Monday, December 27, 2010

Crab Quiche

Tonight, I made our first quiche.  I had a bunch of left over eggs from Christmas baking, and I decided to try something new to use them.  Sadly, I do not have a picture (even though I got a new camera for Christmas) because it went so fast.  I used this Southern Living recipe as a guide and made a couple of my own changes.  I can't wait to make some more!!!  I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!


Here's what I did...

Crab Quiche
Ingredients
2 cans lump crab meat, drained and chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of 6 Cheese Blend
3 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tablespoon lemon peel (dried)
1/8 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 frozen pie crust
Olive oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.  Saute green onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium high heat for two minutes.  Add crabmeat, Old Bay, lemon peel, and cayenne pepper for two minutes.  

Whisk eggs and half and half together in a large bowl.  Add crab mixture and cheese to the bowl and mix together.  Pour mixture into pie crust and bake for 40 minutes in the oven.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

When I went home for Christmas, my stepsister made this really yummy dip for us to munch on before dinner.  It was so good that I had to share it here.  We made a little change to it by baking some extra mozzarella cheese on top of it.  I could've just had it for dinner!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Ingredients
8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of ranch dressing
1/2 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (with an additional 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top)
2 cans of chicken breast (drained)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix all ingredients except for the extra 1/4 cup of cheese in a large baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on top.  Return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes.  

Serve with tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Salmon with Dijon Dill Sauce

I'm sure that I've shared it hear many times before that I'm a huge dill fan.  I had some salmon in the freezer that I wanted to use, and I was thinking about doing something with dill since it has been a while since we have had it.  While searching on myrecipes.com, I found one for salmon with potatoes and dill which would also use up some potatoes that we needed to use.  Rick wasn't excited over the recipe so I decided to use it as an inspiration.  We baked two potatoes (for 1 hour at 400F), and I made a Dijon Dill Sauce.  Rick isn't a huge salmon fan, but he liked this recipe (always a plus!).  I did, however, overcook it (forgot to set the timer...oops).  Here's what we did...

Salmon with a Dijon Dill Sauce
Ingredients
  • 4  6-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 1/2 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1  small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 2  tablespoons  roughly chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnishing
  • black pepper
  • salt
Directions
Preheat oven to 400F (if serving with baked potatoes, start the salmon when the potatoes have 10 minutes left).

Combine shallot, Dijon mustard, sour cream, dill, and horseradish in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper as desired.  Chill in the refrigerator.

Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon on a baking sheet and roast in the oven 10 minutes or until opaque (depending on the thickness of the salmon).

Top with sauce and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chopped Salad with Raspberry Vinegarette Dressing

Yesterday evening, my allergies were totally bothering me, and I was not feeling like cooking dinner.  A funny thing happened, though...I went to Publix and encountered their surprisingly delicious Apron Simple Meals sample.  What got me was the chopped salad.  I had most of the ingredients at home and I did a little substituting (Rick hates blue cheese) and came up with this healthy addition to our steak and potatoes night!

Chopped Salad with Raspberry Vinegarette Dressing
Ingredients
1 romaine lettuce heart, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cabbage (I used it from a cole slaw bag)
2 green onions slicesd,
Crumbled Goat Cheese
1/4 cup flavored, sliced almonds
Fat Free Raspberry Walnut Vinegarette

Directions
Place all ingredients (except dressing) in a bowl.  Toss with desired amount of dressing and serve.

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Swiss Chicken Casserole

It is finally, finally, finally getting cooler here in the Lowcountry, and I am happy to report that I have broken out the crock pot for the first time in forever.  I've been dying to use it for a couple of weeks now.  Recently, I downloaded an app on to my iPhone that has just crock pot recipes, and I've been browsing it for something new to make.  Rick and I have been feeling a little burned out on the food we've been eating lately, and this recipe was totally different than our regular fare.  We served it with our favorite green beans on the side. 

I took the original recipe and made some changes (of course!).  It smells like Thanksgiving as it cooks.  My biggest complaints about it is how much sodium it has.  That's the problem with using canned soup, and I think that the next time that I make it I may go with using the lower sodium version of the soup.

Here's what I did


Swiss Chicken Casserole
Ingredients
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
6 slices of Swiss cheese
1 can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic Condensed Soup
1 box of Stove Top Savory Herb Stuffing
1/4 cup low fat milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Cooking spray


Directions
Spray crock pot with cooking spray.  Place chicken breasts on the bottom of the crock pot.  Top chicken with cheese slices.  Mix milk and soup in a bowl together, and then spoon over cheese.  Next, add the stuffing on top of the soup mixture and drizzle melted butter over it.  Cook on low for 8 hours.


Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

This week's meals

When I first started blogging, it was easy to keep the blog active because I was adding recipes as soon as I cooked them, but honestly, we don't do that many new and exciting things every week. In order to keep my blog active, I've decided to reflect back on what I've had at the end of the week.  This way, I can also "re-share" some favorites that you might have otherwise missed.  Here are the highlights of the week.


On Sunday (10/17), we had NY Strips with baked potatoes.  Ya gotta enjoy the end of grilling season while you still can!  So yeah, unlike the recipe I linked to, we were outside. 


On Monday, it was old school spaghetti night!!!  What more can I say?  I baked it this time, and we ate it for lunch all week!!!

On Tuesday, we had crab legs cooked with Old Bay and dipped in my favorite HT Crab Sauce!  If you have a HT near you, you gotta check it out.  We had some leftover potatoes from Sunday (baked a couple of small ones then) as the side.

