Crabcakes and Football…

January 16, 2011 at 11:30 AM (Appetizer, Breakfast, Fish) (, , )


At least this time of year I do… Well hello there, second hiatus over!  The election is over, I’ve moved and finally have a moment to breathe after a bit of family traveling over the holidays.  I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is having a lovely start to the new year!

Let’s get to the important stuff now…crabcakes.

Contrary to popular belief, crabcakes are very easy to make.  There are at least three well known food production companies that now make ready made crabcake mix, all you need to add is the crabmeat, mayonnaise, one egg and any other spices you might like to get adventurous with.

My favorite kind to use is Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Crabcake Mix.  You can find it at most grocery stores and is definitely the one worth trying first.  This one packs a punch that Philips or Old Bay do not.  The Cajun style spices add a delicious kick that makes these crabcakes second to none.  The box includes the recipe, but here’s how I make mine…


– 16 oz (one pound) crab meat

– one box Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Crabcake Mix

– 1/4 cup mayonnaise

– 1/2 cup water

– lemon juice from a fresh lemon

– one egg

– butter or oil (for baking or frying)

Tartar Sauce Ingredients:


– relish

– hot sauce

– lemon juice

– mix all ingredients together to taste and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together

– mix crab meat, mayonnaise, water, egg (used as an adhesive) and crabcake mix in medium sized bowl

– refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

– make patties (size is up to you, you can make about 16 smaller ones for appetizers or 6-8 bigger ones for a main course)

Frying Directions:

In a deep pan, cover bottom with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil

– fry on each 2-3 minutes

Baking Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees

– add a small slice of butter to the top of each crabcake

– Bake for 8-10 minutes (if smaller), 10-12 if larger cakes

From there, just serve with the tartar sauce, or any other sauce you’d like to make with it!

Now that was just the starting point- I love crabcakes… to me, they should be in a food group all their own.  My favorite thing to do with them however?  Is the next day.

Make the crabcakes for a party, for dinner whatever, but make sure you have a couple from the next morning for this recipe…

I now present to you:

Crabolia’s Chesapeake: Poached egg over sharp Vermont cheddar cheese covered New Orleans style Crab Cake on an English Muffin

(I wouldn’t be doing this dishes name justice if I didn’t mention that when I was a baby, my dad used to call me Crabolia…hence, the name!)

– In a medium frying pan, melt butter to reheat the crabcakes

– fry until warm throughout (just about 3-4 minutes on each side)

– toast English Muffin

– poach eggs for about 4 minutes, you still want the yolk runny (bring water to a mild boil, stir water to create whirlpool effect, drop egg softly into the middle.  The motion of the water will keep the egg from dispersing when it hits the water)

– after you flip the crab cake place one slice of sharp Vermont cheddar cheese so it can melt

– after everything is cooked…start building!

English muffin on the bottom, crabcake with cheese, then poached egg on top.

To make it look fancy, feel free to sprinkle some fresh chives on top.

Most eggs Chesapeake and Benedict have a Hollandaise sauce on top, but the mix of the yolk, the sharpness of the cheese and the delicious spices in the crab cakes make this sauce unnecessary to the dish!

Until next time, sicuro viaggi and bon appetit!

**Peas, Love and Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!**


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Hometown Cookin’

July 31, 2010 at 7:44 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

If there’s one ingredient that needs to be in every recipe, in every dish, in every meal, it’s love.  You can ALWAYS tell, in anything, if love was not put into the effort.  This is absolutely, 100% true when it comes to cooking food.  I firmly believe that one of the reasons my dad’s food is so damn good is because he loves it.  That’s why some of the best cooking doesn’t have recipes.

While I was cooking my Albanian dish today and watching Top Chef and Food Network marathons, I had a couple other things going on just… well… because.  One thing my father did almost every Sunday was make tomato sauce.  Being my father’s daughter, I’ve always wanted to know how to make it.  The trick is…there is no right or wrong way to make it.  There’s no recipe for my dad’s tomato sauce, he just puts a ton of stuff in it until it tastes good!  Honestly!  So today, I made a meatless tomato sauce.  Because I’m trying to learn and hope you are too, I am willing to share what I put in the pot to make my delicious tomato sauce.  Don’t expect measurements though…making tomato sauce is all about taste.

In order to get there, here is what I did to make my own Fritalian Gravy.


one onion

– mushrooms

– 2 cans tomato sauce

– 3/4 can tomato paste

– 3/4 can diced tomatoes

– red wine

– garlic

– garlic salt

– olive oil

– water

– LOTS of Italian spices

– love


1. dice onions and mushrooms

2. Put about three counts of olive oil in the bottom of the pot and sweat the diced onions and mushrooms

3.  add the cans of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and about half a can of water

4. spice with italian seasoning, basil, oregano, garlic, etc to taste

5. bring to a boil then turn heat down and let simmer for a couple of hours, stirring occassionally

Letting the sauce stew for a couple hours really allows the spices to meld with the rest of the ingredients.

That’s really the  closest thing I can give you to a recipe for tomato sauce.  This is one of those things you really just have to feel and taste.  It sounds crazy, but I suggest you give it a try… there’s a little Italian in everybody 😉

**Tidbit for storage!!!  Freezing tomato sauce always works, but again, since I cook for one, one EXTREMELY helpful hint I learned was this:

Freezing sauce or pesto in ice cube trays is so helpful for single servings since you won’t have to thaw an entire jar or bag of tomato sauce just to refreeze it.

Now onto the other homemade dish I made today… homemade chicken salad.

This sounds a lot easier than it actually is to make.  When it comes to chicken salad, I prefer a pulled chicken rather than a diced.  So that’s exactly what I did!  Here’s a nice twist on a typical chicken salad recipe:


one chicken breast

– mayo

– lemon juice

– Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

– celery

– celery seed

– red onion

– almonds


1. salt and pepper each side of the chicken, cook thoroughly, then let sit to cool

2.  while chicken is cooking, dice celery and red onion

3. pull the chicken (use a fork to hold the chicken, then use the back side of a spoon or a knife to pull along the grain of chicken to make it look shredded)

4. combine diced celery, red onion, shredded chicken, dash of celery seed

5. add a splash of lemon juice, this will enhance the colors and taste of everything in this chicken salad

6. add a dollop of sweet baby ray’s BBQ sauce

7. add mayo to taste and to bind everything together

8. fold a couple pinches of almonds into the chicken salad mix

9. store and let set and cool in fridge until ready to eat or the next day

This is another dish I understand there aren’t a lot of measurements, but it’s a dish made with love and one you have to make how you like it, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Tomorrow I plan to roast some gutted red peppers and using that as the serving utensil for the chicken salad.  Sounds amazing right?!  I can’t wait to try it.  I’ll be sure to add a picture when it’s all complete.

Thanks for reading and as usual, until next time, sicuro viaggi and bon appetit!

**Peas, Love and Ole Fashion Homecookin’**

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