Blue Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with Fried Green Tomato and Jalapeno Hollandaise

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Blue Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with Fried Green Tomato and Jalapeno Hollandaise

We decided to forgo Easter brunch in the Quarter, and take a stab at making something fancy at home. Although we missed Chris Owens Easter parade this year, we enjoyed brunch in the comfort of our front porch, relaxing with great company and bottomless mimosas. 

Blue Crab Cake Eggs Benedict 

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

1 tbsp salt

Fresh crab cakes from Whole Foods

Fried Green Tomatoes (see recipe below)

Jalapeno Hollandaise (see recipe below)

Directions:

Preheat over to 350 degrees

Spray baking sheet with oil

Place crab cakes in over or 15  minutes

 

Poached Egg Directions:

Poached eggs are a particular challenge. Follow this recipe, and you will actually get perfect poached eggs, reliably.

Before you do anything, you’ll need to pass your eggs through a fine mesh filter. Crack an egg over a cup or mug into a mesh filter, and let it sit for a few minutes. The least dense part of the egg white will drip through, leaving only the more dense egg white behind. Pour out the loose white after a few minutes and transfer the egg left behind in the mesh filter to the cup/mug. Repeat this process for the remaining number of eggs.

Use a medium sized saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the eggs. This is about 3 inches of water and for three eggs amounts to about a quart of water. To this amount of water, add the white vinegar and salt, and bring the water to a boil. The purpose of the vinegar is to help keep the whites of the eggs together, and the purpose of the salt is to give a bit of flavor and egg buoyancy.

Once the water has started boiling, turn the heat down to a low-medium, about a 3-4 on a scale of 10. Carefully tip the eggs from the cups into the water, but watch your velocity. Too quick and the yolk could break, too slow and the whites could break. Be confident, and that’s the right speed.

Let the eggs poach for 3 minutes. At about this time, the eggs should start to float up from the bottom. This means they are done. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and enjoy your perfectly poached eggs.

 

Crab cake directions:

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Place crab cakes in pan and cool until browned on both sides.

Plate crab cakes. Top with fried green tomatoes. Carefully place poached egg on top. Drizzle with jalapeno hollandaise.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium, firm green tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil or other vegetable oil

METHOD

1 Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: the flour and Cajun seasoning (if using), buttermilk and egg, and bread crumbs and cornmeal.

2 Heat the peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Beat the egg and the buttermilk together. Dip tomato slices in the flour-seasoning mix, then buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-bread crumb mix. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain.

Jalapeno Hollandaise

1 jalapeno
2 egg yolks
1/2 stick butter melted
juice of half a lemon
1/4 t seasoning salt
4 T hot water
pepper to taste

De-seed the jalapeno and add to a small food processor along with the yolks, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined. Melt the butter and add this to the food processor and combine all ingredients until creamy and thick.

Grilled Chicken Flatbread Pizza with Alfredo Sauce

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Nice semi-healthy alternative to the traditional pizza crust. This is a great use of leftover as well!

Grilled Chicken Flatbread Pizza with Alfredo Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

Whole wheat lavash bread

Jarred light alfredo sauce

Leftover cooked chicken

Cooked thick-cut bacon

Tomatoes

Fresh spinach

Fresh basil

Green onions

Minced garlic

Goat cheese

Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degree. Spoon alfredo and minced garlic on lavash. Cover with toppings. Finish with shredded mozzarella and goat cheese. Cook for 10-15 minutes.

Mouthfools Mardi Gras King Cheesecake

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Mouthfools Mardi Gras King Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Filling:
3 packages cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon liqueur
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs (room temp)
Food coloring
6 tsps sugar (for topping)

Crust:
1 package cinnamon graham crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crumble the graham crackers. Mix together crushed graham crackers, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside. Keep the oven on.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large separate bowl until smooth. Then add Greek yogurt, Bailey’s, cinnamon, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat eggs into mixture one at a time.

Separate filling equally into 3 bowls. Add food coloring to make one green, one purple, and one gold.

Pour filling into prepped crust as 3 different layers.

Bake for 1 hour with water bath placed beneath. (I just fill a pie tin with water)

At 1-hour mark turn off oven, but leave the cake inside with door cracked open for another hour.

Cool cheesecake in the refrigerator for a few hours before attainment of bliss.

After cheesecake has cooled, put 2 teaspoons sugar in a cup along with green food coloring and mix to color sugar. Sprinkle as topping. Repeat process with purple and gold.

HAPPY MARDI GRAS!

Mouthfools Chicken Shawarmas

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Mouthfools Chicken Shawarmas

If we had a food truck, this is what we would sling. If we had a restaurant, this is what would be on the menu. If there is a single recipe I would call my own, it is this one. Here’s the story…

Back in the early 90s, a young Mr. Mouthfools spent a year in Saudi Arabia. My dad got a job there and so my family crossed the ocean to live in the capital of Saudi, Riyadh. It was there I was introduced to the chicken shawarma. Now, some of you may feel you already know what this is, or maybe you’ve even tried one, however that is unlikely. See, that would be like saying you’ve had a cheeseburger before, so you already know what a Big Mac tastes like. Or that you’ve had pizza before, so you know what Chicago-style pizza tastes like. This is a very specific variety of shawarma, that I’ve never yet found prepared in this way by anyone selling what they call shawarmas.

