Hot days require lighter food. Gazpacho and Crab Towers were on the menu last night. The Crab Towers are very easy to make and as for the Gazpacho - tomatoes, cucumber, roasted red, yellow and orange peppers all tossed in the blender, topped with a little olive oil.
Los Vascos Sauvignon was a perfect pairing. Crisp with a little grapefruit on the finish.
Shrimp and Crab Tower with Tangerine
From Chef Frank Stitt
For Sherry Vinaigrette
1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme, finely minced
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix shallot, thyme and vinegar together: set aside at least one hour. Whisk olive oil and honey with vinegar mixture to combine. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
For Crab Towers:
1 tablespoon chopped chives, tarragon or flat-leaf parsley
3/4 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked free of shells and cartilage
2 tangerines, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice
1/4 pound medium shrimp boiled, peeled, deveined and cut into 1/4' dice
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 heaping tablespoon lemon mayonnaise
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/4" cubes and tossed with a little lemon juice
In small bowl, dress chopped herbs with 1 tablespoon Sherry Vinaigrette. Add crab meat and 1 tablespoon vinaigrette and gently toss with chopped herbs: set aside. in second small bowl, combine tangerines with 1 teaspoon vinaigrette: set aside, reserving remaining vinaigrette. in third bowl, toss shrimp with lemon mayonnaise and lemon juice: set aside.
Place 2 1/2" round-by-3"-high mold in center of large plate. Fill with 2 tablespoons crabmeat mixture and 2 tablespoons avocado, packing down tightly with back of small spoon. Repeat layering with 2 tablespoons each crab meat, avocado and tangerine, then finish with shrimp, pressing each layer down firmly as before. Unmold on serving plate by gently lifting ring while pressing down on top of tower.
Note: chef Stitt uses 2 1/2" PVC tubing cut into 3" lengths for his molds.
Photography By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman
Sotto Il Monte Vineyards