At some point in the last week, I think I hit my breaking point for rich holiday goodies. Enough with the truffle mac & cheese, enough with the creamed spinach…and I can’t even look at a cookie or cupcake.
That said, JiT knows I love seafood and when he saw crablegs on sale at the market, he bought a couple of pounds. I added them on to an already planned meal of homemade mac & cheese (we were still in holiday mode, give me a break), but neither of us could eat much.
So I had all this leftover fresh crabmeat and no idea what to do with it. And then I remembered one of the best salads I’d ever eaten. It was a special at the Nordstrom Cafe once upon a time. I’ve never seen it since, but it was divine: Mixed greens with mango, cilantro and red pepper, topped with a crabcake. Yum.
Based on the memory of this meal, I created the recipe below with fabulous results. While I wouldn’t necessarily classify this as “health food,” its packed with colorful veggies and fruit and has a light, summer-like flavor that feels especially refreshing after 2 weeks of holiday heaviness.
A note about the crabcakes — they really do make this salad worthwhile. If you don’t happen to have an errant pound of fresh crabmeat laying around like I did, the canned stuff is an okay substitute. But check the specials at your supermarket and you might just find a good deal on crablegs, or even pre-shelled lump crabmeat. Its worth a look, and boy are they tasty!
Tropical Mango Salad
Serves 2-3 people as an entree
1 bag of baby salad greens
1 small red pepper, chopped to medium dice
1/2 a small onion, chopped finely
1 mango, peeled and chopped to small chunks
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Citrus Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Fresh ground salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
Crabcakes (see recipe below)
Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl add vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add salt & pepper to taste. To serve, portion individual salad bowls and top salad with slivered almonds, crabcakes and a lemon wedge. Remember summertime and enjoy.
Baked Crab Cakes
Makes 6 medium-sized crab cakes
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (lowfat is fine)2 tablespoons butter, melted1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce1 egg
1/4 toasted breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 pound lump crabmeat
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, butter, Worcestershire and egg until the mixture is smooth, set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, baking powder, parsley, mustard and Old Bay seasoning. Add crabmeat and and wet ingredients and toss until the mixture is well blended.
Place the Panko crumbs in a shallow dish. Using your hands, shape the crab mixture into small patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Dredge each crab cake in the Panko crumbs to coat evenly on all sides, then place the cakes on the greased cookie sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes, to firm up the crab cakes before baking. Then, bake in the preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes. Turn the crabcakes over and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until they are golden brown on both sides.
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until emulsified. Serve immediately over salad greens.