We are back in Sunny Florida and I am excited about all of the food possibilities. We will go to the Farmer’s Market in Flagler Beach this Friday to see what the local farmers have to offer. There seems to be a difference in our bathroom scales here and I was shocked to see that I had gained seven pounds since leaving North Carolina yesterday. How can that be? Even if the scales are off it has given me pause and a determination to eat more fruits and vegetables.
This appetizer for Crab Cake Bites with Fruit Salsa is a good way to add healthier lettuce and fruit to the buffet table. The recipe came from my favorite supermarket, Publix. Publix publishes a weekly recipe in their Apron’s Simple Meals program with printed cards that fit nicely in a ring binder. I have been collecting them for a while. They utilize products that Publix would like you to buy, so it is a brilliant promotion on their part. The advantage in using this recipe is that it cuts down on the preparations needed if you are hosting a get together with multiple hors d’oeuvres.
In the produce section of the store you can find a tropical fruit salad which includes pineapple, strawberries and kiwi. This is what I used for the fruit salsa. If you prefer you can just buy the individual fruits. The crab cakes are purchased from the Seafood section and divided into smaller portions. You could make your own crab cakes if you have the time. There is a sauce called for which I could not find (Sun-dried tomato aioli). I substitued Classico’s Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce. This was an easy dish to assemble. The lettuce cups can be prepped ahead and chilled on the serving platter in the fridge. The salsa can be made ahead of time and the crab cakes can be divided and sauteed and kept warm in the oven. We made this our Sunday Supper last night. I would recommend using small plates when serving this. It was fairly easy to eat, but you may need a plate to catch any drips. The flavors were great.
CRAB CAKE BITES WITH FRUIT SALSA
3/4 lb Produce tropical fruit salad (pineapple, strawberries, kiwi)
3 – 5 sprigs fresh cilantro (rinsed)
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1 to 2 heads Bibb lettuce, washed
6 ( 3 ounce ) fresh premium crab cakes
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato aioli sauce ( I used Classico’s sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce)
1. Cut fruit into 1/4 inch pieces; place in medium bowl. Chop cilantro finely; mince shallot finely. Stir both into fruit with honey and juice of one-half lime (1 tablespoon). Chill salsa until ready to assemble.
2. Separate 24 lettuce leaves (then chill). Divide each crab cake into four equal portions. Gently form int 24 balls (wet hands to prevent sticking); flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Chill until ready to prepare.
3. Preheat large saute pan on medium high heat. Place 1 tablespoon of the butter in pan; swirl to coat. Gently add crab cakes and cook until brown on bottom. Turn crab cakes, lower the heat and cook for about 4 more minutes until cooked through.
4. Arrange lettuce leaves on serving platter; Add a small dollop if sauce to each cup. Add crab cakes and top with salsa and serve. Makes 24 bites.