Seafood

Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade

Oh crab cakes…how I both love and hate thee.  As I mentioned last week when I posted this shrimp recipe, it took me a while to eat crab.  I wanted to like crab cakes but each time I tried them, I couldn’t get past the fishiness.  Well, now I’m completely hooked and eat them pretty often so I officially love them.  What I hate about them is making them at home.  Does anyone else struggle with crab cakes like me?  It never fails, but my crab cakes always fall apart, no matter if I follow the recipe to a tee.  Argh!  Some of these Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade fell apart but they were awesome regardless.

Crab meat is made tasty with bell pepper, scallions, egg, panko, and mayonnaise before being cooked in a little bit of oil until golden and crispy.  A creamy remoulade of mayo is spiced up with cayenne pepper which is not only fantastic with these crab cakes, but also with anything else you want to add a little zing to.  Even though I expressed quite a few expletives as I made these crab cakes and vowed never to try to make them at home again, it all subsided once I took my first bite.  These crab cakes are light and full of flavor, thanks mostly to the scallions, and the spicy sauce is a perfect little addition. I’d love to make these again but I guess next time I’ll do some yoga, drink some tea, or meditate a bit before attempting to flip crab cakes again.

If you like this, also check out Crab Cakes with Spicy Mustard Sauce.

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To prepare crab cakes, drain crabmeat on several layers of paper towels. Combine crabmeat, bell pepper, and the next 4 ingredients (through egg), tossing gently. Stir in 1/4 cup panko. Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in a shallow dish.

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Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions. Shape 4 portions into 3/4-inch-thick patties; dredge in panko.

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Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add dredged patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with the remaining crab mixture, panko, and oil.

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To prepare rémoulade, combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and remaining ingredients; serve with crab cakes.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Capers
  • Tarragon

Substitutions:

  • Light mayonnaise

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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Citrus-Glazed Shrimp

You are witnessing my first attempt at ever making shrimp. As you may know, I’m not the biggest seafood fan. I’ve grown to love crab cakes and like some mild fish but I’ve been trying to like shrimp for a very, very long time. So far, I like the kind in restaurants that is batter dipped and fried (of course). But I’ve also had jumbo shrimp cocktail that I enjoyed also. So why is it that I’m struggling liking these little crustaceans any other time? I’ve been gathering shrimp recipes for a while now but could never pull the trigger at making them. Finally, I decided it was time to give these Citrus-Glazed Shrimp a try.

Uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp are mixed with garlic, lime, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper and sautéed until pink and cooked through. Fresh lime juice and butter are added creating a silky, citrusy glaze. The garlic and lime add a fresh tone to these shrimp and the chipotle gives them the slightest kick. These guys have tons of flavor and were a good start at me becoming more comfortable with shrimp. I have to admit that I didn’t eat all of these and still struggle with the texture of shrimp. But I think I’m getting there slowly but surely. If you like shrimp even a little, I bet you’ll love these.

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Combine shrimp, garlic, lime rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, chile powder, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl, tossing to coat shrimp.

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 3 minutes.

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Stir in lime juice and butter; cook 1 minute, tossing to coat.

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Remove from pan.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Cajun Hot Crab Dip

You know when you want to make a dish for a get-together and you don’t really have much time to get something made?  That’s when I turn to dips.  Whether you want a cold dip or a hot dip, they generally take the same amount of time to make (since cold dips need time in the fridge for the flavors to meld).  What’s especially great about dips is all the ingredients can usually be mixed together in one bowl and while it’s either chilling or baking, you can take care of whatever else needs to be done before the event.  This Cajun Hot Crab Dip is a warm, comforting dip which is perfect for any shindig.

Crab, shallots, garlic, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning and water are blended before being added to more crab, mayonnaise, cream cheese and lemon.  A crunchy topping of panko and chives (which I added later so it isn’t in the pics) gives this low-calorie dip a crunchy final coating.  Before buying Cajun seasoning, take a look online for homemade recipes because you might have everything you already need without adding another spice bottle in your cabinet.  Try this dip on baguette slices or with pita or pretzel chips.  One of my friends said this dip tastes like a crab cake so if you like crab cakes, you’ll probably like this.

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The ingredients:

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Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and coat pan with cooking spray.  Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

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Place 1 cup crab in a food processor.  Add the shallot mixture, 1/4 cup water, pepper sauce, and Cajun seasoning to crab; process until smooth.

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Spoon mixture into a large bowl, and stir in remaining crab, mayonnaise, cream cheese, red pepper, salt and pepper.

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Transfer the mixture to a 1-quart glass or ceramic casserole dish coated lightly with cooking spray.  Combine panko and chives in a small bowl; sprinkle over crab mixture.  Coat panko mixture with cooking spray. Bake at in a preheated 450°F oven for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving as this dip will be very hot.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Light mayonnaise

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Halibut Meunière

The first time I ate halibut was about five years ago in Las Vegas when my two girlfriends and I agreed to go to dinner with some guys from New York we knew who were in Vegas the same week. The restaurant of choice was a fancy high-end steakhouse in Mandalay Bay with a wall of wine and an expensive menu. As I sat down at our beautiful table, I nearly went into a panic when I looked at the menu. Not because of the prices but because of the choices. At the time, I’d recently begun eating chicken but the only chicken dish on the menu was a bone-in half-chicken, which wasn’t an option for me. I didn’t eat lobster or lamb or fois gras or bone marrow so I didn’t have many options. I was just about to settle on a sad dinner of two sides – green beans and mashed potatoes – when my friends encouraged me to try the halibut. “It’s not a fishy fish”, they said. Reluctantly, I tried it. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Since then, I haven’t had halibut much because it isn’t the cheapest fish in the ocean. So when I saw halibut was on sale at my grocery store, I was excited to make Halibut Meunière.