Upon my return to the states, my mom developed a recipe for making them at home, without access to the necessary ingredients and equipment, and it is from this recipe I have continued to evolve and experiment with over the years. This is where the recipe is at right now, and each detail is very important, however seemingly small a detail it may be.

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds chicken (preferably a mix of both white and dark meat, like say 4 thighs and 2 breasts)
1 bulb fresh garlic (this recipe is heavy on the garlic and a garlic press works wonders)
1 medium white or yellow onion (diced)
1 bag frozen shoestring french fries (or if you really want to nail this, fresh McDonald’s fries)
Diced crunchy dill pickles (spicy dill is better, spicy garlic dill is even better yet)
Mayo (don’t you dare try to substitute Miracle Whip)
Your choice of wrap (I recommend fajita style flour tortillas, or Flatout brand flat bread)
Tabasco sauce (it must be Tabasco brand – it was even Tabasco in Riyadh)
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Butter
Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to temp for whatever fries you are using.

2) In a skillet pan set on medium heat, drizzle some olive oil and cook up your chicken. I like to either use cubed chicken if raw, or shredded chicken if using leftovers.

3) When chicken is about halfway cooked through, add diced onion, 4-6 cloves of crushed garlic, and about 2 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper towards the end.

4) When chicken is cooked to the point of beginning to shred apart naturally, lower temp to low.

5) Prepare fries according to directions. This usually takes around 10 minutes. If you’re just going to use McDonald’s fries, congratulations on being awesome and skipping this step.

6) Add half a cup of mayo to a bowl. Stir in 1-2 cloves crushed garlic.

7) To prepare shawarmas, cover your flatbread or tortilla with a solid layer of garlic mayo.

8) Add the chicken filling in a thick line down the center like you would a burrito.

9) Top with hot french fries and chopped pickles.

10) Liberally cover everything with Tabasco sauce.

11) Roll up and pretend you’re in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

12) Prepare to cry tears of joy.

Creole French Toast

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Creole French Toast

Ingredients:
French brioche bread
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 shot spiced rum
1 Tbsp milk or cream
1 tsp cinnamon
Brown sugar
Maple syrup
Molasses

Directions:

1) Mix the egg with the rum, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.

2) Dip the slices of brioche into the egg mixture soaking each side and place slices into medium temp skillet.

3) Cook until golden brown on each side. Remove from pan.

4) Top with brown sugar, maple syrup, and a light drizzle of molasses.

Chicken Marsala

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After purchasing basically a lifetime supply of chicken thighs from Cosco, we decided to make Chicken Marsala. I wanted to avoid a thick, sauce using flour and opted for something more light. The result was the best Chicken Marsala recipe I’ve ever tasted! 

Chicken Marsala w/Kale and Spaghetti

2 pounds chicken thighs, with skin (can be substituted for the breast if you prefer white meat)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
3/4 cup Marsala
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cups of trimmed kale
6 servings of spaghetti

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet heat oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown chicken in 2 batches, transferring with tongs to a large plate as browned.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and sauté onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally. Add garlic. Cook until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated and scraping up any browned bits that might be stuck to the pan. Add kale. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

Simmer mushroom sauce until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter is just incorporated. Toss in spaghetti. Place chicken a top pasta.

Inspired by: http://theredspoon.com/2011/02/chicken-and-mushroom-marsala/

Pan-Seared Salmon with a Dill Yogurt Sauce and Swiss Chard

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Pan-Seared Salmon with a Dill Yogurt Sauce and Swiss Chard

Pan – Seared Salmon

Ingredients:

  • thick cut salmon fillets, skin in place
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

       Dill Sauce

  • 4 tbsp (low-fat) Greek yogurt
  • fresh dill, chopped + more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt & white pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine yogurt, dill, and garlic into a small bowl and mix well. Season with salt & pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over a med-high heat. Season both sides of the salmon with salt & pepper.
  3. When oil is hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down.
  4. Turn fish over once skin is well-browned & crispy but not burnt. This should take 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Continue to sear, flesh-side down, for about another 3 minutes. This will give you a fillet that is med-rare to medium internally. Cook more or less depending upon your own preferences.
  6. Serve immediately  garnished with chopped dill and accompanied with dill sauce and lemon wedges.

Swiss Chard

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
  • 4 small cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Rinse chard; separate stems from leaves. Cut stems into 2-inch pieces; cut leaves crosswise into 1-inch strips. To a saucepan add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add stems, garlic and red pepper flakes to pan; saute about 5 minutes. Add leaves; cook another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Mound in center of serving plate and drizzle with  lemon juice.