There’s nothing quite like Oscar Night: the films, the fashion, the stars and, for those who attend, the spectacular food at Wolfgang Puck’s Governor’s ball. (For many of those stars who haven’t eaten in days, I’m guessing–even if they won–that feast is the highlight of their night.)
And thanks to Wolfgang’s generosity with his menu and recipes, anyone with a kitchen and a little adventure in their soul can now eat like the stars while watching them from the comfort of their own sofa.
Of course, not wanting to be the size of a sofa after a night of noshing, you might want to skinny-fy Wolfgang’s recipes a bit…and this dish proves just how easy it is: Skinny Crab Louis.
Crab is a naturally healthy food…with just about 100 calories per 4 ounce serving but more than 20 grams of protein. But Wolfgang’s recipe, though delicious, calls for 3 tablespoons of Thousand Island or French dressing to season just 1/2 pound of crab and–at 100-120 calories a tablespoon–that means dressing a full pound of crab adds almost 700 calories to the dish.
In this skinny version, a little low fat mayo (or low fat vegan mayo) mixed with cocktail sauce, Dijon mustard and lemon juice adds flavor and creaminess but only 100 extra calories to the entire batch. Even after adding a few slender slices of avocado, a tasty cucumber and tomato relish and lightly dressed greens, each generous serving has roughly 150 calories rather than 400. And if you trade in the avocado for roasted bell pepper strips, that lovely plate has even fewer calories.
So for your next Oscar Party, or just a simple supper at home any night..start with this skinny but rich dish. You may not win an Oscar, but you may win the award for Healthiest Hostess!
SKINNY CRAB LOUIS (serves 4)
1 pound crab meat, picked clean (Fresh crab really is the best. But if fresh crab isn’t available or too pricey, you can use canned crab, but not the type that comes in little tins and sits on a shelf like canned tuna…that stuff is almost cat food. The type I used for this post is Chicken of the Sea Premium Claw Crab Meat. Available in the refrigerated sections at most Trader Joe’s, Costco stores and supermarkets, it runs 10-15 dollars for a 1 pound tin.)
2 T jarred cocktail sauce (If you don’t have cocktail sauce, you can fake it by using 2 T ketchup mixed with 3 t prepared horseradish sauce.)
2 t Dijon Mustard
2 t fresh lemon juice
3-4 T freshly snipped chives
Cucumber Tomato Relish:
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
3 Persian cucumbers, skin on, diced (Persian cukes have much less water than English or Garden Cukes and, as you can see, there is no reason to remove the seeds…they’re tiny and soft.)
1 shallot, minced
2 t good olive oil
1 T Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1 large avocado, sliced into thin strips OR, if you want to reduce calories even more, roasted red bell pepper strips. (You can roast your own, making sure you peel them, or use the ones that come in a jar.)
Start with the relish. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers and shallots, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let drain in a small sieve over a bowl for at least 10 minutes on the counter or up to 2 hours in the fridge. (You want the cucumbers and tomatoes to weep out some of their juices so they won’t water down your final dish.) Just before serving, sprinkle with 2 t olive oil and 1 T seasoned rice wine vinegar.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the Low Fat Mayo or Vegenaise, cocktail sauce, Dijon, lemon juice and chives. Add the crab, mix well and set aside in the fridge.
Slice the avocado and sprinkle with a little lemon juice and salt. (If using jarred red bell pepper rather than avocado, you probably won’t need salt as there is plenty in the jar.)
Add a few very thin slices of avocado or roasted red pepper strips on top…making a nice smooth layer..
(Tip: If you save the juices that weep from the tomatoes and cucumbers, you can whisk them with a little Dijon mustard, a bit of good olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper for an effortless but tangy dressing.)
PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD
This recipe has lots of wiggle room…you can add other herbs to the crab, like dill or tarragon, you can chop a little avocado into the tomato relish rather than layer it or add more spice to the relish with a little minced jalapeno pepper. It’s your food…so play with it!
RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-CYCLE
The recipe for the tomato relish makes more than you’ll need for 4 salads…use the rest the next morning on top of an egg white omelet or at lunch on a veggie or turkey wrap made with a high fiber 100 calorie Smart Wrap….or simply pile it onto a slice or two of Light Wasa Bread with a little feta and avocado for a mid day snack!