Saturday, September 3, 2011

Crab Stir-fry with Sugar Snaps and Oyster Mushrooms

Summertime on the east coast is when crabs are in season. Delicious blue crabs from Maryland emerge in local grocers, and you really can't beat the taste. At Wegman's, we get chunked lump meat from crabs, and after bringing some home the other day, I was determined to come up with something interesting to do with them. Crab cakes are good, but I was in the mood for something a little but different. I decided on a stir-fry. Stir-fry is always good, but introducing some incredible crab meat seemed like a way to really make it special. Sugar snaps and oyster mushrooms seemed like perfect accompaniments to crab. This is a great recipe for quick cooking after work, and it's pretty healthy too!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Muffuletta Pinwheel

Appetizers are an important component of any gathering. And they are one of the easiest parts of any meal to be creative with! In this recipe, I combined 2 things that I love - muffuletta and puff pastry - to make a bite-sized snack that everyone enjoyed. Muffuletta is a type of sandwich that is famous in Louisiana. It is generally served on a French round, and inside it has salami, pepperoni, soprasetta, capicola, and provolone or emmentaler cheese (not unlike a classic hoagie). It's most distinctive feature (which separates it from the hoagie) is that it is usually lined with olive salad: a marinated mix of giardineira (Italian pickled veggies) and good olives plus seasoning. To turn great sandwich into a "pinwheel", I replaced bread with puff pastry in my recipe, and I switched from olive salad to a garlic-olive puree. I then baked them, and got these delicious finger food for my party. They were a big hit, so I hope you try the recipe:

Red and Gold Potato Salad - with Bacon, Chipotle, and Chives

Quintessentially summer. That's what I think when I think about potato salad. Just the mention of the dish evokes memories of countless BBQs and picnics. So when I decided to throw an end of summer party, I decided that potato salad had to part of the menu. Now, while potato salad is certainly associated with good times, too often the dish can be bland and tasteless. This recipe avoids that trap by incorporating lots of big flavors (chipotle, bacon, red wine vinegar, and more). I used both red potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes with the skins on the get great color and texture. Before summer leaves us for good, why not give this potato salad a try?