Appetizers/Small Plates · Salads · Seafood

Spicy Crab & Avocado Salad

Spicy Crab & Avocado Salad

More times than not, I’ve got a lot to say about everything. And when it comes to food– fuggedaboutit!

But then there are times when I take a bite of something and there are really just no words needed. Like with this Spicy Crab and Avocado Salad. MMMMMMM!!!!!!

Spicy Crab & Avocado Salad

TONS of sweet lump crab meat, paired with the creaminess of avocado, a slight crunch from the serranos and a kick of spice. Perfection!

Okay, okay. Maybe I do have a few words but trust me, one bite and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

By the way, in case you’re wondering–Why do I call this a “crab salad”? Well…the same reason why they call chicken salad, “chicken salad”. And yes, I may be trying to avert the question. 🙂

Laters!

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Spicy Crab and Avocado Salad
Serves 2

Ingredients:

5 ounces cooked lump crab meat
1 scallion, diced
1 teaspoon finely minced serrano pepper
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon Old Bay Seasonings
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 large avocado, halved and seeded
garnish with chives and additional Old Bay Seasonings

In a bowl, gently combine the crab, scallion, serrano pepper, mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice and Old Bay Seasonings. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper. Refrigerate the crab mixture for 30 minutes.

Spoon half of the crab mixture into each of the avocado halves. Sprinkle with a dash of Old Bay Seasonings and top with chives. Enjoy!

Seafood

Sriracha Crab Cakes–Bringing the heat to Valentine’s Day!

Sriracha Crab Cakes

Oh l’amour…..

However, if you’re like the gazillion of other folks out there, you may be still scrambling to solidify your plans to woo your loved one.

So let a sistah help you out……..skip the overpriced restaurants with the “meh” prix fixed menus and jump in the kitchen to cook a delish meal for your sweetie.

Sriracha Crab Cakes

But that doesn’t mean you need to slave away in the kitchen all day to impress your Boo. In fact, not only are these Sriracha Crab Cakes super easy to make but they are sure to BRING THE HEAT to your Valentine’s Day!

The crab cakes are jammed pack with lump crab and have a wonderful kick of heat from the Sriracha and jalapenos. Oh yea…..

Sriracha Crab Cakes

Pair them with a bright bottle of bubbly and chocolate covered strawberries and BOOM! Instant recipe for love.

You’re welcome 🙂

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Sriracha Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade
Serves 2 entrees or 4 appetizers

Ingredients:

Crab Cakes:
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove, finely minced
12 ounces cooked lump crab
1 red jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Sauce:
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
½ tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Begin preparing the crab cakes by whisking together the Sriracha, egg white, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, paprika, and garlic. Once combined, gently fold in the crab meat, jalapeno, scallions, parsley and ¼ cup of the bread crumbs. You may add additional breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture into fourths and form each portion into equal sized patties. Dredge the crab cakes with the remaining breadcrumbs. Cover the crab cakes and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by whisking together the sour cream, mayonnaise, Sriracha, cayenne and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Heat a large skillet or cast iron on medium heat. Melt the 1 tablespoon butter into 2 tablespoons oil, swirling the liquid around the skillet. In batches, fry two of the crab cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown and heated through. Remove the crab cakes and wipe the skillet with a paper towel before adding the remaining butter and oil. Fry the remaining two crab cakes.

To plate, drizzle some of the sauce of each over each of the crab cakes and sprinkle additional chives and minced jalapeno over the top. Serve with additional lemon wedges.

Appetizers/Small Plates · Seafood

Ringing in Tết with Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons

Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons


Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!!

That’s right, dear friends! It’s Tết – the Lunar New Year!

I have to admit, I just barely finished scrubbing down my home yesterday. As I’ve shared before, one of the rituals leading up to Tết involves some serious housekeeping. And heck–I do whatever I can to ensure that my loved ones and I will have a lucky and prosperous new year. No bad ju-ju here!

Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons

My clan won’t be gathering until next week but my mouth is already watering just thinking about all of the delicious traditional eats that are in my near future. Rice cakes, roasted pig, sticky rice…..yummers.

Since I’ll be getting my fill of all of the traditional Tết fixins’ next week, I thought I would whip up some quick, yet satisfying bites to pay homage to the Lunar New Year. These Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons fit that bill! I figure that since dumplings are traditionally served during Chinese New Year to symbolize money, the same may go for these lovely wontons. After all, they are gold and look like little purses 🙂

The fried wontons are filled with lump crab and pairs beautifully with the creaminess from the avocados. The sriracha adds a slight kick and when dipped into the tamarind chili sauce–perfection!

Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons

And with that dear friends, please allow me to wish you a very Happy, Healthy, Meaningful, Joyful, and Adventurous Year of the Snake!

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Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Wontons:
6 ounces cooked lump crab meat
½ tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
½ cup diced avocados
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
kosher salt and pepper to taste
12 wonton skins
vegetable oil for frying

Tamarind Chili Sauce:

3 tablespoons tamarind juice concentrate
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon warm water
½ tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 red chili, minced finely

In a bowl, gently combine the crab, sriracha, avocados, chives and limejuice. Season with salt and pepper.

Take one wonton skin and brush the edge of each side with water. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture in the center of the skin. Fold the ends of the wrapper together, pinching to seal. Fold the other ends together to make a little parcel. Use your fingers and pinch together all the seams to thoroughly seal. Repeat with the remaining wonton skins.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot to 375 degrees F.

While the oil comes to temperature, prepare the Tamarind Chili Sauce. In a bowl, whisk together all the items and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Once the oil is ready, fry the wontons in batches for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat until all wontons have been fried and serve with immediately with the Tamarind Chili Sauce.

Appetizers/Small Plates · Sunday Family Dinner

N’awlins Seafood Boil for Sunday Family Dinner & Cajun Crab Puffs

Cajun Crab Puffs

In May, we began our new tradition of Sunday Family Dinners. And although each month has been wonderful, September was a milestone as it was the first dinner that all of my siblings and their families were in attendance. My brother and his family were in from NYC and my sister from SF came down….it was a full house!

Sunday Family Dinner

With all the sibs in attendance, we needed to have an epic Sunday Family Dinner. The theme for our dinner was a N’awlins inspired Seafood Boil! Crabs, Lobsters, Prawns, Crawfish, Calamari, Clams, Oysters— OH MY! We seriously threw down over 50 pounds of seafood!

Sunday Family Dinner

For dessert, my sister P, whipped up fresh beignets showered with powdered sugar and served with homemade Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream. The beignets were so beautifully tender and crispy…. and the ice cream was To Die For.

Sunday Family Dinner

My contribution for the night were these little appetizers that I was initially going to call Baby Po’Boys but have since changed the name to Cajun Crab Puffs. These little buggers were TASTY! The crab was wonderfully sweet and paired well with the spicy aioli. The tomato and scallions gave a bright, fresh note and c’mon…who doesn’t love flaky, butter puff pastry?!

Sunday Family Dinner

But as decadently delicious as everything was, it was just incredible to have everyone under one roof again. The kids were running around and they even made personalized “seafood bibs” for each of us out of trash bags. Adorable and quite useful!

And although it was a bit chaotic (c’mon, what family shinding isn’t?), it was the epitome of why we started Sunday Family Dinners in the first place.

Cajun Crab Puffs

ps. These Cajun Crab Puffs were really yummy and easy to pull together. With the holidays now in full swing, they would be a great appetizer for any party you may be having.

This Month’s Family Dinner Menu

Cocktails: Endless Prosecco and Vino
Appetizers: Cajun Crab Puffs
Entrees: Cajun Seafood Boil–Lobster, Shrimp, Crawdads, Shrimp, Shellfish
Dessert: Beignets with homemade Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

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Cajun Crab Puffs

Ingredients:

½ tablespoon minced garlic
1 large egg yolk
½ tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
6 ounces lump crab
2-3 pinches cayenne powder
1 cup cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped chives (although I used scallions)

Prepare the aioli. Add garlic, egg yolk, and lemon juice into a blender. Pulse several times until the items have blended together. Turn the blender on low and slowly stream in the olive oil. Continue to blend until all of the oil has been used and the consistency reaches a thick consistency. Blend in the hot sauce and Old Bay. Check for seasonings and adjust with kosher salt and pepper as needed. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Take the sheet of puff pastry and cut squares about 1½ inch in diameter. Bake the squares for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks. Once cooled, slice each square in half.

Season the lump crab with cayenne powder.

Begin assembling the puffs. Take one half of a puff pastry square and top with a slice of tomato and a spoonful of crab. Drizzle some of the aioli on top of the crab and then garnish with chives. Top with the other half of the puff pastry square. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and serve.