After a tiring trip from Rome to Mestre, our GPS had us drive in circles. “Turn right” the female voice kept saying but the street was blocked off with concrete posts. “Turn right, now!” she seemed to get frustrated with us for not turning and then finally gave up: “you have arrived at your destination.” As if. Thank goodness our faithful BAM (Big A$$ Map, as we affectionately call it) showed us the way to our hotel. The unfriendly receptionist and the first ten minutes of figuring out how the light switches work, which left us feeling dim-witted**, didn’t ruin our excitement about visiting Venice.
We freshened up quickly and within minutes were sitting on a train to the islands. More importantly, I was going to meet my childhood friend whom I last saw some 35 years ago and who graciously offered to be our tour guide. She and her Italian husband drove from Trieste just to spend an afternoon with us. I have the best friends in the whole world! We had lots to see and lots to catch up on in one afternoon.
Tired and hungry we arrived at the restaurant they recommended as the best in town. I was ready to eat a whole cow. The display at the counter offered only tea sandwiches. What? This is famous Venice food? Politely, we simulated enthusiasm and ordered an assortment of sandwiches. To this day, and we were there last June, we still talk about those sandwiches. Not because we were disappointed, on the contrary, they were the best dog gone sandwiches we ever ate, in particular the ones stuffed with crab meat!
This is my friend Milanka and I at that restaurant.
While many associate Venice with canals and gondolas, we also muse over tramezzino al granchio – the Venetian crab sandwich. Lacking the special large, crust-less bread in the States, I did what I could to mimic the original, however, the recipe is translated from Italian and the flavor is spot on.
This is how they really look (photo borrowed from the internet).
**In most Italian hotels light switches, and power in general, only work when the room key is left in the door! How clever is that? You won’t leave the lights on when you leave and you won’t lock yourself out.
Makes 8 triangles
2 (6 oz.) cans Lump Crabmeat, drained
½ cup shredded Carrots
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
¼ cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Ketchup
½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Onion Powder
¼ teaspoon Paprika
¼ teaspoon prepared Horseradish
½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ teaspoon Mustard
1 teaspoon Hot Sauce (add more if you like it spicy)
Pinch of Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
8 slices of soft white Bread, crust removed
2 hard boiled Eggs, sliced
1 cup baby Spinach
1 large Tomato, sliced
Drain the crabmeat and lightly squeeze with paper towels to remove excess moisture. In a medium bowl combine the first 14 ingredients.
Assemble the sandwiches by spreading four slices of bread with the crab mixture. Cover with spinach leaves, tomato and egg slices. Spread the other four slices of bread with a thin layer of mayo and place over stuffed slices. Press bread edges to seal. Cover with clear wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Cut the sandwiches into triangles and serve.
Looking forward to connecting with you soon.
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