Curried Crab Salad

I was working in the lab late one night when my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise and suddenly to my surprise…

the curried crab salad wasn’t half bad. I did the mash… I did the curry mash… oh well.

I’ve been going through some ideas to get ready for ‘picnic’ month.. another name for May. I swapped out the chicken for crab in a curried salad that I enjoyed last year and I really enjoyed it… I’ll bring a curried crab salad to the next picnic and see what the friends say…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  1/2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/3 c. plain yogurt
  • 1 c. chopped crabmeat
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped salted cashew nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped scallions

Heat oil in a small pan, add curry powder and cook for about 30 seconds. That makes the curry powder taste less raw.

Mix curry powder and oil with yogurt, then combine with remaining ingredients, reserving 2 tablespoons of the scallions to garnish the top of the salad.

Kick-off Crab Cakes

Well, the big game is a week away, and I’ll be focusing my attention on things from Long Island’s sunny shore that go well with watching a football game. So, I have been in the lab, that tiny slab of a kitchen, and with a sale on crab meat and jalepeno’s… well I can find a good way to work these two together… a newly minted classic – crab cakes with kick.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb lump crab meat
  • 1 jalepeno pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 1/2 small red pepper (finely diced)
  • 1 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon crab seasoning ( I use old bay)
  • dash of hot sauce
  • bread crumbs

Empty the crab into a large bowl, sort through, looking for pieces of shell to remove. Add jalapeno, red pepper, mustard, mayonnaise, crab seasoning and hot sauce.

Don’t be too rough when mixing these together. You don’t want to break up the crab lumps too much. Its not like making tuna salad. Now, add enough bread crumbs to keep it together, don’t use too much you don’t want these too dry, they’ll fall apart when cooking.

For an appetizer size portion, this should make about eight to ten little cakes, or four main course (man size) cakes. If you are going to fry these, roll the finished cake in bread crumbs. If you are going to broil them skip the extra bread crumbs and spray lightly with olive oil. Either fry in vegetable oil or broil until brown.


Comfort Soup – Crab Corn Chowder with … Bacon!

I know, I hear you; I’m bringing back the bacon. As winter sets in, although it’s been pretty darn mild around here lately, and that’s not helping the ‘comfort food’ theme we have going on here, thick hearty soups are often on the stove. Here on the Island, with sales on crab meat going on, its time for some crab – corn chowder with a bit of… you asked for it… bacon!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups diced red potato
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • Chopped fresh chives

Cook the bacon over medium heat, remember I only use the Western Beef  (add shameless sponsorship plug here lol) thick cut rashers. Add onions; sauté for a minute or so, until tender. Add corn, potatoes, milk, Worcestershire, and thyme; bring this to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes or until potato is tender.

Combine cornstarch and evaporated milk in a small bowl; stir with a whisk to create slurry.

Add cornstarch slurry to soup to thicken it up; simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and crab; remove thyme sprig. Ladle into soup bowls; sprinkle with chives.

I enjoy serving this with toasted rye bread and butter.

Thai style Tomato and Crab soup

Tomato and Crab soup is a nice Thai inspired soup that can be served either hot or cold.  I get the bean sprouts, lemongrass, and fish sauce from H- Mart, my local Asian market. Its nice having so many different ethnic markets here.

  • ½ pound fresh lump crab meat
  • 2 ½  pounds beefsteak tomato chopped
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • Half a dozen scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass thinly sliced
  • 1 chili seeded and minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Sea salt

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan; add scallions, lemongrass, and chili. Cook these until they are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook another 5 to 6 minutes.

Then, stir in the chicken stock, coconut milk, orange juice, lemon juice, and fish sauce. Bring this to a boil and let cook together for about 15 minutes.

Now, grab the immersion blender and give all this a really good blend… pureed. Now stir in the lime juice, season with salt and pepper.

I tend to enjoy this soup hot… so I toss the crab meat into the microwave and steam it for a minute. I ladle the soup into the bowls and garnish the crab meat on top. Now, I also garnish it with bean sprouts.

This is one of those soups that you can also serve chilled in the summer (in which case, I do not steam the crab meat).

Blue Claw Salad

Crabs, they are a lot like ants in that you need a lot of them in order to get anything done. There is so often so little meat on our local little dock-side dwellers that you need half a dozen to whip up so much as a sandwich. But, today that’s what we’ll do… lets whip up a crab salad sandwich.

  • The meat of half a dozen blue claw crab, or two cans of crabmeat
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 2 ribs of celery finely diced
  • A healthy dollop of good mayo
  • An equally healthy dollop of horseradish sauce

I flake the crabmeat with fork to get it all nice and fluffy. Then toss the diced onion and celery into the bowl and mix this really well. Then, add the mayo and the horseradish sauce. I like using Gold’s Horseradish Sauce in the squeeze bottle. Mix this well, then add a little salt and pepper to taste.

Now that he mixture is prepped, let talk about bread. I prefer to make this sandwich on well toasted rye bread, the seeded one. I toast up the bread, then drop a leaf or two of Boston lettuce on it. I like the leafier Boston lettuce for this sandwich as it tends to have a thinner leaf that the iceberg and a more uniform shape for holding the salad than the red or green leaf lettuce varieties.

This is a good sandwich to cut up and serve as an accompaniment to Manhattan clam chowder.