I can’t tell you all how long I have wanted to try this. Some where around Thanksgiving or Christmas I saw a chef on one of those reality cooking shows, sorry I can’t remember which one, make Parmesan bowls.
That’s so cool! I can do that…I have to try that!, came bursting from my lips.
Since then it has plagued me, stayed constantly at the edge of my subconscious and crept into my dreams at night to whisper “Make me, make me”. Why have I waited so long you ask? There is a very good reason I assure you. I envisioned enjoying my Parmesan bowls on a nice spring day filled with fresh crab salad. Patience is a virtue you know 🙂
Nothing says spring to me like savoring fresh seafood when the weather is temperate and the skies are brilliant blue. When those days come around, that is when my new year officially starts.
Spring + Seafood (Blue Skies)2= Renewal.
Spring has sprung and my dream of fresh crab salad in a Parmesan bowl has come true. I hope that you enjoy Part Three of Little Bites of Goodness.
Creamy Crab Salad
Here is what you will need…
1 lb of fresh or canned crab meat (cleaned and drained)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
4 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
3/4 cup diced tomato (drain liquid)
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1 tbsp capers
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp dry dill weed(to taste)
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp fresh oregano
kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
First heat the olive oil in a medium or large skillet on medium heat. Add the minced garlic for just a minute then add the crab meat. Saute all of the crab meat. You only need to cook it for about 5-8 minutes. You are not trying to brown the meat you are actually steaming as much liquid out as possible while cooking the crab meat at the same time.
Add some black pepper to taste and a little squeeze of lemon, not much approx. 1 tsp.
Put the crab in a bowl, refrigerate and chill completely.
Prep all of the veggies.
Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and red onion. Drain the liquid from the veggies.
Here are a couple of tricks to help you with dicing onions. 1. Chop one end off and leave the other intact. 2. Rinse with cold water once you have cut the top off. You won’t tear up as badly.
3. Cut a cross hatch pattern, then slice down as if you were cutting slices of onion for a burger. Taa-daa…diced.
Once the crab meat has cooled add the yogurt and sour cream. Mix well. I use a fork. It helps to loosen up the big chunks as well as blend the yogurt and sour cream throughout all of the crab.
Add the capers, dill (to taste), fresh herbs, olives, balsamic vinegar and veggies. Add salt and pepper (to taste).You can even add a squeeze or two of more lemon if you like, I do.
You will need a small skillet and about 1 1/2 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese. A bowl or footed ice cream dish for your mold.
Heat the skillet on medium heat. Sprinkle a circle approx. double the size of the bowl that you wish to make. Make sure that the cheese is not to thick or too thin.
Heat until the cheese bubbles then remove from the heat to cool for just a couple of minutes.
Once the cheese has cooled use a spatula to gently lift and drape across the bowl that you are using for a mold. Use your hands to gently shape the bottom and sides of the bowl. The cheese is fragile but also mailable.
Let the bowls cool.
This is the first time that I have made these so there is always room for improvement. Mine should be a bit more golden and crisper but I was following the directions to the tee and did not want to waste my cheese. I had a tiny bit of cheese left so I experimented with that.
If you leave the cheese to bubble a bit longer it will start to pop like popcorn. Now I do not mean it will pop out of the pan ( a couple of strays will) but more like each shred of cheese will pop with expansion. Let 90% of the cheese do this before you remove it from the heat. Your bowl will have more color, crunch and nutty flavor. See…
I love this little guy the best. He is the size of my fork. Just the perfect little bite of goodness. From now on I will be serving this size as appetizers for parties.
Fill the bowls with the crab salad, garnish and serve. I add a little lemon zest and parsley leaves to the top of mine.
I just don’t have the words to tell you how TICKLED these made me tonight.
I promise I didn’t hog them all to myself… I sorely wanted to but didn’t. I was nice and shared them with some girlfriends. My guys are not big on crab, to bad for them.
Enjoy trying something new and fun this week. Risk taking in the kitchen is always rewarding and a blast.