Saturday, April 28, 2018

Wild Crab Meals that Trim Cost and Sodium

Our local grocery store chain offers sales on wild lump crab periodically featuring a cost about 1/3 less than normal.  When I open that can-I divide it into 4 ounce packets and freeze 3/4ths of it.  That allows a 2 ounce portion for each of the 2 of us.  For a crab cake recipe- that's plenty to make a nice sandwich.

My Mom taught me to use the recipe on the side of the Old Bay Seasoning for crab cakes. It's a classic.  The sodium in Old Bay is high, and my can of Old Bay was older than I cared to admit.  So I made my own seasoning.  The result is every bit as good:

Seafood Seasoning 

(Makes 2/3 cup:  One serving is 1/4 teaspoon)

4 tablespoon celery seed
3 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 1/3 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

The dish pictured at top is made with fresh cut corn off the cob, wild lump crab meat,  sauteed onion, garlic and sweet pepper. Sprinkle with seafood seasoning and serve over a bed of spaghetti squash. Garnish with grated Parmegiano cheese, fresh parsley and fresh ground pepper.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Apple Blossoms

These soft spelt rolls with an apricot and apple filling may not have been the center of the plate, but the whole grain with fruity garnish completed the dinner plate along with roasted chicken and vegetables. The dough and method is based on a recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine.

Spelt Dinner Rolls

(18 Rolls)

Mix flour, yeast and sugar in mixing bowl with dough hook in place.
1 cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 teaspoon sugar

Add warmed milk.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl down.
1 cup skim milk, heated to 120 F.

Add flour, egg, oil and salt.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl down.
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 egg, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Slowly add flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  Knead on low speed for 8-10 minutes, until dough leaves the side of the bowl.  
2 cups spelt flour
Remove dough from mixing bowl.  Place in another bowl greased with olive oil spray.  Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Apple Apricot Filling
Heat sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Add apples and apricots.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  Remove from heat.
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoon water
2 pounds apples, peeled and diced
1/3 cup diced dried apricots

Punch dough down.  Divide into 16 pieces.  Form piece into a ball.
On floured surface,  pat dough into flat round.  Make flour evenly spaced slits to within 1 inch of center.  

Place heaping tablespoon full apple filling in center of dough.

Roll 1 petal toward filling overlapping slightly.

Continue rolling other petals toward center, overlapping each and pinching dough to seal.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush with egg, mixed with milk.  Sprinkle with fresh grated nutmeg.  Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 F. for 25 minutes.

1 egg
1 teaspoon evaporated skim milk
Nutmeg, grated fresh

Friday, April 13, 2018

Season Opener with Chocolate "Daffodils"

Spring weather, dining with a loved one and exercise is a winning prescription for wellness.  While the West Virginia weather has been slow to warm, today was a perfect day to journey to Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia to view the spring gardens, wildlife and picnic.  Oglebay is just 1 1/2 hours from home, so I packed in ice blocks our cold meal featuring blackened flounder, summer succotash and chocolate-coconut pies.

The summer succotash recipe is from Sharon Palmer's Plant-Powered for Life cookbook. I baked the flounder yesterday with this seasoning:

Blackened Seafood Seasoning

(Serves 2)

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the tiny pies, I combined several recipes and lowered the added sugar in all to get a satisfying and simply yummy treat.  I loved these tiny dishes I found at a local Michael's craft store.

Chocolate Daffodil Pies in Coconut Nests

(Serves 6)

Process crackers, coconut and buttery spread in a mini food processor.  Press crumb mixture into mini baking dishes.  Bake at 350 F. for 5 minutes.
6 graham cracker squares
6 tablespoons unsweetened coconut
3 tablespoons vegan buttery spread

In the bottom of each pie shell, place 7 grams baking chips.  (7 or 8).  Place back in oven for about 30 seconds to melt.  Spread chocolate across bottom of shell.
45 grams 60% cacao baking chips

In small saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, coffee and salt.  Whisk in milk.
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon 2 1/4 teaspoon cocoa (not the Dutch process kind)
1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon cornstarch (GMO free)
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
Dash Salt
2/3 cup skim milk

Over medium heat, whisk in egg yolk and rest of milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring continually for 1 minute.
1 egg yolk 
1 1/2 tablespoon skim milk

Remove from heat.  Stir in buttery spread and vanilla.  Pour into pie crusts. Refrigerate overnight.
1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon vegan buttery spread
1/3 teaspoon vanilla

Garnish with 1 tablespoon each Mascarpone Frosting.

The tulips were not yet blooming at Oglebay, but the daffodils were.  The deer are shedding the winter hair.  What a great way to spend quality time with my spouse!