Tonight, we are going to get takeout because we've both had a rough day and neither has the energy to do anything else.  I'm looking forward to a quiet night on the couch.  I wonder if I'll make it to 10:00 tonight before I fall asleep.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Seared Pork Chops with Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

To go with the Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp, we went with pork chops (they were on sale at Publix!).  I found this recipe on myrecipes.com which seemed like a winner to me because it not only had the chipotle peppers, but it was also paired with green beans.  You know what that meant!  Oh yeah, we made our favorite green beans, too!  The pork chops turned out really good, but we weren't that impressed with the sauce.  The pork chops had our favorite, favorite steak seasoning on them, so how could we go wrong??? (Other than overcooking them of course!)  I felt like sauce needed something else.  If we make it again, I think I'd try adding a couple of cloves of garlic.  Here's what we did...

Seared Pork Chops with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
Ingredients
  • 4 pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 2  teaspoons  25%-less-sodium Montreal steak seasoning (such as McCormick Grill Mates)
  • 1  cup  bottled roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1  chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 2  tablespoons water
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Directions
Sprinkle pork evenly with steak seasoning. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. . Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes. Turn pork over; cook 3 minutes.

While pork cooks, place bell peppers and next 3 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.

When pork has finished cooking, place around 2 tablespoons of sauce on a plate and then top with the pork chops.  Serve with the green beans!
Enjoy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with a Chipotle Ranch Sauce

Last night, Rick and I had planned on grilling out, but instead, we decided to stay indoors.  It's starting to get darker earlier and a wee bit cooler, too.  I wanted to do something with some shrimp that I needed to use, and I was also leaning towards doing something with the canned chipotle peppers that I've had in pantry for a while.  After browsing foodnetwork.com and myrecipes.com, I decided to wrap my shrimp with bacon and broil them.  For the dipping sauce, I wanted to make something similar to the chipotle ranch sauce that they have Longhorn.  Man, I miss that stuff.  By combining ranch dressing, light sour cream, and a little bit of the chipotle peppers, I made an awesome sauce!  Rick loved it, and I can see us having this one again!  By using a pound of shrimp and a whole package of bacon, we had enough to enjoy tonight, too!  Here's what we did...

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with a Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce
Ingredients
1 pound 21-25 count shrimp, peel and deveined
1 package of low sodium bacon
5 Bamboo skewers
1/4 cup lite sour cream
1 cup ranch dressing
1 1/2 tablespoons diced chipotle peppers from a can with adobo

Directions
Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. While the skewers are soaking, combine the sour cream, ranch dressing, and chipotle peppers in a bowl and mix.  Cover and refrigerate until time to serve.

Preheat broiler (or grill if grilling).  Take the bacon and cut all the pieces in half.  Cook the bacon in a large pan until halfway cooked.  Wrap the bacon around the middle of each shrimp and skewer.  Place 5 shrimp on each skewer. 

Broil (on a foil lined baking sheet) or grill for 5 minutes per side until shrimp is done.  Serve with sauce and enjoy!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Comfort Food

I had a rough week.  It definitely had some high points like going to dinner with the Peds Rheum Family (well, at least that's how I like to think of them!) on Thursday night at Blossom downtown.  Yep, I drug Rick downtown after work for dinner.  It's a miracle that either one of us made it back over the Bridge, but it was for a good cause.  Dinner was delicious (of course).  I had the shrimp and grits as my entree, and at the urging of Dr. Silver, Rick and I split the most delicious dessert I have ever had that wasn't chocolate.  We had red velvet bread pudding!  Words cannot describe how wonderful it was.  I was totally stuffed, but I still managed to eat almost half of it!  Definitely a perfect comfort food.  I would KILL for that recipe!  

In my own kitchen, I made one of my favorite comfort food dishes after a rather stressful day at work on Tuesday.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to make for dinner that night or even if I really wanted to cook.  Rick had suggested pizza, but I wasn't in the mood for that either.  After searching the local grocery store fliers, I realized that sea scallops were on sale, and I immediately thought of one of my favorite comfort food recipes from epicurious.com for Sea Scallops with Mashed Potatoes.  The original recipe calls for tarragon, and I'm not a huge tarragon fan.  In the past, I've subbed rosemary, but Rick's not a big rosemary fan.  This time around, I decided to add garlic to the sauce to give it a little something extra.  As always, it was delicious!!!


Here's what I did....


Sea Scallops with Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds Yukon potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick), room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (or more) low fat milk
  • 12 sea scallops, side muscles trimmed
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions
Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water.  Add salt and bring to water to a boil over high heat.  Boil until the potato pieces break easily when pierced with a fork.  Drain water.  Add 1/2 stick of butter and milk to the potatoes in the pot and whip using a hand mixer.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.  Before serving the scallops, heat over medium heat (you may need to add more milk if they start to dry out).

Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in a large pan/skillet over medium high heat.  Add scallops to the pan.  Sauté until just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate; tent with foil. Reserve juices in skillet.   

Place garlic and shallots in small saucepan. After garlic starts to brown, add wine and simmer over medium heat until reduced to glaze, about 3 minutes. Stir in half and half and simmer 1 minute. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/2 stick butter. Stir in reserved pan juices.

Divide potatoes into 4 bowls, top with 4 scallops, and then drizzle sauce over the scallops.

Enjoy!



    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Super Easy Grilled Shrimp

    Rick and I decided to grill out last night (yum steaks!!) and for an easy starter, I decided to grill some shrimp that I had in the refrigerator that I was afraid were about to go bad.  This recipe was inspired by this one from Food Network's Barefoot Contessa.  I made some changes based on what ingredients that I had on hand in my kitchen.

    Here's what I did...

