During our delightful getaway to Perdido Key in the Florida panhandle several years ago, our good friends Christy and John F. took us by boat through the intercostal waterways to LuLu’s in Homeport, Alabama.
LuLu’s is the brainchild of Lucy Anne Buffet, the sister of Jimmy Buffet, who resurrected a small family-owned property in Homeport and quickly turned it into a world famous restaurant. LuLu’s well-deserved reputation is owed in great part to the caring and delightful food that is served there and their friendly staff. This is the real deal for all who appreciate fine food.
LuLu’s West Indies Salad has been adapted by Lucy from a recipe of Bayley’s Steak and Seafood restaurant in Mobile, Alabama. In her delightful cookbook – with a very interesting introduction – entitled Crazy Sista Cooking, Lucy Anne Buffet lays out her recipes in simple yet easy to follow steps.
Now, I did not eat the salad shown below, but I certainly would have given it a go because of its elegant simplicity. Lucy cautions to use the ice cubes as described below to chill the water. I think it probably has something to do with the amount of water added to the crabmeat, but this looks great served with pink champagne.
LuLu’s West Indies Salad
Ingredients (Serves 4-6 as an appetizer)
- 1 lb fresh jumbo lump blue crabmeat (regular lump crab OK, but watch for shell bits)
- Salt to taste (1/2 teaspoon)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste (1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/2 medium Vidalia (or sweet) onion, sliced paper thin, in half moon shapes
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup ice water (with 4-5 ice cubes)
- Place half the crabmeat gently in th bottom of a glass bowl or plastic container, carefully picking out any shell. Sprinkle with just a smidgen of salt and pepper.
- Cover crab with a layer of onion.
- Repeat steps with remaining crab, salt, pepper and onion.
- Pour oil and vinegar over layers.
- Place ice cubes in a liquid measuring cup. Fill with water until volume reaches 1/3 cup and pour over crab. (Ice cubes are essential but don’t pour the cubes into the mixture)
- Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, shake bowl gently, or if using a leak-proof plastic container, turn upside down and back upright to gently mix salad.
- Serve in a shallow bowl with juice.
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