Monday, March 28, 2011

Crab Benedict

It's March and this Maryland gal is already thinking about some leftover crab meat from a crab feasty. If you do not have access to our delicious Maryland crabs you may use pasteurized crab meat instead. Crab Benedict is a breakfast fit for a King. This is a rich and satisfying breakfast that is really not that complicated to make. Hollandaise can be tricky to make and this is where Knorr sauce mix steps in. When you want to make a special breakfast for someone this is the one to impress. My Stud Muffin agrees and gives this a two thumb's up.

  • 1 pkg. Knorr Hollandaise Sauce mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter plus some to butter muffins
  • 1 cup lump crab meat
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 whole english muffins
  • Old Bay optional garnish
  • cooking spray
  • fresh fruit of your choice

You will need a 12 inch skillet with a lid and 4 glass pyrex custard cups. Prepare Hollandaise sauce mix according to package instructions. When ready add crab meat and set burner on low.
Meanwhile in a 12 inch skillet add 2 cups boiling water over medium heat. Place custard cups into skillet then spray custard cups with cooking spray, add 1 tsp. boiling water to cup. Add egg to cups when water comes to a boil. Cover with a lid and lower to med/low heat and cook for 7-9 minutes. I like a loose set egg where the yolk is a little runny. Cook for 9 minutes if you like it firmer.

While eggs are cooking split english muffins and toast and butter them. Place two muffin halves per plate, add poached egg to the top of the muffin gently scooping out of cup with a soft spatula, be careful it's hot. Then drizzle about ¼ cup or so of the Hollandaise crab mixture (using half of it evenly dividing over top of 4 eggs). You may want to sprinkle the optional Old Bay spice on top at this time or set it on the table for guests to decide if they would like it. Add some fresh fruit to plate as well. Serve first two servings then repeat cooking eggs and muffins again. Serves 4. Enjoy!!!

I use fat free milk, Smart Balance margarine and high fiber english muffins. This is a perfect way to use up 1 cup of leftover crab meat.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baked Heuvos Rancheros

 Breakfast for a crowd the easy way and scrumptious to boot. After you make these babies for your guests you will notice that people will make excuses to come to your house for Breakfast, but hey wait a minute. This is a great recipe for Lunch or Dinner as well. So make your fat cells sing with delight.

  • 1 cup diced roma tomatoes, about 3
  • ½ cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 cup diced fresh jalapeno, pulp and seeds removed
  • juice of ½ fresh lime

Heuvos Rancheros
  • 1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground chipotle chile
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 corn tortillas, 6 inch round
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • grated cheddar
  • Pam spray, olive oil

Mix together all salsa ingredients and refrigerate covered.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix first 6 ingredients of the heuvos mixture together in a small saucepan and heat over med low heat stirring occasionally. Spray a large baking sheet (12x17 in. or so) with oil, then spray both sides of corn tortilla's with oil too. Evenly place them onto baking sheet.

After bean mixture has simmered for 5 minutes or so remove from heat. Evenly divide bean mixture between all 6 corn tortillas, making a well for the raw egg to stay in, the bean mixture should be shaped like a donut on the top of the tortilla. Crack a raw egg into each bean well. Carefully place into oven and bake for 7-10 minutes. If you want your yolks completely set, cook for 10 minutes. I like mine to run a little and cook for 7-8 minutes. Removing from oven the last 2 minutes of cook time to add cheese.

While eggs are baking this is a perfect time to prepare your optional garnishes and to slice the avocados.

Place one tortilla per plate with a spoonful of the fresh salsa and avocado slices. Top with the garnish of your choice, I like a little bit of all.

Optional garnishes: spring onion sliced thin, black olives sliced thin, hot sauce (your choice), sour cream.