    Super Easy Grilled Shrimp
    Ingredients
    • 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
    • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
    • 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
    • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • Juice of one lime
    • Bamboo skewers
    Directions
    Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

    Mix all of the ingredients (minus the skewers) in a bowl and marinate the shrimp for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator.  Skewer the shrimp on the bamboo skewers.  Heat the grill to medium heat and grill the shrimp for around 1 minute per side.  Grilling time depends on the size of the shrimp (larger ones may require a little more time).

    Enjoy!

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Adventures in Baking...Inservice Cupcakes!

    At work tomorrow, we have an inservice in the CTRC for one of our new studies.  Something that they do in adult rheumatology (where I came from) that I am continuing to do in peds rheumatology is to bring food to the inservice.  Not only is it a treat for the CTRC staff, but it also gives me an excuse to try out new recipes!  Last time, I made a savory snack, but this time, I thought I'd make one of the yummy treats from this Taste of Home booklet/magazine that I got over the summer.  I had thought about making the cupcakes that were on the cover, but I wanted to do something a wee bit similar since I needed to tweak my slides for the inservice a bit this afternoon.  I came up this recipe as an adaption of one for peanut butter cupcakes that was in the booklet/magazine.  I really liked the recipe, but I wasn't feeling the peanut butter frosting.  I decided that instead, I would mix a like Nutella in with the vanilla frosting.  It was the perfect way to use the end of the Nutella that I had in the pantry!

    The Hidden Surprise in the Middle!

    Here's what I did...

    Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting....aka Inservice Cupcakes
    Ingredients
    1 box of white cake mix with instant pudding (will require vegetable oil and eggs)
    18 miniature Reese Peanut Butter Cups
    1 can of vanilla frosting
    Nutella

    Directions
    Preheat oven to 350F.
    Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions.  Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each paper-lined muffin cup.  Place a peanut butter cup in each and then fill 2/3 full with the remaining batter.
    Bake int he oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

    In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of frosting with 1/3 cup of Nutella until smooth.  Frost cupcakes.

    Enjoy!

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Rick's B Day dinner

    Yesterday was Rick's birthday, and for dinner, I decided to do pork chops.  Rick is a bigger pork chop fan than I am which may explain why we don't have them that often.  Publix had them on sale which also helped with the decision.  I got the ones that had the bone were about an inch thick.  Even though it's a week night, we decided to grill them.  Thanks to my handy-dandy grilling app on my iPhone, they turned out perfectly.  I swear that is the best $1.99 I've spent in my life!!  Everything turns out so much better than if I'm guesstimating how long to grill things.  

    Anyway, for their preparation, I marinaded them in low sodium Teriyaki sauce for about an hour.  I also marinaded a chopped green pepper, zucchini, and half of a sweet onion in the sauce (in another container of course).  Normally, I would make the marinade myself, but it was a week night which means less time.  It was starting to get dark (dern you shorter days!) when we made it out to the grill, but they turned out great!  In order to keep them from drying out (my huge fear when it comes to cooking pork), I basted the pork with the sauce that was in the bottom of the veggie bowl.

    I was a bad girlfriend, though because I opted for one of those store bought cookies that I wrote "Happy Birthday, Rick" on instead of baking anything, but we all know that I'm not a baker and again, it was a week night!!!  We're gonna be heading to Awendaw to See Wee for dinner this weekend, too.  Yum!!!!

    Saturday, September 04, 2010

    Saturday Salsa Fresca

    Those that know me well know that I disdain uncooked tomatoes.  It's something about that smushy, mushy core with the seeds that just kills me.  I don't mind them cooked, and I love them in salsa.  I've never successfully made salsa fresca. I haven't tried in a while, and my last attempt was way too chunky.  I have a food processor now (of course, I've had it for quite a few years now...yes, it's been that long since I made salsa) which should take care of the chunky problem.  I modeled my salsa after my favorite salsa fresca in the world which is found at Carrburritos in Carrboro, NC.  Mine had a few changes (I used lime instead of lemon because I had one here).  I decided to give making salsa another try as a way of using some of the jalapenos that my dad gave me last weekend.  I liked the end product though I think that next time I will use a sweet onion instead of a red onion because it was a wee bit onion-y.  Rick really liked the lime in it, and I agree.  It just adds something that is often missing from most store bought varieties.  A big improvement over my last salsa adventure!

    Before

    Here's what I did...

    Salsa Fresca
    Ingredients
    5 tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
    1/2 onion, chopped
    2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
    2 large cloves of garlic, minced
    1/4 cup cilantro leaves
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Juice of 1 lime (or lemon)

    Directions
    Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend together.  Refrigerate and serve.  


    Enjoy!

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    Introducing....Our Lowcountry Kitchen

    After a some thought and some playing around with blog design (well, sort of), I am proud to unleash Our Lowcountry Kitchen upon the blogworld!  While I liked my old name, I decided that it was time for a change.  I hope that you like it, too.  I found the pic for our button (coming soon!) and headliner on the web somewhere, and I'd like to give props to whoever did it because it is beautiful and perfect for my blog.  Someday in the future, I'm probably going to have a professional create a design for me, but until then, here we are! 


    It may be a few days before I post any new recipes.  Sometimes, life happens, you know?  Last week, I traveled back up to NC for a funeral, and today I had a root canal so it's been a rough week or so for me.  College football starts this week and fall is right around the corner!  I'm looking forward to the lower humidity but not the shorter days.


    Thanks for stopping by!!!

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Grilled Chicken with Spicy Brazilian Tomato and Coconut Sauce

    When I was in North Carolina over the weekend, my dad gave me some fresh jalapenos from his garden.  As soon as I got settled yesterday, I started searching the internet for something to make with them!  I knew that I wanted to make salsa, but I also wanted to make something else.  I had some chicken breasts in the refrigerator that I needed to use so I narrowed my search a wee bit more.  I came across this recipe, and it looked like the perfect recipe for me to make for Rick and I for dinner.  Rick didn't come with me to NC because he has some work to do at home, and I was so happy to see him when he came over last night.  I'm hoping that I can talk him into coming up with me at some point this fall so that we can enjoy the cool weather and see the leaves in the mountains.

