Seafood celebration

On Saturday I made a trip to our favorite seafood market, Conrad’s.  Two separate friends had told us about it and they have become our go-to spot for seafood.  They have fabulous crabmeat, a variety of oysters that they will shuck for you and outstanding shrimp salad and crab soup.  On Saturday I bought soup, shrimp salad and crab meat.  (I also bought stone crab claws that we had as an appetizer last night.)  I took some of the crab and used it in our Sunday morning omelet.  The rest went into tonight’s dinner.  I was going to make zucchini but the zucchini didn’t look too good so I got yellow squash instead.

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Sauteed squash
  • 3 yellow squash, sliced
  • 2 – 3 tsp olive oil
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • basil

Heat a saute pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil.  Add squash and spices.  Saute, stirring regularly until squash are soft and lightly browned (about 10 -15 minutes.)

crab

Apres tennis dinner

My husband and I usually play tennis on Wednesday nights.  That means we’re both getting home around 8, we’re both starving and I want something that I can pull together quickly.  Crab cakes are always a hit because I can form them ahead and then just have to cook them when we get home.  The last of the leftover corn makes a great side and I had some gazpacho in the fridge – one of my favorite summer recipes.

Maryland Crabcakes

  • 1 lb crabmeat, lump or jumbo lump
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp Paprika
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Panko (or breadcrumbs)
  • Wondra Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

In a bowl whisk together egg, Worcestershire, spices, mustard and mayo.  Stir in Panko (my 4 year old daughter likes to eat panko out of a bowl).  Gently fold in crabmeat, being careful not to break up the lumps of crabmeat.  Sprinkle flour on a plate.  Form crab mixture into cakes and put on top of flour.  Sprinkle with more flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Heat a saute pan over medium heat.  Combine 1 TB Olive oil and 1 tsp butter.  Cook crabcakes 4 – 5 minutes per side until browned.  Serve.  (A leftover crabcake makes an awesome sandwich on toast the next day.)

Gazpacho

  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 parsley, chopped
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in a blender and process to your liking.  Refrigerate.  Serve.

The ultimate Maryland summer dinner!

We have a friend whose wife and kids are away for a good bit of the summer.  We know he gets lonely so enjoy having him join our crazy group for a weeknight dinner.  He came for dinner after tennis last Thursday and we had a great meal of summertime Maryland specialties – crab cakes, corn sautéed with pesto and sliced tomatoes.

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Pesto corn
  • corn cut off the cob – allow at least 1 1/2 ears per person (Keith wanted to know if there was more)
  • butter – 1 TB per 3 ears of corn
  • pesto – 1 TB per 3 ears of corn (adjust to your taste)

Saute corn with butter in a heavy pan for 4 -5 minutes until soft.  Add pesto and stir well to combine.

The boys were late coming home from tennis so I didn’t get a picture.

Lazy evenings

We have drifted into a lovely but lazy habit of going to the pool in the evenings after work.  It is so quiet and there aren’t many people around.  Samantha can usually find a kid to play with and I enjoy sitting and looking at a magazine.  The problem is the longer I sit there, the less interested I get in leaving.  As a result dinners have been simple.  Last night we had grilled Portabello mushrooms on whole wheat hamburger rolls with lettuce, tomato and red onion and deviled eggs on the side.  Tonight is crab cakes and zucchini fritters.

Deviled eggs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1.4 tsp dry mustard (more if you want them spicier)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
Place eggs in a pot just big enough to hold them and add water to cover.  Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat to just simmering and cover for 17 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cold water and ice cubes to stop cooking.  Chill eggs in refrigerator.  Peel eggs and cut in half.  Put yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Fill egg whites with filling and top with additional paprika.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Zucchini fritters
  • 2 zucchini grated with a coarse grater (from my very own garden!)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • olive oil
Combine zucchini with garlic, scallions, Parmesan, eggs, lemon zest and flour.  Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Plop zucchini mixture into hot oil by tablespoons and cook 2 -3 minutes per side until crisp.  Remove to a plate covered in paper towels and serve hot.  Great with chipotle mayonnaise or green goddess dressing.

