September 22, 2014

Seafood Salad

I called my daddy last week and told him I needed some help with a project. I needed some “background boards” to use when taking food photos. I have no idea what the professional term for such things is but it’s a wooden platform you can set your food on to take pictures if you’re so inclined.

I've been trying to step up my photography game a little bit and have been experimenting with lighting and taking photos in places other than my counter (which I’m sure you’re all verrrry familiar with) but that means I need something to set the food on to take the photos.

Like this… (we’ll get to the recipe in a minute)

Quick and easy Seafood Salad that's always a hit! Use crab, shrimp or lobster to make it your own.

Anywho, Daddy suggested we ride “down to the country” which means the land he hunts on out past where we both grew up. He said there was an old farm there with lots of old wood that we could use to make what I was needing. This sounded perfect to me but mostly I just wanted a chance to spend the day with my daddy. Especially if we were going back through my old stomping grounds.

He and I both now live in town and really miss where we came from sometimes.

We rode by the house he grew up in and I circled back to take a look at it. It’d been a long time since I’d seen it and I was reminded anew where a strong work ethic and good raising will take you.

My parents now live in a very large, very nice home in a very nice neighborhood in a very nice town.

And this is the house my daddy grew up in. A four-room house with no running water.


What’s even more impressive to me than the significant leap my dad has taken from his humble beginnings, is that when we were there, the only emotion he seemed to be experiencing was joy as he described to me the inside. It was like he was walking through the rooms as they were seventy years ago, outlining for me where everything was. He remembers only a loving home, not the humble shack we were standing in front of.

Oh, y’all. I was raised in the very best way by the very best parents. I am so, so grateful.

Dang, y’all gonna make me cry… ANYWAY we were able to find THE COOLEST stuff! I had a hard time settling on what I wanted. I wanted all of it but knew I was limited on space to store these things so I chose old painted boards in both yellow and red, what we think was once an old desktop and an old white cupboard door. I dropped daddy and the wood off at his house and not even two hours later he called and said he was on his way to my house – he’d already cut everything and nailed them together into the size I needed.

See? Outstanding work ethic.

On to the food! So, I know a lot of you are going to want to turn your nose up to this one because it uses imitation crab {GASP!} but I never have understood why imitation crab got such a bad rep. It’s not crab… right. Got that. But that doesn't mean it’s not yummy. It’s made out of fish. Granted, they process the hang out of and then shape it into the little pieces but hello? What do you think lunchmeat is? When was the last time you saw a square ham or round turkey breast? Same deal, Lucille.

I love to make this stuff to have with crackers, serve on a nice crusty roll or to stuff pita with. If you’re in the habit of making tuna salad for lunches and the like, try this as an alternative. And I've yet to serve it to guests that it didn't all get gobbled up.

I’m going to call this seafood salad because... errrr... I can't call it crab salad. And because I often will chop up leftover steamed or boiled shrimp to add to it (Yes, that happens. I live in South Carolina – ain't no shortage in shrimp around here). But also because you can use this recipe to make any sort of seafood salad: imitation crab, shrimp, real crab, lobster or any combination of the like.

And doesn't this look amazing on the board Daddy made for me?! We uptown now, y’all. For reals!

Quick and easy Seafood Salad that's always a hit! Use crab, shrimp or lobster to make it your own.
Seafood Salad
14 ounces imitation crab
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-2 stalks celery (amount per preference), finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dill
Salt to taste

Separate crab into individual pieces (only if compressed in package – if not, disregard) and chop into 1/2-inch pieces; add to a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and gently stir until well combined. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate to store.

If you don’t have any Old Bay, use a combination of celery salt and paprika.

This recipe was featured at the Weekend Potluck!


PRINTABLE RECIPE


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63 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this post. I can so relate to having a parent whose humble beginnings are remembered with fondness Food photography is a whole 'nother level of difficult. You do it welI because I always want to dive face first into each recipe you post. I have yet to photograph a single food that looks appetizing. (My kitchen is a little dark pit of hell.) The only way I can get a good picture is to take it outside on the deck where I have sunlight. Then the flies start coming and it doesn't look appetizing anymore.

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    1. Dee, I agree this post was very heartfelt and relatable. I'm still new to photographing and still use my counter top, which is sometimes dirty from cooking and that's a whole, 'nother mess to clean lol

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    2. Dee, thank you! For your compliment and for making me laugh!

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    3. Mercy, you should see my kitchen by the time I'm done!

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  2. You are hilarious! I feel like I was sitting at the kitchen table with a glass of sweet tea having a real conversation. Love me some fake crab. Great post. Norma in NC.

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    1. :o) Well, I write like I talk so I imagine it'd be about the same! My English teachers will learn to forgive me someday. I just know it!

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  3. I love, love, love this sweet post! And you, and your sweet Mama and Daddy, too! It's no wonder that they raised such a special daughter! I'm glad that you were blessed with such awesome parents, and especially glad that you got to spend this special time with your Dad. Thank you for sharing this story with us. I really did love this post!

