Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Appetizer’ Category

Crab Cakes

img_5972

I make crab cakes once a year, not sure why only once but it’s sort of a tradition with me although it’s at no particular time but whenever I think of it or feel like having them. This recipe is from one of the older Martha Stewart cookbooks and is the only recipe for crab cakes I have ever used. It calls for jumbo lump  or lump crabmeat, has very little filler and is really delicious. As an aside I recommend lump not jumbo lump it makes it easier to form into patties and stays together better.  You can make your own bread crumbs by first grinding bread in a food processor then drying in the oven or use dried breadcrumbs from your supermarket. This is a super simple recipe that comes together very quickly.  They are not coated with bread crumbs although you could if you wish,  they have a nice amount of vegetables in them and are delicious served with cole slaw.

The recipe made exactly 12 nice sized cakes so my friends got a crab cake sandwich on fresh ciabatta rolls slathered with a dressing made from mayo, sriracha, pickle relish and ketchup then piled high with a homemade traditional cole slaw. I made a few changes in the recipe to suit me, Martha calls for 2 lbs crabmeat, I found 1 lb was sufficient and if I did use 2 lbs I would add an additional egg, more mayo and breadcrumbs.

img_5958

Crab Cakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart Cookbook- Collected Recipes for Every Day

Makes 12 crab cakes or 22-24 appetizer size

1 cup dried breadcrumbs

2 large eggs lightly beaten

1 lb jumbo lump or lump crabmeat (picked over for cartilage)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (I use parsley)

3 scallions  finely chopped

1 small red bell pepper- seeded and diced

1 small yellow bell pepper – seeded and diced (I didn’t have yellow so used green)

1 jalapeno pepper – seeded and diced (I used pickled jalapeño)

2/3 cup mayonaise

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegetable oil to fry

Gently mix all the ingredients together, you don’t want to break up the crab meat to much.

Form into patties, you can choose the size but make them quite thick. Heat some vegetable oil in  a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the crab cakes until browned on each side. Place them on paper towel or paper bag to drain. Serve hot. NOTE: Because there is very little filler you have to work a little to form into patties. If they absolutely won’t hold together add a little more mayo and breadcrumbs.

I happened upon a photo that the media outlet Pop Sugar took of Percy and put on their site. I was tickled to see this and thought he looked so cute smiling. This was taken at Pugs Take NYC event which by the way was a huge success raising $4150 for Pug Nation Rescue of LA and the little pug Bella has had the surgery and is being fitted for a wheelchair.

Photo from popsugar.com

Photo from popsugar.com

Patatas Bravas

IMG_5428

Sonal from Simply Vegetarian777 has a very active facebook following and sometimes she will tag us with a challenge. The other day I received notification that Sonal had done just that.  She asked everyone to create or post a recipe using potatoes as an appetizer or side, no curries, it must be vegetarian and the potatoes should be in pieces not mashed or smashed. I immediately thought of one of my favorite potato dishes when I go for Tapas,  Patatas Bravas, crispy pieces of potato, deep fried and dipped in a spicy aioli. It really doesn’t get better than this. I found this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen and have to say their recipes are almost always spot on. I love the simple aioli using already prepared mayonnaise. I cut the recipe in half, it’s just me and I don’t need all of those potatoes.

IMG_5463

Patatas Bravas

The sauce

2 tsp neutral oil like vegetable or grapeseed

1 tsp garlic smashed to a paste (I used 1 large clove)

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1/4 tsp kosher salt

pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tbs tomato paste

1/4 cup water

2 tsp sherry vinegar

2 generous tbs mayonaise

Heat oil in small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the garlic. paprika, salt and cayenne and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook another 30 seconds. Add water and whisk on high heat until it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until it is slightly thickened. Pour sauce into a bowl, add vinegar and let cool completely. When cooled whisk in the mayonaise. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, bring to room temperature before serving.

IMG_5449

The potatoes

1 1/2 lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes.

1/4 tsp baking soda

Kosher salt

oil to fry

Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the potatoes and baking soda. When they start boiling again cook for 1 minute. Drain the potatoes.

Return potatoes to the pan and cook over low heat shaking occasionally for another minute or until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat and add about 3/4 tsp of salt, stir with a rubber spatula until the potatoes are coated with a thick starchy paste. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to cool, they can stand at room temperature up to 2 hours.

Heat about 2 1/2 cups of oil in large dutch oven to 375 degree’s. Add all the potatoes, they should be submerged in the oil. Cook stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon or spyder until golden brown and crispy, approximately 20-25 minutes.

Transfer potatoes to a paper towel lined wire rack on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. To serve spoon some sauce on the bottom of a platter. Arrange the potatoes on top and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

IMG_5457

 

Roasted Carrot, Golden Beet And Goat Cheese Tart With Dukkah

 

IMG_0984

Recently while browsing in the neighborhood bookstore I broke down and bought “Plenty More” a brilliant and beautiful cookbook which really is an homage to vegetables by the amazing Yotam Ottolenghi. Everything in the book looks wonderful and I want to make it but the recipe that stuck out is the roasted carrots. Now it’s odd that this recipe attracted me since I really dislike cooked or roasted carrots, I only eat them raw.  There is something about this simple dish that I find so appealing.  The carrots are glazed with honey, olive oil, crushed toasted coriander and cumin and salt and pepper. They are then roasted in a hot oven until tender. I had some golden beets that I needed to use so I peeled and quartered them, slathered them with the same glaze and roasted them as well. The carrots were quite delicate and slim so I started with the beets roasting for 15 minutes then placed the carrots on the same pan and continued roasting for another 20 minutes.

