Appetizers

Pan Seared Crab Cakes

Sometimes I find myself craving something for days at a time, and ever since I got back from my business trip in California I have been wanting crab cakes. I had the best crab cakes in the history of crab cakes in San Diego. I tried to recreate them, so here is the recipe I came up with! Enjoy!

 

  • 1 16oz can of Crab meat
  • 1/3 cup of Dijon Mustard
  • 1/3 cup of mayo ( I used the brand Just Mayo)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tablespoon of Worcestershire
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder
  • about 5 sprigs of chives diced
  • handful of diced parsley
  • teaspoon of whole grain mustard
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs

Mix all of this in a bowl and form into patties, this made about 4 large patties and I used a little handful to top a piece of my salmon with. Then heat your skilled to medium heat and drizzle a little olive oil. Cook each crab cake until golden brown on each side about 5 minutes each. Serve with your favorite aioli or remoulade!

Ahi Tuna Stack

FullSizeRender (2)Ahi tuna has to be one of my favorite meals/appetizers. I LOVE sushi and any kind with tuna is my go to. I always order tuna tartake and seared tuna out, and that gets so expensive. So I took it upon myself to attempt to make my own seared tuna. I was terrified to make it myself because I like it rare, but I did it anyway.

Here’s what happened. I ate this tuna stack at a restaurant and I honestly can’t remember where I had it, but I never forgot the presentation I fell in love with it. I’ve seen the shrimp stack before and I just think it looks so fancy  and colorful. So I wanted to make it. I thought this was going to be so difficult but in all honestly it was SOOOOO Simple.

You can’t make a good seared tuna without putting it in a screaming hot cast iron pan. I just moved into my apartment not too long ago and we have an electric stove that I despise. I hate the coils because everything cooks so unevenly and then the oil or whatever you’re cooking with goes to one side of the pan and it drives me absolutely nuts.

Yeah with that being said I went out to this new cooking gadget store and bought myself a cast iron pan. They are the most amazing pans and I am thrilled to make more meals with it, so stay tuned friends.

Ingredients

  • 1 tuna steak, make sure it is fresh and has a nice bright color to it
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tblsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice (or any kind you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ginger powder
  • garlic

For the sauce 

  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • tablespoon of Siracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic
  • dash of ginger
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • green onion for garnish
  1. heat olive oil in a cast iron pan and get it screaming hot until you can see the steam.
  2. season your tuna steak with salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger on each side ( do it to your taste)
  3. sear your tuna for about 30-45 seconds on each side
  4. dice your half of cucumber and avocado
  5. cook and measure your rice
  6. for the stack I used a rocks glass, but if you have a can you can cut it to make it work.
  7. fill your rocks glass with some sesame seeds and then your tuna
  8. the layer the cucumber and avocado
  9. the pack the rice on top firmly
  10. place on a plate and remove it slowly
  11. mix all the ingredients for your sauce in a bowl and spoon it over your stack
  12. sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions and dig in!

IMG_4613FullSizeRender (3)

Ratatouille (not the movie) 

  
Funny story behind this recipe, I needed a challenge so I posted a status and said any recipes people want to know how to make post it here and I will make it on Sunday during my meal prep. So my friend Dan says ratatouille (as in the movie, not the actual dish) now me being me, think oh ratatouille that’s a good French dish I can make that no problem. So I make it. Send him the picture and recipe and he said I’ve never had it before only heard of it from the movie, so I’m like wow I’m an idiot he was totally kidding and I didn’t even think of the movie. But hey it was a damn good comment because this was absolutely delicious. 

Ratatouille is a common French and Mediterranean dish. It can be made as a stew or how I have it. It’s vegetables that are in a tomato stew and seasoned to perfection. Sounds fancy but it’s super simple to make.   