    The recipe kinda reminded me of one of my favorite dishes, Brazilian Shrimp Stew, but when it was all put together, it didn't have that wow factor that the stew did. Rick and I agreed that it wasn't that exciting. I do have to say that I liked it better when I had it as leftovers, though.  We served it with rice. The jalapenos weren't that hot so I think that next time, I'd use more.  Here's what we did...

    Grilled Chicken with Spicy Brazilian Tomato and Coconut Sauce
    Ingredients
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 packages of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    • 1 teaspoon  salt
    • Fresh-ground black pepper
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
    • 1 1/4  cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
    • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
    • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    Directions
    In a baking dish, combine 3 tablespoons of oil with 3 cloves minced garlic. Coat the chicken with half of the garlic oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. 

    Heat grill to moderately high temperature (we use gas), and cook the chicken for about 20 minutes until it is cooked thoroughly (turning around 4 times while cooking).  Place the chicken on a plate a cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

    In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Add garlic, jalapenos, and ginger and cook for another 1 minute. Next, add tomatoes, coconut milk, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in cilantro.  Serve the sauce over rice and the chicken.

    Enjoy!

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Spicy Tartar(heel) Sauce

    I decided to have a "cheat" day from my good eating, and Rick and I had some fried flounder last night.  He likes to cut the fish into nuggets so we did that.  I breaded them with the awesome House Autry breading.  It makes for perfect fried seafood whether it be fish or shrimp.  Rick did the frying because he's better at it than I am.  I'm way too impatient to get them all as crispy and golden brown the way that he likes it.  While he was cooking, I made a tartar sauce to go with the flounder.  I used a recipe from epicurious.com for a Cajun tartar sauce, made some changes, and cut it in half.  Sadly, I forgot to put it up when I went to bed last night (our cole slaw met the same fate, too :( ).  The tartar sauce turned out really well!  I'll definitely do it again!  Here's what I did...

    Cajun Tartar Sauce
    Ingredients 
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
    1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped
    Juice of half a lemon
    1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
    2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (I used Emeril's Bayou Blast)

    Directions
    Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator (covered) before serving.
    Enjoy!

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Baked Pasta with Meat Sauce

    Earlier today, I was browsing the Cooking Light recipes on myrecipes.com in search of something that wouldn't be too bad for me and would utilize something that was on sale at Publix this week.  I came across this recipe, and I decided to give it a go...with some alterations of course!  The tomato sauce that they have got mixed reviews, and it called for wine.  Usually, I'd be all about the wine, but I'm doing a 15 Day Challenge with a friend of mine from work which means no booze for me for 15 days!  Instead, I made my Old School Spaghetti Sauce.  This time around, I added a 1 teaspoon of dried basil (out of fresh) and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper to the sauce.  For my pasta, instead of using rigatoni, I went with whole wheat penne since they didn't have whole wheat rigatoni.  I was good and didn't go all crazy with the cheese either!  I liked that the recipe mixed the cheese in the pasta as well as had some on top of it.  I normally don't do that and overkill it with the cheese on top.  I also made sure to have a 1 cup serving size as to keep the calories under control, too.  It turned out to be the perfect size, too. 

    Here's what I did...


    Ingredients
    2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta
    1 1/2 cup part skim milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

    Directions
    Preheat the oven to 350F.
    While cooking the Old School Spaghetti Sauce, heat water for the pasta (I season my water with garlic powder and salt).  Add the pasta when the water is boiling and cook it for 7 minutes even thought the box says 9 minutes.  You want to undercook it because it will continue to cook while it is baking.  Combine the sauce, the pasta, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with the remaining cheeses. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until it is cooked thoroughly.

    Serving size = 1 cup!

    Enjoy!

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Bacon- Wrapped Shrimp with Basil-Garlic Stuffing

    Rain, rain, go away!!!  It's basically rained all weekend.  I've found myself trapped in my car three times as I have oh-so-patiently waited for the rain to slow down a bit so that I could dash to wherever my destination was.  The last time happened this afternoon when I was on my way to Publix.  When I left the house, it was dark, but by the time I made it to Publix, it was pouring!  I sat in the car and then moved it to a closer spot so that I could run inside to get some ingredients for the app that I wanted to do for dinner tonight.  Rick and I were planning to grill out, but it turned into steaks in the oven on a cast iron skillet.  We did some baked potatoes, too.  Publix had their large shrimp on sale which I thought would be a perfect starter that I found on myrecipes.comThis recipe was originally found in Coastal Living magazine.  I adapted it with one of the suggestions from the reviewers and mixed light cream cheese (my goat cheese had mold :( ) with Parmesan cheese for the stuffing.  I did 10 shrimp since there is just the two of us. The recipe called for a fruit-based BBQ sauce, and when I saw the Sweet Baby Ray's Raspberry Chipotle one, I knew that was the one for us! 

    The shrimp turned out to be a perfect appetizer to hold us over while our potatoes baked and before we did the steaks.  We probably could've done just 3 each because the large shrimp were filling.  Definitely a keeper!

    Here's what I did...

    Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Basil-Garlic Stuffing
    Ingredients
    10 large pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
    10 pieces of bacon (cutting 1/4 of each slice off)
    1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
    1 tablespoon light cream cheese
    1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
    1 clove of garlic, minced
     Sweet Baby Ray's Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

    Directions
    Preheat oven to 400F.
    Mix cheese, basil, and garlic together in a bowl.

