Cook With Confidence: Mango-Pineapple Crab Salad
This week's Cook with Confidence post is less about actual cooking per se, and more about getting a fresh meal on the table as quickly as possible. I am the busy mom of a 9-month-old baby and the days of preparing complicated meals with long lists of ingredients are over (at least for now). When I saw the recipe for Mango-Pineapple Crab Salad in the February issue of Coastal Living magazine, it appealed to me in several ways. For starters, it is a no-cook recipe that only takes 15 minutes TOTAL. Score! And I don't know about you but I am sick to death of chili, soups and stews and am craving anything that reminds me of summer. What conjures up images of tropical beaches more than the flavors of crab, mango, pineapple and lime?
As you can see from the photo above, I purchased pre-cut pineapple cubes from the grocery which makes prep a breeze. To cut down on even more time spent chopping, you could use pre-sliced onion, minced garlic, and bottled real lime juice. Of course, freshly chopped avocado, mango and herbs are always best so focus your time there. Jumbo lump crabmeat is very expensive (roughly $20 for 8 ounces) and the recipe calls for a pound but I used half of that and was happy with the results. Don't like crab or want to save money? This recipe would also be fabulous with shrimp!
Once I got everything chopped and measured, I simply whisked together the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. This created a dressing for the seafood and chunky fruit. Next, I added the crabmeat, pineapple, mango, onion and avocado and tossed gently. I quickly topped it with chives, cilantro and cracked black pepper and BOOM - we were ready to eat! I served the mixture over an iceberg wedge but you could also pair it with any kind of greens, crusty bread or even tortilla chips for dipping.
What I adore about this dish is the perfect balance of flavors. The sweetness of the fruit and honey, the creamy avocado, the freshness of the herbs, and the acidic rice vinegar and lime juice all work together incredibly well. I put our baby to bed last night and my husband and I eagerly gobbled up our little "beach vacation" on a plate. The leftovers went to work with him today and should draw major lunchtime envy from coworkers.