Sunday Dinner Series: Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

I’m always looking for healthier ways to prepare some of my favorite foods.  Crab cakes are a summer staple, but you need to proceed with caution when ordering from a restaurant since preparations can vary so greatly and seemingly small nuances including full fat mayonnaise and deep frying can quickly pack on calories.  Below is a crab cake dish I came across last April in Cooking Light magazine.  I love making them because although it sounds like a daunting kitchen endeavor, this is not at all the case and I can tell you many reasons why you should go make it right now:  It takes less than 30 minutes including prep and cooking, it looks quite impressive on a plate if you have guests over for dinner, it’s light and fresh yet very filling to eat for a dinner dish, then you always have leftovers for lunch the next day (they are just as delicious served cold!)

Check it out below and let me know what you think.

Bon appetit!

Ingredients

Crab cakes:

  • 2 tbls finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbls chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tbls light mayonnaise (obviously Hellmann’s)
  • 1/2 tspn grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbspn fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tspn black pepper
  • 1/8 tspn ground red pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
  • 1 tbls olive oil, divided

Rémoulade:

  • 1/4 cup Hellmann’s Light
  • 1 tblsp chopped shallots
  • 1 1/2 tbls capers, drained and chopped
  • 2 tspn Dijon mustard
  • 1 tspn fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tspn ground red pepper
  • 1/8 tspn kosher salt

Directions

  1. To prepare crab cakes, combine first 8 ingredients. Add panko and crab, tossing gently to combine.
  2. Gently pat crab cake mixture into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Repeat procedure with remaining crab mixture, forming 8 cakes.
  3. Heat Olive Oil Pam spray in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 crab cakes to pan; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Carefully turn cakes; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden and crab cakes are thoroughly heated. Remove cakes from pan; keep warm. Wipe pan dry with paper towels. Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 crab cakes.
  4. To prepare rémoulade, combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Serve with crab cakes.
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Wordless Wednesday

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Strolling into the sunset with my travel buddies. Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

If you love your life, life loves you back

 

 

Sunday dinner series: pesto shrimp with spinach, toasted walnuts, tomato and blue cheese

This is one of my favorite dishes that I used to make all the time with whole wheat penne.  Since I’m not a huge fan of pasta and never make it for myself at home I now skip the ingredient altogether.  I love the flavor combination of the toasted walnuts, blue cheese and pesto.  It’s incredibly filling and very easy to prepare, minus what I believe to be a painfully annoying process of cleaning the shrimp.  Open a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and you’re good to go!

Ingredients:
3 tbls. pesto (make your own!)
3 tbls. blue cheese
2 tbls. toasted walnuts
1 bag of baby spinach
1 lb. shrimp
1 tomato chopped, seeds removed
l garlic clove chopped
Directions:
Clean shrimp, salt and pepper, coat in pesto
Toast walnuts over heat and set aside to cool
In pan add a little olive oil , saute garlic, then add baby spinach and cook until wilted
Cook shrimp over medium heat
Add shrimp over spinach and sprinkle chopped tomatoes, blue cheese and toasted walnuts on top
Bon appétit!

Loving Lao Country

Now is around the time when I would start to plan a New Year’s trip with Sarita so I thought it would be a good time to look back on our incredible Asia adventure redux last year which consisted of three countries, eight cities/island/areas in eighteen days.  We have already been to Thailand and Vietnam but were going to explore different areas, and Laos was a new country addition altogether.
Per usual, Sarita did all of the planning so I didn’t really have any expectations with Laos.  Although a landlocked country, I heard the scenery was supposed to be beautiful.  And it was.
We flew into Vientiane and stayed at the Hotel Khamvongsa for two nights.  Since we only had one full day in the capital, we spent a majority of our time doing what we love to do:  forage in the markets.  A must-stop was Buddhist stupa and Laos’ national symbol, Pha That Luang, generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos.
The real beauty of the country was best revealed during our scenic bus ride with Green Discovery from Vientiane to Vang Vieng where we stopped for zip lining along the way to our next destination.
In Vang Vieng we stayed at the lovely Ban Sabai Bungalows, where we woke up to this view every morning:
Our final stop was Luang Prabang.  We only had one day there which was unfortunate because it was my favorite area of the three.  Looks like I’ll need to go back!  We stayed at the Mekong Holiday Villa.   This quaint little town bordered by the Mekong River and  the Nam Khan River is full of endless activities.  We spent our day drinking and dining on the side of the river overlooking the mountains, exploring the city’s numerous Buddhist temples, including the breathtaking sight atop Mt Phou Si and finally hit up the night market to graze through local artist and food vendors. Don’t dare leave without stopping in the street first thing in the morning when hundreds of monks from the various monasteries walk through the town collecting alms.
So khawp jai lai lai, Laos.  I love you, and am sure we will see each other again soon.

Wordless Wednesday: Happy 4th of July!

How are you celebrating Independence Day?  For the second year I am excited to sink my teeth into the 4th of July “Fit for a Bun” menu at one of my favorite restaurants, Mas (la grillade).  A seasonal menu of fresh, locally grown foods cooked solely over wood fires of oak, apple and other hardwoods, you can feel the heat of the grill without having to step out of the city (or lift a finger in the kitchen:).  Leave that up to master chef, Galen Zamarra.

Hope everyone enjoys the long holiday weekend and gets out for some sun!