Archive for the 'crab cakes' Category


pasta with truffle oil, spicy crab cake panini.

Ok so a couple of months back, I was all “Wooooo my computer’s back! All is right with the world. Prepare for the best blog of your LIFE. I’m going to blog so hard. So very hard.” And my computer, vindictive as she is, staged a preemptive strike and almost melted into herself. Who does that?! Whores. That’s who. I sent her to Florida to straighten out. Then, I went to California for shits and giggles, and I didn’t cook for like a week. Also, my fitness was dangerously low, so I had enough material to write something like, “Today I walked from the car to the restaurant and ordered enough French Toast to gag a Frenchman. Like, easily. And then I went and consumed a giant frozen yogurt with frosted Animal Crackers.” No one wants to hear that. So, yeah, I’ve been absent for two months. All apologies.

A few weeks ago I decided to have a few friends over, and I got all kinds of creative with the appetizer list. I quadrupled every recipe, and then of course had poor time management and only made half of what I’d planned. As a result, I have so many unnecessary ingredients just sitting around, taunting me. I made a pasta dish last week with a bunch of my lefties, and it came out kind of Batali-worthy.

pasta a la Deena


1/2 pound pipe rigate pasta

2 cloves garlic

1/2 vidalia onion, sliced

1/2 lb. portabella mushrooms, sliced

sundried tomatoes

parsley, chopped

lemon juice

truffle oil

olive oil

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

I started by sauteeing the chopped garlic and onion in some olive oil, salt and pepper, and let that go ahead and brown away. Then I added the sliced mushrooms and a little bit of the truffle oil, and continued to cook until they were ready for me.

Meanwhile I boiled the pasta, and then chopped the sundried tomatoes and parsley. Once the pasta was done, I drained it and then added the mushroom mixture right in. I stirred in the tomatoes and parsley, added some lemon juice, and then shredded a bunch of parmesan cheese on top. It was pretty much my proudest pasta ever. Isn’t she lovely?

It was hearty, so my workout routine had to match. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with and really taking to the midday gymming. Every day is kind of a race against the clock, though, so variety has fallen off as a result. I went to my first yoga class in months yesterday, and I’ve decided it’s probably necessary that I welcome it back full time. I’m really sore and MUCH too zen for a New Yorker right now. I kind of love it.

One of the appetizers that made the final cut for my get-together was Spicy Crab cakes with Lemon Aioli, which I bogarted from the Neelys:


2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon crab boil seasoning

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup plain panko bread crumbs

1 large egg

Hot sauce, to taste

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over to remove cartilage and shell fragments

1/2 cup peanut oil

I pretty much stayed true to the recipe, although Whole Foods seems never to have heard of this “crab boil” seasoning, so I used Old Bay. And way more hot sauce than just “to taste,” obviously. You basically just mix everything in a giant bowl and then form into patties, roll said patties in bread crumbs, and then sautee over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side. Since I’d quadrupled the recipe, I only had enough time to make about half of the patties, so I made the rest of the bowl the day after.

I ate some of the 20 some-odd patties in typical ass out, face-in-the-refrigerator fashion, but I got a little fancy with the remainders. I had planned on making some crab and avocado crostinis, so I had a couple of untouched baguettes. I decided to make a crab cake panini with some grilled red and yellow bell peppers and avocado. I drizzled the bread with olive oil, and toasted both halves. I already had the grilled peppers leftover from a delicious bruschetta I’d made (touche Bobby Flay), so I placed those along with some sliced avocado opposite the crab cake. The whole thing was incredible and, like, gives Crayola a complex because of its purdy colors. See below:

Crab cake panini with grilled bell peppers and avocado


Austin eats.

I just took my first big girl vacay, and I think I fell a little bit in love. I visited my lady Lauren in Austin, TX, where she and fiance Dave have lived for the past year. That city is crammed full of Mexican food and fitness lovahs, and I’m a little into both myself. And by “a little into,” I mean that I’d like to die by means of salsa and avocados after a nice outdoor jog. I haven’t worked out the specifics for that amazing/slightly morbid fantasy, but what a way to go.

