Crab Cakes

crab cake 4

Good homemade crab cakes eluded me for years! I have tried numerous recipes over the years that ended up in the trash. What a waste, crab is expensive! When I found this recipe, I knew I had a keeper. With a few changes here and there I now have crab cakes that are incredible every time! I always use fresh crabmeat, usually when I visit Florida. I come home with enough for several meals and freeze it. I like to use two different grades of crabmeat, lump or backfin, and an equal amount of smaller pieces. I use all sweet and tender white crab meat, but the smaller pieces are slightly cheaper.

The big lumps of crab and the perfect amount of filler make these crab cakes perfect. Crabmeat is very fragile so mix all ingredients before adding the seafood. Then gently fold the crab into the other ingredients to prevent breaking of the larger pieces. These can be made as large cakes to serve as a main meal or smaller cakes for appetizers.

 

Crab Cakes
 
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This recipe makes 6 large crab cakes.
Ingredients
  • 4 lg. eggs
  • 5 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 3 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lb. lump crab meat
  • 1 lb. backfin crab meat
  • 1 c. panko
  • Paprika
Instructions
  1. Pick through the crab meat, checking for shell and cartilage, without breaking up the large pieces, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, salt, and parsley and mix well. Fold in the panko, then gently fold the crab meat into the mixture, being careful not to shred the crab meat. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil and spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. Shape into about 6 crab cakes (1 cup each) and place on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Uncover the crab cakes and sprinkle with paprika. Bake about 20 minutes or until the cake golden brown.
  4. Serve on a lettuce leaf, is desired, with lemon slices and tartar sauce.

 

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Pecan Pound Cake with Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

 

pound cake

 

I like salted caramel, and I can not lie!  I have been on a salted caramel roll lately. I know that I posted salted caramel sauce recently.  Hopefully, you like it as well as I do.  This is a different recipe, maybe even a little easier, but equally as delicious!   Poured over this moist and delicious pecan pound cake this dessert is the bomb!  This cake is going to be my signature dessert during the fall and holiday season!

 

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This cake recipe works best in a large 12-cup bundt pan.  I used a smaller pan simply because I’ve had this fancy cake pan for a while and had never used it.  I had enough batter to make six large muffins in addition to the cake.  You should have plenty of caramel sauce to drizzle over your cake and have extra for serving.  I sprinkled my cake with a few chopped pecans, to let anyone eating the cake know that it contains nuts. This cake is by far the best new cake recipe I have tried in a while!

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Pecan Pound Cake with Easy Salted Caramel Sauce
 
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Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 1½ c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 5 lg. eggs, room temperature
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. pecans, chopped
  • For Easy Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • ¾ c. unsalted butter
  • 1½ c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. Fleur de Sel (or kosher salt)
  • ½ c. evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine buttermilk with vanilla extract. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just to combine. Stir in the pecans.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover the top of the cake with foil if the top begins to get too brown.
  6. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to completely cool.
  7. Place cake on serving plate and drizzle with Easy Salted Caramel Sauce and sprinkle with pecans.
  8. For caramel sauce:
  9. In a medium saucepan add butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and boil
  10. for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Remove from heat and stir in ½ c. evaporated milk and vanilla extract. You may need to stand back while it bubbles up. Stir to combine.
  12. Store in refrigerator. May be reheated in the microwave.

 

 

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Italian Beef Stew

Italian Beef Stew 002

Does the weather have you longing for county fairs, bonfires, and soup? I can hardly wait to unpack my things that have been tucked away for the summer like boots and sweaters. I have the same excitement about the dishes I will prepare during the cooler weather. Just a few days of cooler weather and I was in the kitchen not only making a big pot of chili, but I also made this fabulous Italian Beef Stew!