    Cut slit deeper into the shrimp (but not totally through). Stuff cheese in the slit and press closed.

    Cook bacon over medium heat until partially cooked. Drain on paper towels.

    Wrap one slice of bacon around the each shrimp.  Place shrimp on a greased baking sheet.  Brush the shrimp with the BBQ sauce.  Bake in the oven for 9 minutes.  

    Enjoy!!!

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Bay scallops and linguine in a wine sauce

    Tonight, I did something that I haven't done in a long time:  I just threw something together and hoped for the best.  Harris Teeter had bay scallops on sale, and I was inspired by the mussel dish that I had a Sette last Friday night to make a wine sauce.  I dug out some of the crab stock that I had in the freezer to use (you can substitute clam juice if you don't have any stock handy).  Last night, Rick had wanted us to cook something, but honestly, I wasn't in the mood.  I was tired and cranky, but it's amazing what a difference a day can make!  I was totally in the mood to cook tonight and actually be somewhat creative.  I warned Rick that I was pulling it out of you-know-where, but luckily, it was a winner!  We enjoyed it with some Texas Toast which was perfect for dipping in the sauce and also topped it with some shaved Parmesan cheese.  YUM!!!!


    Here's what I did...



    Scallops with a Wine Sauce
    Ingredients
    1/2 box of whole wheat linguine
    1 pound bay scallops
    1/3 cup basil, chopped
    1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 can of diced tomatoes (no salt added type, do not drain)
    2 tablespoon butter
    1/2 cup white wine
    1/2 cup crab stock
    1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    Salt and pepper

    Directions
    Cook pasta per directions on the box.

    Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and scallops to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 3 minutes.  Remove scallops with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.  Cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm.  Add onions, basil, and tomatoes to the skillet.  Season with red crushed pepper as desired.  Increase heat to medium-high and simmer for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken.  Add stock, wine, and butter, and season with additional salt (I used about 1-2 teaspoons of salt) and pepper.  Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  

    Plate linguine and top with seafood sauce.  (It should serve 4).

    Enjoy!

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    Grilled Salmon with a Mustard-Horseradish Sauce

    Back in June, the cover of Food and Wine had this yummy looking grilled salmon, and ever since then, I've wanted to make it.  Harris Teeter had salmon on sale earlier this week so I picked up a pound fillet and decided to give it a whirl.  I've never done any glazes on the grill, and in the end, I did overcook it a bit (but you know me, if it isn't twitching, it's overcooked).  Rick stayed at home tonight so that he could pack for his weekend at his parents' house which left me, the salmon, the grill, and some Project Runway.  The recipe for the salmon is on the Food and Wine website

    For the side, I decided to make a simple cucumber salad (which was one cucumber peeled and deseeded with my trusty melon baller; 1/4 of a sweet onion thinly, thinly, thinly sliced; dill; cider vinegar; salt; pepper; and a little sugar) to go with the salmon.  For something that I just threw together, it turned out really well! I love it when that happens.  
    I did have one panic moment during my meal prep. I was getting everything together, and I realized that I didn't have any prepared horseradish!  The bottle that I thought that I had was a Rick's place.  Luckily, the new Harris Teeter is so close!  I was able to grab some (and a bottle of wine happened to jump in my hands on the way to the seafood counter where I found the horseradish) and be home before dark!

    The final result was really good even though the glaze didn't turn out as well for me as it did for magazine cover, but it was still delicious.  I added a little dill to the salmon when I was adding the salt and pepper prior to grilling.  I definitely want to make the sandwich that was in the magazine for Rick and I, too!  I had a realization about this meal just now...I think that this is first thing that I've made without garlic in forever!
    Here's what I did.

    Grilled Salmon with a Mustard-Horseradish Sauce
    Ingredients
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
    1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained 
    2 tablespoons honey 
    1 pound salmon fillet, cut into 3 pieces
    Salt and fresh ground pepper
    Dill (either dried or fresh)
    Extra virgin olive oil

    Directions
    In bowl, mix mustard, horseradish, and honey together.  

    Rub extra virgin olive oil on both sides of the salmon.  Season the top of the salmon with salt, pepper, and dill.  

    Grill the salmon over moderate heat, skinned side down, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill for 3 minutes longer, until the salmon is almost cooked through.  Flip salmon and spread some of the mustard sauce over the fish.  Turn and grill until glazed (about 30 seconds).  Remove from grill and serve with remaining mustard sauce on the side.

    Enjoy!

    Monday, August 02, 2010

    Pasta with a Corn Pesto

    I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I'm taking my desire to try all kinds of cool things with corn a little too far.  Up until now, things have turned out pretty dern, yummy, but this week, I've hit a so-so dish.  I'm not sure what I could do to make it better (maybe less pine nuts?), but we weren't thrilled with this dish.  Really makes you wonder why I'm sharing it, huh?  I guess the need to blog or something.  It wasn't that bad, but then again, it wasn't great either.  I think that the work-of-making-your-own-pesto to results ratio is just not in this dish's favor.  Oh well!  We did serve it with grilled chicken that I coated with dijon mustard which turned out pretty good (minus the small piece that I overcooked).  Anyway, here's the recipe from epicurious.com, and here's what I did!

    Pasta with a Corn Pesto
    Ingredients
    8 oz whole grain pasta (we used linguine)
    4 cups corn (either fresh or canned...I used 2 cans of no salt added sweet corn)
    5 slices of low sodium bacon
    3 cloves of garlic, minced
    3/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely torn
    1/3 extra virgin olive oil
    1/3 toasted pine nuts
    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 sweet onion, chopped

    Directions
    Cool bacon in a non-stick skillet.  Place on a plate covered with a paper towel to drain grease.  Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and saute the onions in it.  Remove the onions and add them to the plate with the bacon.   

