Corn and crab cakes with lemon caper butter sauce

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 There are some people who are mayo-phobes.  They hate anything even remotely associated with jarred mayo including any type of aioli.  I am happy to offer this recipe for a mayo-less crabcake and mayo-less sauce.

 

Corn and crab cakes with lemon caper butter sauce

Crab Cake

8 ounces crab meat (good quality, not canned or imitation)

2 green onions (scallions, finely chopped)

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 ears of corn, kernels removed

1 tsp old bay seasoning

cayenne pepper to taste

1 tsp dry mustard

2 egg yolks

bread crumbs

 

1.      Cook the corn in the heavy cream until the corn is cooked through but still crunchy (5-6 minutes) cool

2.     Mix egg yolks into corn and cream mixture

3.     Mix everything except bread crumbs together gently so as to keep the chunks of crabmeat intact.

4.     Gently make small (2 inch) patties and coat them with the bread crumbs. This is difficult since they are very crumbly

5.     Refrigerate until they are firm and easy to handle.

6.     Fry in vegetable oil until brown on each side.

7.     Serve with lemon caper sauce

 

Lemon Caper Sauce (hold the mayo)

 

Juice of one lemon

1 Tbs. capers

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. white wine or vermouth

1/4 heavy cream

 

1.     Boil lemon juice and vermouth until reduced to 1-2 Tbs.

2.  Add cream and reduce until thickened.

3.      Wisk in butter a little at a time while stirring. 

4.     Add capers and season with salt

4.     Refrigerate until ready to use.

5.     Heat gently in microwave

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Tortilla corn and black bean stack with pulled pork

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This is an experiment based on a wonderful dish we had at Café Bolud in NYC during their restaurant week.  This was served with a Southwestern style lamb dish and they were tiny 1 inch squares of layered beans and tortillas.  I thought it would be even better with a layer of corn as well.

Tortilla corn and black bean stack with pulled pork

 

Pulled Pork

Corn tortillas

Black beans

2 ears of corn

½ cup heavy cream

 

Bean layer:  I make my own black beans in a pressure cooker without needing to soak ahead of time.  To half a pound of beans that have been cleaned, I add ½ cup of soy sauce, ¼ cup orange juice, and a cup of water.  I then add salt, a couple of garlic cloves and a little cumin.  I pressure cook for 20 minutes and then reduce pressure and check for doneness.  They take between 20-30 minutes.  I then leave them to cool in their liquid and when you make the puree add only enough liquid to give it a smooth spreadable consistency.  You can also buy canned black beans and puree and season them to your liking or you can do this with refried beans.

Corn layer:  Take kernels off the cobs and fry this in a sauce pan until beginning to smell aromatic but not brown.  Add heavy cream and cook together for 5-6 minutes until the corn is cooked.  Then put in food process or blender and puree until very smooth.  If it’s too thick add some more milk or cream to think it out but you want it spreadable and not runny.

 

To make the stacks:  Toast the tortillas in a toaster oven until very lightly toasted but not brown.  On a tortilla spread a thin layer of beans, then layer another tortilla and then a layer of corn followed by another layer of tortilla.

Wrap them up and refrigerate them until ready to serve.  Right before serving fry them in a hot frying pan until lightly browned on each side.  

 

For main course serve one or two per person and for an appetizer serve a quarter of the stack alongside the pulled pork.

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PRESSURE COOKER BEAN SOUP

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bean soup

BEAN SOUP:  In preparation for the winter storm I made my obligatory soup.  The essential comfort food for cold snowy weather.  I bought a package of Bob's Red Mill 13 beans Soup Mix, and put one cup of the beans aside in hot water to soak for a few hours.  They then got drained and thrown into my pressure cooker along with  some salt and  some optional browned cubes of boneless beef ribs Next I added broth, a can of diced tomatoes with the juice and extra water if needed to amply cover the beans. I  used about  6 cups of liquid. The cooker was brought up to pressure and cooked for 8  minutes .  After depressurizing I checked  the beans and if the biggest ones were almost done,  I added  diced   onions, cabbage,  celery, carrots, parsnips, leeks, and winter squash (butternut this time) that I had quickly fried over high heat in some olive oil while stirring until  lightly brown.   I  brought it back up to pressure and cooked for 5 more minutes and  again depressurized and checked to see if everything was done. Add more broth if you want it to be more brothy.  This soup lasted several days through the snow storm and just gets more flavorful with each reheating.  I serve my bean soups drizzled with great olive oil and good grated parmesan.

