Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mom's Most Famous Crab Salad

Memorial weekend is finally upon us, along with that comes picnic and get-together season, otherwise known as summer.  Yay!!!

Seems like the best and most logical time to break out my Mom's Most Famous Crab Salad recipe.

Funny thing about my mom's cooking is that she never uses a recipe, rarely writes one down and has an uncanny ability to use whatever she has on hand to whip up something delicious.

While I've come a long way since my first attempted meals when I graduated from college, I still have a long way to go to achieve her level of mastery.

I am so thankful for her love of cooking, people and the outdoors that she has passed down to me and that I get to now share those same priorities with the next generation.  My kids also have her to thank for the love of singing that she has passed down!  Ha ha!

This delicious pasta creation starts with 1# of farfalle (pronounced far-fa-lay) or bow tie pasta cooked according to the instructions on the box.  Most notably, when making a cold pasta dish, cooked pasta should be rinsed in cold water.  This helps to stop the cooking process, dead in it's tracks.

Next, a few stalks of celery were chopped up, including the nice green leafy parts, they are an awesome addition to most dishes.

Then a cup or so of matchstick carrots were added.  These add nice color, texture and even a bit of nutrition to this salad.

Finally, before the dressing was mixed up and poured on, 1# of imitation crab or surimi was added.

As far as the dressing, start with equal parts sour cream, mayo and pickle juice, about a cup of each.   Pickle juice is really the key ingredient in this dressing as it brings the perfect blend of flavor and salt and thins the dressing to the perfect consistency.

Additionally, about a teaspoon of each dill weed and garlic powder were added and the dressing was whisked together before being poured over the salad and mixed well.

I like my salad saucy and flavorful…so upon initial mixing, the dressing should be plentiful.  As the salad cools, the pasta soaks in the moisture from the dressing, so I stir it every few hours to ensure that there is still plenty of sauce…if not, I'd definitely recommend throwing some more together, or just adding some of the individual components to the pasta to achieve the desired sauciness!


1# of farfalle or bow tie pasta
1 cup chopped celery with leafy greens
1 cup matchstick carrots
1# of imitation crab or surimi

1 cup mayonaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup dill pickle juice
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Cook pasta according to box instructions and rinse with cold water. 
Add vegetables and imitation crab. 
Mix up dressing, pour over salad, stir and refrigerate.  

For best results, make at least 4 hours in advance of serving.