Crab cake on Costco Thai Chili Mango chopped salad

It’s been a long, hard week, and you want something delicious and fancy, but also reasonably healthy, and also you don’t want to spend a lot of money, and also you want it to be fast. If you happen to have a bag of Costco Thai Chili Mango chopped salad kit on hand, this is what you do:

1) Go to Carnivore Oak Park and ask them for one of their luscious crab cakes ($9).

2) Come home and heat a little oil in a pan. While that’s heating, pull out the Costco salad and empty the greens, dried mango, nutty bits, and about half of the chili-mango dressing into a big bowl. Taste — if you want more dressing, you can add it, but about half was right for me.

3) Take crab cake and sear on one side for a few minutes, then sear on the other side for a few minutes. If you really want, you can try to brown the edge a tiny bit too, but that’s hard to do without it falling apart, and it’s really not necessary.

4) Place crab cake on salad. If you have some fresh tomato, slice it and add it to the place. If you have fresh ripe mango, even better, but that can be hard to come by in Chicago in the winter.

Enjoy your little feast. (If you are feeding two, just make two crab cakes — the salad will likely be enough for two. Although it comes in a two-pack, so if you really want, you can make two bags of salad…)

Salsa Carioca

(Continuing from previous post.) This was an easy dish to make for the refugees — I wanted a Venezuelan salad to go along with the pollo guisado, rice, and beans. (Oh, I’m not going to detail making the rice, except to note that I used both of my big pots AND a rice cooker. 🙂 )

Salsa Carioca is a simple salad with a slightly spicy dressing — I was figuring the main dishes shouldn’t be spicy, but a little spicy accompaniment would be nice for them’s that like it. (When I visited Switzerland, I was CRAVING spicy food after the first week…)

First I hard-boiled the eggs and shelled them. (You could also skip those if you don’t like eggs, it looks like, based on the comments.)

This is just chop and toss together — another quadruple batch, which fit nicely in to a half-foil tray. One red onion, several tomatoes, four hard-boiled eggs, four serrano peppers (seeded), four ripe avocados. And then the dressing couldn’t be simpler: olive oil, white vinegar, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Whisk the dressing together, toss it over, and then set aside for the flavors to blend.

Yummy and quick — 15 minutes to boil the eggs (while you can do other things, like chopping veg or having a nice glass of wine), a few minutes to shell them, and maybe 15 minutes to chop and put it all together?