You may make the salsa and bean mixture the night before. Just keep the salsa chilled and you can microwave the bean mixture to heat it up just before baking. I like to make this healthier by using low fat cheddar, Eggland's Best eggs, and fat free sour cream. Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Desserts

Irish Sweet Potato Candy

St.Patrick's Day always makes me think about Irish Sweet Potatoes. In Philadelphia it was it only time of the year that you could buy these little treasures. Even after we moved away from there, my Mom would always make these for St. Patrick's Day. It was a family tradition for us. Irish Sweet Potatoes in Philadelphia on St. Patrick's Day, wow does that bring back childhood memories.
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 (7oz) bag coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. mashed potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • ¼ cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsps. cocoa
Put the mashed potatoes in a large bowl with the butter, mash and mix well. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Then add vanilla and coconut. Knead until soft. Shape into little balls. Mix cinamon and cocoa together in a small bowl, then roll the candy balls into the mixture. Place candy in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Green Velvet Cake

Happy St. Patrick's Day! St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic. --Adrienne Cook. Everybody wants to go green on St. Patrick's Day and this is a perfect way to do it. This recipe cheats and uses a doctored up cake mix. You will be surprised how delicious and how easy to is to make. Whether you bake a cake or cupcakes that is up to you, but this recipe is sure to please the Irish in you. Enjoy and most of all have fun too.
  • 1 pkg. Duncan Hines Fudge Marble Cake mix
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup (2oz.) green food coloring
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Do not follow ingredients list on cake box.

Mix together white cake mix pack (set aside chocolate pack) with buttermilk, eggs, and oil. Blend cake mix on low for 30 seconds, then mix for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Separately in a small bowl mix together chocolate pack and green food coloring with a wire whisk until well blended. Then add green mixture to white cake mix in mixer and beat on medium, making sure color is evenly blended.

Then mix together vinegar and baking soda (will foam up), add vinegar mixture to cake mix and blend well. Bake according to package directions.

Green Velvet Icing
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 6 Tbsp. Crisco
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar, super fine
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
Ice cake when it is completely cooled. Cream butter, Crisco, & sugar together on high. Add milk & vanilla, then add flour 1 Tbsp. at a time on low slowly increasing speed to high. Then beat 12 minutes with an electric mixer on high. When you first add liquid it will look almost curdled, don't worry it will blend and fluff up to a light icing.

If you do not have buttermilk you may make your own by adding 1 Tbsp. plus ½ tsp. white vinegar to the milk, stir well and let set at room temp for 10 minutes. You may also use red food coloring instead of green to make a red velvet cake. Also there is just enough icing to frost this cake. If you like alot of icing you may want to double the icing recipe.

And here's an interesting article from the Frederick News Post.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Louisiana Gumbo

This Gumbo will not make you fat on Fat Tuesday. My recipe is a healthier version and it is absolutely delicious. It is a favorite around our house and is a nice hearty meal that will stick to your ribs. It is great the first day and even better the next day after the flavors meld. It has just the right amount of spice, not too hot, just right. If you like yours even spicier you can add your favorite hot sauce. If you are a cry baby about spice, then this is not for you. Hey, if you can not take a little heat, then please don't eat--no cry babies allowed in Cajun country.

Louisiana Gumbo

  • ½ cup all-purpose white flour*
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic (in jar)
  • 8 cups defatted chicken stock or use chicken base
  • 2 (10 oz.) cans chopped tomatoes with green chilies (Ro-tel original)
  • 1 (10 oz.) frozen sliced okra
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice*
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined, salad style 100/150 count
  • ½ to ¾ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat and membrane and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3-4 links andouille chicken sausage, sliced in half lengthwise, then into slices.

Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the flour turns a deep golden color. Transfer the flour to a plate and let cool. There will be a strong aroma similar to burnt toast. Be careful not to let the flour burn; reduce the heat if flour seems to be browning too quickly.

In a heavy stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, green peppers, celery and garlic, sauté for about 7 minutes, or until the onions are lightly browned. Stir in the toasted flour. Gradually stir in chicken stock and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add tomatoes, okra, pepper, thyme, oregano, cayenne and bay leaves. Add raw chicken and sausage. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add rice and cook for 60 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and ladle into bowls.

*To make this dish healthy use whole wheat flour and brown rice. It does not affect the flavor. But the brown rice will need to cook for 75 minutes before you add the shrimp. Add 1 cup of Benefiber powder if you want more added fiber.