Fresh halibut is sprinkled with a little salt, pepper and flour and cooked in butter until opaque and flakey. A fragrant sauce of browned butter and lemon juice is drizzled over the top along with a dusting of fresh parsley which allows the fish to be perfectly and simply complimented. Considering one of my favorite dishes as a kid was frozen breaded fish sticks smothered in melted butter, bottled lemon juice and dried parsley, this dish is a significant upgrade. Since I’m pretty sure that the dish I ate in Vegas was 3 or 4 times what it costs to make this dish, I don’t feel guilty splurging a little bit once in a while to enjoy it. Sorry, chicken, but I’ll choose halibut over you anyday.

The ingredients:

Pat fish dry, and sprinkle both sides with black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with flour.

Melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fish to pan, and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully turn fish over; cook 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; set aside, and keep warm.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan, and cook 1 minute or until lightly browned, swirling pan to melt butter evenly and prevent burning. Remove pan from heat; stir in juice.

Drizzle juice mixture over fish. Sprinkle fish with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Crab Cakes with Spicy Mustard Sauce

I’ve never been a shell-fish person but once I started eating meat again after being a vegetarian, I kept trying crab cakes thinking I would learn to like them.  But I always found them too fishy.  Then three summers ago, I attended War By The Shore, an annual boiled-crab-versus-steamed-crab battle held by two friends (one from Mississippi, one from Maryland – see more details about the battle here) where a side crab cake battle took place.  Plates of crab cakes ended up on every table at every corner and I tried cake after cake.  After that fun-filled day three Junes ago, I officially became a crab cake person and now it’s something that I order often when I’m at a restaurant.  I’ve been tucking away different crab cake recipe and tossed away any fear I had of making my own in order to make these Crab Cakes with Spicy Mustard Sauce.

Crab meat is tossed with panko, red pepper, scallions, a little mayonnaise and eggs and shaped into patties before being dredged in a light layer of additional panko.  They are then fried in a pan with the teeniest bit of oil until golden brown and warmed through.  The sauce is both light and spicy and provides a nice creamy element to these crab cakes.  I used whole-wheat panko which worked out fine but I think regular would have turned out better.  I also think using two whole eggs instead of one egg and one egg white might have made the crab meat stay together better.  The pan gets really hot so I suggest keeping the heat closer to medium than medium-high.  Only about 2 or 3 of my finished crab cakes looked presentable because the rest either fell apart or I nearly burned them.  And I was so concerned about making sure my smoke alarm didn’t go off from all of the smoke from the pan that I didn’t get a picture of the cakes cooking.  Oh well, you get the gist.  Regardless, I ate every single one of these cakes for lunch and dinner over a couple of days.  I loved them.  They are light on the filler, just the way you want crab cakes to be.  I’m so glad I’m a crab cake fan now…but I’ve got a long way to go before I start handling crab legs!!

The ingredients:

Combine red pepper, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, scallions and eggs in a large bowl.

Add 1/3 cup panko and crab; toss gently.

Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Place remaining panko in a shallow dish. Gently dredge patties in panko.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half of the oil to the pan and add 4 crab cakes to pan.  Cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and crab cakes.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, Dijon, white wine vinegar and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Serve sauce with crab cakes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Whole-wheat panko
  • Light mayonnaise

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa

I know, I know, you can’t believe it.  I actually made an entree that isn’t chicken!  It took me a loooooooong time to start eating fish again despite the fact that I used to go fishing with my dad.  We ate fresh fish quite often, not to mention that mashed up fish sticks smothered in lemon-butter was one of my favorite meals.  Like, ever!  And although I’m sure I could probably scarf down a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish if I really wanted to, generally I can’t stand fishy-fish.  I’ve had a couple of mahi recipes tucked away that I haven’t had the nerve to make but after eating mahi mahi two (maybe three?) times in Florida over the weekend, I figured it was time to step up and get over my fear of cooking fish. 

This Grilled Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa seemed simple enough and luckily, I had all of the ingredients for the salsa already.  The fish is briefly soaked in a mixture of coconut milk and lime juice before being cooked in a grill pan (although I used a regular pan).  The salsa is filled with flavors of mango, cucumber, red pepper, ginger and jalapeño (the recipe calls for serrano) which taste super-yummy with the mahi mahi.  I’m no longer afraid to make fish at home anymore so this was a big step for me! 

The ingredients:

Combine coconut milk and lime juice in a shallow dish and add the fish.  Turn a few times to coat and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Meanwhile, chop the mango, red pepper, cucumber, cilantro, ginger, cilantro and jalapeño (and onion, if using) and place in bowl with remaining coconut milk and lime juice.

Remove fish from the marinade and season with salt and pepper.  Place in a grill pan heated over medium-high heat.  Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until fully cooked (mine took an extra 2 or 3 minutes).

Serve with mango salsa.

Additions:  None

Omissions: 

  • Red onion

Substitutions:

  • Jalapeno pepper

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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