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Crab Wontons
Wow guests with this easy, bite-sized appetizer. Photo credit: Renee Comet / USA WEEKEND. Food Styling: Lisa Cherkasky.

When company comes, even if it is just for a casual get-together, I like to welcome them with a little nibble. If I want to take it to another level without much fuss, this elegant appetizer is the answer. It is a bite-sized delight of succulent crab salad, laced with sweet mango, lime and cilantro, served in crunchy wonton cups. The cups are a healthy and different alternative to the store-bought puff pastry cups commonly used for finger foods — and they are easy to make. I have loaded the cups with whipped herbed goat cheese, salmon and chicken salad in the past, but this lump crab filling is by far the most special. Light, fresh and rich at the same time, it is a decadent way to treat your guests.

Crab Salad in Crisp Wonton Cups

For the wonton cups
• Cooking spray
• 18 wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
• 2 tsps. canola oil
• ¼ tsp. salt

For the dressing
• 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
• 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
• 2 Tbs. olive oil

For the salad
• ½ pound lump crabmeat, picked for shells
• 1 stalk celery, finely diced (¼ cup)
• ½ cup peeled and finely diced ripe mango
• ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts)
• 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the wonton cups, brush both sides of the wonton wrappers with the canola oil and gently press each wrapper into a mini-muffin tin so it forms a cup shape. Sprinkle with the salt and bake until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool cups and remove from the tin. To make the dressing, whisk together the lime juice and zest, the salt, black pepper and red pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk until well combined. To make the salad, in a medium bowl, gently toss together the crab meat, celery, mango, scallions and cilantro. Add the dressing and combine. Fill each cup with the crab salad and serve immediately.

Yield: 18 wonton cups (3 wonton cups per serving)

Per serving: 170 calories, 17g carbohydrates, 9g protein, 7g fat (1g saturated), 1g fiber, 32mg cholesterol, 448mg sodium

Recipe reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Taunton Press Inc., from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life, by Ellie Krieger. Copyright by Ellie Krieger.

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Ellie Krieger is host of the The Food Network’s hit show “Healthy Appetite,” which airs on The Cooking Channel. The author of three cookbooks, her latest is Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy. A registered dietitian, Ellie has helped out with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and has teamed up with New York City SchoolFood initiative, where she created healthy, delicious menu items for students citywide.