tulip, crab, and asparagus appetizers

25 servings
3 ounces Cream cheese; softened
2 teaspoons Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Minced chives
1 teaspoon Minced fresh dill or mint (Optional)
1 dash Pepper or cayenne
1 cup 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 ¼-inch rounds as you have tulip petals. Save extra ends for salads.

Fill each tulip petal with about ½ 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).

Source: Cooking from the Garden - by Rosalind Creasy ISBN: 0-87156-731-8 Typed for you by Karen Mintzias

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