I’m not going to sugar-coat this; I have been lying to you on the blog.
Crab cakes are not cake, as you are more than likely aware, and this most certainly should not be called zucchini bread.
Yes, it does contain zucchini. Do you taste zucchini? No, definitely not!
Sometimes I have a very difficult time naming recipes. Calling this what it is, “Zucchini, Date, Pineapple, and Walnut Bread,” sounds really stupid, long, and belabored. So, even though it doesn’t taste like zucchini bread, that is the name we are going with.
But we will all know that in reality it is soooooo much more!
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 can (8 1/4 oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until thick, using a hand mixer.
Stir in remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into 2 greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Note: If using muffin tins, bake for 40 minutes.
My conscience feels a lot cleaner after confessing to you all. Now can we douse these babies in some honey and butter and call it a day? Thanks.
I want to be able to go on an adult spring break. I missed out on going on a typical teens or twenty-something spring break, because honestly, I never wanted to pay to be around hundreds of screaming, half-naked, and drunken fools. I could see that any weekend of college and I didn’t have to pay for it!
But, if I could have the time and resources, I would so go on Spring break now as an adult. I would do it up right and avoid all the typical youngster haunts.
I would start my tip in Seattle. Yep, that’s right. I am a pale lady. I can’t spend too much time in direct sunlight without getting sunburn or heat rash. Real life problems, I know. I’m not going to get tan or lay by a pool all day.
I would go where there is amazing fresh seafood. I would eat crab cakes, lobster, fresh caught fish, produce for the farmers market.
I would come back to my hotel room, sit on my balcony in a sweatshirt with a tall glass of Pinot Noir and finally finish Tina Fey’s book.
After a few days of overdosing on seafood, I would head down to Napa. Hopefully some of my lady friends would be down with meeting me for a bottle or five with the beautiful sun setting over the vines of some beautiful vineyard.
We would then all head back to our hotel and sit around a fire enjoying some meats and cheeses from the local shops while we toasted our adult spring break with a great bubbly! It would seriously be straight out of some Napa tourism commercial or ad.
I know it isn’t Cancun or Cabo, but I bet after reading about it, you have long forgotten about those crazy places and now want to join me on boring old “grown-up spring break.”
Sigh…If only. Well, excuse me while I quickly scarf down one of these gluten-free crab cakes and get back to my sad reality of heavy duty spring cleaning. Pretty lame right?
Ingredients (Makes 12 Cakes)
1 lb. Lump Crab Meat (Note: This recipe also works with cooked crab meat.)
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
½ Teaspoon Paprika
¼ Teaspoon Onion Powder
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Stalk of Celery, finely diced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Coarse Ground Dijon Mustard
2 Egg Whites
½ Cup Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
½ – 1 Cup Vegetable Oil, just enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet
Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Heat over medium heat until oil starts to ripple.
While the vegetable oil is heating up, add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Use a rubber spatula or large spoon to mix the ingredients together.
Once the oil starts to ripple, take a heaping tablespoon of the crab mixture and add it to the skillet. Use the bottom of the spoon to gently flatten out the crab cake. Don’t press too hard, as you don’t want the crab cakes to fall apart. Keep popping in the scoops of the crab mixture and flattening them until either the pan is full or you run out of crab mixture.
Cook the crab cakes for five minutes on each side. The crab cake should be golden brown and crisp when you go to flip it.
When the crab cakes are all cooked, place them on a plate lined with a paper towel of parchment paper to drain and cool.
While the crab cakes are cooling, make this cool chive aioli.
12 Chives, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
A Pinch of Salt and Pepper
½ Cup Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Spoon the sauce into a small serving bowl and use right away on the warm crab cakes. Or make ahead of time and store up to a week in the refrigerator.
You can always make these crab cakes a few days in advance of a party or gathering. Store them under refrigeration for up to five days. On the day of your event, just pop them in the oven at 250 degrees for five to ten minutes until warm and then serve.
