We have been making what we called a “crab trio” for years which I included in the blog (click here for recipe) but, it never occurred to us to make a more elegant crab stack instead of simply placing the three elements on the plate stacked one on top of the other. We were in Paris last spring and stopped for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants near the Eiffel Tower, La Fontaine de Mars.
One of the items of the day on the menu was a crab salad.
It was our “crab salad trio” but the fruit was pink grapefruit.
This fall we were in St. Tropez, in Provence, and wandered into a restaurant for a light supper at Senequier, which turned out to be a famous hangout of the town. They too featured a crab stack with, you guessed it, pink grapefruit.
How hard can it be, we thought, to transform our humble crab trio into an elegant crab stack? All we would need would be a ring and a little practice. We found a kitchen supply place in Aix-en-Provence and bought a ring we thought would be adequate. But we only bought one! And here is where my first hint of how to make a crab stack comes in…you don’t need to buy a ring at a kitchen supply place, unless you want to. In the cupboard I found a can that was the exact same size as our ring.
I opened the can with a can opener, dumped out the contents, and then proceeded to open up the bottom of the can. Perfect! There is one catch though, the bottom of cans tend to have an edge on them, so if you are using an old can, be sure and turn it upside down so the smooth edge of the can is on the bottom and will slide out easily.
We were curious about the crab stack and did an Internet search as we always do when it comes to posting recipes. We found quite a bit of sites that featured this recipe. Most made a salsa with the fruit and used a simple remoulade sauce for the crab. Some simply plopped the crab on top.
Here is the recipe: The ingredient photo shows 1/2 a portion of crab salad as we were making only 1/2 a recipe. The recipe is for 4 serving. We used fuyu persimmons which are perfect this time of the year. We found the combination
1 pound (preferably lump) crab meat
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 Hass avocados, chopped
Choice of fruit: Papaya, persimmons, grapefruit, mango
Rinse the crab and pick out any errant bits of shell. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out all the moisture.
In a bowl, mix the crab, mayonnaise, green onion, celery, and red pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Place the ring you are using in the plate you will be serving the salad in and put your avocado base in, mashing it down.
Add your crab salad, and mash that down.
Add the fruit on top. We used ripe fuyu persimmons. Garnish your plate as you would like with the ring still encircling the salad trio.
Remove the ring, and there it is, pretty as a picture, elegant, looking rather complicated but easy peasy.
Caveat: Do remember that if you are using home-made rings from old tin cans, make sure that the bottom of the can you are using does not have a lip. I learned the hard way and the stack that was not pictured was a little rough around the edges!