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September 13, 2009

Small Bites-- Mini Crab Cakes

Well, we are finally done with salads and are moving on to "small bites".
Each participant has chosen an ingredient and we all get to make something with it, and post our recipes and photos.

Crab was easy for me. We get lovely fresh blue crab here, although I was surprised that the crab at my fish mongers (Southern Seafoods) actually came from Alabama this week. I have made plenty of crabcakes in my time but these were, I'm happy to say, among the best! A little tweek of the old recipe really worked.

Here's my recipe:

Small Bites—Crab Cakes—9-12-09

1 pound lumb crab (didn't use jumbo--too $$$)
3 scallions minced
1 tablespoon chopped parlsey
2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tsp whole grain mustard
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp lemon juice

panko crumbs
olive oil for frying

Sauce:

½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tsp ketchup
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ tsp paprika

To make the crab cakes, I combined everything but the crab, first, them gently folded it into the mayo mix.
I made about 12 small cakes (about 1/4 cup each but I just eyeballed it). Set the little cakes on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours--more is fine.
When you are ready to pan fry them, heat up olive oil, just a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet, to a strong medium heat. Pan fry for about 3 minutes each side until they are nice and brown. (I used my cast iron skillet to get a nice crust but they didn't all fit in a 10")

For the sauce, just mix everything together. Use as dipping sauce or thin with a little water and use as salad dressing.

You can serve these as is, with the sauce, for little apps.
What we did, was put them over a salad.

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Coat each one is panko, seasoned with S&P.

We drank a Farrari Carrano Fume Blanc with the salad, some grilled yellow squash and a little fettunta made with ciabatta bread.

September 20, 2009

small bites-- Sun Dried Tomatoes

I have been experimenting all summ with sun dried tomato pesto, after using it in a fish recipe from Andrew Carmellini's "Urban Italian" cookbook. It is a totally versitile condiment. I love to simply toss ith with pasta, of course but you can also use it for a topping for a soft cheese for an appetizer.
One time I mixed about a tablespoon full with some goat cheese and used it as a spread for crackers. It's great on turkey burgers instead of ketchup, too.

After trying almonds and walnuts, I've decided I like the toasted pine nuts the best.

Here's my favorite combination of ingredients:

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

1 clove garlic
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup fresh basil leaves packed
6 oz. Sun dried tomatoes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup half & half
1 cup finely grated (on a microplane) romano cheese

With food processor running, drop in garlic clove—process until finely minced.
Add the rest of ingredients except cheese. Process until it’s a red paste.

Add cheese and about ½ cup pasta water, when you toss with with pasta.

No picture--use your imagination. It's a beautiful deep red paste.

October 18, 2009

Small Bites--Goat cheese

I took the easy route for goat cheese. The best thing is that we can buy, at New Leaf Market, the fabulous, luxurious, fresh and tasty goat cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy in nearby Thomasville Georgia. All I did was buy a ready made pizza crust (like Boboli) and spread the goat cheese on it-- then baked it like it says on the back of the package. After it was warm, I put a bunch of arugala on top, cut it into appropriately bite sized pieces and there you go. Here's an appetizer even Rachel Ray would love:

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Small Bites--Pecans

Pecans are a big deal here in the South. They grow all over Tallahassee; our friends the Watkins have a beautiful grove of pecan trees on their land in Monticello. These, I bought at the Farmers market, yesterday.

This recipe is a slight variation on an Ina Garten one that my friend Cecelia often makes with cashews. I decided to mix the nuts half and half. I used about 2 cups each of cashews and pecans.

Savory Smokey Nuts

Roast the nuts in a shallow baking dish at 375 for about 12 minutes--until they just begin to take on a little color.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine:

1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Toss the hot nuts with the above mixture.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Watch out! They are totally addictive.

November 8, 2009

Small Bites--Mushrooms

I was excited to get back to the Small Bites routine this week, after missing the two previous "challenges".
My idea was to make something like Sedish Meatballs, using mushrooms. Upside--they were really tasty. Downside --they looked awful, but so do Swedish Meatballs. Another problem was they were so difficult to handle to form. They worked as little patties--think sliders without a bun. Well here's the recipe:

Mushroom Balls/sliders

1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

2 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
1 egg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup flour
additional olive oil for frying

Heat the olive oil and butter until foam subsides. Add onion and cook on medium heat a few minutes, add garlic for one more minute and then the mushrooms and thyme. Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally for about 12 minutes—until no more liquid is in the pan. Set aside to cool to room temp.

