layered crab and corn salad
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Crab and fresh sweetcorn salad is really two crab salads: white crab meat and roasted fresh corn on the cob layered with brown crab meat creamy salad base.
Crab and corn salad, you might say, is the most boring thing on earth possibly beaten only by tuna, corn and mayo. Who even needs a recipe for this? Sandwich shops do all right without fancy bloggers’ help thankyouverymuch.
And you’d be right if I told you to mix a tin of sweetcorn with a tin or crabmeat, not that there’s anything wrong with doing that. But I‘m not. I’m suggesting something much more interesting.
Fresh sweetcorn, first of all, can’t be beaten and when the season comes you shouldn’t go near the tins. Most people boil it, but it’s a little like carrots: any way of cooking it other than boiling massively improves the outcome. I like it baked best: shucked, drizzled with oil and wrapped in foil for forty minutes in a hot oven. If I can be bothered, I open up the foil package for the last five minutes or so, to get a touch of colour along the middle of the cob.
But you can boil it or steam it, or grill on the barbecue with leaves intact – whichever way is your preferred. Afterwards let it cool down just to handle, stand it upright over a piece of foil (which is where my method wins by a furlong) and run a sharp knife from top to bottom, stripping the kernels clean.
The crab also requires more attention than opening a tin. I would strongly advocate always buying the whole beast and dressing it at home (how much white meat disappears between a boiled crab and a dressed crab? I’d say most of it), if it wasn’t for truly epic massacre of a mess that is unleashed when dealing with the shelled beast in the kitchen. Still, a fresh dressed crab from a fishmonger is better than all the tins.
The white meat contingent, as said, is scarce so I like to make a feature of it, while the brown meat works well with chillies, lemon, herbs and – surprise – cream cheese. You are then tempted to immediately spread it over a toast but stay with me – this double layer pile of crab is excellent even without toast.
I like to serve it on lettuce leaves like they do with Korean grilled meat, bulgogi: it’s the lightest, nicest and healthiest meal you can imagine. But it can well be applied after a traditional fashion: over a jacket potato or indeed a thick slice of toasted sourdough.
layered crab and corn saladServings: 2Time: 30 minutes plus cooking the corn
- 1 cob of sweetcorn, shucked
- olive oil
- 1 dressed crab
- 1 tbsp. cream cheese
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- salt and black pepper
- 1 green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
- ½ small cucumber, finely diced
- 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
- ½ head iceberg lettuce
- lemon, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Drizzle a little oil over the sweetcorn, wrap it in foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool down. Run a sharp knife along the cob on all sides to strip the kernels.
2. Pick the white meat from the crab and place it in one bowl; scrape the brown meat into another bowl. Add the corn to the white crab meat and stir lightly with a fork.
3. Add the cream cheese and anchovy paste to the brown crab meat and mash it to a smooth paste with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper, check for seasoning and adjust. Mix in the chilli, cucumber and dill.
4. Split the lettuce into leaves; tear them in half if too large. Spoon a portion of the brown meat mix onto a leaf and pile some corn and white meat on top. Serve with a drizzle of lemon juice.