Crabby Snacks (English Muffins with Crab and Cheese Spread)

The third film in this year’s 12 Days of Oscar feature that is nominated for an Academy Award this year is Silver Linings Playbook.  After spending some time in a mental hospital in the aftermath of his actions upon discovering Nikki (Brea Bee)’s adultery, Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) moves in with his parents Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver).  While struggling with his bipolar disorder, Pat is desperate to show Nikki that he has his life together and reconcile. He meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widow who is aspiring to compete in an upcoming dance competition.  The two form a friendship and agree to help each other meet their goals.  Silver Linings Playbook is nominated for eight Oscars: Best Directing (David O. Russell), Best Editing, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Cooper), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (De Niro), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Lawrence), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Weaver), Best Writing- Material Previously Produced or Published, and Best Picture.

silver linings playbook dinner

Food gets a lot of mention in this film.  Early on Pat tells us that Sunday used to be his favorite day; Dolores would make lasagna and he’d watch the Philadelphia Eagles game with his father.  At the end of the film, Dolores is teaching Pat’s friend Danny (Chris Tucker) how she makes her braciole.  In the scene above, Pat orders Raisin Bran at a diner so that it’s not a date, and throughout the movie Dolores announces she’s making “crabbies and homemades.”  “Homemades” are homemade egg noodles, while “crabbies” refers to a snack or appetizer combining cheese and crab on an English muffin.  Director David O. Russell was invited to the home of Mrs. Cappalletti, mother of football player John Cappalletti, who offered him crabbies and homemades leading Russell to believe that these are common snacks in a Philadelphia home.  Bradley Cooper, who grew up in Philadelphia, told Russell he had never heard of either but they were included in the film just the same.

I’m glad they were.  While I have yet to attempt making my own egg noodles, I was excited to make some English muffins and top them with crab and cheese.  I decided to move past my reservations about using cheese spread and canned crab when I decided that authenticity was important, and that these are a retro appetizer hailing from the 1950’s when processed food was all the rage.  In the future, I’d mix some softened cream cheese with shredded cheddar and I’m sure that would work very well here.  I did make English muffins at home for these, but it isn’t necessary at all.  These are meant to be a quick appetizer or snack, so if you have some store-bought English muffins hanging around, this is a great way to use them.  Thinly sliced scallions make a great topping for these instead of, or in addition to, chopped parsley.  With a salad, a few of these aren’t a bad lunch, either.

crabby snacks

Crabby Snacks


  • 6 English muffins, split
  • 1 5 oz. jar cheese spread (such as Kraft Old English), room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • two dashes hot sauce (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 6 oz. can crab meat, drained, flaked
  • 2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning


Toast the English muffins.

Heat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the cheese spread, butter, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, and crab meat.  Stir to thoroughly combine.

Spread 1-2 Tbsp. of the crab mixture evenly on the toasted surface of each English muffin half.

Sprinkle the Old Bay seasoning evenly over the tops of each English muffin half.

Bake the topped English muffin halves for 10-15 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and bubbly.

Remove from oven and sprinkle the parsley evenly over the tops.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before using a sharp, serrated knife to cut each English muffin half into quarters.

Makes 48 crabby snacks.

Source:  adapted from Ask Your Neighbor


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