I have always loved the change of seasons, but I think living in “gnat country” has me favoring fall a little more these days. We had a busy weekend cleaning up around the farm.  It was nice to have dinner in the crock pot and ready when we came in after a hard day’s work. The addition of tomatoes and Italian herbs was a delicious change from my traditional beef stew. I use chuck in my stews because it cooks up so tender and flavorful. I would also recommend a good aged Parmesan cheese for serving. Do not buy pre-shredded or that awful stuff in the green container!  This is delicious served with garlic bread!
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Italian Beef Stew
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. carrots, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 lg. yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2½ lb. chuck roast, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 c. low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 c. dry red wine
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ lb. potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add the carrots, celery, and onion and sauce until lightly golden. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Add to your crock pot.
  2. Add a little more oil to the skillet.
  3. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper and coat with flour. Sear in the skillet in batches, adding to the crock pot after each batch has browned.
  4. Add beef broth, wine, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, and potatoes to the crock pot. Stir, cover and cook on high for several hours.
  5. Just before serving stir in the basil and parsley. Top each bowl of stew with Parmesan cheese and serve with garlic bread.

 

 

 

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Sweet and Spicy Short Rib Tacos

short rib tacos 002

 

Have you noticed that they price of meat, ANY meat, is outrageously priced these days? Cuts of meat that were once very reasonable are almost as expensive as a steak! Feeding a family of four is expensive! When I recently found beef short ribs on sale I decided to take a chance. I had never bought them before, but the lady working at the store assured me that they cook up tender and delicious. After doing a little research, I decided to try this recipe by Marcela Valladolid. It was extremely easy, and my family loved these tacos.

Don’t let “spicy” scare you. I didn’t think the tacos were spicy at all. I was unable to find ancho chiles in my area, so I substituted Guajillo chiles. The beef will improve in flavor if cooked a couple of days before serving.

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Sweet and Spicy Short Rib Tacos
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 dried ancho chiles (or 8 Guajillo chiles), stemmed, seeded, and ribs discarded
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ c. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 6 lb. beef short ribs
  • Vegetable oil
  • warm corn and/or flour tortillas
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • ½ c. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Instructions
  1. Soak the ancho or Guajillo chiles in boiling water until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid. Transfer the softened chiles to a blender. Add the onion, garlic, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, beef broth, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Puree until smooth.
  2. Pat the ribs dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the ribs in batches, turning occasionally. Transfer browned ribs to a slow cooker.
  3. Pour the sauce over the ribs (liquid should reach about halfway up sides of meat). Cover and cook for 7 hours on high until very tender. All the ribs to cool slightly in the sauce.
  4. Remove the ribs from the sauce. Discard the bones and fat and shred the meat into a large bowl. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce and discard. Mix the sauce into the meat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the meat and sauce into a warm tortilla and serve with Mexican crema and chopped fresh cilantro. (We like ours serve with Cowboy Beans also.)
Notes
The ribs improve in flavor if cooked 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, cover and refrigerate. Remove any solidified fat before reheating.

The ribs can also be cooked in a 350°F oven for 3½ hours.

 

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Goat Cheese Pimento Cheese

 

goat-cheese-pimento-cheese

With football season in full swing, everyone needs a good pimento cheese recipe for tailgating and those many gatherings where the theme is friends, food, and football.  This pimento cheese has two of my favorite things combined, pimento cheese and goat cheese! The recipe is from Wolf Mountain Vineyards’ in Dahlonega, Georgia. I changed the original recipe around a little bit to suit my taste. To find the original recipe, please visit georgiamagazine.org, click on June 2015 under recent issues. 

To save time I bought roasted red peppers in a jar at the store. Taste before adding additional salt. The cheese and the olives are quite salty themselves. Serve your pimento cheese as a dip with fresh vegetables, crackers, a sliced and toasted baguette, or as a sandwich spread.

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Goat Cheese Pimento Cheese
 
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Ingredients
  • 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. goat cheese
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 lb. shredded yellow cheddar
  • 6-oz. shredded white cheddar
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • ⅓ c. green olives, chopped
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the goat cheese and mayonnaise and beat. Add shredded cheeses, bell pepper, green olives, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well until blended. Chill until ready to serve.

 

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