Sunday, October 20, 2013

Crab Vodka Salsa

Were someone to ask me what animal I would be, which, as an aside, I can't actually imagine someone asking me, but I guess if I were to ask myself what animal I'd be, I'd have to say "hyena."  Hyenas are quite clever.  Scavenging for scraps, but possessing the ability to hunt when needed.  They only exert the energy to hunt when it is actually necessary.

I too, can hunt.  If by hunt, you mean obtain food from a market, bring it home, and turn it into dinner.  But just because I possess this ability, it doesn't mean I need to expend the energy all the time.  Rather I can circle around my offspring's meal, and retrieve the leftovers after he has finished. Having a child who makes a lot of requests for certain foods, but doesn't actually go through the whole part of eating it,  means this is an effective food gathering strategy for me. Sometimes I have been known to scavenge while he is still eating, like taking the remains of a cookie after he has placed it down on the table and has turned his head.

However, like the hyena, I too can occasionally put a damper on my scavenging ways and move on to some actual cooking.  Like this salsa.
This month's Creative Cooking Crew challenge, hosted by Laz of Lazaro Cooks, is "cooking with spirits." Check back here at the end of the month - I'll post a link to the roundup of all the CCC dishes for the month!  Roundup is live, click here to see all the amazing creations!

We chose to go with vodka, giving this crab-filled salsa a bit of a kick as it slides down your throat.  Gypsy and jalapeno peppers, garlic, cilantro, red onion fill each bite with vegetal goodness, while using smoked sea salt and smoked paprika leaves a little something behind to linger on your taste buds.  The kind of food that is worth giving up my hyena ways and becoming human again.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 celery stalks, diced
half a large onion, diced
5 gypsy peppers, divided, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 ounces lump crab meat
smoked sea salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
minced jalapeno, optional
tortilla chips, for serving

In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium low heat.  Add celery, onion, and three of the gypsy peppers. Once the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes, add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook for a minute, until garlic is fragrant, but not burned.  Add the crushed tomatoes.  In a bowl, stir together the crab meat, a hearty pinch of smoked salt, smoked paprika, and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.  Add the crab to salsa.  Stir.  Add the vodka.  Turn heat to medium high.  Once the vodka has cooked down (it will leave a spiciness in your throat but no longer screams VODKA), about 8-10 minutes, let the mixture cool down a bit and add lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, as well as the remaining gypsy peppers, red onion, and cilantro.  If you want more heat in the salsa, add some minced jalapeno.


  1. I don't think I have ever had a crab salsa. It looks super!

  2. What a great twist on salsa!

  3. This looks amazing, I would eat this up and you crack me up with your hyena reference!

  4. ... and if you were a hyena, I bet you'd be a laughing one because this salsa would put a smile on my face too. Well done for the challenge.

  5. What use are kids if you can't scavenge food from them?! I say do it. But also keep making your vodka-infused salsa..because it sounds kind of awesome.

  6. Hmm, I'd be a pig. They're just so darn cute and they get to roll around in the mud. This salsa is so creative. This is happening soon. Pinned.

  7. Yum! How incredibly delicious that sounds! Have to try this soon...

  8. I remember penne with vodka back in the day... loved it. Salsa with vodka sounds like a great idea to me.. good clean flavors would compliment the crab beautifully.

  9. A must to have a party..i loved the picture....

  10. Me too, first time I see crab in a salsa. Thumbs up on the vodka choice. Lots of nice flavor notes here too.

  11. This is a perfect combo of many of my favorite ingredients! I'd be a greedy little piggy and put more crab in though! Trying to imagine the vodka taste after cooking...Would love some right about now!

  12. PS: I meant to say the colours look very pretty in your photo.

  13. what a nice twist on a crowd favorite - I am imagining tasty bite after tasty bite

  14. Buy spice seasonings

    Buy Spice Seasoning | Order Sugar Online | Shop Salt Seasoning | Meat Rub | Fish Rub | U Simply Season and more information then visit: or CALL TODAY! 888-243-7770

  15. BlendLaKama Spice
    Five Spice (Panch Phoran)

    Garlic: Warding off Vampires and Boring Meals :

    Here’s a riddle for you: Name something that has lots of cloves in it, yet contains no cloves at all?
    While you may know that “clove” is the proper term for a segment of a garlic head as well as the resiny cooking spice of the same name, chances are there’s still some history you haven’t heard about this pungent, delightful ingredient before.
    Garlic gets it’s name from a hybrid of two Old English words, gar and laek , which translate to ‘spear leek’ . This fierce title is due to the shape of its cloves.
    Garlic enjoys a great deal of popularity in classic literature, gracing not only the pages of Chaucer’sCanterbury Tales, but also in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and even in the ancient epic tale of Beowulf.
    Peeling garlic is a lot more simple than most home cooks realize – just peel off a few cloves from a head of garlic, place them in a metal bowl, cover with another metal bowl to form a sphere shape, and shake the whole arrangement vigorously for 30 seconds. Once the top bowl is taken away, only the peeled cloves and discarded papery skin will be in the bottom bowl.
    To remove the “garlic” scent from one’s hands, simply rub them against a piece of stainless steel, such as a pot. (or avoid it altogether by investing in a premium spice blend with garlic already in it!)
    The smaller the head of garlic, the more pungent it typically is. When garlic is diced fine and dried, it offers users a potent ingredient for their dishes that’s both shelf-stable and ideal for everything from side dishes to meats. Crushing garlic through devices like a spice grinder will up the flavor ante even more.
    If a stored head of garlic has begun to sprout a green shoot or its cloves are dried and leathery, it is no longer suitable for cooking. For forgetful cooks, the best bet is to keep a bottle of dried garlic or a garlic spice blend handy – no more worries about garlic drying out!
    If you’ve never tried this multi-tasking marvel or simply don’t use it that often, there’s never been a better time to start. Garlic makes savory dishes delightful and can even turn ordinary rolls into a regal nibble fit for a fine restaurant table. Crack into the power of the clove today!

    Contact Us:>
    Call: 888-243-7770
    Amboseli Foods
    569 South 600 West #102
    Salt Lake City, UT 84101


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...