Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

Crab sticks (surimi), orange, apple and mayo salad

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

More comfort food for depressing winter weekdays. This salad is as retro as it gets and I can easily see it being served at cocktail parties in the 80s – spooned into hollowed-out orange halves next to the cheese and olives on toothpicks stuck into an apple.

The diet craze of the last two decades has sent mayonnaise into hiding. It is slowly crawling back into the light, and is even being featured in big-time culinary magazines, so now we can use it without being branded as nutritional outlaws. The best mayo is homemade, but I’m still working on getting it to emulsify in my blender. The last attempt was a week ago and three free-range Amish farm egg yolks and two cups of oil went down the drain accompanied by Dijon mustard, organic apple cider vinegar and some other condiments. I haven’t given up just yet, but I’ve bought a jar from Trader Joe’s just in case I got a craving for the stuff before I master my technique. My consolation – there is a note on the jar that assures me it’s made with real eggs and without any artificial badness. It also says that I spent $4 on fat. Oh, well, it’s crazy cold outside.

This salad is very versatile – great for a quick lunch, school lunch-box sandwiches or a cocktail party, if anybody still does those.

Margo\'s crab and orange salad

Crab stick, orange, apple and mayo salad

serves 2 for a light lunch, makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack 8 oz (227g) crab sticks (surimi), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 orange
  • 1 hard and sour green apple like a Granny Smith – cored and cut into bite-size pieces. You can leave the apple out, but I like the extra crunch in my salads.
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp dill, chopped
  • salt, black pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp mayonnaise if you dare; if not, use half mayo half thick plain yogurt

Over a medium bowl peel the orange with a small sharp knife, cutting off the white rind under the peel too. Carefully cut between the membranes, separating the flesh from them. What you get is juicy peel-free orange slices. This method is called filleting and sounds more complicated than it is. Dice the orange pieces, squeeze the remaining juice from the orange carcass before discarding it. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Check for seasoning and adjust. I usually like an extra sour punch and add some lemon juice. Few turns of the pepper mill and it’s ready – a very comforting old-fashioned salad, loved by my whole family. If you want to go for a fancy version – serve it spooned into endive leaves or crispy Romaine lettuce.


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