Crazy November, huh? 20's one day, 70's the next - rain, snow, sun and some serious cirrus clouds thrown into the mix for good measure. I'd say Mother Nature is a wee bit confused.
All too brief sun and warmth had me thinking about a warm weather crab salad and before I could make a fall equivalent, the temps plummeted again. Who cares?! Crab in all it's many forms is always perfect on the menu. In this house anyway.
And in THIS house, there is always a pound of Maryland crab tucked away in the freezer for just such an emergency!
In the midst of all the cold, snow, freezing weather and wind out there, how about a little bit of summer to help us make it through? I know I sure could use all the help I can get.
Sweet fresh Maryland crab? Vine ripened sun-kissed bright red tomatoes (or the best you can find in the produce aisle this time of year)? Yes, please!
Traditional Old Bay Maryland Crab Salad
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, Hellman's or Kraft - NOTHING else!
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seafood seasoning - NOTHING else!
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons celery, very finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups crab, NOT pasteurized in a can. Look for the plastic tub that says it's FROM (not just packaged in) Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas and that it's blue crab. When you see blue "swimmer" crab, that's imported inferior crab. Beware.
- 4 tomatoes, quartered - If it isn't summer and local tomatoes aren't available, look for heirloom tomatoes, Ugly tomatoes or Campari tomatoes. For off-season, they have some pretty good summer-like flavor.
- 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp - a good thick-sliced bacon is best in my opinion...peppered bacon is awesome!
- Romaine lettuce, as many leaves as you need to make the plate pretty
- fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded - just a few, just for a little bright, herb-y goodness against the tomato and to make it pretty!
Pick gently through the crab, removing any shell or cartilage you might fine. (In my opinion, if you find a little shell it's just proof that it's REAL crab! No big deal.) As you pick, put the crab into a big bowl.
In a small separate bowl, mix the mayo, Old Bay, lemon and celery well. Pour the mixture over the crab and GENTLY fold the dressing into the crab. Try to keep those expensive, beautiful lumps as whole as you can!
Lay lettuce leaves (say that 10 times fast) on a plate, cross 2 slices of bacon on top, arrange the tomato quarters on top of the bacon, mound the crab salad in the center and garnish with the basil.
Of course this is amazing on good bread, too!
Now put on your shades, the soundtrack of waves crashing onto your favorite beach, then sit back and pretend. Ahhhhhhh, that's better, isn't it?
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