Tag Archives: garlic

Crab Cakes for Fathers Day

IMG_05141 lb fresh lump crabmeat (or 4- 4.25 oz cans)
2 Tablespoons minced onion
1 egg; beaten
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley; minced (or 1 Tablespoon dry parsley)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme; rubbed between fingers (or pinch dry)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or lime if using cilantro)
2 Tablespoons bread crumbs (for GLUTEN FREE option use oat flour; I grind my own gluten free oats)

bread crumbs/oat flour for coating

canola oil for frying

Pick through the crab meat for any shell or cartilage pieces. (Drain if using canned meat through a fine mesh sieve). Mix remaining ingredients then add the crab meat combining well without breaking apart the lumps. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Sprinkle bread crumbs (oat flour) onto a plate. Scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture into your hand and form into a ball (squeeze excess moisture out gently) then press down onto the bread crumb (oat flour) covered plate to coat, flip and press down to coat the other side. Arrange patties on the was/parchment paper lined pan and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to “set” before frying.

Meanwhile, prepare the sides. I served the crab cakes with garlic slaw, roasted corn with black beans, a spicy barbecue sauce and fresh rolls. RECIPES BELOW

Preheat a large heavy bottomed skillet to medium high. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Add canola oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan and heat. Gently place each patty into the skillet leaving plenty of space around each one. (I used two forks to manipulate the patties.) Fry until golden (just before brown) and gently flip to fry on the other side. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain.

GARLIC COLE SLAW
1/4 green cabbage head; shredded or thinly sliced
2 carrots; shredded
2 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dill weed (or 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Place cabbage and carrots in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

ROASTED CORN WITH BLACK BEANS
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lb bag of frozen corn
1/2 red bell pepper; finely chopped
2 cups cooked black beans (1 15-16 oz can black beans)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste, you choose the heat)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Spread the corn mixture evenly on the pan. Preheat the oven to 400 when starting to fry the crab cakes and roast the corn for 10-15 minutes.

SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cumin
pinch thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients.

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Raw Root Salad, Rice and Peas, Fried Plantain and Broiled Salmon

I recommend preparing this meal in the order the recipes are given. I have found this to be the most efficient use of “wait” time so everything finishes at the same time.
DSC_0022PUERTO RICAN STYLE RICE WITH PIGEON PEAS
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion; diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 green pepper; diced
1-2 cloves garlic; crushed
¼ cup olives; optional
½ cup diced fresh tomatoes or sauce
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen pigeon peas (found in the frozen Goya section)
2 cups brown rice; soaked in water 3-8 hours, rinsed and drained
3 1/2 cups water

Preheat a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onion and salt and sauté until soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and garlic, sauté for 3 more minutes. Add optional olives, tomatoes and spices. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add pigeon peas, rice and water. Bring to a boil, stir and turn down heat bringing the rice mixture to a slow simmer. Simmer without a lid until almost all the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Do not stir as this can make the rice sticky. Cover, turn heat to low and allow to slow cook/steam until rice is tender and all of the water is absorbed, another 10-15 minutes.

SHREDDED ROOT SALAD
2 beets; peeled and shredded
2 carrots; peeled and shredded
2 stalks celery; thinly sliced
4 scallions; thinly sliced
salad greens (I used mesclun mix)

Prepare vegetables and place in separate bowls or on a serving platter.

LEMON AND GARLIC DRESSING
3 cloves garlic; crushed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 cup fresh pressed lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients in a glass jar, tighten the lid and shake. Serve with a spoon or mini-ladle.

FRIED PLANTAIN
2 yellow plantain
oil for the pan
sea salt to taste

Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Peel the plantain- this can be difficult depending on how (not) ripe they are when picked. I keep a paring knife handy to slice away any left over peel. Cut as you like into roughly 1/4 inch thick pieces. I normally do disks but wanted to try “fries” today. Add olive oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan. Place the sliced plantain in the pan and fry until yellow-golden turning each piece till cooked on all sides. Place on a serving dish and sprinkle with salt.

BROILED SALMON
2 lbs wild (Alaskan) salmon
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
lemon wedge to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Place the salmon on a lightly oiled broiling pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn oven off and broiler to high and place salmon under flame for 10 minutes (it is done when it starts to brown on the top). Squeeze lemon if desired when serving.

Detox Dinner

My son and fiancé are following Jennifer Schonborn‘s detox diet this week. This meal aligns with her guidelines so when they joined us for dinner we could all enjoy.
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We started the meal with CREAM OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (prepared with extra virgin olive oil) and then on to the main meal.

ARUGULA, BEET AND SUNFLOWER SEED SALAD
1 5 oz package arugula
4-5 beets
raw sunflower seeds for sprinkling

Cut off stems and the thin root tail and scrub the beets. Place in a medium sized pot, fill with enough water to cover and sprinkle with sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer over medium low to medium heat. Simmer with lid on for 20 to 40 minutes until the beets are tender. Test with a toothpick, if it inserts easily they are done. Remove from heat, pour off hot water and pour cold water into the pot and let sit 10 minutes to cool. Repeat until the beets are cool enough to handle. The skin will slide right off with a little bit of pressure. Remove skins, slice in half and slice to 1/4 inch thickness. Chill the beets completely in the refrigerator. Assemble the salads just before serving; place beets on a bed of arugula, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and drizzle with lemon garlic dressing.

LEMON AND GARLIC DRESSING
3 cloves garlic; crushed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 cup fresh pressed lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients in a glass jar, tighten the lid and shake. Serve with a spoon or mini-ladle.

