My friend, Beth had to exchange something at the large department store, Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Trying to exchange or return something in Paris is not a gratifying experience....in general the attitude is, if you buy it, you own it. So we had braced ourselves for an uphill battle. A few conversations and a half an hour later, she had graciously exchanged her item. We looked at each other with an amazing sense of accomplishment. I wish I had taken a picture to document it!! Walking through this architectural beauty with a stained glass ceiling ,and balconies that Marie Antoinette would have approved of, I noticed women getting makeovers at the cosmetic counter. As a promotion, world class makeup artists were there for 2 weeks. Since we were on a roll, we decided to see if we could have our makeup done. Undaunted, the charming artiste began to work his magic on us. Afterward, feeling pampered, pretty and pretty hungry, we went locally for dinner. Beth had researched restaurants, and we decided to give the nearby, Carte Blanche a try. After settling in, our waiter brought us an amuse-bouche of layered crab, tomatoes and avocado. An amuse-bouche is just like a kiss...something bestowed upon you to show the talent and intent of the giver. It is a prelude of what's to come. We were ready for more and ordered from the menu! We thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our meal, even with a mediocre dessert. After patting our lipsticked lips with the crisp white napkins and with shopping bags in toe, we headed home.
Here is my adaptation of "the kiss", with a little cayenne pepper to keep it hot...the makeup is on your own!
Crab, Tomato and Avocado Amuse-Bouche
For the crab layer:
2 ounces crab meat, with a squeeze of lime
For the avocado layer:
1/2 ripe avocado, smashed until almost smooth with a squeeze of lime and a
dash of cayenne pepper
For the tomato layer:
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
dash of cayenne pepper
You'll need 4-2 ounce shot glasses.
Mix all of the ingredients for the tomato layer in a bowl. Stir to meld the flavors and adjust the salt and cayenne pepper according to taste. Evenly divide the layers between the 4 shot glasses. In each glass, add one layer of the crab and then a layer of tomato mixture, draining most liquid from the tomato mixture as you spoon it into the glass. Top with the smashed avocado and serve with several crostini.
To make the crostini, thinly slice a baguette, brush with olive oil and toast.
Written and photographed by Diane.
Crab, Tomato and Avocado Amuse-Bouche recipe (pdf)