Fresh Crab & Avocado Dip with Crispy Tortilla Chips

By Curtis Stone

Crab and avocado is an age-old combination that has a bit of magic to it, which is why you see it in so many cuisines, from Asian to Italian. I’d never thought to make tortilla chips until I came to America, but they are so much better than store-bought. Salt them the minute they come out of the hot oil.

Serves 6

4 firm but ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, & coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh crabmeat
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
1 red jalapeño, finely chopped
canola oil, for deep-frying
12 fresh corn tortillas, cut into 8 wedges each
fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Mash the avocados, sour cream, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, and the chives in a large bowl. Season the avocado mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into a clear glass serving bowl, forming an even layer and smoothing the top.

Squeeze the crabmeat gently to remove any excess liquid, and pick through it to remove any bits of shell or cartilage. Gently mix the crabmeat, mayonnaise, sliced basil, jalapeño, and the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice in another bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the crab mixture over the avocado mixture, forming a second even layer and smoothing the top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat 3 inches of oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the tortilla wedges and fry, stirring often so that they cook evenly on both sides, for about 3 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon or a mesh strainer, transfer the corn chips to paper towels to drain any excess oil. While the chips are still hot, sprinkle them lightly with salt.

Garnish the dip with basil leaves, and serve with the tortilla chips.

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Photo courtesy of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited

Excerpted from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone by Curtis Stone Copyright © 2009 by Curtis Stone. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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