Friday, August 6, 2010

What To Do With It All-- Mid August Recipes

After a fun, educational trip to New Hampshire farms and a few very hot, humid days, I'm looking forward to the weekend and trying some more (dare I say it?) zucchini recipes this week. Zucchini Pickles and Vegetarian Chili will be involved.

The following recipes can be used for the menus in the last blog. Some are everyday meals, and one meal made up entirely of appetizers (great for 'dinner and a movie', or eating on the deck/patio).

Crab Cakes with Chile Cream Sauce
These cakes can be made smaller and served as appetizers. They freeze quite well, making them a great meal for entertaining or for a weeknight meal. 
Four 6-ounce cans lump crabmeat (1-1/2 lbs)
1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup panko crumbs
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 scallions or 1 small onion, very finely minced
1 small clove garlic, very finely minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour
2-3 eggs
oil for frying
1. Drain the crabmeat well and combine with the 1/2- cup breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, scallions or onion, garlic, mustard, hot sauce and salt and pepper. Using a 1/3-cup measure, shape into about 16 cakes, 1/2 inch thick.
2. Lightly beat the eggs. Set up a breading station with the flour, beaten eggs, and panko crumbs. Dredge the cakes in the flour; dip in the eggs and then the panko. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining cakes.
3. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry cakes until nicely browned and crisp, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to paper-towel lined sheet. Repeat with remaining cakes.
4. At this point the cakes can be frozen. To serve, defrost in the refrigerator over night and reheat in a 400-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes. They can be held in a 325-degree oven. Serve with Chile Cream Sauce.
Chile Cream Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Check for salt and pepper and serve with the crab cakes.

Coleslaw with Creamy Feta Dressing
Pre-salting the cabbage prevents it from becoming watery after a day in the fridge. 
1/2 large head of cabbage- about 1-1/2 pounds
1 large or 2 small carrots
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (optional0
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Finely shred the cabbage (I rarely use a food processor to shred or grate, but for this I get better results using the slicing disk in the food processor). Grate the carrot. Place in a large colander and sprinkle the kosher salt over all. Toss well to combine, and then place over a bowl to drain for about an hour and a half, until the cabbage is beginning to wilt. Rinse very well and dry with paper towels or in a salad spinner.
2. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, white vinegar and feta. Add to the cabbage mixture and combine thoroughly. Sprinkle on the oregano and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Corn Pudding
This is a very versatile recipe. You can add a cup of grated cheese, or some fresh herbs), or finely minced hot or sweet peppers, chili powder, or old bay seasoning—all of these will give the pudding character. But I love it plain, with just the honest taste of fresh corn.
2 cups fresh corn kernels (this can be leftover corn on the cob, or kernels cut from uncooked corn, providing the corn is very fresh)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons butter (you can use bacon fat)
1 small onion (you can substitute scallions or red onion, or leave it out and add 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives)
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper.
Butter, as needed, for the baking pan
1. Peel and chop the onion. Melt the butter in a small skillet and sauté over low heat just until the onion begins to soften. Butter a 1-1/2 quart soufflé dish or casserole. Preheat the oven to 325. Have ready a baking pan big enough to fit the casserole in, surrounded by water.
2. Combine all the ingredients and pour into the greased pan. Place in a baking pan and put in the oven. Pour in enough hot water to go halfway up the casserole. Bake for about an hour, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Deviled Eggs Four Ways
I love devilled eggs! They are an inexpensive and fast appetizer or snack that can be put together with a minimum of time and ingredients. 
Traditional Deviled Eggs
6 hard cooked eggs
2 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Guacamole Eggs
6 hard cooked eggs
1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Curried Eggs
6 hard cooked eggs
2 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1/4 teaspoon hot curry powder
1 Tablespoon minced chives
Chili Deviled Eggs
6 hard cooked eggs
2 heaping Tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 Tablespoon minced cilantro
1/4 teaspoon mashed garlic

Peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place in a bowl. Smash them with a fork and mix in the remaining ingredients. Carefully spoon the yolk mixture into the hole in the egg white where the yolk had been.  Sprinkle with paprika for Traditional egg; garnish with cilantro leaves for Guacamole eggs, and chives for curried eggs.

When I was teaching recreational classes, one class was devoted to 'stuffed things'-- egg rolls, calzones, empanadas, turnovers-- you get the idea. Students were invariably surprised by how much they loved these little pockets of yumminess.
3 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm milk
3 Tablespoons sour cream
Combine all ingredients. Knead well into a soft, pliable dough.
1 small cabbage, about 1 pound
3 Tablespoons butter
1 medium zucchini
1 small onion
1 teaspoon fresh dill, or 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1. Finely grate the cabbage and zucchini. Chop the onion. Fill a large pot of water and add the cabbage. Simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Heat the butter in a large heavy skillet and sauté the zucchini and onion until soft.
2. Drain the cabbage and add to the skillet with the zucchini and onion. Cook over low heat, stirring, until most of the moisture has evaporated, perhaps another 10 to 20 minutes. Keep the heat low, keeping careful not to scorch the mixture. Add the dill or dill weed. Place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until it is finely chopped. Squeeze out any remaining moisture.
3. Roll out the dough thinly and cut into 4-inch circles. Place 2 teaspoons of filling on one half of the circle. Dip your finger in water and apply water around the rim of the circle. Fold over the dough and press to close. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
4. Bring a pot of water to boil and carefully place about 7 or 8 pierogies in the water. They will sink, and when they rise up to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining pierogies.
5. Serve warm with sour cream (chopped chives or dill in the sour cream is a nice touch). Or you can sauté the cooked pierogies in butter and serve with sautéed onions.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the pierogi recipe!! I know what I'll be doing with this week's head of cabbage, and my Slovak and Polish husband will be SO impressed!!!