Sriracha Deviled Crab Sandwich with Key Lime-Bacon Slaw

Sriracha Deviled Crab Sandwich with Key Lime-Bacon Slaw

For many of us, Labor Day signals the end of summer. However, Labor Day was actually declared a holiday celebrating the social and economic contributions of the American worker, which is me!

Ok…to be truthful, it’s nearly every American–my parents who worked to give me a college education, my grandparents who worked multiple jobs to put food on the table, my great-grandparents who worked ANY job during the Great Depression, my great-great grandparents who moved our family south from the Appalachian Mountains to find work, and so on.  Aside from holidays which celebrate our military heroes and veterans, I can think of no better holiday to celebrate.

Since Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, I think it’s only appropriate to bring the best of summer to the Labor Day table.  Since my summer is full of beach trips, fresh seafood & produce, and lots of portable meals, I decided to mix a few of my favorites to create a sandwich that screams fresh from Florida…a Srirachi Deviled Crab Sandwich with a Key Lime-Bacon Slaw.

For those unfamiliar with the deviled crab, it is simply a mixture of crab, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, and a variety of spices.  It’s thick, rich, spicy, and hearty, and seemingly perfect for a lobster roll type sandwich.  To make ours a bit more interesting, I added a cole slaw made with key limes and thick cut bacon to cool the spice of the sriracha and cut through the richness of the crab.

The only real challenge I faced in making the sandwich come to life was finding a vessel in which to serve it.  A hoagie roll seemed to bulky and a hot dog bun wasn’t bulky enough. Like Goldilocks, I needed something just right, and Texas Toast buns made from fresh Italian bread is perfect!

Crabmeat Filling:
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1 large purple onion-chopped
1 medium white onion-chopped
1 c. green pepper-finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves-mashed
1/2 c. citrusy ale, light beer, or a crisp white wine
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 oz tomato paste
¼ c. Sriracha ketchup (if you can’t find it, it’s simple to make your own…1 part srirachi to 2 parts ketchup)
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 lb. crab meat
1/2  c. freshly grated parmesan cheese

Slaw:
1 bag cole slaw mix or precut salad mix of cabbage, kale, carrots, onions, etc.
8 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1/8 c. key lime juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
4 chopped green onions—white and green parts
8 slices of crisp cooked bacon–chopped into bits
Salt & pepper to taste

Bread:
1 loaf Italian Bread–cut into 2″ slices
½ c. butter
1 tsp garlic powder
2 TBSP vermouth
1 tsp dried parsley flakes

In a skillet, saute onion, garlic, green bell peppers, and celery in olive oil for 15 minutes over medium-low heat.  Do not let garlic burn.  Add ale to deglaze. Add remaining ingredients, except crab and cheese, and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Add water if necessary to prevent burning.  Add crab meat, and stir to combine.  Saute another 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare slaw.  In a bowl, combine Greek yogurt, lime juice,  onion powder, garlic powder, and salt & pepper.  In a large bowl, combine salad, bacon bits, and green onions.  Add dressing mixture and toss to combine.

Melt butter, vermouth, garlic powder, and parsley flakes in a pan over low heat.  DO not allow to brown.  Brush sides of bread slices with mixture and toast in the oven until lightly brown.  When done, use a knife to cut a pocket into each slice.

To assemble:

Spoon a small amount of slaw in the bottom.  Top with a generous portion of crab filling.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Place under the broiler for 30 seconds-1 minute or until cheese melts.  DO NOT LET THIS BURN.  Top with more slaw and serve!


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