As we dig through our food lockers trying to use up stuff that might spoil or has been hanging around too long, we also have to find things to do with this stuff if we’re not going to just throw it away. Oh, occasionally we do just throw something away, like when we found the unopened jar of Smucker’s pineapple-apricot preserves. Rather than the nice bright orange color we expected, this was sort of brown. When I looked at the “best if used by” date and found it had expired before we ever left Newport, Oregon (almost a year before as a matter of fact), we were pretty sure we probably shouldn’t take a chance on this one. Out it went. But, what to do with that last can of coconut milk? How are we ever going to use all this fish sauce and why don’t they sell it in smaller bottles? What can we eat without heating the boat up? All these questions come together to determine what’s for dinner.
Fortunately, a few days ago, one of my favorite websites, Serious Eats, had a posting of something like 24 “almost no cook” meals for summer. So, I perused the slide show discarding ones that I knew we’d never eat (Steak Tartare) and the ones that had weird ingredients that we’d be unlikely to find. I whittled the list down to a dozen or so that I think we really can and will make and, more importantly, enjoy.
The first one one the list that we tried was the Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado. Now, just to be sure I don’t get hit with any copyright lawsuits I’m going to ask you to just use the link to go to the recipe. If we make a significant change, I’ll claim the recipe as our own with inspiration from the original author and print it here. But this time, we pretty much followed the recipe as written. We did, however, make one change. We couldn’t find any crabmeat so instead we bought a pound of shrimp which we shelled and then cooked in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes. Once the shrimp was cool, we chopped it up and used it instead of crabmeat.
This stuff was every bit as good as we’d hoped. The Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing was outstanding. And don’t let the fact that you might not be able to find stuff like “Pimentón de la Vera or other hot smoked paprika” discourage you. I’m sure that stuff would have made it a little better (maybe) but our off-the-shelf paprika of unknown origin did just fine. Ideally we would have cooked the shrimp in the morning when it was cool-ish outside but we had to go to the mercado to get the shrimp first. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to cook shrimp so the cabin didn’t heat up too badly. If you’ve got an outside grill you could cook the shrimp on it and add even more flavor. Hoot Mon!
My current pet peeve: Could we please get our heads together and come up with a new adjective for delicious food other than “to die for”? I’m am so sick of hearing that phrase. Of course, I still get cranked when I hear vegetables referred to as “veggies” so there ya go.
PS: I realized after writing this that this recipe used neither coconut milk or fish sauce. Trust me, the next recipe I post will use both.