Lauren let me tag along while she did her grocery shopping at the organic red light district-esque Central Market. You know, if the red light district offered free samples and was about food, rather than prostitution. Just look at the fish counter:



How sexy is THAT? She didn’t come outright and say that she was challenging my loyalty to Trader Joe’s, but I could see it in her eyes.

One of the things I love most about TJ’s is the customer service, but the employees at Central Market are above and beyond. They pretty much stop just short of going home with you and preparing the food while you watch Days. Maybe if coaxed? I think they could be talked into it.

Lauren and I were all, “Hmm maybe we’ll make crab cakes. How does one prepare those?” And the employee was like, “Hold please, I’ll go print a recipe for you.” And then he DID. And it was an Ellie Krieger recipe! It’s like he sensed we’re Food Network addicts, and we both totally took care to cover our track marks.

We were in Central Market to buy breakfast burritos ingredients, which is one of Lauren’s specialties. We went back and she prepared, while I sat stove-side and observed. She started with a couple of russet potatoes and one yellow onion, which she chopped and threw in a pan with a little canola oil. She added about a clove of chopped garlic, some cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Those sauteed for about 10-15 minutes, and she covered the pan for most of the time to expedite the softening:

breakfast burrito master

breakfast burrito master

She then scrambled about five eggs in a separate skillet, which she prepares by heating the skillet on high and adding the eggs immediately. She scrambles for about a minute, and then turns off the burner to let it cook a minute or so more. Although Sunny says cook eggs low and slow, I totally approve of this method. Who doesn’t love fast and easy? No one. No one doesn’t love it.

Lauren heated the tortillas in yet another skillet, which is kind of great because it snubs the microwave. I get such a thrill out of that. When everything cooked up all delicious-like, she threw them all in the warmed tortillas and dressed with salsa verde and hot sauce.

They were so spicy and flavorful, and I’m taking her recipe without shame. Meanwhile, see below for the final product:

Lauren's breakfast tacos.

Lauren's breakfast tacos.

I spent four days with Austin, and by the end of my trip we realized we forgot to make the crab cakes that the fish counter man was so committed to!

We were too busy having the most amazing Indian food in life, excellent mushroom pizza at The Alamo, and great $10 brunch that kept me full for like 12 hours. Oh yeah, and cinnamon and nutella crunch gelato. I had that also.

Come Tuesday, I tried to leave Austin, but the city like wouldn’t have it. My flight was supposed to leave at 1 p.m., but it delayed, delayed, delayed and was eventually canceled by 6 p.m. Not one airline wanted to fly anywhere near NY at that point, so I called Lauren and filled her in on the situation. The quickest flight out was this morning, so I crashed for one more night with my favorite Texans.

We made our collaborative crab cake dinner, meaning Lauren made the cakes (the important part) and I cut sweet potatoes into fry-like shapes. She made the cakes by mixing lump crab, a diced red pepper, and chives with some worchester sauce, hot sauce and dijon mustard. She then mixed in one egg, rolled them in bread crumbs, and pan seared them in a little oil for about five minutes. I cut the sweet potatoes, brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked them at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

I’m an unapologetic grill fiend, so I was all ready to grill the corn on Lauren’s indoor grill. Rather, she wet the corn still wrapped in its husks, and microwaved it for about 8 minutes. They steam when nuked that way, and they came out perfectly done. Also, the husks just shed right off that way, which is pretty convenient for the husk-challenged.

The meal was delicious and totally reaffirmed Jetblue’s decision to ground me for one more night. See below:

clockwise from right: sweet potato fries, crab cake, corn on the cob and green onion garnish.

clockwise from right: sweet potato fries, crab cake, corn on the cob and green onion garnish.

July 2020