It is a joke between some friends of mine and I that in the Midwest a “salad” usually means something smothered in cheese and or mayonnaise and I have to laugh because sometimes, actually more times than not, I find that to be the case. Flip through any old Church or community-based cookbook and the “salad” section is not your typical lettuce-based dish. Growing up, I loved “salads” and I use that term loosely because I am referring to, yes, the mayonnaise-based goodness of potato salad, macaroni salad, chicken salad and egg salad. Years later when I started developing my own recipes, I found that I could take these traditional midwestern staples and transform them into something a little less heavy and a little lighter without sacrificing any of the flavors. For example, take traditional potato salad. Instead of dressing the potatoes with a mayonnaise and mustard dressing, create a garlic oil infused dressing filled with fresh herbs and a pinch of red pepper. In France their “salads” are basically made using this same garlic infused olive oil method and I really have come to love them!
However, some “salad” recipes simply just need a little mayonnaise. Take the recipe I am sharing here today for example. Crab salad. Who does not love a delicious crab, or even lobster, salad? Serve in a split hot dog bun and you will feel like you are off the coast of Maine somewhere, or even enjoying a lunch in the Hamptons. This recipe has more flavor than most crab salad recipes because of the addition of not only the onion powder but the garlic and dill. Paprika really does not have that much flavor, unless you are using Hungarian paprika but, in this recipe, it helps give the salad a more traditional reddish color that is familiar in seafood salads. Feel free to squeeze a little fresh lemon juice in this salad at the end but I would not use orange. Lemon juice is more traditional in seafood and really helps to brighten up the flavors.
Feel free to use imitation crab, or even lobster, meat for this recipe.
1 pound crab meat
1/2 cup mayonniase
1/4 cup minced celery
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
In a large bowl flake the crab meat.
Add in the mayonniase, minced celery, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, paprika, salt and black pepper and stir until thoroughly combined.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.
Ask and Answer: I had a few questions about my recipe for “Fresh Tomato Salad”. It seems that people would really enjoy the addition of chopped red onion in the recipe, so I say, give it a try! I’m sure it would be delicious. Also, a couple of people wrote in to me, wondering if they could substitute garlic infused olive oil for the olive oil in the recipe and my answer is, absolutely!