    Add corn, garlic, salt, and  pepper to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn kernels to small bowl and reserve. Scrape remaining corn mixture into processor. Add 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup fresh basil and pine nuts.  Add olive oil and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set pesto aside.

    Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency (I used about 1/2 cup).  Mix in onions, bacon and remaining basil and corn.  Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. 

    Enjoy!




  • 1 large garlic clove, minced







  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt







  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper







  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving







  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted







  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil







  • 8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine







  • 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided








  • 1 large garlic clove, minced







  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt







  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper







  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving







  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted







  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil







  • 8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine







  • 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided





  • Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Pan-Seared Tilapia with Chile Lime Butter

    For my birthday dinner, I really wanted to cook something new.  I know that it sounds funny to say that because most people want to go out on their birthdays (and trust me, we are going out this weekend to one of my favorite restaurants, The Boathouse on Isle of Palms.  Rick had a training today so I was searching the internet and sending him recipes for us to try.  When I found this one on epicurious.com, I found the winner!  I decided, too, that I wanted to do some sort of app to go with it so I opted to dig out a shrimp recipe that I'd made a while back for Thai Night for Shrimp Rolls.  I accidentally took the tails off of them this time around so that they were more like spring rolls or egg rolls.  We liked 'em better that way actually!   Rick has decided that these need to be added to our favorite list!

    The tilapia turned out really good though I did put too much lime juice in the butter (I wasn't paying attention and added the juice from two limes....in the recipe, I opted to write in less).  I didn't have a shallot so I subbed a We had them with our favorite green beans with almonds as the side.  Here's what I did...

    Pan-Seared Tilapia with Chile Lime Butter
    Ingredients
    For chile lime butter
    • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
    •  Juice from 1 lime
    • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
    • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
    For fish
    • 2 pieces skinless tilapia fillets (1 per person)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons oil (I have recently started using Smart Balance oil unless I'm using extra virgin olive oil)
    • 1 egg
    • Panko bread crumbs
    Directions
    For the lime butter
    Stir together all ingredients in a bowl.

    For fish:
    Beat egg in a small bowl and coat fish with it.  Next, add bread crumbs to a plate and then coat fish evenly.  Place on another plate.  Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and add fish.  Saute fish until golden and turn once.  Remove from skillet and plate.  Add a dollop of butter to fish and serve.

    Enjoy!

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Grilled Salmon with Roasted Corn Relish

    For the past few weeks, I've actually been working out and trying to do something about the weight that I've put on since I went to nursing school.  Last week, I told Rick that we were going on a diet, and he wasn't too thrilled.  He told me that diets never worked, but I'm not talking about some fad diet.  I'm talking about eating better.  One of the good things about living in the Lowcountry is that the warm weather allows us to grill for more months than some of my more Northern friends.  Unfortunately, though, we are now entering what I like to call the "Oppressively Hot" time of the year.  It starts around my birthday (which is next week, btw) and goes until some time toward the end of August.  Luckily, the evenings aren't so bad which makes it a little bit easier to eat healthier!

    For dinner last night, I was browsing the Cooking Light recipes on myrecipes.com when I came across this recipe.  Ever since I made that chicken with corn salsa, I'm a sucker for anything with a corn salsa or relish or whatever the recipe wants to call the corn goodness on top! I actually used the chicken with corn salsa recipe to help me out a bit because I didn't have the Anaheim peppers like the original recipe called for (and I also decided to add a minced garlic clove, too...I can't help it!!!). I did end up using the leftover relish on chicken tonight (it makes a lot!), and it was quite yummy!!  

    Here's what I did...

    Grilled Salmon with Roasted Corn Relish
    Ingredients 
    1 tablespoon, seeded jalapenos, chopped
    Butter
    3  shucked ears corn
    1 can diced tomato, drained
    1/4  cup chopped fresh cilantro
    Juice from 2 limes
    1 clove of garlic, minced
    1  teaspoon  salt, divided
    1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
    1  teaspoon  ground cumin
    1 pound skinless salmon fillets

    Directions
    Butter corn.  Place corn on grill rack (I used a grill basket that I use for all the veggies that we do all our veggies on) ; grill  until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Cool and cut kernels from cobs.

    Combine jalapenos, corn, garlic, tomato, cilantro, and juice; toss gently. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

    Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cumin, stirring well. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of salmon. Place salmon on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with relish.

    Enjoy!

      Saturday, July 10, 2010

      Crab Cakes with a Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

      Harris Teeter had crab legs on sale last week so I grabbed a big ole frozen bag.  I've turned into a sucker for crab cakes, and I like experimenting with different toppings and cake recipes.  Since I was out of eggs this weekend (and not feeling like going to the grocery store), I opted to use light mayo only for the cakes.  I came across this recipe on myrecipes.com, and I was immediately interested in the red pepper aioli.  It was the perfect way to get rid of the end of a jar of roasted red peppers that I had in my refrigerator.  The aioli turned out delicious (and it goes well with Triscuits, too!), but I wasn't that impressed with the crab cakes.  I opted to bake them instead of frying, and I really think that, sadly, frying does make them taste better.  I'm trying to eat a little better these days (not that a mayo aioli and crab cakes are all that fabulous for you), and I'm hoping that making small changes like baking instead of frying will start to snowball into larger ones for us.  I'll spare you the sub-par crab cake recipe (I would recommend using this one here) be definitely share the aioli one!

      Here's what we did....


      Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
      Ingredients
      1/3 cup drained roasted red pepper
      1 large clove garlic, minced
      1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced
      2 teaspoons lemon juice
      1/2 cup light mayonnaise


      Directions
      Add the first 4 ingredients to a food processor and process until just a little chunky.  In a medium bowl, mix the mayo and the red pepper mixture.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.