Summer dinner

One of our favorite summer dinners is crab cakes with tomatoes.  I made some Green Goddess dressing for the tomatoes.  Here are the recipes:

Green Goddess Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 2 TB scallion greens
  • 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (use this even if you think you don’t like anchovies)  🙂
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  I usually serve it on sliced tomatoes but it is also good as a dip for vegetables.
Crab cakes
  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.

Clinging to summer

The weather is definitely turning.  I hate letting go to summer from an activity standpoint (tennis, golf and swimming) and also from a food standpoint (fresh vegetables and fruit, crabmeat, light salads, etc.)  We thought we would enjoy one more round of the skillet corn and crab cakes.  Now we’ll have to start thinking about chili, braised chicken, polenta, oysters, etc.  I guess cold weather isn’t that bad!  🙂

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Keith likes a sauce with crab cakes and usually likes cocktail sauce.  We were watching a Barefoot Contessa episode that I recorded on DVR the other night and she made a deconstructed lobster salad.  The dressing had mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers and dill.  Keith requested a similar sauce so I put a few tablespoons of mayo, the zest of about 1/3 of a lemon, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, the capers that were left in the fridge (about 1 tsp) and some dill in a bowl and whisked it all together.  This is one of those things where measuring isn’t so important.  He loved it.  I tried a little bit – it is good but unfortunately doesn’t make the dinner lower in calories!
Skillet corn
  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

Here they are on the stove:

Clinging to summer!

Clinging to summer!

Catching up – surf, surf and turf

It’s been a crazy week.  On Wednesday we took Samantha and her cousin to Dutch Wonderland and I had tennis right after we got back.  We also had to get Samantha ready to start first grade on Thursday.  Last night the commute home was dreadful thanks to the Grand Prix in downtown Baltimore so I apologize for not getting things updated.  Since I did my monster cooking last weekend, I deliberately kept this week simple.  We had crabcakes on Wednesday, Salmon BLTs on Thursday and steak tonight.  I’ll get you caught up:

Crab cakes

We haven’t had crab cakes much this summer because crab has been so expensive.  There was leftover Green Goddess dressing in the fridge so we had sliced tomatoes with the crab cakes.  Easy dinner and so delicious.  I don’t know whether these tasted so good because we haven’t had much crab this summer.

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Grilled salmon BLTs
Jack came over to cut the grass last night and Kevin was in tow.  (Christie was out of town).  I told Kevin he could have a salmon BLT if he went to Graul’s and got another piece of salmon.  He was quick to comply and took Samantha along for a ride in the convertible.  Embarrassing that we are so well known at Graul’s that when the lady working the seafood counter asked him if he wanted her to skin the fish, she pointed out that Samantha’s dad bought the fish with the skin.  He got his the same way and it all worked out fine.  We use our grill pan for this and the kids ate pizza but got a few pieces of bacon as a bonus.
Jack tried a little of the salmon and pronounced it delicious.  We decided the sandwich should be a BLAST (Bacon, Lettuce – Arugula, Salmon, Tomato or alternatively you could avocado for a Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Salmon, Tomato).
Per sandwich

  • 2 pieces of good bread toasted (I used Semolina Batard)
  • 4 oz salmon filet  seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 pieces cooked bacon
  • lettuce (I used arugula)
  • sliced tomato
  • mayonnaise

Cook bacon on a grill pan.   Pour off some of the grease leaving enough to cook the salmon.  Cook the salmon skin side up and finish skin side down (you’ll be able to pull the salmon off the skin when ready to serve.)   We find it helpful to cover the salmon with a pot lid to help it cook through.  Spread mayo on toast and top with salmon, tomato, lettuce and bacon (and avocado if you like).  We had ours with leftover gazpacho from the Tapas party.

The BLAST Sandwich

The BLAST Sandwich

Steak night

By today, I was exhausted.  Between all of the cooking last weekend, the trip to Dutch Wonderland, the beginning of first grade, the extended commute time, etc. I wanted something simple.  We went with steaks on the grill, some sauteed mushrooms and leftover potatoes roasted with garlic.  I marinated the steak in Worcestershire, sauteed the mushrooms with a little olive oil, butter and then some white wine and roasted the potatoes with garlic:

Roasted garlic potatoes

  • 6 small Yukon gold or  12 small fingerling potatoes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut in slices
  • 2 Tb olive oil

Scrub potatoes and toss in a bowl with remaining ingredients until all are well coated.  Preheat oven to 400.  Spread potatoes out in a ceramic baking dish and roast for 40 minutes, stirring once midway.

