I was one of the original founders of our work salad potluck . We have about ten people who are split into two groups and each week we take turns making each other kick ass salads. I'm on Team 'We are the Champignons.' The others, Team 'Insane to the Romaine' are our competition. Salad potluck began innocently enough, each member would take turns bringing the mixed greens, the cucumber, ripe avocado, quinoa and roast chicken. Then slowly we each began upping our game. The sunflower seeds became hazelnuts. The potatoes in the Nicoise salad became zucchini potato latkes topped with sustainably-sourced smoked salmon.
Now it's commonplace to see cubed watermelon and feta mint skewers, $24/lb tiger shrimp, corn muffins, baked molasses beans, corned beef hash and the fancy tuna Terroni sells. The recent appearance of two spiralizers was like bringing a gun to a knife fight.
This week's theme is picnic so I decided to make a Caesar salad with vegan Caesar dressing. For the non vegans, crispy Prosciutto and Parmesan were on the sidelines. I love crab cakes, but find the anxiety on whether or not they're going to stay together very stressful. Also, browning regular crab cakes one at a time, one side at a time is so time consuming, crab cakes take themselves out of the running if you want to server them at a dinner party or a party. Using a mini muffin pan keeps them all evenly sized, browned, warm and done at the same time! Make the filling a day in advance and you're golden. And yes, they stay together!
CRAB CAKE CROUTONS
1/2 lb crab meat, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
3 tbsp chives, chopped
(optional) jalapeno, diced
1/4 C mayo, or vegan mayo
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp red chile flakes
1 tbsp oregano
salt and pepper
ghee (clarified butter, regular butter or olive oil), melted (for the tops)
olive oil spray
2 tbsp of breadcrumbs of your choice for the top (gluten-free)
1. Add the first 10 ingredients (up to and inc. salt & pepper) in a large bowl and mix until coconut flour absorbs. If making a day in advance, put in fridge to bake the following day. If making right away (I don't blame you), let sit for 10-15 minutes and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Melt ghee in a pan and spray your mini muffin pan with olive oil spray.
3. Spoon crab into each cup and push down so filling is firm and packed tightly together.
4. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and spoon melted ghee into each cup just so breadcrumbs will get brown.
5. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit in hot pan for at least another 5 minutes. Serve on salad or with spicy mayo garnished with a lemon wedge.