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A Bright Crab Salad

September 14th, 2012 · No Comments · Challenge, Seafood

This morning I woke up groggily, not understanding why the whole house smelled like chicken. And then I went to make my coffee, and remembered that the chicken stock was still in the slow-cooker bubbling away. Jewish penicillin! Except, I don’t have a cold, and I want to keep it that way.

I set to work making my coffee, and then immediately after I finished, I realized that it was trash day, and I had an entire room full of cardboard that I had made a resolution to get rid of – the first official step in “making my house more of a home”. And get rid of it I did. A metric ton of cardboard was broken down with a knife and my brute strength, and stuffed in three large recycle bins. By the time I finished, the coffee was forgotten, as was breakfast, but I was rewarded with this beautiful clean room. Wonderful!

Well, I skipped breakfast. It’s something I have to work on. It was a “rest day”, which means that I wasn’t fueling for a workout, but it also means that I’m lazy when it comes to taking care of myself. It’s so much easier to do good when you are focused on good choices.

Lunch, however was a different story. My mom gave me the first of her eight ball zucchinis from the garden. It’s a hybrid zucchini squash – tastes like a zucchini with the firmer texture of a squash.

I doused it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted it in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes.

And then I put together a simple salad – zucchini, some of the roasted chicken in the fridge, parsley, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. I took it outside to eat on the porch.

In the late afternoon, I polished off an apple from Applecrest, and headed out for a walk.

Because it was a “rest day”, I decided to listen to a podcast and take a short walk around Fresh Pond. It’s one of my favorite places to escape to, because it is full of people at all times of day, you see dogs everywhere, and yet the paths are large enough that you don’t have to dodge people. You do however, have to dodge the wet dogs coming out of the pond. Today I learned my lesson and was totally soaked from an overly-excited sopping wet corgi.

After my walk, I headed over to Formaggio Kitchen for a late snack, hoping that I’d find something despite the fact that I can’t gorge on cheese or honey or anzac biscuit samples. When I realized that I couldn’t have my favorite fennel sausage because it had both milk products and sugar in it, I decided to splurge on something that I’ve been eying for months: Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee.

Honestly? It just wasn’t that great. I mean, it was good, for sure. But, for half the price, Formaggio brews pretty excellent George Howell iced coffee, and I’ve realized that it can’t be beat. Sorry Stumptown, I wanted to love it…

In another failed moment, I went next door to the Fishmonger to see if I could pick up some seafood for my dinner. I noticed that the board said that shelled lobster was $8.50 a pound, a moderately good deal (although Market Basket sells whole lobsters for $3.99 if you can deal with the crowds) but was informed that it was actually $50 per pound. Yes, in this bountiful season, they were attempting to sell the stuff for a good $47 dollars more than market value. Sometimes I don’t understand this world.

After this escapade and all that disappointment, I was feeling a little hungry, so I devoured two small hard boiled eggs.

Instead of lobster, I decided to splurge on crab for dinner to make myself feel better. Devon had a work dinner catered by Barbara Lynch, so this was another day of fending for myself. Actually, I’ve been trying to get the stuff for the past week, but every time I head to the store, it’s sold out. I finally found some, and grabbed it.

Dinner was dead simple fresh crab salad. I peeled a cucumber, chopped up an avocado, some colorful tomatoes. I made a dressing of one part Red Boat fish sauce to one part lime juice, with a pinch of chile. I dressed the salad with half of the dressing, and dressed the crab in a separate bowl with the other half. To guild the lily, I added just a few spoonfuls of coconut milk to my crab, and then served it on the bed of veg. Here it is!

A bright crab salad
serves 1

6 oz. fresh wild crab
1 medium cucumber
1 avocado
2-3 ripe colorful tomatoes
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbs. fish sauce
pinch of chile flakes
a splash of full-fat coconut milk

Start by making your dressing. Juice a lime, and add an equal amount of fish sauce (about 1 Tbs.). Add a pinch of chili flakes and whisk or shake up in a small jar.

Then prepare your vegetables. Peel and chop your cucumber and put in a bowl. Take an avocado, cut it in half, and score the flesh into cubes before spooning it out into the cucumbers. Then, chop up your tomatoes into wedges. Take half of the dressing, and dress the vegetables, and arrange on your dinner plate.

Then prepare your crab. In a small bowl, pour the remaining dressing on the crab. Add a generous splash of coconut milk (a tablespoon or two), mix gently to combine. Pile your crab onto your vegetables, and tuck in.

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