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Blue Crab and Acorn Squash Salad

In 2013, we named Chef Mike Gulotta as one of our Chefs to Watch. At our annual dinner honoring the new class of Chefs to Watch, Mike cooked blue crab and acorn squash salad. He was recently named the 2016 Chef of the Year for New Orleans, Louisiana. Here’s his recipe for blue crab and acorn squash salad, a great dish for your next party or event. 

 

Salad of Blue Crab and Candied Acorn Squash
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium acorn squash, split in half and seeds scooped out (about 1¾ pounds), divided
  2. ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  3. ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  4. 2 teaspoons curry powder, divided
  5. ¾ cup water
  6. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  7. 5 ounces slab bacon, cut into ½-inch cubes
  8. 1 tablespoon butter
  9. 3 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 1 large egg white
  12. ½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
  13. ¾ cup pecan halves
  14. 10 ounces jumbo lump Louisiana blue crab
  15. 1 handful of spicy micro greens (sylvetta arugula or petite mustard greens)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the inside of one squash half with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon curry powder. Place cut-side down on prepared baking sheet and bake until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Peel and cut the remaining squash half into ½-inch pieces. In a small saucepan, combine ¾ cup water, ¾ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon curry powder; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add diced squash to sugar mixture, and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove squash from syrup with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  3. Peel roasted squash and scoop pulp into the work bowl of a food processor. Add ¼ cup sugar syrup to squash and process until smooth, adding additional syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.
  4. In a small skillet, heat remaining ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving oil in skillet. Stir in butter until melted, and whisk in vinegar; add salt to taste.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white, remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, Creole seasoning, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Add pecans and toss to coat. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and add pecans. Bake until golden brown, stirring once, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Toss crab and cubed squash with vinegar mixture to taste, reserving some for the greens. Place a dollop of curried squash purée on each plate and top with crab mixture. Garnish with spiced pecans and bacon. Toss micro greens with vinaigrette and place on top of salad.
Chefs to Watch http://www.chefstowatch.com/
2016-12-08T12:24:51+00:00

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