Crab Guacamole Salad

by Food Hound on September 7, 2014

in Appetizers, Main Dishes, Salads, Seafood

Post image for Crab Guacamole Salad

Your 30s are so much better than your 20s for so many deep, philosophical reasons, but today we are going to discuss perhaps the most practical:

You drink better tequila.

I can’t even remember what tequila I used to drink, which is probably the result of God actively expunging it from my memory to save me from repeating mistakes.  My tequila choice could be graphed on a bell curve, starting with cheap and poor enjoyment factor tequila from my college days, then progressing to really expensive and much better enjoyment factor of Patron Silver after I obtained my first paycheck but before the Booze Hound and I realized we would soon have to choose between having money for Honolulu rent and our fancy-pants tequila habit, then finally settling on the moderately-priced, small-batch, highly enjoyable, 100% agave tequila choices of my 30s.  The kind worthy of my Classic Margaritas.

The kind I consumed in slight excess via said margaritas Friday night but doesn’t leave me waking up feeling like Michael Flatley had just Riverdanced all over my head, but removes its already-subtle presence from your body the next morning with a single bite of salty, perfect bacon.  Ahhhhh, that’s better.  Now it’s on with my day.  Thank you, good tequila.  Thank you, wisdom of my 30s.

I tell this tale not only as a PSA for good tequila and the awesomeness that is being in your 30s, but also because I think I found perhaps the most perfect food to serve with margaritas- specifically, my Classic Margaritas, which you really, really need to make if you haven’t already.  Simple, pure-tasting, and if you thought Absinthe was lethal, welcome to a new generation.

When you drink margaritas, you really need to eat some sort of Mexican or Spanish food.  It’s in the rules of life, and I really don’t like to challenge the rules of life.  It also needs to be substantial for aforementioned lethality reasons.  Nachos (helllooooo, Ultimate Carnitas Nachos!!) are always a great choice, but sometimes it’s a million percent humidity outside and you want something no-cook.  Or you know the risk of over-imbibing exists (see also: ‘wisdom of 30s’) and you want something light that won’t leave you food-hungover, which is arguably worse than booze-hungover.  Or you want to make your own guacamole for the first time (shocking, but accurate).

This Crab Guacamole Salad screams ‘let’s drink margaritas on a hot summer night and talk about… new music for 6 am CrossFit because sometimes you just want to lift weights to the sweet voice of Rihanna instead of the bi-syllabic rhythmic utterances of Rage Against the Machine.’  Or whatever you want to talk about.  Fashion Week.  NYT carbs article.  Scottish independence.  Brangelina.

Not only is this salad soooo easy to make (no-cook! no-cook!) but it’s so stinkin’ fabulous.  There is texture, there is sweet + heat, and I can’t actually think of anything healthier than lumps of crab mixed with chunks of avocado.  And I just realized that it’s the quintessential summer dish without any quintessential summer ingredients, meaning should you crave this in January (and I will), it will taste just as amazing.  Especially accompanied by a margarita because citrus is in season in the winter.

I think I just solved all the world’s problems.  Cheers!

Crab Guacamole Salad
 
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Serves: 2-4 as a main dish, 6 as an app
Ingredients
  • 3 cups lightly shredded lump crabmeat
  • ⅓ c freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (more to taste)
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp chipotle powder (more to taste- I cook for a toddler, so I keep it mild)
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ c finely chopped white onion
  • 4 6- to 7-oz. ripe avocados
  • 4 tsp fresh lime juice (more to taste)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the crabmeat, orange juice, ¼ cup of the cilantro, jalapeño, olive oil, chipotle powder, and ¾ tsp salt. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, or the blade and side of a chef’s knife, mash the onion, ¼ c cilantro, and ¾ tsp salt to a paste. Transfer it to a serving bowl.
  3. Halve and remove the pits of the avocados. Use a paring knife to score the flesh in a ½-inch crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut through the skin. Use a spoon to scoop the avocado into the bowl.
  4. Along with the remaining ¼ c cilantro and the lime juice, mash the avocado gently with the pestle or a fork, leaving some chunks. Using a slotted spoon, add two-thirds of the crab mixture to the bowl. Season to taste with more lime juice and salt. Use the slotted spoon to top the guacamole with the remaining crab just before serving.
Notes
Definitely make this as spicy as you want by using a different kind of chile and/or more chipotle! You can also sub cooked, diced shrimp for the crab- the original recipe uses a mix of both, but I chose to go all-crab because my crab options were limited to a 3-cup container, and that happened to be what I needed.

As is the way of the avocado world, they brown easily, so this dish is best made right before eating. But I can attest to the fact that even though it might look brown and unappealing leftover the next day, it still tastes divine.

 

 

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