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Tomato and cucumber salad

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Tomato and cucumber salad

This preparation is Middle Eastern.  This is the salad eaten in Arab and Israeli families because where you can eat amazing cucumbers and tomatoes most of the year. This salad is great stuffed into a pita with hummus and tahini. I  make this salad with small cubes of tomato and cucumber, salt and finished with olive oil again.  But in the Middle East you'll see this salad with lots of parsley and scallion and lemon juice.  When you have perfect tomatoes and cucumbers for only a couple months around here, I want to enjoy them unadorned.

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Lebanese Cabbage Salad (Salatet Malfoof)

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Lebanese Cabbage Salad (Salatet Malfoof)

 

This is a simple cabbage salad that tastes fresh and delicious.  It comes together very quickly and stays fresh for a few days.  I learned how to make it from my friend Cindy.  Her Lebanese mother, Gladys Payne makes it frequently and they’ve never seen it in the United States.  This is the healthy version of coleslaw.  The flavors meld together so that it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s in it.  But it is very simple:  lemon, garlic, spearmint and a little oil.  Cindy’s mother adds the tomato which isn’t authentic but really kicks it up both visually, texturally and taste wise.

  

1 small cabbage (about 2 ½ pounds), thinly shredded ( I use a mandolin which works great)

1 TBS salt

2 TBS lemon

6 garlic cloves, pressed or mashed

1 TBS dried mint (fresh mint will give it an entirely different taste)

1 cup petite diced tomatoes drained of juice

1 TBS olive oil

 

Directions:

1.       Combine cabbage and salt in a bowl and massage the salt into the cabbage.  Let it sit for 20-30  minutes and drain off any liquid.  Taste for saltiness.  If it’s too salty, rinse it with fresh water until it is the desired saltiness. 

2.      Add the rest of the ingredients and taste.  If you like more mint or lemon, adjust the quantities.  The garlic and mint flavors will be more pronounced after the flavors have a chance to meld.

3.      Refrigerate for an hour.  This salad will keep for a few days refrigerated.

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Savory corn pudding

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Savory corn pudding

FOOD AND WINE magazine has a wonderful corn pudding recipe . I cut down on the butter; actually I just left it out.  And instead of 6 eggs, I used 4 because I wanted more corn flavor.  The corn is so sweet and tasty now…it’s the perfect time to try this recipe.  The cornmeal settles on the bottom so that it serves as a crust.  I loaded up with sweet Mayan onions. If you want a more elegant presentation try using muffin tins or individual pots as pictured above.  Another idea is to use a small cup as a cookie cutter and carved out single portions.  The picture below shows this single portion presentation using chervil as a garnish.

 

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Corn and Cabbage Relish

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Grilled Kielbasa with corn relish

Kielbasa ( I like the small individual smoked Polish Kielbasa from Hilshire Farms)

Corn Relish Recipe

INGREDIENTS

·         1 large cucumbers, peeled, finely chopped

  • 1 cup chopped green cabbage

·         2 cups of finely chopped onions

·         2 stalks celery finely chopped (Size of corn kernels)

·         ½ cup chopped pimento

·         4 cups corn kernels (cut from 4-6 ears, depending on how big the ears are)

·         1/2 cup sugar

·         1 ½  Tbsp Kosher salt

·         1/2 teaspoon black pepper

·         1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)

·         1/2 teaspoon turmeric

·         2 teaspoons mustard seeds

·         1 teaspoon celery salt

·         cayenne pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1        Place everything except corn, celery and cucumber and pimento in a medium-sized (4 to 6-quart), thick-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

2        Add celery and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes.  Then mix in pimento.  Taste for seasoning.

