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.

Chipotle grilled chicken and zucchini fritters

We played golf today so I wanted a very easy dinner.  Fortunately I had chipotle marinade in the fridge and a zucchini from my very own garden for more zucchini fritters.  Here is the chipotle marinade – it is good on any protein.  We made extra chicken breasts for leftovers on Tuesday.

Chipotle marinade 

  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 TB tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 TB sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  NOTE: Marinade keeps well in refrigerator.  Keith sprayed the marinated chicken with Pam and then grilled about 3 minutes a side over direct heat and about 4 -5 minutes over indirect heat.  He then covered it with aluminum foil and let it rest while I made the zucchini fritters.

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.  Great with chipotle mayonnaise or green goddess dressing.

Awesome summer dinner

We had a little bit of the homemade ranch dressing yet.  It was so good as a marinade for the grilled chicken (and Samantha liked it) so I decided it would make a nice easy dinner when I got home from work (the chicken marinated all day.)  I’ve been craving zucchini fritters so I made some of those with chipotle mayo.  Since we’re trying to be a bit more restrained, I halved the fritter recipe.  Good thing – they are so good, it’s easier to stop eating them if they are gone!

Ranch dressing

  • 3 chopped scallions, white and green part
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil leaves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Combine scallions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Add mayo, yogurt and buttermilk and blend until well mixed.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  For chicken marinate boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the dressing.  Keith sprayed them with Pam before grilling (about 4 minutes a side on direct heat and then about 4 minutes on indirect.)

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.  Great with chipotle mayonnaise or green goddess dressing.
Awesome summer dinner!

Awesome summer dinner!

Tapas party

My husband is the captain of an Interclub tennis team and we usually host an end of season party for the team and spouses.  We have done this for a number of years and I’ve done varying things (last year I did the Chinese Chicken salad and sesame noodles, one year I did Fajitas, etc.)  This year they won the title for their league so I wanted it to be special.  In a moment of insanity, I decided to go with a tapas theme.  Tapas are fun because they are lots of little dishes.  Tapas is a lot of work because it is LOTS of little dishes.  I usually pride myself on planning things pretty well but I got a little carried away.  I’m not going to give you the full grocery list.  I am going to share the individual dishes with their ingredients and recipes in the event that you want to make some.  Trust me that if you want to make all of them you should plan on devoting an entire weekend to the effort.

Here is the menu with recipes following:

  • Marcona almonds, olives, bread and Spanish cheese (the easy part because you buy these)
  • scallops with Serrano ham
  • mushroom and shrimp tartlets
  • gazpacho (which gave me an excuse to get the cute single serving glasses I’ve been craving from Pier One)
  • zucchini fritters with chipotle mayonnaise
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • cherry tomatoes stuffed with black olives anc apers
  • patatas bravas
  • steak with garlic and sherry
  • Moroccan chicken kabobs
  • deviled eggs
  • oven baked vegetable tortilla

And a dessert platter with:

  • brownies
  • lemon iced gingersnap sandwiches
  • orange poundcake
  • iced sugar cookies (decorated to look like tennis balls)

Here are a couple of pictures:

Tapas party

Tapas party

Don't you love the centerpiece - trophy and tennis balls

Don’t you love the centerpiece – trophy and tennis balls

The dessert platter

The dessert platter

So I made:

Mushroom and shrimp tarts

Make the filling ahead adn fill the they will get soggy if you let them sit.

  • 1/4 lb chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1/4 cup champagne
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 5 cooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and chopped
  • 2 oz. grated cheddar cheese
  • croustades crispy shells
Saute mushrooms and garlic in butter over low heat for 15 minutes.  Add wine and bring to a boil.  Cook until almost dry.  Add cream and shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Fill shells with mixture and top with grated cheese.  Cook in oven at 375 for 2 – 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and serve.
Scallops with Serrano ham
  • scallops (I bought 30)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB minced parsley
  • 1/3 lb Serrano ham sliced thin
Combine lemon, garlic, olive oil and parsley and marinate scallops for 20 minutes.  Drain and skewer each scallop on a small skewer (I used bamboo ones that I soaked in water first).  Then skewer a 1/2 slice of scrunched ham.  Broil for 4 – 5 minutes or until scallops are done.  If I had made 60 of them I don’t think there would have been any left.

Gazpacho

  • 4 Cups Tomato Juice (If you want spicier soup, use V8)
  • 1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, minced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
  • 2 scallions minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 TB sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients.  Puree some or all as desired.  Chill and serve.

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.    (I made them ahead and reheated for about 10 minutes in a hot oven.)

Patatas Bravas

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp white wine finegar
  • 1 tsp crushed, dried chile pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add about 2 TB of olive oil.  Cook the onion until soft.  Add garlic and stir in.  Add wine and bring mixture to a boil.  Add tomatoes, vinegar, pepper and paprika and simmer uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Remove sauce and transfer to a blender.  Blend until smooth and return to pan.  Keep warm.

Cut potatoes into chunks (unpeeled).  Heat oil in a large skillet and cook poatotes over medium high heat until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.  Put potatoes in a dish and spoon sauce over potatoes.  Use toothpicks to spear the potatoes.

These are spicy and delicious.  This would make a good vegetable dish with chicken.

Chicken Kabobs

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup.  Pour over chicken and marinate 8 hours or overnight.  When ready to cook, drain and reserve marinade and thread chicken cubes on metal or wooden skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes first).  Grill or broil kabobs, turning regularly and brushing with reserved marinade (10 – 15 minutes or until chicken is done).  Serve hot.

Deviled eggs
Everyone loves these so plan on each person eating at least two.
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 cup 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.

Stuffed cherry tomatoes

  • 2 – 3 pints cherry tomatoes, pulp cut out
  • 10 – 12 pitted black olives
  • 2 TB capers
  • 1 package softened cream cheese

Combine olives and capers in a food processor (I used my little one) and mince.  Add cream cheese and combine.  Stuff tomatoes with filling and refrigerate until ready to serve.  These would also be good stuffed with crab salad or tuna salad.

Steak with garlic and sherry

  • 1 pound sirloin cubes
  • 4 – 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/3 cup good sherry

Combine steak and garlic and toss well with your hands.  Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to overnight.  When ready to cook, heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add oil and then steak.  Cook until desired doneness, then add sherry and cook 2-  3 minutes.  Serve with bread.

Oven baked veggie tortilla

  • 4 scallions, minced
  • 2 peppers (I used one red and one orange), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 potato, boiled, peeled and diced
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 oz shredded cheese (I used half Parmesan and half cheddar)

Preheat oven to 375.

Saute garlic, scallions and pepper in olive oil over medium heat until soft but not browned.  Cool and add potato.

Beat eggs and beat with sour cream.  Stir in cheese and vegetables.  Line a 7 x 10 baking dish with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.  Fill with egg mixture and bake 30 – 40 minutes or until set.  Remove from container and peel off foil.  Cut into squares and serve at room temperature with toothpicks.

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.

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.

Welcome home Daddy!

My husband has been out of town for work the last two nights so we welcomed him home tonight with crab cakes, zucchini fritters and sliced tomatoes from our garden.

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.  (NOTE: Leftovers keep well refrigerated and reheated in a hot oven.)