Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Crab Cakes with Creole Honey Mustard Sauce

6 slices white bread, crusts removed 2 eggs 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon dry mustardjavascript:void(0); 1 teaspoon Cajun spice mix, or see directions salt, to taste 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 1 pound crab meat, picked clean 4 green onions, minced 4 slices smoked bacon, cooked, crumbled 2 cups dried bread crumbs, for coating bowl vegetable oil, for frying Creole Honey Mustard Sauce: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 tablespoon green peppercorns, crushed 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 1 shallot, minced 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard 6 tablespoons mayonnaise 6 tablespoons sour cream 1 tablespoons honey Crabcakes: Tear up the bread slices and grind in a blender or food processor. Add eggs, cream, and lemon juice to form a heavy batter, then remove to a bowl and add all the remaining ingredients except the dried Crab cakes, oil and sauce. Form into small cakes about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Carefully coat them with the dried bCrab cakes Heat a large skillet or saute pan with 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium heat and fry some of the cakes until golden brown on both sides. Place in a 200F oven to keep warm. Repeat until all cakes are fried. Makes 24 cakes, serves 12 as an appetizer. Creole Honey Mustard Sauce: In a small non reactive saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and saute the peppercorns, pepper, and shallots for about 3 minutes or until the shallots are translucent. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Let cool. Add the remaining ingredients and check the seasoning. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Lentil and Smoked Ham Hock Soup With Sweet Potato Wontons

Recipe from Akihiro Moroto, Elmhurst, NY

•1 1/2 cups lentils
•4 ounces smoked ham hocks
•10 cups chicken stock
•1 1/4 cups chopped carrots, peeled, reserve peelings
•2 cups chopped leeks, white part only, reserve green parts
•1/2 cup finely chopped onions, in all, reserve onion peelings
•3 tablespoons chopped garlic, in all
•2 tablespoons fresh thyme, in all
•2 bay leaves, in all
•6 tablespoons olive oil, in all
•salt and black pepper, to taste
•1 cup Princella Cut Sweet Potatoes in Light Syrup
•5 ounces collard greens (use cleaned, frozen chopped greens if fresh are unavailable)
•1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
•1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•1 tablespoon cornstarch
•24 wonton skins
•1 egg, beaten
•4 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Cover the lentils with cold water and soak for 3 to 4 hours, reserve in the refrigerator. Prepare ham hock stock by placing the hocks and chicken stock into a 1-gallon soup pot. Add the green part of the leeks and peelings from the vegetables (onions and carrots) to add flavor, add thyme stems and 1 bay leaf. Simmer at medium low heat for 2 hours. Skim the stock of any impurities that rise to the top. The hocks should be fork tender; if not, allow the stock to simmer for a little longer. Take hocks out of pot and allow to cool. Strain the ham stock, using a fine strainer and reserve.

In a separate 1-gallon soup pot, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil at medium heat and sweat 1/4 cup of onions and 2 tablespoons of garlic. Add the chopped leeks, carrots, 1 tablespoon of thyme, and remaining bay leaf. This mixture should not have any color from the sweating process.

Drain soaked lentils, add the lentils into the soup pot, and stir the lentils and vegetable mixture just enough to mix evenly. Cover the lentils with ham hock stock and simmer at medium heat. Periodically skim the soup of impurities that may rise to the top and continue to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the lentils are completely tender. Add in the collard greens to cook until tender. Remove as much of the greens as possible after 10 minutes and reserve. Use a blender (hand-held or stand-up version) to puree the soup until it is smooth. Adjust seasoning of soup if necessary and keep warm.

Drain canned sweet potatoes and lightly rinse with cold water, chop into small cubes. Chop the previously cooked collard greens fine. Take the meat off of the ham hocks and chop fine. In a separate sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil at medium heat and sweat remaining onions and garlic, add dried red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Add the collard greens, yams, and ham hocks into the pan and lightly sauté. Season to taste and add the nutmeg. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

Place 24 wonton skins on a cutting board floured with cornstarch. Place 1/4 tablespoon of the potato mixture on the center of each wonton. Using a basting brush, lightly coat the edges of the wonton skins with egg wash. Fold the wonton neatly in half; use your fingers to lightly deflate any trapped air bubbles. Continue this process until all of the mixture or wontons are used.

Bring a gallon of water to boil and cook the wontons for 2 minutes. Use a skimmer to take them out. Pour 1 cup of soup into serving bowl, add 3 wontons and garnish with chopped chives.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lemon Cheesecake with a Graham Cracker Crust

2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 25 single crackers, crushed)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
3 8·ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Sour Cream Topping:
1 pint sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1.Combine cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press into bottom and up sides of an 11 to 12 inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool before adding filling.
2.Beat cream cheese with electric mixer at high speed until completely smooth.
3.Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
4.Continue to beat, gradually adding 11/3 cups sugar, then lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
5.Stir in lemon rind.
6.Pour into cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
7.Blend sour cream topping ingredients.
8.Remove cake from oven. Gently spread sour cream over top of cake. Return to oven and bake about 12 minutes.
9.Cool on rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until topping is cool but not completely chilled.
10.Make glaze by combining sugar and cornstarch, blending in water and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook 3 minutes. Chill until cool but not set.
11.Spread top of cheesecake with lemon glaze. Chill several hours or over­night. Can also be frozen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lasagna Chicken Florentine

1-1/2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 12 ounce cans evaporated skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
cooking spray
6 no boil lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3/4 cup preshredded reduced fat pizza blend cheese or cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450F. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir in salt and nutmeg; cook until thick, stirring constantly about 3 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; top with half of chicken and half of spinach. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper; top with 3/4 cup sauce. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Cover and bake at 450F for 25 minutes or until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbly. Uncover and top with cheese; bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Butternut Squash and Leek Soup

4 1/2 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large leeks, white and tender green parts, coarsely chopped
7 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried
5 cups chicken stock or unsalted canned broth
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped chives
8 slices of bacon, fried crisp, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape the squash from the skin. Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole, melt the butter over low heat. Add the leeks and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and browned, about 40 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in the stock and the squash. Simmer over moderate heat for 20 minutes. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pan and season with the salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 teaspoon chives and a sprinkling of the bacon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bat Wings

This is a Betty Crocker recipe

2 pounds chicken drumettes, about 24
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon red pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup Ranch Dressing

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan, 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1-inch with aluminum foil. Remove skin from chicken.

Mix honey, ketchup, pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce in resealable plastic bag. Add chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 15 minutes but no longer than 24 hours.

Place chicken in pan; sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until crisp and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Serve with Ranch Dressing.

NOTE - More and more kids today like spicy food, but for younger kids, you can decrease the amount of red pepper sauce and add a little more honey and ketchup.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Banana Crescents

1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 cup margarine, cut into pieces
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 extra-ripe, medium banana, peeled
2 to 3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Pulverize almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar in blender.
Beat margarine, almond mixture, remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, flour and salt until well blended.
Purée banana in blender; add to almond mixture and mix until well blended.
Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into logs, then shape into crescents. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack.
Melt chocolate in microwavable dish at MEDIUM (50% power) 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring once. Dip ends of cookies in chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.