Crab, Mango and Avocado Stacked Summertime Salad
Chef Jennifer Wagner calls this dish a flavor explosion. “You get an amazing mix of fresh flavors in this salad – sweet, citrus and spicy, plus crunchy and creamy textures.” Additionally, Wagner says, it is a beautiful and elegant dish to serve and easy to make.
You’ll need a 3.5-inch-wide x 2.25-inch-high culinary ring mold.
What is a ring mold?
Ring molds are the secret to creating perfectly stacked culinary creations. The open-ended cylinders come in a variety of diameters and heights and are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel.
Recipe (serves 4)
8 oz. container of jumbo lump crab meat
¼ – ⅓ cup crème fraiche
Tabasco hot sauce
2 tbsp. chopped scallions (green part only)
Bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 mangos, cubed
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ of jalapeño, diced very small (remove seed membrane — the white lining that the seeds are attached to — and the seeds)
2 avocados, cubed
1. In a mixing bowl add crème fraiche, juice from half of a lime, 2 splashes of tabasco sauce (or to taste), scallions, 2 tbsp. cilantro and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
2. Mix well and set aside.
3. Drain crab meat and place on a paper towel to catch any excess moisture. Pick out any crab shells you see.
4. Add the crab meat to the mixing bowl with the crème fraiche mixture. Gently fold crab into the mixture just to coat. Note: If you mix too much, the crab will fall apart.
5. Refrigerate the mixture while you prepare the other parts of the dish.
1. Place mango, red onion, ¼ cup cilantro, juice from half a lime, ground cumin, jalapeño and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste into a mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly.
2. Set aside.
1. Place avocados, juice from half of a lime and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste into a mixing bowl and gently mix together thoroughly. Note: Be careful to not break up the avocado cubes.
2. Set aside for plating.
1. Place ring mold on plate.
2. Spoon avocado salad into the ring mold 1/3 of the way up. Use the back of the spoon to press the avocado firmly down.
3. Add mango salad on top of the avocado salad so that the ring mold is filled 2/3 of the way up and gently press down with the back of the spoon.
4. Add crab salad to fill the rest of the ring mold. Press down gently with the back of a spoon.
5. Gently remove the ring mold by pulling it up and off of the salad.
Add microgreens, chives or edible flowers to the top of the salad for a prettier presentation. Serve with good quality tortilla chips or toast points.
Plated by Jennifer Wagner
Chef Jennifer Wagner left the corporate world seven years ago to follow her life-long passion – cooking and helping heal the body and prevent disease through food. Through her weekly meal plans, she helps many of her clients learn to live with food intolerances and overcome heart disease, autoimmune diseases and other ailments. She also offers cooking parties and lavish dinner parties for special events.
Easy Tres Leches Cake
Tres leches is Chef Cristian Feher’s favorite cake. He says it is easy to put together in under 10 minutes. Best of all, you don’t even have to turn the oven on.
1 lb. store-bought vanilla cake loaf, sliced
16 oz. whipping cream
2/3 cup white sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
Pirouline rolled wafers
1. Mix whipping cream and sugar in a bowl until cream thickens.
2. Put individual slices of vanilla cake on plates
3. Drizzle evaporated milk over cake so that cake is soaked.
4. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
5. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.
6. Garnish with strawberries and wafers.
Tampa Bay Chef Services
Chef Cristian Feher is a professional chef and food writer. He started his culinary journey as a young child serving as “sous chef” to his French and Venezuelan grandmothers. A graduate of George Brown College, he has earned the Canadian Red Seal certification and worked alongside well-known chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Paula Deen and Curtis Stone. An avid traveler, he gets culinary inspiration from all the places he’s visited and the people he’s met.
Heirloom Bruschetta with Flank Steak and Crostini
Chef Vivian Dodson says this steak recipe is quick and can easily be cooked on the grill for those nights when you want to entertain outside. Served with the heirloom bruschetta, it makes a great meal for sultry summer nights, especially when paired with a peach strawberry rosé sangria (recipe below).
1 ½ lbs. of flank steak
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. salt
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 loaf of your favorite baguette
Olive oil for drizzling
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 pint of baby heirloom tomatoes
1 pack of fresh basil
2 tbsp. of red onion, chopped
2 tsp. of horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat grill to high.
2. Season flank steak liberally with salt, pepper and dried thyme.
3. Cook about 6 minutes per side, flipping only once, for medium rare (add 1-2 minutes per side for medium).
4. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing very thinly
1. Turn on broiler to high.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
3. Chop tomatoes.
4. Mix tomatoes, onions, horseradish and salt and pepper together.
5. Chop basil and set aside.
6. Slice baguette either straight across or at an angle for a longer slice of bread.
7. Arrange slices on lined baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
8. Broil for a few minutes, until golden brown. Be careful, bread can burn fast.
9. After bread is toasted, rub with garlic cloves.
10. Top with the tomato mixture.
11. Drizzle with oil and chopped basil.
Peach Strawberry Rosé Sangria
1 bottle rosé wine
2 cups strawberries, chopped
2 cups peaches, chopped
1/2 cup peach liqueur
2 cups sparkling water
Edible flower ice cubes
1. Add all ingredients except for sparkling water and ice cubes to a pitcher. Stir and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. When you’re ready to serve, add sparkling water and stir.
3. Pour into glasses filled with edible flower ice cubes.
4. Add strawberries and ice cubes for garnish.
To make the ice cubes:
Fill ice cube tray halfway with water and place the flower on the surface. Gently pour just a few drops of water over the flower so that when you freeze it, the flower will be held in place. Freeze for 12 to 24 hours, then pour another layer of water to fill the ice cube trays. Water that has been boiled will give you clearer ice. If it is straight from the tap, it may be a bit cloudy.
On the Go Gourmet
Chef Vivian Dodson has been working in the culinary arts for more than 10 years. She comes from a family of cooks and is a member of the American Culinary Federation. Her clients include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Yankees, CEOs, business owners and busy families. Through On the Go Gourmet she offers weekly fresh-gourmet meal prep and delivery, catering for private dinner parties and corporate events. She specializes in healthy food with robust flavors.