Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked over
  • 20 saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Lemon wedges, for servingIn a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce until smooth.

MAKE AHEAD

The crab cakes can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.

 

Vivian Howard’s Party Magnet

¼ cup high-quality blue cheese (I like Maytag)
⅓ cup (5½ tablespoons) butter
¼ cup fresh goat cheese
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese
¼ cup chopped dates
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (both white and green parts work here)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Salt-and-Butter-Roasted Pecans (recipe below), roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

SALT-AND-BUTTER-ROASTED PECANS
2 cups pecan halves or pieces
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
For the cheese ball:
Take the blue cheese, butter, goat cheese, and cream cheese out of the refrigerator to soften 30 minutes before making your cheese-ball mixture.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients except for the pecans and parsley. Paddle it up till homogenous. It will be loose and sticky and you’ll wonder how you’re ever going to form that mess into a ball. The answer is, you transfer the bowl to the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so. During that time the cheese mix will firm up enough for you to pat it into a sphere. Once it’s stiff enough to hold up, form the ball and roll that ball in the pecans, followed by parsley.
For the salt-and-butter-roasted pecans:Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Toss the pecans thoroughly with the melted butter and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and slide that sheet onto the middle rack of your oven. Roast the pecans for 11 minutes if using whole pecans and 10 minutes if you’re using pieces.

Bring the slightly darkened and toasty-smelling pecans out of the oven and hit them with the remaining salt. Let them cool 5 minutes before you eat them. These will keep for 7 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

Soft Pretzel Recipe from fifteenspatulas.com

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • 2.25 tsp instant quick rise yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 12.5 oz all purpose flour (2.5 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • vegetable oil for greasing the sheet pan
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  1. Combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. This indicates the yeast is alive and working. Add the flour and salt. Mix with the dough hook by hand for a few seconds to roughly combine, then fit the hook and bowl on the mixer and knead on medium low for 5 minutes. The dough should feel soft and smooth, not sticky to the touch.
  2. Cover the dough and let rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, and lightly grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil. You could use parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  4. Place the dough onto a lightly oiled countertop. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (just cut it with a knife).
  5. Whisk to combine the warm water and baking soda and cook in the microwave for 1 minute. FYI it’s not going to dissolve completely, and that’s okay.
  6. Roll each of the eight pieces into a long rope, and shape each one into a pretzel (see the step-by-step photos on the blog post to see how to do this). Dip each pretzel into the soda wash and place onto the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, then let them rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until the pretzels are golden brown. Brush the pretzels with the melted butter while they are hot out of the oven. Enjoy while they are hot, and keep in mind these don’t taste as amazing the next day. Enjoy!

 

Crunchy Pickle Dip from 12tomatoes.com/

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups dill pickles, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Pretzels or chips, garnish
  1. Place chopped pickles in between layers of paper towels and let sit for 10-15 minutes, or until drained.
  2. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream together in a medium bowl, then stir in pickles, pickle juice, garlic powder and onion powder.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, then serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

6-7 cups fresh cauliflower florets
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or rice flour, if making gluten-free)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or vegan alternative), melted
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup hot sauce (Frank’s Red, etc.)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F and lightly grease a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine flour, water, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk together.
  3. Dredge cauliflower completely in flour batter and gently shake off excess. Then transfer to baking sheet.
  4. Place baking tray in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until batter sets. Flip florets over and cook for another 5.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together hot sauce and melted butter until smooth and combined.
  6. Remove cauliflower from oven and brush hot sauce over all the florets, until coated thoroughly.
  7. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until vegetables have absorbed sauce and are crispy enough to your liking.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Baked Brie with Pecans from Martha

  • 1 small wheel of Brie or Camembert (about 9 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • crackers or sliced baguette, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cheese on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate; cool about 20 minutes.

  2. While cheese cools, place nuts on a clean baking sheet; bake until toasted and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle nuts over cheese.

  3. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat; simmer until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle warm sauce over slightly cooled cheese and nuts; serve with crackers or baguette.

 

Shrimp Scampi Dip

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in wine and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, parsley, 1/4 cup mozzarella and Parmesan.
  4. Spread mixture into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella. Place into oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Taleggio-and-Roasted-Mushroom Dip from Martha

  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced if large
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced Taleggio, rind removed
  • Fresh thyme, for topping
  • Crostini, for serving

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss mushrooms with olive oil and salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, tossing once, until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a 6-inch ovenproof skillet. Top with Taleggio. Bake until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Top with fresh thyme. Serve with crostini.

 

Creamy Tofu Spread/Salad — Gourmet 2004

1 14oz pkg firm tofu, pressed to release water
1/2 c mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp dry mustard, can substitute dijion
2 celery ribs finely chopped
1/4 c chives chopped, can substitute red onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

finely mash or do in little food processor, tofu. combine all and mix.

Baked Oysters and Spinach Recipe

1-1/2 pounds fresh spinach, rinsed well and left wet
1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1 quart shucked fresh oysters
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried

Place the spinach in a large saucepan, cover, and steam over moderate heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain the spinach, refresh under cold water, squeeze dry, and chop finely. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large skillet, heat half the butter, add the onion, and saute over moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the spinach, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cream. Stir well and cook over moderate heat for about 2 minutes, stirring in a few bread crumbs if necessary to thicken the mixture. Add the oysters and dill and stir well. Spoon the mixture into a well-buttered baking dish, sprinkle the top with bread crumbs, dot with the remaining butter, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Yield: 6 servings