3         Spoon the corn relish into clean jars and seal. Will last for 4-6 weeks refrigerated.

4        This is better made a few days before you serve it.

Yield: Makes 3-4 pints.

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TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY

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Leftover turkey has many tasty reincarnations. Turkey barley congee is one of my favorites that I make every year after Thanksgiving. It starts off by using the turkey carcass to make a rich broth. Congee is a nourishing and healthy one dish meal which I’ve adapted from the recipe of one of my favorite cookbooks: 

A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, health-giving recipes from Asian kitchen, by Nina Simonds. She references the healthful or medicinal qualities of each recipe so you feel good about what you serve your family and guests.

 
 
 
 
 
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print
TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY
Adapted from the cookbook, “A Spoonful of Ginger” by Nina Simonds.
 
For the broth:
1 Turkey carcass from the Thanksgiving dinner
12 cups water
Salt
1 peeled onion
1 celery stalk
1 slice ginger
 
For the marinade:
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
 
For the soup:
1 pound or more leftover turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces or use uncooked turkey meat. if you don't have leftovers.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 cup whole grain or pearl barley, rinsed and drained.  (whole grain barley is healthier)
3 carrots,  peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery , cut into ¼ inch dice
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp.-1 Tbs.   grated fresh ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced (fresh) or/and dried shitake:  5-6 reconstituted in water
1-2 cans chicken or turkey broth as needed (optional:  see note).
  1. Combine the broth ingredients and bring to boil in large pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for an hour.  Strain and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the marinade, add turkey and coat with marinade. Refrigerate.
  3. Fry onions in oil or butter until soft and lightly brown and set aside.
  4. Fry mushrooms in butter or olive oil until lightly browned and set aside.
  5. Add barley to the strained broth and cook for 45 minutes. If necessary, add more water or broth.
  6. Add carrots and celery (and turkey meat if it is uncooked) and cook another 15 minutes, checking to make sure there is enough liquid.
  7. Add browned onions, cooked turkey, rice wine, browned mushrooms and grated ginger and cook another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add more broth if necessary and a little sesame oil to taste.
 
Note: This is meant to be a thick, porridge like soup. I prefer it a little soupier and so I have some broth set aside to add if necessary.
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Pressure Cooker WILD RICE BARLEY PILAF with MUSHROOMS

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wld rice and mushroom pilaf

WILD RICE BARLEY CASSEROLE with MUSHROOMS: 

1 medium onion, chopped

4 TBS butter

¾ cup wild rice

¾ cup barley (not quick cooking)

½cup dry sherry

1 ½ cups stock

1 ¼cups water

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

1.     Fry one chopped sweet onion in butter until softened and set aside. 

2.      Fry mushrooms and set aside.

3.  In Pressure Cooker add  rice and barley, sherry, broth and water and salt to taste.

4.     Cover pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 20 minutes.

5.      Release pressure and check to make sure the rice and barley are cooked.  The rice should be split open and tender but not mushy.  Cook longer if necessary.

6.    Add mushrooms and onions to rice mixture.

7.    Taste for  salt and pepper.

 

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MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD

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 MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD (courtesy of Anita Devine)
 
1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped (I use less romaine and more red cabbage)
¼ head red cabbage, finely sliced (I use less romaine and more red cabbage)
¼ head red cabbage, finely sliced
1 block marinate tofu (I use tofu kan), chopped
1 cup dry roasted organic peanuts, skin on
1 small jar marinated artichokes, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
½ cup sprouts ( I used mix sprouts)
 
Dressing
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. ume vinegar
1 Tbs shoyu (or regular soy sauce)
Juice of one orange
1 Tbs. rice syrup
1 ½ Tbs. mustard (I use whole grain Dijon)
 
  1. Mix together dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Place sliced red cabbage in a bowl, mix with ¼ tsp sea salt, place a place over it and weigh it down for one hour to extract some of the liquid. (I skip this step)
  3. Mix together all the vegetables, tofu, and peanuts and toss with dressing.

Note:  Taste for seasoning.  I usually adjust with more ume vinager and more soy sauce.

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