A Couple of Tarts

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf. ~ Epicurus

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

bon anniversaire papa

Happy Birthday Dad!

Once upon a time, my father decided that he would prepare dinner for us. This was quite a shock to all of us. My mother and grandmother were the cooks in the family and managed to serve up delicious, homemade specialties. I’m not sure what the impetus was, but my mother was en conge from preparing dinner that fateful day. The dish to be served that evening was Crab Louis. The recipe, pictured in my mother’s Betty Crocker cookbook, was presented on an enormous platter resembling a clamshell. To my youthful eyes, it was the epitome of elegance.

This was the first and only time I've had Crab Louis, so I felt a need to recreate it. I searched through my cookbooks and located a classic recipe in The Fanny Farmer cookbook, but the one my father prepared had a little more flair. The “pink” dressing is made with mayonnaise and chili sauce, but we opted for Thousand Island dressing. The cracked Dungeness Crab is served on a bed of Iceberg Lettuce, with wedges of lemon, avocado and tomato. My memory is fuzzy, but I believe it took my dad all day to complete this dish. I have great affection for these “old school” dishes that are so comforting and full of nostalgia.

I’ve worked with a few chefs who think they are Ferran Adria and try to reinvent the wheel. Only a few have the talent and vision for this. Try a long-lost recipe or one that has been passed down from a friend or your family. The joy of eating and cooking is experiencing new tastes and revisiting the classics.


Anonymous Cindy said...

Happy Birthday Dad. You are the Crab Louis King!

9:27 PM  

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