Day 80: Maybe, almost, possibly a keeper

March 21, 2007

This evening I made Sweet, Spicy and Tropical: Crab Salad Lettuce Wraps. L was at another work dinner as part of the hiring process, and has another tomorrow, so I set about making this for me, myself and I. In all honesty, I thought that I would make it and not really be able to bring myself to eat it, but actually it was surprisingly reasonable and I almost enjoyed it. I think that under other, non-early-pregnancy circumstances, this would be a winner.

The trickiest part of making this meal was dividing the ingredients by four to make only one portion, but really that was not a big issue. The most refreshing part of making this meal was the fact that it used only one small sauce pan, which was only on the heat for a few minutes. A serrano chili was minced and simmered with water, sugar and vinegar to make a spicy syrup. Meanwhile, I chopped radishes, celery, red onion, mango and parsley, which were mixed with lime juice, sour cream (this could have also have been mayonnaise or plain yogurt) and the syrup. The crab meat was stirred into the mixture, and the whole lot was served on iceberg lettuce leaves. The leaves were then rolled up like a tortilla-substitute.

The crab mixture was like a seafood salad with a slight twist. The rice vinegar combined with the mango elevated the flavour to “tropical”, although it was still very subtle. My one reservation with this meal was that the overall taste was very mayonnaise-y, despite using sour cream. And, in the style of seafood salad everywhere, there was just too much liquid, which dripped out of the lettuce. But, all in all, this is a reasonable meal, particularly suited to little party snacks, rather than a substantial dinner. On that note, L just returned with some pizza which sounds infinitely more appealing than crab salad, if truth be told.

Tomorrow, I will be attempting to make Mashed Plantains with Oh, Baby! Garlic-Tomato Shrimp on Top, Grilled Flank Steak with Lime and Onions, and Quick Rice with Black Beans. So far I have been unable to find plantains, although I will look elsewhere tomorrow. This is to be the first of two recipes by Gloria Estefan; brace yourself for some cheesy 80’s lyrics coming this way soon.

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