Sunday, February 22, 2009

Everyday with Marcus and Lisa

Another fun appearance on Everyday With Marcus and Lisa. Kathy came along to assist me - and boy was it nice to have help. Marcus and I made 3 appetizers in less than 10 minutes - and had lots of laughs... Here are the quick, easy and delicious! recipes for those of you who couldn't catch the show.

Smoked Salmon Rice Crisps
1 3.5 Oz Package of Rice Crackers
¼ Cup Light Mayonnaise
¼ Cup Light Sour Cream
2 TB Chopped Dill
1 TB Whole Grain Mustard
4 oz Sliced Smoked Salmon
Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
Dill Sprigs for Garnish

In a medium sized bowl, stir the mayonnaise, sour cream, chopped dill and mustard together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place a small dollop of the mixture on a rice cracker, top with a slice of smoked salmon and garnish with a dill sprig.

Maryland Miniature Crab Cakes
1 LB Back Fin. Claw or Special Crabmeat
1 TB Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 TSP Kosher Salt
¼ Cup Light Mayonnaise
1 TSP Yellow Mustard
2 TB Worcestershire Sauce
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 TSP Baking Powder
24 Saltine Crackers
¼ Cup Parsley, Minced
¼ Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil

Makes about 18 small crab cakes.

Step One
Place the crabmeat in a bowl and add the salt and pepper.

Step Two
In another bowl, mix the mayo, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and egg together. Gently fold mixture into crabmeat. In a third bowl, toss the baking powder, parsley, and about 1/4 cup of crushed Saltines together. Add to your crabmeat; mixture and again fold in very gently.

Step Three
On a plate, place the remainder of the crushed Saltines. With the help of a large spoon, make a crab cake from the crab mixture with your hands. Coat with the crushed crackers - just enough to cover the crab cake. Put the crab cakes on a plate or cookie sheet, and place in the frig for at least 30 minutes.

Step Four
In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and gently place crab cakes in the oil. Brown evenly on both sides. Crab cakes are ready when brown on both sides - a few minutes per side. Drain on a rack set over paper towels.

Far Northeast Tartar Sauce 
3/4 Cup Light Mayonnaise

4 TB Minced Dill Pickles

2 TB Minced Scallion

2 TB Minced Capers
1 TB Minced Cilantro
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Step One
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate until the flavors blend - at least 30 minutes.

Dried Cherry and Pecan Goat Cheese Toasts
1 5 oz Log Goat Cheese, room temperature
1 Cup Dried Cherries, Chopped
½ Cup Chopped Pecans, Roasted
1 Baguette, in 1/4'’ slices

For Garnish: ¼ Cup Chopped Pecans, Roasted
¼ Cup Chopped Dried Cherries

Step One
Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Slide into a 400F and toast until golden brown - about 4 minutes on each side.

Step Two
In a large bowl combine the goat cheese, dried cherries and pecans. Spread the mixture on the toasts, garnish with additional chopped roasted pecans and serve.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dragon Boat Atlanta

I had the pleasure of attending the 2009 kickoff meeting of Dragon Boat Atlanta on Sunday afternoon. It's a group of breast cancer survivors and supporters who want to increase the awareness of breast cancer, share the belief that there is quality of life after breast cancer, and believe that exercise plays a role in helping to achieve the highest quality of life. Sounds great, doesn't it? And the group that advocates this mantra is too! We zoomed up to the Lake Lanier area to join them, our saddlebags packed with a bottle of wine and this rice salad. I promised I'd pass on the recipe:

Eating Better Potluck Rice Salad

The Salad
1 Package *Wild and Brown Rice Mixture, prepared with low fat, low salt chicken broth
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
1/2 Chopped Pecans, Toasted
1/2 Cup Chopped Dried Apricots
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup Craisins
1/2 Cup Dried Blueberries
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onions
Juice from 1 Lemon
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Finely Shredded Romaine Lettuce

The Dressing
1 Garlic Clove, mashed to a paste with 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TB Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Curry Powder
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Step 1 
While the brown and wild rice mixture is cooking, make the dressing. Mash the garlic together with the kosher salt to make a paste. Add the garlic paste along with the remaining ingredients to a jar and shake. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 2  
To the warm rice mixture, add the carrots, apricots, cranberries, raisins, blueberries and green onions, toss gently. Add the lemon juice. Finally, add the dressing, a little at a time.(You will not need all the dressing.)  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 3
Serve the salad on top of the shredded romaine. (You can make it dinner by tossing the rest of the dressing with boneless skinless chicken breasts. Salt and pepper the breasts, and grill or broil them - slice the cooked chicken on top of the salads.)

*My favorite rice mixes are Lundberg. They are widely available at most grocery stores.

To find out more about Dragon Boat Atlanta:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Perfect Soup and Sandwich

Headed over to Roswell today to check out a new lunch spot. Tough to find and tucked away at the end of a long street of restaurants and cafes is Artisan Bakery. The great news is that it is worth the hunt. My friend and I both chose the daily special, a shrimp and avocado stuffed pita accompanied by 5 bean soup. The pita was incredibly light and fresh, the sandwich overflowing with veggies and fat, pink shrimp and the soup was "beany" and hardy. We checked out the surrounding tables to spy on other entrees and they all looked wonderful. For dessert we split an order of lemony hot powdered sugar beignets - 3 big boys that disappeared quickly. A hot and foamy and strong cafe au lait is the quintessential partner, and the Artisan version did not disappoint.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Slice Well Worth the Drive!

Who doesn't love New York Pizza? Eureka! We've discovered an authentic New York slice here in Atlanta. Well...not exactly Atlanta. Alpine Bakery lives in Alpharetta - about a 30 minute drive from the city. We celebrated the warm weather today by cranking up the bike and cruising OTP, (that's outside the perimeter for you non-Atlantans). It was a beautiful sunny day, and we took backroads up to the burbs, giving us lots of time to get hungry. We arrived to find the New York style bakery and pizzeria in a strip mall. The bakery was pristine and sparkling, packed with case after case of temptations. We ordered our pizza, and tried not to drool as we chose a dessert to share. In 10 minutes we had our pie. There is no dining here - so we sat outside on a concrete bench and enjoyed the warm fresh tomato sauce and melting cheese. Heaven in a box!