Monday, July 4, 2011

We had a lovely Independence Day with friends
E and F. We called it a barbecue, although the only things that even had barbecue in their name were the potato chips. (Lay's...really good.)

I made the Key Lime Pie, pictured above.

It was the first Emeril recipe I ever used and the hundreds of overwhelmingly positive comments convinced me to try it. (I LOVE the folks that take the time to do that.) It was a good choice! (As many folks did, I substituted whipped cream for sour cream on the top.)

We started out with white sangria and mozzarella topped with plums in a balsamic vinegar reduction.

This was the recipe from the always wonderful resource of Food52. I’m not swearing I used buffalo mozzarella, though.

One word of warning - keep the children, pets (and complaining husbands) away as you reduce the vinegar. I wouldn't call it "toxic" like someone did, but it is a bit of a strong sensation. Also, next time, I will absolutely add some sugar to the vinegar to cut a bit of the sharpness, but the combination of the plums with the vinegar and mozzarella was inspired. I served it with a rosemary foccaccia.

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I keep playing with my white sangria recipe:
This is my latest version:

White Sangria (serves 3 or 4, or an enthusiastic 2)
Printable recipe here

2 oranges
2 limes
handful of strawberries, cut into small pieces
1 tbl. sugar
½ cup orange juice
2 tbls. Grand Marnier
1 bottle Pinot Grigio or other white wine
1 cup Diet 7-up

Squeeze the juice of one orange into a pitcher. Add squeezed-out halves to pitcher. (You’ll remove them before serving.) Cut the other orange up into small pieces. Add to pitcher. Do the same with the two limes – squeeze one into the pitcher and cut one up into small pieces. Add it all to the pitcher. Add strawberries. Stir in sugar, orange juice, Grand Marnier and the bottle of wine. Chill for at least an hour, three hours is better. Remove squeezed-out orange and lime halves.

Just before serving, stir in Diet 7-up.

Note: You KNOW I don’t cook with junky foods, but this little bit of diet soda makes the sangria just sweet enough without having to add a lot more sugar. If you’re bothered by it, just add seltzer, but don’t say I didn’t tell you it wouldn’t be quite sweet enough.

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Crab cakes were on the menu with sautéed peppers and red onions.

(Just sauté slivered colored peppers and red onions in a bit of olive oil over medium high heat with gobs of cumin.)

I served the crab cakes with a chili lime mayonnaise. One note – I wish I had added a finely chopped jalapeño to the crab cake mixture and some chopped-up mango or peach…or nectarine maybe. I would have liked a hint of sweetness with some heat. I also (I’m just thinking out loud now) could have served it with a fruity salsa, maybe like this one.

Crab Cakes (makes 8)
Printable recipe here

1 lb. crab meat, picked through
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 tsps. Worcestershire
1 tsp. bay seasoning
¼ tsp. cayenne
2 tablespoons Dijon
3 tbls. parsley, chopped
1 cup panko
1 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil

Chili Lime Mayonnaise
¾ cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s is fine)
Juice of one lime
2 tsps. chili powder

Stir crab meat and celery together in medium bowl.

Beat eggs in small bowl. Stir in next four ingredients. Stir egg mixture into crab. Add parsley and panko and stir well. Using a third cup measure, form into 8 individual crab cakes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. They can be made 8 hours ahead.

For Chili Lime Mayonnaise, mix all ingredients together.

Stir mayonnaise, lime juice and chili powder together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To cook crab cakes, fry in butter and oil on medium heat until nicely browned on each side, about 7 to 8 minutes total.

Serve with chili lime mayonnaise.

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I also made a Charlie Trotter salad, which is similar to this, but without the canola oil, of course, and with pomegranates and toasted walnuts. Email me for the recipe.

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My friend, Molly, gave me a fabulous recipe that jazzes up any olives you have available. She wasn’t sure where it came from, so if this is YOUR recipe, please let me know and I’ll give you full credit.

(I used the whole stalk of rosemary, instead of chopping it up.)

Molly’s Olives

2 cups assorted olives
2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 lemon, cut in half and segmented like a grapefruit

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Marinate for an hour or longer at room temperature. (Remove from the refrigerator an hour or two before serving.) Yield 4 servings.

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend with family and friends and saluted America with some patriotic (or just plain good) food.

There were some Gardenburgers too.


Benj Franklin said...

Hi Sue, Thanks again for an exquisite dinner, filled with great flavors, textures and just amazing taste. YOU are just sooo incredible!!! Much love,E&F

Sue said...

Hey Guys,
It was our pleasure! Come back for leftovers...

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great meal and a good time!

Abandoned By Wolves said...

Jeez, and all I did for the 4th was set Ribeye steaks and pork chops on fire on the grill. Well, and make Panzanella.

I am definitely going to have a go at that Sangria recipe - sounds wonderful - and the crab cakes also sound too good to pass up.

Happy 4th!

Sue said...

It was pretty good, Tom! And the leftover pie wasn't bad either!

Hiya James,
Your menu sounds awesome. And the charring only adds flavor!

One bit of advice for the sangria - Make lots!

Cynthia said...

Oh man! I wish I could have been there! You cooked up a storm, what an amazing spread.

You are such a great cook; I miss your food. Just last week I wished I could have some of your peach cobbler - do email me the recipe when you have some time.

About the scones, if only I could drop by next weekend, that would have been great!

Love to you!

Sue said...

I miss YOU!!! Stop on by anytime...