Back in the 1920s and 30s, jazz ruled the land, Fitzgerald and Hemingway drank under the starry sky, women wore their hair short, and glamorous people ate some fancy new salads in famous locales like the Brown Derby or the Cotton Club. With refrigeration becoming so much more accessible, it was easier to get chilled, fresh vegetables like lettuce all over, and salads became a very popular dish in restaurants of the day. Most of the popular salads we know today such as the Caesar and the Waldorf, were invented during this golden age of produce.

Delicious Crab Louie Appetizer

But unlike the Caesar and Waldorf, this recipe has faded somewhat in popularity over the years, possibly due to the expense of purchasing crab meat just to make a salad. I decided to re-imagine the classic crab Louie as an appetizer that’s much more accessible than the salad, and a lot more fun to eat! It’s basically a crispy crab taco subbing romaine leaves for the taco shells in order to keep to the dish’s roots a bit. To make a delicious crab louie appetizer, you’ll need:

These Ingredients serve 10:

>3 heads romaine lettuce
>1 16 Oz can lump crab meat
>Juice of 1 lemon
>2 ripe avocados, chopped
>3 green onions, chopped
>1 4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
>3 tbsp mayonaise
>1 small cucumber, diced
>1 tbsp hot sauce
>Salt and pepper to taste
>Paprika to garnish
>1 Cup Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (optional)

1To start out, chop off the ends and tops of the romaine heads, give them a good washing up in some cold water and then shake them to get the water off. Separate the larger leaves from the smaller ones, you are looking for leaves that you could stuff with your crab mixture. The smaller ones can be used for a salad later.

2Set the sorted romaine aside and chop the avocados and cucumbers into small chunks- the vegetables should be in smaller pieces than the crab meat. The next step will be mixing the other ingredients.

3Combine all the remaining ingredients except the garnish and crab in a mixing bowl and whisk together before adding the crab meat. Toss gently to coat the crab meat but be careful not to smash it up, you want nice chunky crab meat in there, that’s why you add it last, this is a good trick to do any time you are working with crab, mix everything else first then add the crab!

4Find a large platter with high sides and begin to fill your romaine leaf boats with the crab mixture. Lean them against the sides of the platter so they remain standing up, and then layer the next group of Louie’s against those already plated so that none of them will fall over. You may wish to gently pack the mixture to prevent tipping as well. When all of your crab Louie’s are arranged, sprinkle them with some paprika.

5This recipe can be altered to be more substantial by the addition of shredded cheese. Indeed, you can use the same lettuce shell method to make delicious low-carb beef tacos so long as you let the taco mixture cool slightly before spooning it into the leaves.

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