Sunday, July 27, 2014

Crabby in California

Kasey's Kitchen Assistant Contributor Jen here! In light of KK's trip back east, I wanted to share a simple recipe that brings west coast vibes to an east coast-inspired dish.

I'm originally from Maryland and it's no secret that Marylanders love their blue crabs and season just about EVERYTHING with Old Bay. Some of my favorites include scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, popcorn, corn on the cob, french fries - the list could go on! Having Old Bay seasoning back in Maryland is just as staple as the salt and pepper shakers on your kitchen table.

Since moving to the Golden State, I was happy to find out that the seasoning can be found at grocery stores here and if you can't seem to find it in the spice aisle, try checking out your local Asian supermarket. I've also heard rumors of it being available in Costco, but I haven't had the chance to check that out for myself.

For this recipe, it's certainly not a make or break deal if you don't have it. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper with a kick, or two, of cayenne pepper would be just fine. (Please note: that isn't a replication of the sacred Old Bay. Some have ventured into recreating it and their recipes are worth looking into, but in my clearly unbiased opinion, I just don't think it can be done.)

Digging in to Maryland blue crabs over a table blanketed by newspapers, leaving my hands smelling like crabs for days, is a fond summer pastime, but I also enjoy indulging in the less-messy, fork-in-hand crab cake.

My recipe sort of California-fies the basic make-up of a crab cake and I've paired it with a flavorful avocado sauce. Getting your hands on lump crab meat from the seafood section of the grocery store might be the only expense here; everything else is probably already in your pantry/fridge, and the preparation seriously couldn't be any easier. I'd also like to point out that what I have listed below is really a blank canvas - you are totally open to swapping out ingredients, adjusting what I have listed to your palate, or even making shrimp or salmon cakes if you want!

Avocado sauce:
1 avocado
1 jalapeno, roughly chopped, seeds removed
1-2 cloves of garlic (I used 2 because I love garlic.)
Juice of 1 and 1/2 limes
Roughly a 1/3 cup of olive oil (or more, depending on how runny you want the sauce to be)
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Crab cakes (yields about 4 hamburger-patty-sized cakes):
1 tbsp. of olive oil
8 oz. of lump crab meat
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
3.5 oz of plain Greek yogurt (I used 1/2 of a 7 oz. container of Fage)
1 tbsp. of dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lime
1 sandwich Ziploc bag filled about 2/3 of the way with tortilla chips (I know, super technical here.)
1 egg
1 tsp of Old Bay seasoning, adjust to taste
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped

For the sauce:
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and homogenous. Set aside in refrigerator to chill until served. (See? Easy.)

For the crab cakes:
With the Ziploc bag filled 2/3 of the way with tortilla chips, crush them up into crumbs.

Combine the tortilla crumbs with the rest of the ingredients, minus the olive oil, into a mixing bowl. Divide the mixture into four equal parts and form them into patties.

Drizzle the olive oil into a frying pan and fry the patties over a medium high heat - about 4-5 minutes per side, or until a crisp, golden-brown color.

Serve it up with some lime wedges and the avocado sauce either on the side or dolloped on top, with a side salad or some steamed vegetables. Stick it between two buns and you've got your self a crab cake sandwich! The possibilities are endless.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

If You Were Stuck on a Dessert Island...

No, you're not reading a typo in that title. We've all been asked, if you were stuck on a desert island and you could only have three items with you, what would you bring? Well, the Kasey's Kitchen team would like to ask: If you were on a dessert island, what decadent sweets would you like to be stuck with?

In honor of National Ice Cream Month this July, here are some options of the classic frozen treat with a twist for you to choose from. These unique creations can be found throughout L.A. and definitely have us screaming for ice cream!

CHEF: Vic Casanova
ICE CREAM DISH: Coconut Gelato Pie

RESTAURANT: The Rockefeller
ICE CREAM DISH: Hot Chocolate Chip Cookie

RESTAURANT: The Eveleigh
CHEF: Jared Levy
ICE CREAM DISH: Hot Fudge Sundae (with all ingredients made in-house - and KK contributor Jen's choice!)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sweet Secrets from Chef Barb

A few weeks ago I was invited into the B Sweet kitchen to sit down with Chef Barb Batiste and talk about all things tasty! As you may have seen on my Instagram posts, the treats from B Sweet are straight up OUT OF THIS WORLD. We're talking a chocolate chip cookie the size of a pie... donut ice cream sandwiches... oh yeah and lots of bread pudding! Check out the video below for all the scoop and then scroll on down for some drool-worthy photos!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Red, A White, and A Blue Dessert For 4th Of July!

When trying to come up with the perfect "Red, White, and Blue" recipe, I kept falling back on some of my old favorites. Thanks to the freedom given to us by our forefathers, it's my blog and I can do whatever I want. Therefore... you're getting 3 different recipes! A "red" one, thanks to the fresh strawberries in the recipe... a "white" one made with yummy coconut chips... and a BLUEberry one!

Here is one of my favorite summertime recipes. It brings together the freshness of strawberries and the induglence of cheesecake without the drama of all those calories. Bonus, it whips up in minutes, so you won't miss that valuable time in the sun!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

That Time We Went to Hawaii Plus An Easy Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

A few months ago The Mr. and I received an incredible opportunity to take a quick jaunt over to Maui. We had to keep this all on the DL for a while but I've recently received the all-clear to share!

We experienced some of the most breathtaking sites as you can see in the photos below and enjoyed amazing meals such as Kalua Pork, Garlic Nori Fries and of course, Shave Ice.

Kaula Pork Wrapped in a Banana Leaf, Paella with Jumbo Prawns, Linguica and Calamari, Garlic Nori Fries

It ain't a trip to Hawaii unless you get authentic Shave Ice! Half Pineapple, Half Tiger's Blood for me!
Clearly the sugar made us silly!