Friday, March 7, 2008

Krab Melts and Carrot Salad

One of the joys of moving to our new house on Beacon Hill last fall is that we've been motivated to explore restaurants in the South end. Even when we were trying to find a new place, we used it as an excuse to try new restaurants in the areas we were thinking of moving to. One of the neighborhoods on our short list was Columbia City, and when we went to check it out, we ate at the Columbia City Ale House.

I can't recall what my fiance had that first time, but I ordered the delicious tuna melt (and have every time since). I liked it so much, we were inspired to do a melt of our own soon after. Instead of tuna, we decided to go with crab... or more accurately, krab. Oddly enough, I prefer fake crab to real crab. The brand we get is actually a mix of both whitefish meat and a bit of real crab, but it's at least 98% whitefish, so it hardly counts as real crab.

We've made these melts several ways (different breads, different cheeses, different cooking methods), but this was our most recent version. We paired it with a morroccan carrot salad that's quick and easy to make (another of our favorites). The salad keeps well, and is even better if you let it sit in the fridge overnight. It also makes a good dip or spread, if you blend it in the food processor.

Krab Melts
2 ciabatta rolls, sliced into buns
8 oz krab, crab, or a combination of both
4 slices Provolone cheese
Pickled Jalapenos
Butter spray

Set all four ciabatta roll pieces (2 tops and 2 bottoms) on a baking sheet with the cut side up. Place one slice of provolone on each bottom piece of ciabatta, then cover with crab meat, another slice of provolone, and then jalapenos. Spray the cut side of the ciabatta roll tops with butter spray. Place under broiler for a few minutes, until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.

Morroccan Carrot Salad
6-7 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water, with salt, to a boil. Add the carrot rounds to the pot. Boil for 8 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin and paprika.

(carrot salad from

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