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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crab Cake Sliders

Whenever I travel to the states I always make sure to visit The Cheesecake Factory. I know it isn't exactly a gourmet restaurant, but there is just something comforting about it that always draws me in. One of my favourite Cheesecake dishes is their Crab Cake Sandwich; a large crab cake sandwiched between a brioche bun and topped with crisp lettuce, fresh tomato and tartar sauce. Delicious, right? Well tonight, I decided to make my own version of the sandwich except that I made it miniature; Introducing The Crab Cake Slider!!!

These sliders are perfect for entertaining or a delicious week night treat as I enjoyed them tonight! Enjoy!

Crab Cake Sliders
Makes 8 Sliders
  • 1/2 lb. fresh crab claw meat, picked through for shells
  • 1 Tbsp. Hellman's Half the Fat mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp.chopped chives
  • 1 tsp. Frank's Red Hot hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • bread crumbs
  • panko bread crumbs for dredging
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 8 slider buns
  • Boston lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes and tartar sauce (recipe below) for garnish
1. In a large mixing bowl gently mix together crab meat, mayo, chives, hot sauce, dijon, egg and bread crumbs until just combined, be careful not to break up crab meat too much. Place the panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Using your hands, form crab mixture into small slider patties, dredge in the seasoned panko and place on a a gently greased baking sheet. Repeat until entire mixture is used. Chill the sliders in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes (this will help hold them together when cooking)
3. Pre-heat your ovens broiler. Brush the tops of the crab cakes with some melted butter and place in the oven for 5 minutes, the tops should be golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the cakes over and brush with some more melted butter. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 3 minutes.
4. Spread a little tartar sauce on the bottom of a slider bun, top with some shredded lettuce, a slice of tomato and a crab cake, top with the bun top. Repeat with remaining cakes and buns.

Not Your Average Tartar Sauce
Makes about 1 cup (you will have leftovers)
  • 3/4 cup Hellman's Half the Fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tsp. capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. dill relish
  • 1 tsp. grainy dijon mustard
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • hot sauce to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Tales from our Garden

    Welcome to the first edition of Tales from our Garden!

    The past owners of our house were really into gardening and we were lucky to inherit their wonderfully landscaped backyard complete with beautiful flowers, plants and a great vegetable garden. Most vegetables are annuals and have to be replanted every year, so after a few long weeks researching on google, and a trip to a local nursery, we took advantage of the warm long weekend and got to work!

    Here is picture of what we planted:
    In the garden: Three types of tomatoes, two types of bell peppers, zucchini, cucumber, leeks, green onions, 4 types of lettuce, basil, sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme and strawberries!

    In addition to what we planted, we were also pleasantly surprised to find a few perennial herbs and vegetables hidden around the garden:

    We found this overgrown asparagus plant which was a great surprise since asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables. Did you know that asparagus can grow up to 5 ft?!?!

    We also found beautiful herb plants like chives, mint and oregano.

    Be sure to keep checking back as I will keep you updated on the progress of the vegetables as well as delicious recipes to accompany them!

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Quick Meal: Pizza-nini

    Last night was one of those evenings where I had an hour after getting home from work to not only make dinner but eat it too as we had an appointment to get to. I didn't want to just go through the drive through on my way home so I whipped up something I have made before that is super simple, delicious and you don't even need to turn on your oven.

    A pizza-nini is essentially, a panini made out of pizza ingredients. I use store bought pizza crust and spread on my favourite toppings. Instead of baking the pizza in the oven, I fold it in half, brush it with some olive oil and grill it on my panini press until the cheese is all melted and then eat it like a sandwich.

    You can go classic with cheese and tomato sauce like this pizza-nini for my hubby:

    Or you can get a little fancier like this proscuitto, ricotta, fig and arugula one for me:

    Get creative!

    To round out the meal serve with a salad and you have a quick and delicious dinner in no time. These are great for entertaining and make great appetizers or hors d'oeuvres when cut up into bite size pieces.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    I'll be back....

    To all my followers I apologize for the lack of posting recently. I was on vacation and then had some family obligations which kept me busy, but I promise to be back in full force tomorrow!

    In other news, we bought a new BBQ this weekend so be sure to keep checking back for great summer BBQ recipes!!!
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