I know, I know, another seafood recipe. And yes it is also another fried recipe. Don’t be scared. If I can fry, so can you!
Let me tell you about the first time I attempted to fry something. It was right before Mike and I moved in together. I was spending a lot of time at his apartment. We would have weeknight dinner dates where I would come over, cook dinner, and we would watch TV. Exciting courtship, right?
At the time, I was really into the Food Network, and got this crazy idea that I would test out a Paula Deen fried chicken wing recipe. A guy’s kitchen is not necessarily equipped with all the gadgets one might need to fry chicken, like for example a digital thermometer or any thermometer for that matter. I was lucky to find a pair of tongs in the junk drawer.
I followed the directions to the “T”! I breaded the wings in a brown paper bag and everything. Then, the tricky part came. How am I supposed to know when the oil is hot enough if I don’t have a thermometer? Hmmm…
My solution was to crank up the heat to high and wait until it started to ripple and then drop in a few of the breaded wings. In the directions it read “fry until golden brown.” How long does it take to get to golden brown? After reading that sentence, I looked back down at the frying chicken wings and saw they were a dark, dark brown! Crap!
I pulled the wings out as quickly as I could, knocked the heat back a tad, and then dropped in some more wings. This time I was going to watch them more closely. I fried them until they were a perfect golden color, placed them on a rack to cool, and then called Mike into the kitchen to show off my creation. They looked so pretty.
He took a bite into the wing and IT WAS RAW!!!! I immediately started crying. I was so frustrated from all the work that went into breading and frying. All that work for nothing. Luckily Mike turned the oven on and placed the wings in there to finish cooking. We ended up with soggy crusted wings, but at least they were cooked through.
Needless to say, I never attempted to fry again in that boy kitchen. When I moved in, I came with a digital thermometer and a plethora of necessary kitchen tools—like a rubber spatula. Who doesn’t own a rubber spatula!?!
From following better written recipes that don’t just say “fry until golden” and monitoring the temperature of the oil, I have really honed my frying craft. So, as long as you take a deep breath, follow the directions, and keep that oil temperature on track, your fried creations should turn out perfect.
Frying this fish is the perfect transition into the deep frying. It is just a little bit of oil and the fish doesn’t take long to cook. Give it a shot. I believe in you!
Ingredients for Baked Chips
1 Potato, sliced super thin using a mandolin
1 Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Pepper
½ Teaspoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the potato using a mandolin. The thinnest slice setting is the best for these little crispy guys.
Soak the potato slices in a bowl of ice water for at least five minutes. Drain well and pat the potato slices dry. Place the potato slices on a large baking sheet. Coat them in salt, pepper, paprika, olive oil, and vinegar. Mix all the ingredients together using your hands.
Arrange the potatoes in one layer, making sure no slices are overlapping. You might need two baking sheets depending on the size of your largest baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes until golden and crispy. When done, let the chips cool and drain on a few paper towels.
Ingredients for Beet Chips
1 Beet, sliced thin using a mandolin
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Pepper
Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Slice the beet using the medium thinnest slice setting on a mandolin. Arrange the beet chips on a large baking sheet, coat in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. You want a little bit of bite or chew to these chips.
Ingredients for the Fish
2 Large Pieces of Cod
1 Cup Buttermilk
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Pepper
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Cup Cornmeal
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
3 Cups Vegetable Oil
Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Heat over medium/high heat until the temperature of the oil is 260 degrees.
While the oil heats, cut the cod into fourths. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a medium bowl. In a separate larger bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cayenne, cornmeal, and corn starch. Mix together using a whisk.
Dip each piece of fish in the buttermilk egg mixture and then dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Place the breaded fish on a wire rack to set before frying.
Double check the temperature of the oil. Drop four pieces of fish into the oil at a time. Fry each piece for seven minutes on each side. Use a fish spatula to flip each piece. The breading and fish is delicate so that spatula will work better than tongs in keeping it all together.
