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Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Crab Tower with Avocado and Mango Salsas

I looked in the fridge this morning and found leftover crabmeat from making crab cakes yesterday.  I also had mangoes and avocadoes and decided to combine all my favorite ingredients into something fun, a crab tower!  Many years ago, I watched an episode from America’s Test Kitchen featuring crab tower, consisting of crabmeat with avocado and gazpacho salsas and was inspired by the idea but forgot about it.  Today’s the day to test it out.

Crabmeat Salad

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp white wine (Pinot Grigio or Riesling)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp mayonnaise
8 oz lump crabmeat

Whisk the olive oil, white wine, mustard, and mayonnaise in a small bowl.  Add the crabmeat to the mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat.

Mango Salsa Ingredients

1 ½ cup mango, peeled and diced
½ cup peeled, diced cucumber
¼ cup tomato
2 tbsps diced red onion
2 tbsps lime juice
2 tbsps roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper

Combine the mango, cucumber, tomato, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Avocado Salsa

1 Hass avocados (ripe), cut into ¼-inch dice
¼ tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp lime juice

Toss the avocado, coriander, and lime juice in a medium bowl and set aside.

To Assemble

Place a 3-inch-wide round biscuit cutter in the center of an individual plate. Press 1/4 cup of the Avocado Salsa into the bottom of the cutter using the back of a spoon.

Stack a second cutter on top of the first one and press1/4 cup of the crabmeat on top of the avocado.

Press 1/4 cup of the Mango Salsa evenly on top of the crabmeat.

Gently lift the cutters up and away from the plate to reveal the crab tower.

You can also serve your crab tower in a martini glass, much easier to put together compared to the tower.  This appetizer pairs well with tortilla chips.

Homemade Crab Cakes

November is the beginning of Dungeness crab season.  I like my crabs steamed with beer and dipped in a mixture of salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Unfortunately, fresh crabs are still expensive in San Diego at this time of the year ranging from $5.99 to $8.99 a pound.  You can get crabs from northern California for a lot cheaper, $1.99 at its cheapest and $3.99 most of the time.  Seattle is another place to get fresh Dungeness crab for a decent price.  Dungeness crabs are abundant in the Pacific Northwest.  I heard rave review from my Seattle friends about the annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival in Port Angeles held each October, but have not had the luxury of going.  It is on my must do list!  Until then, I was content with buying a jar of crab meat from Costco to satisfy my craving for crab cakes.  This will probably be your most simple recipe for crab cakes.

Crab Cakes Ingredients

3 tbsps light mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
1 small egg
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 oz crabmeat, fresh would be best but you can get the Costco Chicken of the Sea super lump crabmeat
1 cup of fine Ritz cracker crumbs
1 green onion
3 tbsps of chopped bell pepper
olive oil for frying

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, egg, mustard, Old Bay, teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Add bell peppers, green onions, cracker crumbs, and crabmeat to mayonnaise mixture.

Mix well and leave in fridge for 15-30 minutes so the crabmeat can absorb all the flavors.  Form the mixture into patties, about ½-1 inch thick.

Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil into a skillet and gently lay the cakes in the oil.  Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Remove the cakes from the oil and drain on a paperlined plate.  Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce or your sauce of choice.

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