     
 Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (can use red wine or balsamic) 
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning 
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I always add salt after I roast my veggies) 
  • 1 eggplant 
  • 1 yellow squash 
  • 1-2 tomatoes 
  • 1 medium red onion 
  • 1 zucchini 
  • 1 can of tomato paste 
  • 1 can of diced fire roasted tomatoes (can substitute tomato sauce in place of the paste and diced tomatoes) 
  • 5 fresh basil leaves 
  • Parmesan cheese to top with 
  1. Mix the tomato paste, diced tomato, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, Italian seasoning, apple cider vinegar, and garlic in a bowl 
  2. Spray the bottom of a baking dish with cooking spray 
  3. Spread the tomato mixture on the bottom, leave a little to stick in between the veggies 
  4. Slice your veggies, to get an even cut use a mandala to get the uniform slices. 
  5. Then put them in the sauce and layer them
  6. Brush the tips of your veggies with olive oil to give them a nice coat and drop the rest of the tomato mixture down in between 
  7. Bake them in the oven at 350 for about 30-45 minutes or until the veggies are roasted and golden brown on the edges
  8. Sprinkle with parenesean cheese and enjoy! 

TOP SECRET: Italian Stuffed Bread

FullSizeRenderOkay okay, I am revealing my secret recipe to my family’s favorite stuffed Italian bread that I make for every occasion. As soon as it’s out of the oven people are at the stove like vultures digging into it. It’s rare that the bread even makes it to the table, let alone a plate. Funny thing is, it is actually really simple to make. I always make sure to make a few loaves for everyone to eat and also take home because if I don’t you have an Italian family arguing and anyone who is Italian knows that never ends well.

I have adopted this recipe from my mom, who has adopted it from my grandfather. Anytime my mom would make it, the whole neighborhood would get a loaf, and no I’m not making it up. It’s that good. We have a few nick names for it like “poor mans b

read” and “Italian garbage bread” because excuse my language but in the words of my grandfather “Its a bunch of sh*t thrown into dough and it taste good” (heavy Italian accent here). So I’ve just called it an Italian stuffed bread to make it sound appealing. and hey everyone’s gotta make it their own right?

Now you’re probably thinking like okay what is in this bread that makes it so good. Honestly, I ask myself that EVERY TIME I make it.  Go to your local grocery store and head over to the deli counter.

Here comes the secret, ask for 6 packages of meat and cheese ends. YEAH I SAID IT. Meat and cheese ends from your local deli, that’s it. There’s the secret. Bet you didn’t expect that right? Yeah, me either. They are so much cheaper than buying cold cuts sliced. It costs anywhere from $1-$3 per pack(this is where the poor man’s bread nick name comes from) I usually try and ask for Italian meat ends, but occasionally you’ll get some turkey in there or something. THIS IS OKAY I promise.

Okay so you got your meat and cheese ends, now you need dough, and garlic, lots of garlic and Italian seasoning. Get a ball of dough or 2 or if you’re me 4-5 because that’s how many I usually make. I usually go to a local pizzeria and ask for balls of dough (yes, they will look at you funny when you ask for their pizza dough). You could also get it at the grocery store, but for some reason the one by my apartment never has it and I couldn’t tell you why.

dough

  • Okay you’re home, you have your ingredients right? Now what? Well preheat that oven of yours to 400 degrees.
  • Its about to get messy my friends so you may wanna throw on an apron or if you’re like me an old t shirt will do just fine.
  • Chop up your meat and cheeses on a cutting board and toss it into a bowl a really big bowl I might add. Make sure you just mix it around so the meat and cheese ends are mixed evenly to get a little bit of cheese and meat in every bite.
  • Take out some flour, sprinkle it all over the surface you’re going to roll your dough on, and the dough, and the rolling pin. Roll it out, doesn’t have to be perfect, just flat with no bubbles I repeat, NO BUBBLES.
  • Grease a baking sheet, and lay out your dough, fill er’ up with all that meat and cheese goodness. Fold it over the filling and close it, then take your knife and cut three holes in the bread, don’t ask me why I do this, just do it( Shia LaBeouf voice).
  • Okay so the final touch is about to happen, take some butter, I would say about a tablespoon or two, and mix your Italian seasoning mix and garlic into the butter (I use fresh garlic) and melt it in the microwave. Now time to paint! brush the buttery garlic mixture over the bread and bake for about 30-40 mins. I know it’s done when the bread is golden brown and the cheese is oozing through the top. Cut it up and enjoy it before it’s gone! Mangia Mangia!