Chop onion and garlic in food processor.
Add the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients and pulse several times, scraping down the sides a few times, until mushrooms are finely chopped.
Form small balls (like Swedish meatball size). They’re very delicate so just do your best. Roll them in the flour and fry in a nonstick pan, over medium heat for about 3 minutes a side. They turned into little “slider” shapes so I had 2 sides to fry.

Throw some chopped fresh parsley on top and serve immediately.

Makes about 16.

They're very light and I didn't mind the lack of sauce, at all. Each one is about 2 bites.

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What can be done to make them prettier?

November 15, 2009

Small Bites--Ginger

The ingredient for this week is ginger, a spice that's near and dear to my heart. Way back in the good ole days, I did an Ayervedic ginger cure for my asthma. I had to puree ginger root with a minimum of water and drink it like a shot, twice a day. It felt like a shot a Tequila going down, nice and warm.

For this recipe, I made roasted cauliflower.
I cut up one head of cauliflower and made this "rub" to toss it with.

Ginger Roasted Cauliflower

preheat oven to 425°

2Tablspoons roasted peanut oil
1" piece of ginger root, sliced.
1 large clove of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blend those all in a small food processor. Toss with cauliflower pieces.
Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper to make for easy clean up.
Roast at 425° for about 20 minutes or until desired tenderness.

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For a "small bite" you could use toothpicks. We just ate it as a veggie for dinner. You can also use the spice mixture as a rub for chicken.

I love ginger!

November 22, 2009

Small Bites--Cranberrries

About 4 months ago we all chose an ingredient for our Slow Travel Small Bites cooking/blogging group. I looked at the date for my pick and thought of cranberries. Turned out, it was a challenging choice for lots of us, especially for an appetizer type dish.
From the very beginning, I was thinking chutney and, in the end, that's what I did.


Cranberry Chutney

4 cups cranberries
1/2 plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water

Toss the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Then:

1 small onion, chopped
1” piece of ginger
3 cloves garlic
1-2 dried chilies
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise

3 tablespoons canola oil

Process the ginger and garlic together to make almost a paste.

Saute the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes, then add the ginger and garlic paste and cook about 5 more minutes at a very low heat.
Add the spices and cook, stirring until fragrant—1 or 2 minutes more.
Add the cranberry mixture. Bring to a boil. Let it cook for about 5 minutes until almost all of the cranberries are popped. Simmer for about 20 minutes more. Let cool in the pan. Remove the anise, cinnamon and chilies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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I was lucky enough to get beautiful organic cranberries from the Cape Cod area through our local friends at Turkey Hill Farms.

Ideas for using the chutney--you could serve it with a strong flavored cheese or even with cream cheese. You could make little sandwiches with pork tenderloin or smoked turkey--on a mini southern biscuit--yum.

Happy cooking week, friends.

December 7, 2009

Small Bites--Brie

I had an idea--a culinary experiment and it almost worked. Well, to be honest, it really did work. I had a finished product which used the ingredient of the week and tasted good. Here it is:

Brie and Broccoli Frittata

4 eggs
1cup half & half
2 teaspoons olive oil
about 8 oz. Grated brie
1 small onion chopped fine
3 stalks of steamed broccoli chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

preheat oven to 350°
Satue the onion until translucent.
Beat the eggs, add half & half and rest of the ingredients.
Bake in well greased, mini muffin tins for about 15 minutes or until set.

I put the brie into the freezer for about 15 minutes
Before trying to grate it in the food processor. It really needed longer. The outside part (more frozen) actually grated. The interior became a gloppy mess. Oh well. It t
asted good.

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I took this plate to our Grassroots Community meeting and they were gone in a flash.

December 13, 2009

Small Bites--Artichokes

I thought it was a great idea but...

My dish really was a failure. Well, to be perfectly fair--it needs some work, especially better artichokes. I used frozen artichoke hearts and they were pretty flavorless and watery.

I marinated them in a dijon style vinegrette using orange zest and some of the juice from the orange. I tossed them with some pieces of the orange, a little finely chopped onion and some red bell pepper pieces.

My thinking was you could use this as a topping for a bruschetta--or a salad which is what I did. I put it on top of spinach and arugala with a bit of shaved parmesean.
But--although it looked beautiful it just didn't come out too great.
Back to the cutting board.

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Keep your Feet in the Street in the small bites category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Photo Hunts is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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