Monday, April 25, 2005

Crab Cakes

This is a very easy crab cake recipe. It makes a big difference to buy fresh crab meat and not one from a can, there is definitely more flavor and you can taste the freshness.

1/3 cup bread crumbs (tear off small pieces of bread)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg white
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay TM seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
6 ounce fresh crabmeat, drained and flaked
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup oil for frying

In a bowl, toss together the 1/3 cup bread crumbs, green onions, and parsley. Mix in the egg white, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. Season with Old Bay seasoning, dry mustard, and onion powder. Fold crabmeat into the mixture. Form into 6 large cakes. Coat in the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet. Fry the cakes 5 minutes on each side, or until evenly brown. Drain on paper towels.

My signature Tiramisu

It took me about three times before I was successful with making this Tiramisu. The very first time, it came out watery and I had to throw it all out. I finally found a working recipe that I modified to my liking. It takes about 45 minutes to prepare and you must chill it for a few hours before eating. You must have a lot of patience to make this one.

7 yolks
1 cup sugar for yolks
3 cups or container mascarpone or tiramisu flavored marscarpone
4 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered gelatin
3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar for whites
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 1/2 cups cooled espresso or strong coffee
2 T kalhua
20 to 24 ladyfingers (2 packages of soft spongy ladyfingers)
1 cup chocolate shavings or cocoa powder

In a mixer with the whip attachment, whip yolks and sugar until thick and pale in color (ribbon stage). Add mascarpone and whip until well incorporated. Pour water into a small bowl then pour powdered gelatin over it. Do not stir. Allow gelatin to absorb all of the water (about 15 minutes) then place the bowl on top of a small saucepan containing simmering water (creating a double boiler). Stir slowly until melted and immediately turn off the heat and allow the gelatin to dissolve completely. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to a soft peak, gradually add sugar, then slowly pour in dissolved gelatin. Whip to a stiff, glossy peak. Fold whites into mascarpone and yolk mixture then fold in whipped cream.
In a separate bowl, combine coffee and kalhua, taste and adjust by soaking a ladyfinger. In an 8 by 10-inch pan, arrange ladyfingers close together in neat rows until the bottom of the pan is completely covered. Drizzle the coffee mixture over the ladyfingers until well covered but not soaked, unless you like soggy tiramisu. Pour 1/2 of the mousse over the ladyfingers and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chocolate shavings or cocoa powder over mousse. Create another layer and chill until set. The very last layer, shake the pan with the cocoa powder on top covering all the mousse evenly. Refrigerate.

I'm curious if anyone tries this recipe to see if it came out well. This recipe doesn't always translate well unless you try it a few times. Let me know how it turns out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Carrot Cake

This one I made for Easter. It didn't come out as moist as I anticipated. Try using a little less flour.

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Notes: Since I'm allergic to pecans, I didn't add any in the cake and substituted crushed almonds instead. The frosting is excellent.

Frozen Chocolate Bananas

I just made this one last week.

Unsalted Peanuts
Chocolate Chips

I crushed unsalted peanuts by putting them in a zip loc bag and using a hammer. Or if you can just buy crushed peanuts it saves time but its kinda fun to smash peanuts with a hammer. Peel about 6 bananas and put them on skewers. In a pan on low heat melt chocolate of choice, i used semi-sweet chocolate chips. Keep stirring or the chocolate will get fluffy. Once all the chocolate is melted, turn off the heat and dip them in the pan. Roll them in the crushed peanuts and wrap them in plastic wrap and immediately freeze them. They should be ready to eat in 15 minutes.

My secret pasta sauce

The secret to my pasta sauce is brown sugar. I like my pasta sauce sweet.

Heat oil, add minced garlic to hot. Add the ground beef and toss oregano, basil, salt, pepper into the meat. Drain the oil. Add a regular can or bottle of plain pasta sauce. After 10 minutes, add about 3T of brown sugar. Taste to adjust.

Easy Chicken Satay

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed

In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, curry powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours, overnight is best.
Preheat a grill to high heat.
Weave the chicken onto skewers, then grill for 5 minutes per side.

Hints: If you don't like spicy or curry flavor like me, I omit both ingredients. Also, make sure you don't slice the chicken too thin or else it may come out dry.

Slice some cucumbers on the side to dip into the sauce.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Avocado Dip

I was never a big fan of guacamole but ever since I moved out here, the avocados are really good. Here is one that I just made, good for entertaining.

2 avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 dash ground black pepper

Mash it all together and chill for 30 minutes.

The best salmon recipe ever!!!!!!!!!!

Salmon is supposed to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood cholestrol. Here is a recipe that comes out perfect every single time. I make it at least once/week.

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
lemon pepper to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Marinate this for about 3 hours or overnight. Then pop it in the small conventional oven and broil for about 8 minutes on each side. It comes out really juicy and tender, never dry.