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  4. Thanks for taking me down memory lane. As for the crab salad, I make mine just like yours. I've tried the real also, and it's just not the same.

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  5. I love this! The story and the recipe is awesome:) I find it cool that I'm not the only woman who calls her dad "daddy"! I had an ex-boss tell me one time (he's a high falootin' city man") that he prays his girls still called him "daddy" after they where grown. That's sad to me because that's what we southern woman say. Our daddy's don't need to pray for it to happen. BTW, I LOVE imitation crab! Your recipe and pictures make me wan't to go to the grocery store...like right this instant!

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    1. Thank you! We say it kinda like "deddy" which is weird but it's just how we do :)

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  6. Girl you are uptown for reals all the time !LOL :-)
    Love imitation crab good stuff !!! Thanks for sharing your recipes with us out here in cyberspace !!!

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  7. I'd give my right arm to see my daddy again.. bless his heart, he suffered dearly from cancer.. he would certainly love this salad.. and you can put onions in it or add what you normally would like.. this is the good stuff. also, we here in the south are blessed with the abundance of shrimp and well that is what I use.. thanks for the recipe. It's great that your dad helped you out with the back ground for your photo...

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    1. It was a great day and I'm thankful for it :)

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  8. I absolutely love that you shared your daddy's old house! I love hearing (and seeing) any of your southern upbringing stories! And the board looks fantastic! Can you believe I have never tried the imitation crab? Not because it's imitation, but because I just don't know seafood! Living where I do, I have limited seafood exposure, and when I do... it's not fresh like what you know! Because you love it, I am going to watch for it when I am at one of the bigger stores and will give this a try!

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    1. Dang, girl, you can't even get fake crab?! LOL! Now that's inland!

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  9. I just finished reading Mary Jane Hathaway's book and she gave your blog a shout out. I just had to look it up! And what post do I find?! One of my grandmother's favorites - Love it!

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  10. I love your trip down memory lane of your dad and you spending time together and he helping you with photography .and I LOVE seafood salad .your pictures are wonderful ...Thanks for a great recipe !!!!

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  11. Ick, don't like using imitation anything, sorry.

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    1. Seriously? Ick? Guess you didn't read that you can use whatever you want in the recipe? Or her sweet story. Jesus. Somebody shares something like this and you write "Ick"? What's wrong with people. Just move along if you don't like something. Last time I checked it didn't cost me anything to use this site.

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    2. People are under the delusion that because they are on the Internet they can be as rude as they like. Smh. Like you say just move on and skip your rude comments. I for one love the salad.

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    3. Rude is a nice word for such an "icky" person that hides behind anonymous. This is an awesome salad and is also good on a good bread as a sandwich. YUM!

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    4. Let's see ... Anonymous up there posted "Ick, don't like using imitation anything, sorry." Imitation=fake ... and then she/he posts the rude comment with a FAKE name ... what irony! I agree with the other posters ... if you read a recipe you don't think you will like, why in the world would you post a rude comment? Move along. You cannot even post a review of the recipe if you haven't even tried it ... SMH ... I think the recipe sounds great and I am going to try it, but I think I am going to add a little green onion to mine :)

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    5. Some of us can't afford the "real stuff". I bought a little container of seafood salad years ago, but it was swimming in mayo! I added fake crab and more celery and it was so good!

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  12. Thanks so much, Hubby loves "seafood" salad and always scarfs it at any buffet that has it. I will try this recipe and see if he loves it also.

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  13. I'm not much of a fan of imitation crab. Not because it's not crab....it's the texture........too rubbery. With that said, I do appreciate a good seafood salad, and this one is good. Mine is similar, with a few tweaks thrown in. I combine it with shrimp like you do. I add chopped chives, celery, old bay, mayo, and cajun seasoning. Good stuff!

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  14. I happen to love it too. Will now stop buying the salad prepared and make my own!
    Thank you!
    From,
    Proud New Englander lol

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  15. I'm not a big fan of using mayo for "salads" because it seems to be too blah so does the seasoning make it better or could I just use miracle whip like I do with my tuna and egg salad?

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    1. I'm not sure how the savory Old Bay and dill will be with Miracle Whip since it's so sweet but if you prefer MW in your other salads, I imagine you'll prefer it in this one too.

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  16. Love this recipie,and look forward to making this soon. Also loved your time with your Dad. I miss mine so much.
    Thank you.

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  17. Do you use fresh dill?

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    1. Either. Use about a tablespoon if using fresh, though.

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  18. I've made an imitation crab salad many a time as I live in an area of NYC that has several Chinese supermarkets which sell the "crab" at a very good price. The problem I've had is how to best season it. The fish used has a very mild flavor and can be easily overwhelmed by the amount of mayonnaise used, and if too much seasoning (or the wrong seasoning) is added then then that's pretty much all I can taste. I like your suggestions - have never tried Old Bay or its components, nor dill - so am looking forward to making this. Many thanks for a post about what is perceived as a simple dish.