The vegetables are wonderful on their own but I decided to make a savory tart filled with goat cheese and topped with the roasted vegetables. To add a little crunch and make the tart more interesting I made dukkah from nuts, seeds and spice and sprinkled on top. My photo’s are horrible so disregard,  it poured rain all day, and there was no sunlight. It makes it very difficult to get a decent photo in bad weather,

I used the rest of my saffron pastry dough that I had left over from the lamb pot pies.  I think it made the tart even more interesting . The carrots and beets are only slightly sweet from the honey and nicely spiced,  it goes perfectly with the tangy goat cheese and flaky pastry, the dukkah has the same spice as the carrots along with seeds and nuts. It’s a great combination, easy to put together and makes a lovely presentation. If you are a fan of roasted carrots, beets, goat cheese and Ottolenghi I think you will really enjoy this tart.

I am bringing this tart to Fiesta Friday #108. Angie is such a great hostess and this week the co hosts are me, yep I am co hosting and the lovely Zeba@Food For The Soul

Join in, you are all invited, bring something delicious, see you at the party!!

Roasted Carrot, Golden Beet, Goat Cheese Tart With Dukkah

Makes one 9 inch rectangular or round tart

Roasted Carrots and beets

8 carrots peeled and cleaned and left whole (I used rainbow)

3 small golden beets peeled, cleaned and quartered

3 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil

2 tsp toasted coriander seeds crushed (use mortar and pestle)

2 tsp toasted cumin seeds crushed

1 tsp salt

several grinds of pepper

3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Pre heat oven to 425 degree’s. Line baking sheet with parchment. Toss the vegetables in the glaze. Place the beets on the baking sheet first with a sprig or two of thyme and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, turn the beets over place carrots and remaining thyme sprigs on the pan and roast for another 30 minutes gently turning them at least once while they are roasting. Set the vegetables aside.

Blind bake the pastry in a 400 degree oven weighted with pie weights until golden brown approximately 25-30 minutes.

Goat Cheese Filling

10.5 oz soft goat cheese softened and at room temperature

2-4 tbs whole fat buttermilk or créme fraîche

Mix the softened goat cheese with buttermilk or créme fraîche a tbs at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. I used the full 4 tbs.

Dukkah

1 tbs coriander seeds

1 tbs cumin seeds

1 tbs white sesame seeds

1/4 cup toasted pistachio’s

sea salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the spices and  seeds, first the coriander and cummin and then the sesame. I like to use a fry pan. Toast until you can smell them shaking the pan frequently. I used toasted pistachio’s if yours are not toast in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Add the spices, seeds and nuts to a spice grinder and pulse until broken up but not completely pulverized, alternately you can use a mortar and pestle. You want it to have some texture. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_1015

Serving the tart

Spread the goat cheese in the baked pie shell, arrange the vegetables on top, brush with some of the leftover glaze and sprinkle with dukkah.

IMG_1047

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-was-featured1

A Trio Of Bruschetta

IMG_0171

I participate in a cooks collective headed up by Sonal from simplyvegetarian777, you all know Sonal. She will ask those that participate in this Facebook event to come up with a recipe and link it to the Facebook page. This time, since the Superbowl is around the corner she asked us to prepare super bowl appetizers or snacks. This was right up my alley since lately I have wanted food that is simple to make, takes very little time to cook, is snack size and delicious. I have made multiple loaves of this Rustic Italian Bread, I wrap it and freeze it and it is just as good as the day I bake it after some time in the oven to crisp and thaw.

There is really no recipe here, I am sure you have all had bruschetta, so simple to make and you can have an endless variety of toppings.. I made three different types all taking almost no time at all to prepare. They are wonderful as a starter or even a meal. You can make the tomatoes and squash and pesto ahead of time and refrigerate, I like to do that because putting these together will be quick and simple. There is really no recipe for this you can make them as you like and to suite your taste. The Super Bowl challenge must be vegetarian or vegan, this is a meat free zone. I love the idea of bruschetta with varied ingredients and flavors.

The Bruschetta

Ricotta, roasted tomato and basil

Parsley,basil,garlic and pine nut pesto with tomato, shaved parmigiana drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Oven roasted butternut sqush with sage and ricotta drizzled with honey..

You will need the following:

Start with a loaf of good rustic, peasant bread

Garlic 2 cloves – 1 for the pesto and the other to rub on the bread

olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Tomatoes – enough for oven roasted and sliced on top of the pesto

herbs, I like basil and parsley and dried sage for the squash

Ricotta

Cheese, romano and parmigiana

butternut squash cut into bite size pieces.

honey

pine nuts-toasted

Pre heat oven to 375. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, sprinkle with dried sage and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. You can roast the tomatoes at the same time. Cut in half and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper takes approximately 30 minutes in the oven.

Make your pesto: In the food processor add a handful of Italian flat leaf parsley a couple of basil leaves, a clove of garlic, toasted pine nuts and grated cheese. Process until it’s chopped and then add 1/4 cup olive oil while the processor is running.

rustic italian bread

rustic italian bread

Slice your bread in approximately 1/2 inch thick slices diagonally.  For the ricotta and roasted tomato and pesto bruschetta rub the bread lightly with a clove of garlic, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with the tinest amount of salt and place in the broiler just until it starts to toast, don’t let it get dark. Spoon some ricotta on a slice, arrange some roasted tomato, sprinkle some grated cheese and return to the broiler for a minute or so, just to heat it, it will get a little browned on top. Before serving drizzle with olive oil and place some basil leaves on to garnish.

Spread the pesto on the bread, add some sliced tomato and shaved parmigiana, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For the Butternut Squash bruschetta, spread some ricotta on a slice of bread, place some of the roasted squash on top and place in the oven on broil for about a minute just to heat it and get slightly browned. To serve drizzle with some honey and sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt and some ground pepper.

More Bruschetta ideas

More Bruschetta ideas