Smashed Potatoes with Jalapenos

Hello friends! Long time no see! I’ve missed this space and really hope to get back to my regular posting soon!

I just had to tell you about this fabulously simple side dish which Ron told me was the best thing I’ve made recently (don’t worry- he did preface that comment with, “you make a lot of delicious things, but…)  When he says that, I know a recipe’s good. This comes from the most recent issue of Bon Appetit, and was in a recipe spread inspired by Austin, TX (where we just spent a long weekend visiting Ron’s brother and wife, coincidentally). This recipe is so simple (my favorite kind), and just required a few ingredients. I foresee this becoming a staple in our household!

Smashed potatoes with Jalapenos

Smashed Potatoes with Jalapenos

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs fingerlings or small potatoes

1/2 cup olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp whole grain mustard

1 jalapeno, sliced thinly into rounds (seeds removed, if desired)

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (thinly packed), chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil (for easy cleanup). Toss potatoes with 1/4 cup of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 35 minutes, turning once. Potatoes should be done when they can be pierced easily with a fork.

2. Let potatoes cool slightly, and then gently flatten them so that they still hold together, but are slightly smashed. ( I used a fork to do this.)

3. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, and whole grain mustard. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, until emolsified. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the potatoes, jalapenos, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Source: Bon Appetit, July 2014

 

 

Crab Cakes

Hello everyone! Long time no see!!!! I’m so happy to be back, and I’m really hoping to be back on here regularly from now on. I have many excuses for my absense… sickness, bridal shower planning… but I really do miss this space here. I have been cooking of course- despite how busy I’ve been I would never be able to stay away from my kitchen (except during my horrible flu/cold that I had). I still haven’t finished sharing my vacation recipes. Shame on me!!! This was probably the best thing i cooked on vacation. Blue crabs are in abundance down in the Chincoteague area, and while we didn’t catch our own this year, we did buy a bunch of local crabs. The first night we just ate them as is- steamed, and then we made crab cakes and a crab frittata with the leftovers. I love that we had an abundance of crab… this is the only place I’ve ever been able to say that. At first I was going to just make veggie-filled crab cakes. My aunt Annmarie and I made the best crab and veggie cakes one year when we were vacationing on Cape Cod, and these were my attempt to make something similar. I REALLY need to get that recipe! My dad however, likes the simple crab-only crab cakes. So I decided to make both…. and then I threw some jalapenos and Old Bay into a few too. I have to say my favorite were the veggie-filled crab cakes with the inclusion of the jalapeno and Old Bay seasoning. So much flavor!!!!

Simple Crab Cakes

Makes about 8-10 small crab cakes

Ingredients:

1 lb lump crab

1/2 cup cracker crumbs (I used Trader Joe’s Mulitgrain crackers- you could use those, ritz, or a similar type of crackers)

1 egg

2-4 Tbsp Mayonnaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 Jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced (optional)

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (optional)

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp canola oil, more if needed (or other higher heat oil)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise(start with the smaller amount) and Dijon. Add the crab meat, cracker crumbs, jalapeno and Old Bay (if using) and season with salt and pepper, and gently mix together.

2. Carefully form your crab cakes. If they are having a hard time staying together you can add more mayo as needed. It helps if you wet your hands slightly. Place on a plate, and refrigerate for at least half an hour (this will help them firm up).

3. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of canola oil. When hot, add your crab cakes, making sure not to crowd the pan. You will have to fry them in 2 or 3 batches. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, until browned. Add additional oil to pan as needed between batches.

Source: Original recipe, but inspired by many recipes around the web

Vegetable Filled Crab Cakes

Makes about 10-12 small crab cakes

Ingredients:

1/4 red pepper, finely diced

1/4 green pepper, finely diced

1/4 summer squash, grated

1/4 red onion, finely diced)

1 Tbsp olive oil or butter

1 lb lump crab meat

1/2 cup cracker crumbs, crushed (I used Trader Joe’s Mulitgrain crackers- you could use those, ritz, or a similar type of crackers)

1 egg

2-4 Tbsp Mayonnaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 Jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced (optional)

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (optional)

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp canola oil, more if needed (or other higher heat oil)

Directions:

1. Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil or butter. When hot, add the bell peppers, summer squash and red onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and saute until softened, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise(start with the smaller amount) and Dijon. Add the crab meat, cracker crumbs, jalapeno and Old Bay (if using), sauteed vegetables and season with salt and pepper, and gently mix together.

3. Carefully form your crab cakes. If they are having a hard time staying together you can add more mayo as needed. It helps if you wet your hands slightly. Place on a plate, and refrigerate for at least half an hour (this will help them firm up).

4. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of canola oil. When hot, add your crab cakes, making sure not to crowd the pan. You will have to fry them in 2 or 3 batches. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, until browned. Add additional oil to pan as needed between batches.

Source: Original recipe, but inspired by many recipes around the web, and my Aunt Annmarie’s Crab Cakes

Jalapeno Popper Sliders

So burgers mixed with jalapeno poppers sounds awesome, am I right?  When I saw this in Rachel Ray’s Everyday magazine I just couldn’t resist trying out this combo.  Yep, once again I’m back with some Rachel Ray… I picked this particular issue up at the grocery store recently as I had finished all the food magazines I subscribe to, and an amazing looking burger beckoned to me from the cover.  Not the popper sliders, but rather a burger topped with an extra-thick onion ring.  Perusing the magazine though brought me to these sliders, and I knew that I would have to try them.  I mean, who doesn’t like jalapeno poppers?  (It’s okay if you don’t, I won’t judge you too harshly.)  So in this recipe, a mini-burger is topped with the ingredients of a jalapeno popper- a seasoned cream cheese, sauteed jalapenos, and a bit more cheese for good measure- covering both jalapeno poppers stuffed with cream cheese, and those stuffed with a cheddar cheese.  It’s the best of both worlds.

Jalapeno Popper Sliders
Makes 6 sliders

Ingredients:
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut into rounds, or strips
1 red Fresno chile pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, for drizzling
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp grated onion
1 large clove garlic, grated or pressed
A small handful of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1 lb ground beef
2 oz. sharp or smoked cheddar, or smoked Gouda, sliced
6 slider rolls, such as 3-inch brioche rolls, or cornmeal topped dinner rolls, split
Directions:
1. Preheat your grill (or griddle or grill pan) to medium-high heat.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat and add jalapenos and Fresno chile peppers.  Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, until they are charred on the edges, and crisp-tender.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, onion, garlic, cilantro and cumin.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
4. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper.  Form 6 small patties, with an indentation in the center of each. Brush the grill with canola oil (or other oil with a higher smoke point).  Place the patties on the grill, and grill for 2-3 minutes.  Flip the burger, top with a dollop of cream cheese mixture, and a piece of sliced cheese.  Grill for 2-3 minutes more until the burger is cooked, and the cheese is melted.
5. Place the burgers on the rolls, and top with the chile peppers.
Notes:
  • For the last step of the recipe, when you have flipped the burger and placed the cheeses on top, the original recipe says to put the cover of the grill down, or tent with tinfoil to promote melting.  I really didn’t think this was a necessary step, as my cheese melted just fine without the top down.  
  • I loved these burgers, but next time I want to try stuffing the burger with jalapenos, cream cheese, and cheese to make it even more exciting!  A burger stuffed with jalapeno popper ingredients sounds even awesomer to me- maybe stuffed and topped with them…. hmmmmm…
  • Also next time I won’t seed the peppers, as with them de-seeded there was very little heat.  It is perfect this way if you like mild food, but since I like things spicy, hopefully keeping the seeds in will be just the thing to literally spice things up.