      Enjoy!

      Tuesday, July 06, 2010

      Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime, and Goat Cheese

      On the 4th, Rick and I decided to grill some shrimp on his new grill as an appetizer.  I found this recipe tucked away in my epicurious.com recipe box, and I thought that it would be perfect to help use up the cilantro and lime that we had leftover.  Since Rick's not a huge feta fan, I opted to follow the suggestion of one of the recipe reviewers who recommeded using goat cheese instead.  I also used 3 shallots as I totally forgot to pick up an onion at the new Harris Teeter.

      After all was said and done, we had wished that we had made some pasta to go with it because it was just begging for it!  Instead, we just snacked and paired it with some garlic bread (for dipping if you are me!).  Turns out that it was enough of a meal for both us, though!  Very yummy! 

      Here's what we did...

      Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime, and Goat Cheese
      Ingredients
      3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
      1/2 cup cilantro
      Juice of 1 lime
      4 cloves garlic, pressed
      3 shallots, chopped (can use any type of onion)
      1/4 cup white wine
      2 1/2 tablespoons goat cheese

      Directions
      Mix oil, garlic, lime, and 1/4 cup of cilantro in a large bowl.  Add shrimp and shallots; toss to coat.  Refrigerate and chill for 30 minutes.

      Preheat grill to medium and spoon shrimp and shallots into a grill pan.  Cook for about 3 minutes per side for the shrimp (until pink). 
      On the stove, bring the remain liquid to a boil with 1/4 cup white wine.  Mix in cheese and remaining cilantro.  Remove from heat and then mix in shrimp and shallots.

      Serve with crusty bread for dipping or over pasta.

      Enjoy!

      Sunday, July 04, 2010

      Steak fajitas!

      I like to think of this meal as my first iPhone dinner since I used my new iPhone and the epicurious.com app to make the grocery list and cook it at Rick's new place.  One of the things that I've been looking forward to when I finally got an iPhone was this app!  As I'm sure is obvious, I'm a huge fan of epicurious.com, and I've been admiring the app on their website for quite some time now!  If anyone out there was any other awesome cooking related (or not) app suggestions, please send them my way!  I'm looking forward to playing...umm, using my iPhone for a long time to come!

      Okay, so back to the meal.  Sadly, Rick and I haven't been cooking anything new recently or at all really.  With the holiday weekend, we decided that we going to change that.  We've been spending more time at his new place, and last weekend, he bought one of those tabletop gas grills at Lowes.  It's really cool and allows us to be able to grill on his back porch (one of the things that I love about his place).  While he was running some errands yesterday afternoon, I decided to check out the epicurious.com page for some ideas for dinner, and I came across this one.  I thought that it sounded yummy, and what better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with some Mexican!  LOL!  Based on the reviews on epicurious, I decided to marinate the steak for a few hours while we were at the pool.  I also added cumin to the lime juice marinade.  Being that we were cooking at Rick's place, I had to stock up on a couple of kitchen necessities to take over there including salt and pepper grinders and a juicer when I went to the new Harris Teeter to get steak.  I ended up getting the pre-cut fajita steak instead of doing the cutting myself.  We used 0.62 pounds which made a little bit more than enough for two (perfect for snacking on later).  The fajitas turned out great!  Using balsamic vinegar with those ingredients wasn't something that I would have thought to do but the onion (and green pepper) were a perfect compliment to the meat.  Given the small amount of meat that we used, I think that going with one onion and one green pepper and a whole pound of steak would be perfect for 4 servings which is what I'm recommending in my recipe here.  I look forward to making this one again!

      Here's what we did...

      Steak Fajitas with Lime and Cilantro
      Ingredients
      1 lb steak (I used the pre-cut fajita steak from the grocery store)
      1 sweet onion, peeled and cut into wedges
      1 green pepper, cut into strips
      1cup chopped cilantro leaves
      Juice of one lime
      2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
      2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      2 teaspoons cumin
      2 teaspoons salt and 
      2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
      Small torillas
      Salsa of your choice
      Sour cream (if desired)
      Shredded cheddar cheese (if desired)

      Directions
      In a shallow dish, mix steak with lime juice, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 cup cilantro.  Cover and place in the refirgerator to marinate for 1-2 hours.

      In another bowl, mix onions and green pepper with 1/2 tablespoon oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1-2 hours

      Marinating time for both can be as short as 30 minutes if you do not have the full 1-2 hours.

      Heat grill to medium heat.  Place the onion and pepper in a grill basket and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove the onions from the grill basket and place in a bowl.  Place steak in the grill basket and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove steak and add to the bowl with the onions.  Stir steak, veggies, and remaining cilantro together in the bowl. 

      Toast tortillas on the grill for about 1 minute.

      Serve steak, veggies, salsa, and cheese and sour cream (if desired) in wrapped tortillas.
      Enjoy!

      Saturday, June 26, 2010

      Katie's Spicy (game)Cocktail Sauce

      Rick bought a tabletop gas grill for his new place, and tonight, we are going to be watching the Gamecocks play some baseball against their rivals the Clemson Tigers for a chance to go to the College World Series Championship games.  Rick's excited that his team is doing well and of course about the new grill.  I decided to get some local shrimp from Sammy's Seafood (a little stand up Hwy 41 from where we live) to throw on the grill as an appetizer to go with our steaks and veggies.  For the sauce to go with the shrimp, I decided to make some cocktail sauce.  I used a recipe from myrecipes.com as a guide, and here's what I came up with.  It's a little bit on the spicy side so it's definitely not kid friendly.  I was really unsure how it was going to turn out so I brought over some McCormick's in case it was yucky.  We didn't need it! 