Meat and potatoes (and mushrooms)

Meat and potatoes (and mushrooms)

Summer dinner

I’ve been craving zucchini fritters and it’s been a while since I made them.  They go really well with crab cakes.

Zucchini fritters
  • 2 zucchini grated with a coarse grater
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • olive oil
Combine zucchini with garlic, scallions, Parmesan, eggs, lemon zest and flour.  Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Plop zucchini mixture into hot oil by tablespoons and cook 2 -3 minutes per side until crisp.  Remove to a plate covered in paper towels and serve hot.   We have discovered that these are even better with chipotle mayonnaise – easily made by blending mayonnaise with chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.  (NOTE: Leftovers keep well refrigerated and reheated in a hot oven.)

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.

Something old and something new

I am a big believer in eating what is seasonally appropriate.  In winter the crabmeat that is available comes from Venezuala and it is not the same as Maryland crabmeat.  It has a blueish tint and I don’t feel like it is the same thing.  This week Maryland crabmeat returned to our grocery store so I decided to celebrate with my tried and true crabcakes.  For something different, I combined them with my new brussels sprout recipe.

Maryland Crabcakes

  • 1 lb crabmeat, lump or jumbo lump
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp Paprika
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Panko
  • Wondra Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

In a bowl whisk together egg, Worcestershire, spices, mustard and mayo.  Stir in Panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle flour on a plate.  Form crab mixture into cakes and put on top of flour.  Sprinkle with more flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Heat a saute pan over medium heat.  Combine 1 TB Olive oil and 1 tsp butter.  Cook crabcakes 4 – 5 minutes per side until browned.  Serve.  (A leftover crabcake makes an awesome sandwich on toast the next day.)

Sauteed brussels sprouts

So now that I’ve been converted on brussels sprouts, I tried a different variation.  We are torn on which one is better.

  • 3/4 lb brussels sprouts, rinsed, trimmed and halved
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 oz pancetta, diced
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 TB white wine

In a heavy pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Saute pancetta until crisp and remove to a paper towel.  Add brussels sprouts to pan and saute about 5 minutes until browned.  Add chicken stock and simmer about 15 minutes until tender.  Put pancetta back in pan, pour in white wine to deglaze pan and cook over high heat for another 2 minutes and serve.

Something old and something new

Something old and something new

Catching up

Last night we had a friend over for dinner and I didn’t get a chance to update blog.  Tonight I’m catching up.  We fed him crabcakes, zucchini fritters and sliced tomato with Green Goddess dressing.  (I also made brownies and froze some for a neighborhood party on Sunday.)

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Zucchini fritters
  • 2 zucchini grated with a coarse grater
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • olive oil
Combine zucchini with garlic, scallions, Parmesan, eggs, lemon zest and flour.  Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Plop zucchini mixture into hot oil by tablespoons and cook 2 -3 minutes per side until crisp.  Remove to a plate covered in paper towels and serve hot.   We have discovered that these are even better with chipotle mayonnaise – easily made by blending mayonnaise with chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.  (NOTE: Leftovers keep well refrigerated and reheated in a hot oven.)

Green Goddess Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 2 TB scallion greens
  • 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (use this even if you think you don’t like anchovies)  🙂
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  I usually serve it on sliced tomatoes but it is also good as a dip for vegetables.
My husband had a neighborhood association meeting tonight and was late so I wanted something super quick – went with the tilapia and steamed broccoli option.

Tilapia with Butter Caper Sauce

Per Serving

  • 1 Tilapia filet
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp capers
  • 2 tsps olive oil

Combine flour with salt, pepper and paprika and dredge tilapia filets in flour.  Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium heat and swirl in olive oil.  Brown tilapia 3 – 4 minutes per side.  While cooking fish, in a small sauce pan, melt butter with capers.  When fish is cooked, spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Broccoli

  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 oz. parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli, 5-6 minutes or until tender.  Grate parmesan cheese over broccoli and serve.