Tulip, Crab, and Asparagus Appetizers – Appetizers

3 oz Cream cheese; softened

2 ts Lemon juice

1 tb Minced chives

1 ts Minced fresh dill or mint

-(Optional) 1 ds Pepper or cayenne

1 c Crab meat, flaked

25 Fresh asparagus spears

25 Tulip petals

In a medium bowl, beat cheese with lemon juice, herbs, and pepper; stir in crab. Break tough ends off asparagus. Blanch in 1 inch of boiling water in a large skillet with a lid, or steam standing upright in a couple of inches of water in a tall, narrow pot, until crisp-tender, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of stems. Plunge into an ice-water bath for 1 minute; then pat dry. Trim asparagus to abut 5 inches; from the trimmings, cut as many 1/4-inch rounds as you have tulip petals. Save extra ends for salads. Fill each tulip petal with about 1/2 a rounded teaspoon of crab mixture and garnish with an asparagus round. (If your petals are large and asparagus thin, you can use 3 rounds to garnish each filled petal.) Arrange asparagus in a fan on a serving platter and place tulip petals alternately (or create your own pattern).






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