OK, this is experiment II.
Actually, III, because over the weekend I returned to my roots and realized there is a reason people often put mayonnaise -- or in my case, Miracle Whip -- with crab, in potato salad, in chicken salad, in ham salad. It's good. Just don't overdo it, especially with crab, or you might as well be eating chicken salad.
In fact, I like this so much with Miracle Whip that I felt fine leaving out the bacon. Sort of. I also left out the Old Bay seasoning to go with a fresher approach.
So for this dish, which will also supply enough crab salad for my lunch tomorrow as long as it is in the fridge:
- 4 slices of rustic whole wheat bread, or whatever you have. These would be the equivalent of 2 slices from a big loaf. Don't toast it until the last minute unless you like cold toast. Right.
- 8 ounces of crab meat. I used pasteurized claw meat because it was less expensive and tastes great. Rinse in a sieve and pick through to make sure there are no shell pieces -- or live dangerously.
- 1 large, ripe avocado or 2 little ones.
- juice of 1/2 lemon or lime. Please don't use the stuff from the bottle.
- about 1/5th of a red bell pepper, minced. Well, maybe that's just me. I don't want to get a bite that's mostly bell pepper. You could use green bell pepper, but I won't.
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 T Miracle Whip, approx.
- salt, a few dashes
- freshly ground black pepper, about four grinds, or whatever
- dill weed
- Smoked Spanish paprika (to replace the bacon; contributes a nice smoky flavor that isn't overpowering)
- two dashes of cayenne pepper
- a splash of soy sauce, maybe
- lettuce or other greens, tomatoes for garnish
Refrigerate the crab mixture. You could actually refrigerate it for a few hours, but here it's just while doing other things.
Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl. Cut the avocado in half. If it isn't completely ripe, the pit might be a little stubborn, but I still say it is safer to pry it out with a tablespoon, or even scoop out all the meat and scrape it off the pit. Dunk the avocado flesh into the lemon juice and smash it up with a fork until it is spreadable. You might want to add a teensy bit of salt.
Toast the bread. Spread the mashed avocado on the toast and top with the crab mixture. To me, the avocado means I don't need to butter the toast or put olive oil on it, but that's your call. The lettuce and tomato on the plate are mostly for garnish, but yeah, edible garnish.
Note: instead of the red bell pepper, you could add a little finely chopped radish, which would punch it up. Just remember to let the crab be the star!