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.
1/2 pound pipe rigate pasta
2 cloves garlic
1/2 vidalia onion, sliced
1/2 lb. portabella mushrooms, sliced
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: