you only need one half of the ciabatta or panini each so this recipe serves 2. It’s easily doubled or tripled to serve more people. You can, of course, use canned crab meat, which definitely makes them more economical.
½ cup white crab meat
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp finely chopped red pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped celery
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese
1 small rectangular ciabatta bread, or 1 panini
Cut the ciabatta bread or panini in half, and put the halves in the oven on a baking sheet at about 350℉ (175℃) for five minutes to toast up a bit.
Meanwhile, mix the crab meat with the mustard, red pepper, celery and mascarpone cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the ciabatta or panini from the oven, and divide the crab mixture between the two halves. Cut the cheese slice slices in half and put two halves on top of the crab on each piece of ciabatta or panini.
Return the crab and cheese topped bread to the oven for five to ten minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and brown. (You can place them under a broiler or grill for a few minutes if you prefer.)
The cheese gets very hot, so allow these to cool a bit before Serving one half of the panini or ciabatta to each person, or cutting into small pieces to serve as hors d’oeuvres.
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