Easy Crab Cakes

I made these crab cakes earlier today in preparation for our family’s Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes. My mother-in-law always hosts the meal but this year, I offered to bring a dish. Looking forward to celebrating this food themed holiday with my peeps; it’s my favorite kind of festivity! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Feeds 10 – 12 people, 2 crab cakes each

  • 4 cups oyster crackers
  • 1/2 cup cornichons
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 4 scallions, roughly chopped
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard (preferably with grains)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 pounds lump crabmeat
  • canola oil for frying
  • lemon wedges for serving

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Directions:

  1. Pulse oyster crackers into crumbs using a food processor. Transfer 2 cups to a large bowl, reserve the rest.
  2. Wipe out food processor and add cornichons, capers, scallion and tarragon. Pulse into small pieces. Next, add mayo, lemon juice, mustard and pepper and pulse until well mixed. This mixture is both your tartar sauce and your binding agent.
  3. Remove 1 cup of sauce from the food processor, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Add the remaining sauce to the bowl with the cracker crumbs. Fold in the eggs and the crabmeat. Mix until combined.
  4. Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a large frying-an over medium-high heat. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, form cakes from the crabmeat mixture and roll in the reserved cracker crumbs.
  5. Fry crab cakes in small batches taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook for approximately 3 – 4 minutes per side and then transfer to a paper towel lined plate for draining.
  6. Serve warm with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Notes:

  • Original recipe did not call for coating the cakes with additional cracker crumbs, but I think it helped give them a nice crunchy coating after frying.
  • These can be cooled and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 325 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

*Original recipe adapted from Nancy Fuller, foodnetwork.com

 

Lighten Up, Chicken Salad

After watching an episode of Rachel Ray in a doctor’s waiting room, I was inspired to create my own version of her Mediterranean Chicken Salad which uses Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise as the binding ingredient.  This chicken salad is light on calories but full on flavor; a few that might even surprise you!  Lighten up and go for it!

Ingredients:

  • 1, 3-4 lb rotisserie chicken, picked and cubed
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup green grapes, sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix using a rubber spatula.  Season with salt and pepper as desired!

Suggestions:

  • Add more yogurt if you like your chicken salad to be more moist.
  • Substitute red grapes for green grapes.
  • Try using pecans or even cashews, just remember to toast them first to release their natural oils and full flavors!
  • Spice it up a notch and add more sriracha!!

Lobster Sous Vide over Linguine with Tarragon Cream

I saw this recipe in a video a while back and I promised myself I’d give it a try… and then Sunday rolled around, a day when I usually have the time to try something new and voila! Lobster Sous Vide!?!  Make this dish ASAP, seriously, you’ll thank me!

Ingredients: Feeds 4-6 people

  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 springs each; tarragon, thyme, parsley (plus additional parley as garnish)
  • 4 lobster tails (6-8 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups light cream
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 lb linguine
  • grated Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Place the lobster tails in a one gallon freezer bag.  Add the melted butter, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and herbs.
  2. Place bag in a water bath at 140 degrees.  Seal the bag holding the lobster as it is submerged, forcing the air out.  Use a small, heavy lid to keep the bag containing the lobster submerged.  Cook for 60 minutes.
  3. Remove lobster from the bag, save the sauce.  Remove the meat from the tails, chop and set aside.  Save the shells!
  4. Sauté the shells in the olive oil with garlic and red pepper flake for 2 minutes.  Add the white wine and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Remove the shells and discard.
  5. Add light cream, vegetable stock, and sauce from the freezer bag and bring to a low boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Remove stems from herbs and then add the chopped lobster and stir until combined.
  6. Serve in a large bowl, garnish with grated Parmesan and parsley.

Comments: 

I used defrosted Caribbean Spiny Lobster tails that I got from my local fish market.  I think you could sub almost any shellfish or mollusk (like shrimp or scallops) but you will need to adjust the cook time; both shrimp and scallops should be opaque in color when cooked through.

*Adapted from Tasty