Monday, April 5, 2010
Probably goes without saying but there are few things I don't like to cook. But appetizers are always at the top of my list of favorite things to make. There's something about making little nibbles and bites that are packed with flavor that I just love. One of my favorites and a sure crowd-pleaser is this simple crab recipe. I first made it a few years ago when I was having a cookout and needed some lite nibbles that would suit a couple of guests on diets. This worked perfect - it's lowfat, light and very flavorful. (The dieters avoided the wonton crisps).
I made it again yesterday for Easter at my mom's. We celebrate with a trditional Polish breakfast - kielbasa, eggs, and babka. Then dinner is baked ham, au gratin potatoes and more, so a light appetizer in the afternoon is the perfect way to keep hunger at bay without adding to the calorie-fest!
This recipe is easily adaptable too. Add some cilantro or a bit of minced red pepper, or even some mango. It's also good served as a first course salad or for lunch (if there are leftovers!) It tastes best made a day ahead and the wonton crisps can be made a day or two ahead and stored in an airtight bag or container. If you don't want to go to the trouble of makign them, use white corn tortilla chips or cucumber cups. Doesn't get much easier!
Crab with lime served on wonton crisps and endive cups
1 package wonton wrappers
Canola oil, for frying
1 lb. cooked crab meat (lump or claw work fine)
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, minced
2 heads Belgium endive, leaves separated and washed
Cut each wonton wrapper in half on a diagonal. Heat about an inch to an inach and a half of canola oil in a deep-fryer or heavy pan to 360F. Drop the wonton wrappers into the hot oil, a few at a time and fry for a few seconds on each side, until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a little sea salt while still warm. These can be made a couple days ahead - be sure to store them in an airtight bag or container.
Pick over the crab meat for any shells. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the lime zest, juice, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Add the crab meat, scallion and celery and stir to combine. Refrigerate at least a few hours or overnight.
To serve, place the crab in a bowl on a platter with a spoon and surround with the endive leaves and wonton crisps.