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Extra Special and Easy : Frozen or Canned Crabmeat Simplify Making Elegant Luncheon Dishes

May 02, 1985

Looking for something light and elegant to serve at your next luncheon or brunch? This trio of crab entrees suits midday meals to perfection, made extra-special but easy by the use of frozen or canned crabmeat.

Tropical Crab Salad Tarts will bring memories of an island paradise to the minds of your guests. A vivid crab mixture featuring the contrasting textures and colors of mandarin oranges, pineapple, green pepper and onions basks in an exotic, mayonnaise-based dressing flavored with soy sauce, lemon and ginger and artfully presented in fresh-baked tart shells. Parsley sprigs serve as a garnish.

Tempting Combination

A luscious filling of crab and spinach is cradled inside this handsome golden-crusted cheese loaf. A tempting combination, it calls for an egg-and-cottage-cheese mixture, seasoned with onion, lemon and Parmesan cheese. It is blanketed by a buttermilk baking mix dough flavored with Swiss cheese, egg and a touch of cayenne. When shaped into smaller rolls, this loaf is suitable as an appetizer or snack.

To serve a uniquely different spaghetti, top hot pasta with a creamy crab sauce made with mushrooms, chopped onions and minced garlic. Half and half is added as the sauce cooks. Succulent pieces of crab meat are then added and heated through. Before serving, give the crab sauce more color and flavor with chopped parsley, then pass freshly grated Parmesan cheese around the table to sprinkle over individual servings.

TROPICAL CRAB SALAD TARTS

1 (7 1/2-ounce) can crab or 1 (6- to 8-ounce) package frozen crab, thawed

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, well drained

1 (13 1/2-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, well drained

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup slivered green pepper

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

Tart Shells

Parsley sprigs

Drain and coarsely slice crab. Toss with oranges, pineapple, celery, green pepper and green onion. Combine mayonnaise, soy sauce, lemon juice and ginger. Toss with crab mixture. Chill. Spoon into cooled Tart Shells and garnish with parsley sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

Tart Shells

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing just until particles hold together. Roll out to fit 4 (4-inch) tart pans. Flute edges. Bake at 425 degrees 10 minutes or until pastry is golden. Cool.

CRAB-SPINACH CHEESE LOAF

1 (7 1/2-ounce) can crab or 1 (6- to 8-ounce) package frozen crab, thawed

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach

Boiling salted water

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced onion

Salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup cottage cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups buttermilk baking mix

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

3/4 cup milk

Mushroom Sauce

Drain and slice crab. Cook spinach in boiling, salted water as package directs. Drain well. Combine crab, spinach, lemon juice, onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 beaten egg, cottage and Parmesan cheeses. In separate bowl combine baking mix, cayenne and Swiss cheese. Beat remaining egg and add, with milk, to dry ingredients, stirring with fork until just blended. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth. Roll out to 14x11-inch rectangle. Spread with crab filling. Starting from short side roll, jellyroll fashion. Turn ends under and place in well-greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees about 1 hour. Unmold and slice into 3/4-inch slices. Serve with Mushroom Sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Mushroom Sauce

1 (10 1/2-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup milk

1 (2-ounce) can button mushrooms, drained

1 tablespoon chopped pimiento

2 tablespoons Sherry

In saucepan combine soup, milk, mushrooms, pimiento and Sherry. Heat to simmer.

CRAB-MUSHROOM SPAGHETTI

1 (7 1/2-ounce) can crab or 1 (6-ounce) package frozen crab, thawed

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 cup chopped onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 pound mushrooms

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Pepper

2 cups half and half

Cooked spaghetti

Chopped parsley

Grated Parmesan cheese

Drain and slice crab. Set aside.

Heat butter in skillet. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and saute until tender. Blend in flour, salt and oregano. Season to taste with pepper. Stir in half and half and cook and stir until slightly thickened. Add crab meat and heat through. Serve over cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with parsley. Pass Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

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