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  19. I love this recipe but I was wondering will it be the same if I was to replace imitation crab with fresh crab

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  20. I'm sending hubby to the commissary on his way home so I can satisfy a pregnancy craving with this! I just have to wait like, two more hours. Sigh. Thank you for sharing!

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  21. Just found your blog, you will make me laugh and you will make me eat good food. Looking forward to reading more! I love to eat the seafood salads at the buffets here in Las Vegas, can't wait to try this and have my seafood salad here at home. And your photography is wonderful, I really need to start practicing my camera skills!

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  22. Oh how I enjoyed reading this post. Thank you

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  23. This is exactly how I make mine. BUT you need to use Blue Ribbon mayonnaise. It's a southern brand. Better than Hellman's.

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  24. This is one of my most favorite posts from you! The recipe is great and I will be making this soon. Honey, the way you described spending time with your daddy was wonderful! My Daddy is a "Deddy" too! South GA girl coming out in me. My Daddy came from humble beginnings also- sharecropping - picking cotton, tobacco, etc....big family. They ate what they grew and had meat from what they hunted. He pulled himself up by his bootstraps, and with the work ethic and the integrity ingrained in him, he did very well in life - both personally and professionally. I can feel your love for your father, and I identify with it so very much! Your recipes are my "go to" when I am looking. I feel fortunate to have found your site and will continue to share it with my friends and family. I appreciate you! :)

    Kathy

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  25. Yummy Recipe.. I do a similar version of this but the first few ingredients are a great Base or to just eat alone!

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  26. I make this salad too, have for years. I add some green onion(usually just 2 chopped very very tiny) and the juice of 1/2 a lemon...I think the lemon give it an extra fresh taste.

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  27. Beautiful picture! I love that fork. This is just the recipe I was looking for, thanks. And, I love imitation crab :-)

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  28. I make the same salad with imitation crab. But call it "Surimi Crab Salad" because the idea comes from the surimi crab stick made in Japan.

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  29. Thanks Mandy for sharing this seafood salad recipe and story about you and your dad. I was a daddy's girl too. There wasn't anything he couldn't make or do (at least in my mind). I personally prefer the imitation crab - no cracking involved. But I'm a lazy gal :)

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  30. Mandy, I love this post!! It reminds me so much of my Daddy and Granny! I miss them so very much! Yep, I'm a "suthun" girl, too! I could easily picture the house and the memories going through your and your daddy's mind. Thank you so much!

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  31. I love, love, love this salad! It's one of my very favorite lunch treats. Sometimes I make it with a cajun seasoning and that's seriously yummy too!

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  32. Saw this on pinterest, even though I am one of your followers & it is great! Tryin to get back on some healthier eating habits & its helping me out this week! THANKS & love your blog!

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  33. I use equal portions of Mayo and ranch dressing and add green peppers, and green onions, as a famous Buffet restaurant uses

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  34. Yeh Baby! What a scrumptious dish. I'm wild about seafood salad and could eat the whole dishful myself. Congrats on having this recipe featured at our Weekend Potluck party. MMMM! Keep 'em coming...please. And have a great weekend. http://www.thebetterbaker.blogspot.com/2016/01/gooey-grapes-weekend-potluck-205.html

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  35. Great recipe and love the pictures! I add about a 1/4 cup of Vidalia onion to the same recipe, then put it in a small round plastic tub like margarine comes in and let it chill. Then I take and plop it onto a bed of torn up romaine leaves and add sliced cucumber, tomatoes and hard cooked eggs with dressing of choice on the side. It is to die for!!!
    Pat Moondance

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  36. To this recipe I add 3 c. medium pasta shells, 1 lb. Creamy Coleslaw from the deli and 1 Tbls. chopped green onion. Delish!!

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  37. Love your story! Can't wait to try this recipe - thank you!

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  38. New to this site and loved your story. I too like this recipe and make mine in similar fashion. Sometimes I add pasta to make it feel like more of a meel. When I do this I use the tricolor pasta. Also, I do add some red onion - just a personal preference. Loved the post.

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  39. I react poorly to real crab...so I was very happy to find this with imitation crabmeat..can't wait to try it!!! TY

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  40. I wa looking for some seafood inspiration for dinner and came across your blog....that was almost an hour ago and I haven't left yet. You are relatable, especially this story. My Mama was raised by sharecroppers under similar circumstances, and this hit home. Guess I am making some seafood salad now.

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  41. loved your story and the recipe, read the beginning and thought,,, jeez I just need the recipe, then I couldnt stand it and had to go back lol ... your adorable and so glad I went back... Love my daddy tooooo beh lolind every great dad is a great daughter !!

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  42. I haven't been to SC in years, but this post make me miss Shoney's buffet(sniff)!!

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  43. I have also made a "seafood" salad that has evolved over many years! Started out as tuna salad with noodles and mayo and has now finally settled to one that I add imitation crab as well as imitation lobster, as well as salad sized shrimp and diced fresh tomatoe, scallion and celery! I season with pepper, celery salt and maybe a dash or two of Morton's Natures's seasoning! Makes a huge bowl that never lasts more than 48 hours in my house!

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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