BLACK (aka forbidden) RICE
1 cup black rice; soak 1-8 hours and rinse
1 1/2 cups water

Bring rice and water to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes then reduce heat to low and continue to simmer 5 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Check by tipping the pot sideways carefully to see if any water remains.

GREEN GARLIC AND GINGER SAUCE
1 clove garlic; coarsely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger; coarsely chopped
3/4 cup fresh parsley; coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine garlic, ginger, parsley, sea salt and pepper in food processor. Process until finely ground, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

BROILED SALMON
2 lbs wild (Alaskan) salmon
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place the salmon on a lightly oiled broiling pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn Broiler on high and place salmon under flame for 10 minutes.

Falafel; the original vegan patty

DSC_0028FALAFEL– Modified from a recipe in “Jewish Foods for Festivals and Special Occasions” to be gluten free. Served here with a greens, tomato, avocado and tahini sauce.

1 1/3 cup dried chickpeas; soaked in water overnight
4 Tablespoons quick (or roughly ground) oats (traditionally bulgar wheat)
1 onion minced
5 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2 cup fresh parsley; minced OR 3 Tablespoons dry
3 Tablespoons ground cumin seed
1 Tablespoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne (optional)
3 Tablespoons water
3-4 Tablespoons gluten free flour *see note below* (traditionally wheat flour)
canola or olive oil for frying

Grind chickpeas in food processor (or food grinder attachment of a KitchenAid) into a large bowl. Add oats, onion, garlic, spices and water. Let sit, covered at room temperature, for 45 minutes.  Mix in flour. Heat oil, 1/4 inch deep, in a large heavy bottomed (I use cast iron) skillet on medium high heat. Meanwhile, form the falafel mixture into small balls/patties and set aside on a tray or baking sheet. Gently place each formed patty in the hot oil and fry till browned and crispy on the bottom and sides then flip and fry on the other side till browned and crispy. Remove from pan onto a paper towel lined plate. Serve with tahini sauce (recipe below), salad, pita bread, hummuslabneh, etc.

*note- when using gluten free flour the addition of an egg can help bind the mixture together but is not necessary. Form one falafel and fry to test. I use Bob’s Red Mill and did not need an egg.

TAHINI SAUCE
1/2 cup sesame tahini
1/4-1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons fresh pressed lemon juice
1 clove garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
2 Tablespoons parsley/cilantro minced (optional)

Place all ingredients (start with 1/4 cup water) in food processor and blend till well combined. Add more water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Homemade Recaito

DSC_0004I harvested the Puerto Rican peppers (aka aji dulce) in bulk at the end of the CT growing season and made a large batch of recaito. Recaito is the base for many savory Puerto Rican dishes so having 1/2 cup batches frozen and ready to sauté in olive oil makes for a nice shortcut.

DSC_0001RECAITO
3 quarts Puerto Rican peppers; stems removed
2 onions; minced
2 bunches cilantro (about 4 cups); stems removed below the leaves and coarsely chopped
12 cloves garlic; crushed or finely minced in a food processor

Combine the above ingredients and mixing well. I froze mine in 1/2 cup batches in snack sized ziplock baggies placed into a labeled gallon freezer bag.

Spicy Dill Pickles

DSC_0003
This recipe can be adjusted for amounts depending on how many cucumbers you have to pickle. I modified last year’s Garlic Sandwich Pickles recipe to make this spicy version at my daughter’s request. We had 11 cucumbers and wound up with 5 quart and 1 pint jars. I guess the ratio to the size cucumber we grow/pick is 1 cucumber per pint. Better to have too many jars, lids, rings and brine prepped than not enough as any left overs can be used another time.

4-5 cucumbers
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
3 1/2 Tablespoons natural sea salt (no anti clumping agents or iodine)

3 quart jars (*or 6 pints)

3 teaspoon garlic; minced
12 whole black pepper corns
1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
3/8 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 dried chili peppers (or 3/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes)

Sterilize jars by boiling for 10 minutes (if you have hard water like I do pour a Tablespoon of white vinegar in the water to help keep jars clear). Pour boiling water over lids and rings, cover and leave until ready to use.

Bring vinegar, water and salt to a boil and simmer until the salt dissolves and turn off heat.

Prepare cucumbers- cut the blossom and stem ends off and discard (we compost). Cut the cucumbers to the desired shape, I made spears but halves or rounds are fine too. If making spears cut the cucumber to a length that will fit inside the jar to an inch below the rim and save the cut off ends. Cut each log in half then in quarters and place to the side in a bowl or on a plate. Do the same with the stubby ends or simply slice them and place in a separate bowl.

Fill each hot sterilized quart jar with 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 4 whole black pepper corns, 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds, 1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 chili pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes). *if using pints cut the spice ingredients in half per jar* Fill each spice prepared jar with sliced cucumbers to 1 inch from the rim. I filled on jar with just the ends. Pour the hot brine (vinegar, water and salt) into each filled jar leaving 1/2 inch of head space. (if there isn’t enough brine add a 50/50 mixture of water/vinegar to fill the jars) Wipe the rim of the jars with a damp paper towel, place the lid on the jar and secure with the rings. Place the jars into a water bath, bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Open after 6 weeks when the flavors have matured.

Any extra brine can be saved in a jar in the refrigerator and used another time.

Homemade Garlic and Herb Vinaigrette

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1 clove garlic; crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon rosemary; rubbed/massaged  between fingers to grind and release flavors
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar/bottle (I use an old vinegar bottle). Shake well before each use as the herbs, vinegar and oil will separate.
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