Thursday, August 20, 2009

A "Tyler Twofer"--Crab Parfait and Avocado, Cilantro & White Onion Salad for Tyler Florence Fridays

The sultry days of summer put me in the mood for lighter fare and easy or no cooking which makes my TFF pick for this week, Tyler's Crab Parfait a perfect choice for me. Add to it our optional monthly "Megan's Challenge" recipe, Avocado, Cilantro & White Onion Salad and you have the makings of a delicious light and healthy dinner that is perfect for a warm muggy night. 

Both recipes can be found on the Food Network site.

Crab Parfait
Food 911, Tyler Florence
(4 Servings)

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ketchup
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 shallot, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound crab meat, shredded
1 tablespoon capers
2 mangoes, diced
2 cups baby mixed greens, chopped fine
Toasted baguette slices

To make the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, cayenne, dry mustard, shallot, lemon juice, and parsley. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Fold in the crab meat and capers, turn to coat. Using a clear parfait glass or champagne glass, scoop a heaping tablespoon of the diced mangoes on the bottom of the glass. Press down slightly with a spoon. Add a layer of crab meat on top, pressing down again, followed by a layer of chopped mixed greens. Repeat the layers. After the last layer of greens, spoon a final mound of crab salad on top. Repeat with remaining 3 glasses. Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Notes/Results: Excellent! The crab, with its slight kick from the cayenne and mustard, partners well with the sweet, creamy mango and crisp baby greens. Because decent crab is not easy to find and expensive here, I used a good quality canned crab which worked just fine in the light dressing. (I think some small shrimp would be great in place of the crab in this salad and be a bit more economical too). My greens and mango were both local, and the mango from my CSA box was huge and wonderfully sweet. For the dressing I used a combination of Greek yogurt and a bit of mayo to keep it light. Since I was eating this as a bigger part of dinner rather than a smaller appetizer, I made a half-batch and served it in a large margarita glass. This dish requires just a bit of whisking, chopping and layering and it is ready to go for a fast dinner at home and it also makes an elegant and pretty dish to serve at a party. I will make it again. 

Avocado, Cilantro & White Onion Salad
Tyler's Ultimate, Tyler Florence
(Serves 4)

1 garlic clove, chopped
2 limes, juiced
Pinch sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium, ripe avocados
1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh picked cilantro leaves

In a large mixing bowl, add the garlic, lime juice, sugar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and give it a quick whisk to combine.

Split avocados in half and remove the pit. Spoon out the flesh, put on a cutting board and slice into chunks. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the onion and cilantro leaves. Add the vinaigrette and toss lightly to coat just before serving.

Notes/Results: Very good! This is a simple salad with a great combination of flavors and would be perfect as a side dish served with grilled food or tacos. I think the key to this recipe is using a nice sweet onion so I used a Maui onion, which worked well as it isn't too sharp and "oniony" and has a nice sweetness to it. I just watched Tyler make this on Tyler's Ultimate and noticed that he put some radish in for color and because it is used in a lot of Mexican salads and cold dishes, so I put some very thin slices in. Very quick and easy to put together with ingredients I usually have on hand, I will make this again. Thanks Megan for a great recipe pick this month!

Two great, simple salad options that made one light and yummy dinner. You can see what recipes our other TFF members selected and what they thought about them by going to the TFF site here

Happy Weekend!

BTW: Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of "The Frugal Foodie Cookbook", being published in the next few weeks. You can read my review of this book and get the details on how to enter to win one here


  1. I love your crab parfait presentation! Both sound delicious and perfect for this final stretch of summer :)

  2. That is a delightful combination of ingredients and the presentation as a parfait is very neat!

  3. both sound perfect for those balmy evenings!

  4. Tyler times two is almost always better than Tyler times one. You picked two lovely dishes!

  5. It's mango mania! Love your tropical fare, simply delish!

  6. The crab parfait looks almost too pretty to eat. Notice I said almost 'cause I love crab. Great choices for these dog days of August.

  7. I love this one...everything is better with crab!

  8. These both are wonderful summer dishes. They are beautifully presented and I'm sure they are delicious.

  9. I love the sound of that avocado salad. I'm always looking for new ways to use it and cilantro is a favorite of mine.

  10. The crab parfaits look so good and refreshing, and I loved the avocado salad - sweet onions were perfect with it. I might add radish next time so thanks for that tip.

  11. The salad is very appealing. I am always looking for new salads.

    Just a note. I giving away a cookbook to the first person who identifies a mystery food. Please drop by and take a guess.

  12. Oh thanks for the reminder on the challenge, I'd forgotten about it.
    I love crab, so I'd probably like the parfait too.


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