When the fish is fried, place back on the wire rack to cool and drain.
Serve the fish and chips up with some tartar sauce and a few wedges of lemon. See? That wasn’t that hard!!!
Now, I don’t want to totally embarrass him, but, he is the world’s biggest baby when he is sick. I really hope some of you ladies out there can relate with me on this.
I was fighting off allergies and a little cold, but I carried on.
My husband had a head cold and you would swear to God that he had been stabbed and was dying and needed to be rushed to the hospital.
True story: One time, we both had the flu at the same time. Which in reality means that he had the flu and I was forced into early recovery in order to take care of him. I was laying on the couch when Mike ran to the bathroom. He said he was going to puke. (Sorry guys, I’ll try and spare you the gory details). I went to go check on him because I heard some loud thumps coming from the bathroom. He was kneeling in front of the toilet stomping his feet on the ground shouting “I need to go to the hospital! This isn’t right!” There was no puke anywhere to be seen. I had to walk away to hide my laughter. He was totally better the next day.
This is my life.
So, when he was sick most recently, I had to spend most of my time picking up his tissues and talking him down from calling an ambulance. I didn’t have much time to cook, that is why I was glad to have all of this cooked shrimp left over from my Mad Men post so I could make a quick Asian Shrimp Roll for myself.
If you have some left-over cooked shrimp or need a quick Lenten Friday night dinner, please give this a try.
So, exciting news in the Sarcastic Cooking family. No, I am not pregnant. Some of you may have known from reading the blog that my best friend is pregnant. Well, this morning, I am happy to announce that her little baby girl finally came out to greet us!
Already this baby is smothered with love and attention. I am sure that they cannot wait to retreat to the comfort of their home, lock the door and just sit in peace.
But, alas, I won’t let them. I told her that her and her husband should be resting as much as possible, so I offered to bring over a few dishes to make it a little bit easier on them.
I know that my bestie has truly missed fresh mozzarella, so, why not lay it on her along with a big old glass of red wine. (Going 9 months without soft cheeses and wine, the lady deserves a frickin medal in my book!)
I know that I am not the only one that thinks this new interpretation of caprese flavors is the most comforting thing ever. Plus, it is even better reheated.
So guys, sit back, try and get some rest, and just let me take care of dinner. Also, I don’t mind extra snuggles and cuddles with the little sweet baby. Just trying to help!
Ingredients (Serves Six)
2 ½ lb. Grape Tomatoes, halved
1 Shallot, thinly sliced
5 Cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Coarse Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon of Pepper
16 oz. Long Fusilli Noodles, uncooked
16z. Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
18-24 Large Basil Leaves
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the halved grape tomatoes on a large baking sheet. Coat tomatoes in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix the tomatoes. Arrange in one even layer and bake in the oven for an hour. Let the tomatoes cool for about twenty minutes.
Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of a large Pyrex dish. Using a spatula, scoop out two spatulas worth of tomatoes and arrange them along the bottom of the dish.
Then layer some of the long fusilli noodles on top of the tomatoes, followed by a layer of cheese slices, and then basil leaves. Repeat with a layer of tomatoes, noodles, cheese, and basil. You should be able to make at least four layers.
The top layer should go noodles, tomatoes, basil leaves, and then the fresh mozzarella on top. Cover in foil and bake in the oven at 375 for one hour. Remove foil after an hour, and place back into the oven uncovered for five minutes.
Let the baked caprese pasta sit and cool for at least fifteen minutes before portioning out. Note: This dish might not be the prettiest on the account of the brown edges, but the browning of the cheese along the edges actually takes on a caramelized flavor. So do not for a second think it is burnt, rather, its delicious.
If you heat it up in the microwave, add a little water to prevent a hard crust. If you reheat in the oven, keep it covered in tin foil the whole time.