Sunday, December 27, 2009

Southern-Style Crab Cakes with Cool Lime Sauce

Dave and I are visiting the parentals in TN. Tonight we are having Crab Cakes for dinner. This is a recipe that my parents got from Kraft Foods. So I need to give props where props are due! The parentals say they are fantastic.

1 medium lime

1 cup Kraft Mayo Real Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Dressing, divided

1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix

2 Tbsp. Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard

2 cans (6 oz. each) crabmeat, drained, flaked

25 finely crushed Ritz Crackers, divided

2 Tbsp. chopped green onion

1/4 cup Breakstone's or Knudsen Sour Cream

Grate the peel and squeeze the juice from the lime. Mix half of the lime juice, 1/2 cup of the mayo, salad dressing mix and mustard in medium bowl until well blended. Add crabmeat, 1/2 cup of the cracker crumbs and onion; mix lightly. Shape into 18 (1/2-inch-thick) patties; coat with remaining cracker crumbs. Cook patties, in batches, in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides and heated through. Meanwhile, mix remaining 1/2 cup mayo, remaining lime juice, lime peel and sour cream until well blended. Serve with crab cakes.

Wild Mushroom Alfredo Sauce

Well, this sauce is anything but healthy but oh my word was it heavenly. We made this for our traditional Christmas dinner. It all started when my parents were with us about 5 years ago for Christmas. We spent Christmas making homemade raviolis. Each year since, we have continued the tradition. Every year we come up with a different ravioli and a different sauce to compliment the ravioli. This year, our ravioli was a ground turkey, spinach, mascarpone cheese, shitake mushroom and crimini mushrooms with parmesan cheese and as a compliment I made a wild mushroom alfredo sauce. Boy was it tasty. I hope you enjoy the sauce.

1 small pkg of crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 pkg dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted with boiling water (just enough to cover them)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

2 blocks of Parmigianino Reggiano cheese, shredded

¼ dry sherry

1 cup of milk

1 pint of whipping cream

In a deep pan, take 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and heat. Add the crimini mushrooms and begin sautéing about 3 – 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove about half of the water from the porcini mushroom and pour the remaining water and porcinis into pan with the crimini mushrooms. Add the garlic and the sherry. Sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to wilt. Add the stick of butter and the parsley. You do not want to add any of the dairy products until you are about 5 – 10 minutes away from serving the pasta/raviolis. It won’t take long for the dairy to heat up and melt and you don’t want it to scald. Turn the stove down to low/medium and add the milk to the mixture and all of the cheese and begin to stir constantly making sure the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Pour the entire pint of whipping cream into the mixture and just stir making sure it is heated all the way through. Serve over your raviolis or pasta.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Candied Walnuts

A friend of mine brought these into work and they were just yummy!!! I asked for the recipe and wanted to share it with all of you.

2 tbsp butter

1 lb (about 4.5 cups) Walnuts or Pecan Pieces (any unsalted raw nuts will work)

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

Course sea salt or kosher salt (1 or 2 tbsp)

Fresh ground black pepper (1/2 tsp)

Course raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Generously grease 15x20x1 baking pan. Mix together butter, nuts, sugar, corn syrup, salt and pepper. Spread in pan. Bake 25 minutes, stir 1 or 2 times. Toss to cool and transfer to foil. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar. Cool. Break apart. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature, will keep about two weeks. Freeze up to three months.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Marscapone and Gorgonzola

This was a recipe that Giada made on the Food network, however she made it with turkey sausage and did not use shallots. Since I did not have turkey sausage, I mixed things up a bit and made it my own recipe by adding shallots and panko bread crumbs. But with stuffed mushrooms you can pretty much make any type of mixture you would like and they will turn out yummy.

2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1/4 cup

12 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, minced

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme leaves

2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano leaves

3/4 cup panko crumbs

1 cup (4-ounces) Gorgonzola

1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra for seasoning

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the mascarpone cheese. Add the thyme, oregano, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of Gorgonzola, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Place the mushrooms on a large cookie sheet (I used a pie pan with a rim to prevent the juices from flowing over). Fill each mushroom with the sausage mixture and top with the remaining Gorgonzola. Return the mushrooms to the grill and cook until the stuffing is warmed through and the Gorgonzola starts to melt, about 25 – 30 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

Alternative: You can use turkey sausage, ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey. Just add different seasonings to spice it up, crushed red pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese, or gruyere, etc just to name a few

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hot Spinach and Artichoke dip

This has to be one of my favorite dips...I absolutely adore artichokes and could eat eat a whole jar by myself...yummmm. Here is a recipe, hope you all enjoy. This would be great with the homemade parmesan chips you made earlier ;o). Now of course since I am on a perpetual diet, I do low fat everything, but if you can't bring yourself to do that, use the regular.

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans artichoke hearts

1 tbsp crushed garlic
1/2-cup mayonnaise, low fat
1/2-cup cream cheese, low fat
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 2% skim
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese, 2% skim

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop in a food processor. Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a chafing dish and keep warm over a low flame. Serve with the parmesan tortilla chips.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Parmesan Tortilla Crisps

This is great if you want a bit of homemade when you are eating chips and salsa. If we have extra tortilla wraps in the house I will make up a batch of these and go crazy with the salsa.

1/4-cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
1/4-teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with aluminum foil. Whisk the oil, oregano, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until warm. Set aside for 15 minutes. Brush the oil mixture over both sides of the tortillas. Stack the tortillas and cut them into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide strips. Arrange the strips in a single layer over the baking sheets. Sprinkle the cheese and salt over the strips. Bake until the strips are golden brown and crisp, about 12 minutes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach

This was another recipe that turned out to be fantastic.

1 tbsp olive oil

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved

8 oz baby spinach

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, no salt added

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same pan, add the shallots and the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and the tomatoes. Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken back into the mixture and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve with brown rice.

Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes

Well, I am trying to get Dave to eat a bit better so I started looking for recipes that are on the lighter fare when it comes to fat and sodium. I found this recipe and tried it. It was very yummy. Hope you all enjoy.

2 tbsp olive oil

5 large cloves garlic, minced

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered

1/3 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp, artichoke hearts, wine, and lemon juice and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cream Cheese Danish

My mom sent me this recipe from a lady at her work. She says it is fantastic.

2 cans of crescent rolls

2 8 oz packages of cream cheese (softened)

1 cup of sugar


1 cup of powdered sugar

2 tbsp of milk

1 tsp of vanilla

Unroll one can of crescent roll onto a baking cookie sheet. Mix softened cream cheese and sugar till smooth then spread on crescent roll. Place other crescent roll on top of cream cheese mixture and brush with butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. For the topping mix the ingredients together and sprinkle over warm the Danish. You can also mix in cherries or blueberries instead of half of the cream cheese as an alternative. Instead of 2 packages of the cream cheese, replace one of the pkgs with a can of cherries or a can of blueberries.