Everybody needs a vacation……

FullSizeRender 2.jpgJust got back from our yearly family vacation, filled with mostly fun and FOOD!  Of course we had lots of great food, but one standout is this wonderful appetizer my Sweet Laurie had at the Chart House in Cardiff by the Sea in California.  Let’s face it, most anything tastes better when you are gazing at the ocean…..but when I thought about this, I thought what a great summer dish it would be to serve at a party.  You could make it several sizes, and although it seems quite expensive (because there is crab and shrimp salad in it), a little goes a long way!  And oh…..by the way…..the little dark circle around the dish is pesto with a little extra olive oil in it.

Another point I likes is that I could make it for my hubby (who is allergic to shellfish), with a nice whitefish or ahi tuna.  In the above version, it is served on a pretty plate, after it has been pressed firmly into a cylinder and then the paper around it is gently removed, presenting this GORGEOUS presentation!  I am going to give you the basic recipe, but please remember how many versions and changes you could make with this to serve–make it jazzy or make it simple.  (and you don’t need to do it in a cylinder, either, if that scares you).  It is simply luscious!!!


Shrimp, Crab, Mango, Avocado Stack

Layer in a clear glass (such as a high ball glass–you could even use a martini glass if everything is chopped finely enough)

Crab and Shrimp salad made with Remoulade Sauce

Mango Salsa–make your own or get a wonderful version almost anywhere, (we like Trader Joe’s).  Laurie said the salsa had red bell peppers, mangos and cilantro flavors)

Bottom layer is chopped avocado.  Next layer Mango salsa, and top with the seafood salad.  The little chip on top is a fried won ton–why not use a nice tortilla chip or really crispy potato chip?

I looked for Remoulade sauces (the hardest part was spelling Remoulade……a basic remoulade is very similar to 1,000 Island dressing, but contains more mustard than catsup, usually capers, sometimes a tsp or so of horseradish (we love that), anchovies (not too popular, but to each his own), paprika, and capers.  So here’s a very basic recipe, because I know some of you really like measurements.


3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 T. dijon mustard + 2 T. whole grain mustard

2 T. horseradish (remember, this is optional)

2 T. Catsup (or Ketchup….)

2 T. capers

1 T. wine vinegar

1 t. hot sauce

1/2 t. each:  cayenne, garlic powder and paprika

Mix all together and toss with shrimp, crab, or your favorite cooked shellfish. This is a perfect time to use those “fake” seafood mixes.  If you wanted, you could even cheat and layer with a store prepared seafood salad.  This is SO yummy….ask me how I know….

p.s.  photograph courtesy of Steven Burleson  :):):) (sorry I couldn’t do a heart here…)



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