Tag Archives: crab salad

Crab and kelp noodle salad and kayak dyslexia

crabkelpsalad

For anyone who hasn’t tried kayaking, I can highly recommend it – it’s enormous fun. Especially if the person at the helm (in our case, my husband) yelling navigation instructions suffers from left-right dyslexia and is wearing heavy-duty earplugs. We had friends to stay and decided to hire two kayaks to travel 10 kms down a very wild and unspoilt river nearby. Léo organised the teams, taking the person most likely to agree to capsizing at will with him, leaving me with my momentarily deaf husband and girlfriend with whom I chat relentlessly. Hence the earplugs.

Between the incessant chat, barked back-to-front instructions from our ear-plugged, laterally-challenged helmsman, our unheard retorts and copious giggling fits, we descended the river in the most inelegant and perilous zigzag fashion imaginable, ploughing into the banks on one side, only to veer off to hit the verges on the other side. At one point, we all had to disembark to dig the front half of the kayak out of particularly prodigious sandbank. Meanwhile, Léo and his teammate’s boat was approximating a washing machine on spin cycle, and they were dunking in and out of the water like over-excited labradors.

When we finally arrived at our destination, I was mortified to see that our party were the only ones to be soaked through. I was also covered in wet sand, bumps and scratches and a tree branch had taken root in my hair.

Glancing at the brochure when we got home, absolutely wrung out, I was amazed to see that there were all sorts of wildlife to be seen on the descent – turtles, rare birds, salamanders, otters and beavers. Of course, we had created such chaos that all the wildlife had fled, bar a very intimidating and bossy-looking duck that had quacked at us in outrage. Who can blame him?

kayak6

Needless to say my shorts were no longer white at the other end!

Ingredients (serves 4)

400g kelp noodles

200g crab meat (I used tinned)

3 shallots, chopped

100g sweetcorn

2 small carrots, julienned

1 red pepper, julienned

100g cashew nuts

handful of mint leaves

Dressing:

4 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, crushed

1 clove of garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon chilli powder

Drain the noodles and add to a large bowl. Add the crabmeat, shallots, sweetcorn, carrots, cucumber nuts and mint leaves and mix well with your hands. Combine the ingredients for the dressing together in a jar and shake well. Add the dressing to the salad, mix well and serve.

Crab avocado and playing chicken

crabavocado

HugojournoandJava

Once again I find myself at my wits’ end.  The Spring is a very busy time for me as I’m out every night until at least midnight escorting invaders off the premises. There are so many animals coming out of hibernation in a foggy daze, having forgotten who’s boss and needing to be reminded of their boundaries. I actually think I’m being charitable; they’re probably not in a six-month sleep-induced daze at all, they’re just disrespectful, trespassing hooligans. As if this isn’t enough for my nerves to contend with, Java, having finally understood that she must eat neither the hens nor their eggs, has decided that she should play with them instead. I suppose her rationale (if she’s capable of such a thing) is that they must be useful for something (er, Java have you and the hens actually met?). Of course, this makes them screech, which in turn makes Bossy screech and the general mayhem is such that I can’t catch up on my sleep. I sometimes think it’s a shame that dogs don’t hibernate…

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt

1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon chilli powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

100g white crabmeat (I used tinned)

2 ripe avocados, cut in half with the stone removed

5 basil leaves, shredded

Combine the yoghurt, lemon juice, mustard, garlic and seasoning in a small bowl. Add the crabmeat and mix well. Fill all four of the avocado halves with the crab mixture, scatter with the basil leaves and serve. Makes a delicious starter.

Crab, chilli and grapefruit salad and unfortunate associations

crabsalad

I used to hate grapefruit until my friend, Lucie, recently put me straight. One of the things I love about Lucie is her enormously resolute talent for ‘putting people straight’; now I’m Team Grapefruit, especially if served with crab. Crab and grapefruit is a marriage made in heaven, even more so with a bit of chilli for ‘zing’. I am big on harmonious combinations and for me one of the biggest culinary sins is the confounding Surf ‘n’ Turf. When I’m trying to decide if two ingredients will go together, I think about their natural habitats and how far-fetched it would seem for them to find themselves on the same plate. Lobster and beef? I don’t think so. As we plunge headlong into cep (porcini) season, I find myself once again skating on thin ice. Given the chance, my reckless anarchist of a husband will happily add ceps to absolutely everything. I sometimes have to resort to my ‘Flavour Thesaurus‘ to convince him that ceps and chocolate, coconut or crab do not, in fact, make for a palatable union.

Crab is a healthy source of protein, calcium, magnesium and selenium and grapefruit is rich in vitamins A and C. This fresh and fragrant salad is adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 pink grapefruits

200 g white crabmeat (I used tinned)

1 tomato, chopped

2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

6 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 handfuls crispy green salad

Carefully peel and segment the grapefruits. Place the crabmeat in a bowl with a tablespoon of grapefruit juice, the chopped chilli, basil leaves, salt and pepper and olive oil. Mix well. Add the salad and tomato to the bowl with the grapefruit segments, add a little more olive oil and salt and pepper, tossing well. Arrange the mixed salad and grapefruit segments in a bowl with the crab over the top. Sprinkle the remaining basil leaves and serve.