Crab Cake Sliders

Crab Cakes with BLT topping.  Oh, Yum!

Crab Cakes with BLT topping. Oh, Yum!

I was feeling a little “Crabby” today, which is to say that I was in the mood for some crab cakes.   I love crab cakes, but most times when I’ve had them they contained chopped green or red peppers.  In my opinion,  the strong flavor of the pepper overwhelms the delicate flavor of the crabmeat, and so I’m disappointed.   Whenever I’ve tried to make crab cakes at home I’ve had difficulty in getting them to hold a “patty” shape , while dipping in crumbs and frying them.  Any that I’ve attempted fall apart before I’m finished with them.

So, OK, I gave up on making my own crab cakes.  UNTIL I found this recipe for Crab Cake Sliders.  While the idea of small sliders didn’t appeal to me, as in ” oh no, even smaller crab cakes to try to keep together”, there were aspects of this recipe that intrigued me and made me think that these just might be possible.  First, I liked the combination of seasonings that go into them, secondly, some of the buns are broken up and used as a binder with the crabmeat, and lastly, there’s no peppers and no  breading involved.   These are formed, set to chill in the refrigerator for some time, then broiled.  Finely they are enhanced by the addition of BACON, lettuce and sliced tomato.  A BLT on a crab cake—whoever thought this up is at genius level.   I wish I could take the credit, but sadly it goes to someone at Food Network Magazine.

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Because I wanted to serve these as a main meal, I decided to form the crabmeat mixture into patties sized to fit onto regular sandwich rolls.  I used my 1/2 cup measure to portion out the crabmeat onto the baking sheet, then flattened them slightly with a fork.  This technique gave me 5 patties, with a tiny bit left over to nibble on.  😀  I will definitely keep this recipe readily at hand for when I’m entertaining and want to make sliders.  The crab cakes held together better than any others that I’ve made, and the whole sandwich was filling and delicious.  As good as I imagined they would be.

CRAB CAKE SLIDERS

Yield:  Makes 15 sliders

Ingredients:

  • 18 mini potato buns
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

    All the ingredients.

    All the ingredients.

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 green onion, sliced, green part only
  • kosher salt
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through**
  • 10 strips bacon
  • finely grated lemon zest
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced tomato and lettuce leaves, for topping

**  I Use canned crab meat that I found in the seafood dept. of  my supermarket.  It was large pieces of lump crabmeat with no tendons or shell to pick over.  A pound of readily usable crabmeat–a bargain in my estimate.

1.  Prepare the crab cakes:  Tear 3 buns (or similar amount of bread) into small pieces to make about 3/4 cup; put into a medium bowl.  Whisk 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, the melted butter, egg, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, green onion, and salt in another small bowl.

Mayonnaise and seasonings mixture.

Mayonnaise and seasonings mixture.

Add the mayonnaise mixture to the bun pieces and stir to combine.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then gently fold in the crabmeat.

2.  Brush a baking sheet with some melted butter.  Tightly pack the crab mixture into 15 small patties and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.   Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

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3.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Arrange the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden and slightly crisp, about 20 minutes.  Transfer to paper towel-lined plate, reserving about 1 Tablespoon of the drippings.  Break each piece of bacon into thirds; set aside.  Combine the remaining 1/2 cup mayonnaise, the lemon zest, and the reserved bacon drippings in a bowl; season with salt an pepper.

4.  Preheat the broiler.  Arrange the remaining 15 buns cut side up on a baking sheet;  Brush with butter and broil until golden.  Transfer the crab cakes to the broiler and cook, rotating the pan as needed, until golden and warmed through, about 6 minutes.

5.  Spread the cut sides of the buns with some of the lemon mayonnaise.  Serve the crab cakes on the buns with tomatoes, lettuce and bacon.   SIGH!

Good beyond words.  :D

Good beyond words. 😀

I served these with my homemade refrigerator dill pickles and a green salad.    Fantastic meal!

SOURCE:   Food Network Magazine,  June 2013

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

Here in the Northeast where I live, grits are not a regular staple of our diet, but when I travel South I always make it a point of having some, because I have grown to like them as a breakfast item with a little syrup and butter on them.  Serving them as part of my main meal is new to me.  However, since I had visitors from North Carolina, I decided to try to cook them a “real Southern meal”, and I had come across this recipe for grits served with nicely seasoned shrimp in a gravy to spoon over them.  Let me tell you right at the start that this was a big success, so I am very happy that I was adventurous enough to try this recipe.

Shrimp in gravy in a serving bowl.

Shrimp in gravy

In the detailed recipe below, I caution you not to use quick or instant grits.  They become very bland, and the texture is suspiciously like cream of wheat cereal–in my mind this is not a good thing!!!   The grits you want to use are stone ground.  They have a lot of texture and that makes all the difference.   The other key to success is to season the shrimp liberally with Old Bay and hot sauce, so they are very spicy.  If this is a problem for anyone ( me, for instance),  go light on the hot sauce, and serve more on the side for those who want to add more.  Although this was my first time making this dish, I know for sure it won’t be the last.  My guests and Mr. D. really liked it, and so did I.

