Don't give me that "it's too cold outside to grill" whine. In 25* degree weather in Portland, the perfect antidote to a midwinter chill is throwing some fatty rib eyes on the grill, getting a nice, crusty char on them, and digging in to some serious meaty goodness while dreaming of summer 'ques to come! What's that? Yeah, yeah, I know that isn't a new recipe, and this month is all about making only new dishes at home. Do you really think I'd forget??
That's why, to precede these hunks 'o flesh, I made an awesome new salad I picked up from my blogging pal Jaden's fabulous food site, Steamy Kitchen. If you've been paying attention, you feel my love of all things crabby when we're in the height of Dungeness crab season here in the NW. There was the silly good holiday crab pasta, the killer crab cakes, and now another new favorite thing to add to the repertoire. Jaden adapted this insanely fresh and delicious (and a snap to throw together) Fuji apple and crab salad from Crab: Buying, Cooking, Cracking by Andrea Froncillo and Jennifer Jeffrey. I grabbed a couple of live crabs on the way home from work from ABC Seafood to throw in the crab pot. After they succumbed to a bubbly demise, w and my sis were kind enough to shell them while I got the other edibles ready. This mix of fresh crab and Fuji apples was off the hook, and the Thai dressing was the perfectly piquant set off to the crab/apple/baby greens mix. It could be a main course all by itself with some crusty bread and a good bottle of Sancerre, but it rocked pretty hard as a warm-up to our steakage. You've gotta give this a taste while the crabbing is good. Thanks, J!!
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Crab/Fuji Apple Salad with Thai Dressing
adapted from Crab cookbook by Jennifer Jeffrey and Andrea Froncillo
serves 4-6 as first course
8 ounces fresh crabmeat (I used snow crab)
1 large Fuji apple, cored, julienned and tossed with a squeeze of fresh lime juice
4-6 cups mixed baby greens
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbl julienned fresh mint
Thai-Style Salad Dressing
3 tbl rice vinegar
2 tbl fish sauce
1 tbl sugar
1/4 tsp finely minced chili (leave seeds in if you like it hot)
juice of 1/2 lime
Prepare the dressing by combining ingredients and whisking. In a small bowl, combine crabmeat and apple and toss lightly with just a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Assemble plates by layering baby greens, a mound of crab/apple mixture. Top with fresh mint and freshly ground black pepper. Use a teaspoon to drizzle salad dressing onto the salad. Be careful not to use too much - you should have some dressing left over.