Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot days - Salad lunches

Today was take two on The Habanero Cookbook. We decided to give it another shot with the Crab and Cantaloupe Salad with Habanero Yogurt and boy was it worth it! Now, this was a good salad! Here's another link to the cookbook on Amazon if you're interested:

And here's...

The Recipe:

Crab and Cantaloupe Salad with Habanero Yogurt

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 habaneros, seeds and stems removed, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 1 lb cooked crab meat
  • 1 small cantaloupe, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 small purple onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour to blend flavors.
Toss crab, cantaloupe and avocado with dressing. Top with the onion rings and serve.
Yield: 4-6 servings

My results:

YUM! This salad was really really good...I was a little unsure how the flavors of crab, avocado and cantaloupe would blend with the dressing, but it was very good. I think next time I would add an additional avocado since there was quite a bit more crab and cantaloupe than avocado, but other than that, it was a great hit. Hubby and brother-in-law both enjoyed it as well. Here is a picture of my starting ingredients:

You'll notice I didn't use "fresh" lime juice as I didn't have any limes on hand (used them for the Yoda Soda the other night!) and we used pre-picked crab (called "special" crab meat in the fish area of the market). The notes on this recipe said you might choose to only use one pepper, however I had my fire-mouth husband taste the pepper and since he said they weren't super hot, we went with two. Your peppers may vary, so either taste them beforehand or try one and add an additional if you think you can handle it. Ours was just right with a little heat but nothing super spicy and a nice rounded flavor.

Here is a photo of the finished dressing as it was "sitting" for an hour to meld:

I chose to combine some of the dressing with the crab meat to "loosen" it up (as it had been packed in it's little plastic container) and then placed the cantaloupe and avocado mixture onto the plates, topped with the crab and dressing mixture and then drizzled a little more dressing over all. This made for a pretty presentation as well as a good way to keep the ripe avocado from breaking up too much from tossing. There was a bit of the dressing left over which would probably be good on regular green salad, or perhaps on a grilled chicken breast. It was a very good dressing with hints of cilantro popping out and the heat from the habanero there but not overwhelming. Here are the completed plates, ready to be served. Because this was our full meal, we only got three servings out of it, but if you were serving this as a side or even as a light lunch with rolls, etc. it would definitely feed 4-6.

All in all this was a big hit and one we'll definitely do again. It was perfect for a hot day in South Texas (our 30th day of breaking 100F!) Please let me know if you try this dish and what you think of it and be sure to check in tomorrow for another cookbook adventure!

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