Although I haven’t done this yet, I plan to use up the left over grits for breakfast, rewarmed in a skillet with a little butter to crisp up the edges.  Then serve with a fried or poached egg on top and some nice smoky bacon. OOOOOW, can’t wait for breakfast.  😀

SHRIMP AND GRITS

Yield:   4 servings

Season the shrimp with Old Bay, lemon juice and hot sauce. (pretend you see it.)

Season the shrimp with Old Bay, lemon juice and hot sauce. (pretend you see it.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. raw medium-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 1/2  cups coarse ground corn grits (such as Bob’s Red Mill)  Note: do not use quick grits, they become too pasty.
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large, or 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • black pepper, to taste

    Ingredients for the grits.

    Ingredients for the grits.

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 can ( 14 oz.) creamed corn
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, combine shrimp, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, and a few shakes of hot sauce (to your taste).  Let sit for a few minutes while you start the grits.

2.  Bring the 6 cups salted water to a rolling boil.  Gradually stir in the grits making sure they are well incorporated.  Reduce heat to very low, and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent sticking.  When they are thickened, turn off heat, cover and keep warm.

3.  Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bacon and cook until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towel to drain.

Cook bacon pieces till crisp.

Cook bacon pieces till crisp.

4.  In the drippings in the skillet, cook chopped onion over medium heat.  When onions become soft, add minced garlic, and cook till softened, about 1 minute more.

5.  Add shrimp and all its seasonings and cook about 3 minutes, turning until all are pink.  Remove contents of skillet to a bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving behind any liquid.

6.  Make gravy:  Stir scallions and 2 Tbsp. flour into skillet, stirring to make a paste,

Add flour to pan drippiongs

Add flour to pan drippiongs

slowly add the chicken stock, 1/2 tsp. salt and a little black pepper.  Cook and stir until this is slightly thickened.

Add chicken broth, bacon and scallions.

Add chicken broth, bacon and scallions.

Add the shrimp and bacon pieces back into this mixture,  keep over low heat just to warm through.

7.  Finish grits:  Stir butter,  cheddar cheese and creamed corn into warm grits. Stir to incorporate.  Return to heat if they need to be rewarmed a bit.

Shrimp in gravy in a serving bowl.

Shrimp in gravy in a serving bowl.

This is how I served my grits.

This is how I served my grits.

I served my shrimp and grits with green beans and a salad.

I completed this meal with green beans and a salad.

To serve:  Pour grits onto a platter or individual bowls.  Top with shrimp mixture.  Serve with additional hot sauce on the side.

SOURCE:  Southern Living Magazine

Wasabi Salmon

As I have mentioned before, we eat salmon quite frequently, and so I am always open to different ways to prepare it.  This version of salmon was prepared for  me and my husband last summer by a family member whom we were visiting.  We thought it was delicious:  crispy around the edges, while remaining moist inside, and baked on a bed of vegetables that consisted of strips of multi-colored peppers and sliced onions.  Potatoes baked in the oven along with the fish, and a green salad made a complete meal with very little “hands-on” time.

I have cooked salmon this way several times since last summer and each time I vary the vegetables depending on what is available.  One vegetable I really like is fennel.  I think it is an under used vegetable.  It is delicious raw in salads with its faint anise flavor, but when it is cooked that flavor is not noticeable .  It is most like cooked celery, and blends very well with other vegetables, particularly onions.  When I made this dish most recently, I combined peppers with fennel and onions.  In an effort to save time and labor, I purchased a mixture of red, yellow and orange pepper strips from the grocery store salad bar.  This is a dish that goes together without a recipe, so there are no exact measurements. This is how I proceed;  adjust amounts to your taste.

INGREDIENTS

Serves  4

  • 1 fillet of salmon weighing between 1 – 1.5 pounds
  • Gold’s Wasabi Sauce with Ginger
  • seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • 2 cups pepper strips in assorted colors
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, stalks, fronds, and core removed;  thinly sliced.
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced.
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with baking spray.  I used a 7″ x 11″ pan, whatever your salmon will fit into.

Layer the peppers, onion and fennel in the baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Drizzle melted buyer over the top.

Lay the salmon fillet on top of the vegetables.  Sprinkle with seafood seasoning, about 1/2 teaspoon.  Then “frost” the salmon with the Wasabi Sauce so its pretty well covered.  Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, depends on thickness of  your salmon fillet.  Test at 45 minutes by piercing with the tip of a knife.  If fish flakes easily its done.  Vegetables should be tender.

A glass of crisp Chardonnay goes very well with this dish!

SOURCE:   A Carolyn Original