      Here's what we did...

      Spicy (game)Cocktail Sauce
      Ingredients
      1 cup ketchup
      1/4 cup garlic chili sauce
      1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
      Juice of one lemon
      1 tablespoon sugar
      1/4 cup horseradish

      Directions
      Mix all ingredients together and chill for about 1-2 hours.  Serve with grilled (or boiled) shrimp.

      Enjoy!

      Tuesday, June 15, 2010

      Misses, Lots of Misses

      Today when I was riding the CARTA express hom from work, it dawned on me that I hadn't blog in over a week.  It's not that I haven't been cooking because I have.  Okay, I haven't as much as normal.  I blame the hot weather for that (or at least that's what someone near and dear to me said this week).  The other problem is that I've had a week of MISSES and FAILS this week.  Here are the top three highlights...

      1.  In an attempt to get rid of the okra, I thought that doing a gumbo-pasta creation would be an excellent idea.  Think onions and okra and tomatoes and garlic and shrimp and bacon....yummmmmm!  WRONG!  It was bland (despite the amount of Creole seasoning I dumped in it) and not that good. I have no idea what I could've done differently.  It smelled pretty dern good when it was cooking, but the final result was lacking.  For the first time in a while, I actually threw it out.  I figured that I could either throw it out that night or wait at least a week until it was a science project and sacrificing a tupperware container with it.

      2.  On Friday night, I thought that I'd look all cute and wear heels.  I used to wear heels all the time, but since I walk a lot more than I used to at work, I wear flats.  So anyway, I'm wearing a cute dress and one of my favorite pair of heels.  I'm feeling good about mysel, and then BOOM!  I fell.  Gotta love hypermobile joints!  My right knee got all scraped up. I've been tempted to tell people that I fell rollerblading (in fact a couple people asked if that was what I did), but I've sucked it up and been honest.

      3.  I went to buy steak tonight, and I wasn't paying attention to what I was buying, and I ended up with Sirloin Tri-Tip.  When I got it home, I had no idea about the cut so I had to google it...lol.  Apparently, it's one step above roast.  FAIL.  Luckily, Rick isn't coming over this evening so if I have yet another miserable meal, I'm on my own.  I'm marinating it as I speak so we'll see.  I mixed together McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning (that stuff could make a piece of poo taste good so there is hope!); low sodium soy sauce; 1 clove of garlic, pressed; some extra virgin olive oil; and a little bit of red wine.

      Anyone else out there having a failure-ific week?

      Sunday, June 06, 2010

      Open Crab Cake Sandwiches with a Pickled Okra Relish

      During my search for something to do with my bounty of okra, I came across this recipe on myrecipes.com.  I thought that it would be a nice jumping off point for our meal on Sunday night.  I wanted to do something a little more than just a crab cake, and serving it as an open-faced sandwich sounded like a cool idea.

      To say that this meal was labor-intensive was an understatement, I got started about an hour and half before my expected ETA for dinner.  Rick didn't come over because he has been busy unpacking and settling in his new place, but my friend, Kelly (of all of the wonderful Kelly Creation posts), came over to join me.  Granted, I was taking my sweet Sunday time this Sunday evening, but I doubt it would be something that I would ever do during the week. Using crab meat from crab legs instead of lump meat from a container or can (like the guy at Publix tried to talk me into getting) definitely added the time, but both Kelly and I agreed that it was amazing. Besides, using lump crab meat not only is more expensive (Publix has snow crab legs on sale this week), but it also takes all the fun out of it!

      The crab cakes and relish could definitely stand alone without the open sandwich part. I gotta admit that I did the open sandwich so that I wouldn't have to make a real side dish:  We enjoyed it with some reduced fat Pringles (gotta love coupons!) with it, though.  I had to tell Rick how great it was, and I can't wait to make it for him.  I think it will definitely make our Top Ten.
      Here's what I did...

      Open Crab Cake Sandwiches with Pickled Okra Relish
      Ingredients for Relish
      • 3  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
      • 1  ear fresh corn
      • 1/2 of a medium-size red onion, minced
      • 10  pickled okra pods, thinly sliced
      •  1 clove garlic minced
      • 1/2 can of diced tomatoes (no salt added type)
      • 2 1/2  tablespoons  rice wine vinegar
      • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
      • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
      • 2  tablespoon  chopped fresh cilantro
       Ingredients for Crab Cakes
      • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
      • 2  tablespoon  minced fresh chives
      • 1  large egg, lightly beaten
      • 1 1/2  tablespoons light mayonnaise
      • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
      • 1  pound  fresh crabmeat
      • 1/2  cup panko (plus a little extra for a plate to coat the crab cakes)
      • 1/4  cup extra virgin olive oil
      To Make 'Em Open Face Sandwiches
      • 2 English muffins
      • Romaine Lettuce
      • 1 tablespoon light mayo per muffin half
      • extra virgin olive oil
      Directions for relish
      Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small plate and brush over corn,
      Broil corn 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes or until edges of corn kernels begin to brown (about 5 minutes and then turn); cool. Cut corn from cob.
      Combine corn, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining ingredients; toss gently.

      Directions for crab cakes
      Stir together first 6 ingredients; add crabmeat, and toss gently. Stir in breadcrumbs. Cover and chill mixture 30 minutes. Shape into 4 patties.
      Cook crab cakes in hot oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for  4to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

      For the sandwiches
      Brush each half of the English muffins with extra virgin olive oil and toast in a toaster oven.

      Place 1 tablespoon of light mayo on each English muffin half and the top with a piece of lettuce.  Top with a crab cake and then with relish.

      Enjoy!

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