So you're hungry and you feel like dining on some crab. Chances are very strong that you can satiate that hunger considering there are about 5,000 difference species. Of course not all of these are edible, especially when you consider that one of them, the pea crab, is so small it lives inside oyster shells!
So, why are crabs considered one of nature's wonder foods? First of all, they are low in fat and high in protein. A perfect combination for any dieter. Secondly, the clawed little fellows are high in selenium, which is a known cancer fighter. As far as seafood is concerned, crabs do have a little more choesterol than its finned friends but when compared to other food items, it's not too bad. Crab is also a very good source of calcium, zinc, iron, copper magnesium and chromium.
Being from San Francisco I was raised on crab. To be more precise, I was raised on dungeness crab and one of my favorite dishes is a very healthy salad known as a San Francisco Crab Louie.
What a Crab Louie is, is a simple salad featuring Dungeness crab. Yes, it is that simple but many people Including many restaurants, have no idea how to authentically prepare this salad. An actual Crab Louie is simply greens (hearts of Romaine lettuce or, as I use, baby spinach), finely chopped green onions and hardboiled eggs. This is topped with fresh crab (both the clump meat and the claws) and served with a side of dressing. By-the-way, dressing should never be served over any salad. It is up to the guest to add their own and in the quantity they prefer.
When it comes to a Crab Louie, it is the dressing which separates the restaurants (assuming the restaurant is using fresh crab which, unfortunately, many do not). When I had my restaurant in San Francisco we were often noted in the press for our Crab Louie and our secret was our freshly made dressing. We made the dressing fresh for each salad and each of the ingredients is meant to bring out the fresh taste of the Dungeness crab.
So, now that you know how to make the salad part of a Crab Louie, let me share with you the dressing which will make yours as good as any you will ever find at a first-class restaurant!
Ingredients needed to make Chef Larry Edwards' Crab Louie Dressing (enough for two salads and adapted for a home kitchen):
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp. cream-style horseradish
- 1 Tbs. sweet pickle relish
- 1 Tbs. capers, chopped
- 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth and creamy.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour or until ready to use.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."