Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Crab cakes browsing by tag


V-Day Recap and The Morning After

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Hope you all had a fine Valentine’s Day – no matter who you spent it with. Ours was swell. Lets recap the menu:

Crab Cakes
Creamy Pasta
Fresh Green Salad
Lemon Souffle

It was all so good. The souffle was delicious, but needs some work. I thought it was pretty good for a first try. An oven thermometer would probably help to make sure it’s calibrated correctly.

Some photos?

Crab Cakes and Creamy Pasta

Eric whipped up the cream sauce with the most spectacular oregano and gorgeous Greek olive oil by Frixa, that was just sent by lovely Miss Leigh in St. Simons Island. The Chryssaidis family owns a restaurant, Athena, in St. Augustine, where they go through 20 liters of this elixir each day. Can you imagine? And you can buy both the olive oil and oregano online. Yum.

The sauce goes like this (thanks, Honey!): Melt 2 tbsp butter and add 2 tsp Frixa oregano, infuse with low heat while the pasta cooks. When the pasta is al dente, strain and quickly beat together 2 eggs, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup parmesan with a little pasta water. Dress the pasta in the sauce and drizzle with the butter to serve. (cooks note: boom done).

Eric’s crab cakes were essentially crab, a bit of mayo to bind and panko for coating. Perfect.

I dressed the table with three large pillar candles, red beaded placemats from Mexico, silver napkin holders, hammered silver flatware and red champagne flutes. Although I believe I forgot to shoot the table because I was so excited about dinner. Sorry, Darlings.

Here’s a peek at the souffle.

Fresh from the oven and dusted with powdered sugar.

To our plates.

And into our bellies! Nom nom nom. And having an excuse to practice my souffle skills is a delicious reason for dessert, yes?

But, Eric and I both agreed, the really special treat came this morning inside the delicate confines of four very fresh eggs, gifted to us by our oh-so-sweet friends Stephanie and Reeves, who raise chickens just a few blocks away from us. They taste nothing like what you buy from the grocery store. No, these are much more piquant, with a richness that betrays its supermarket brethren, and puts them to shame. And look, Stephanie puts the date each one, so you know exactly what day it was gathered.

Gathered 2 days ago! And more cooking in the background. In Beka!

We didn’t say too much during breakfast – we were too busy trying to savor every bite of those pristine eggs. Thanks Stephanie and Reeves!

Aren't they lovely?

Oh, and my Sweeties – I am giving away two tickets for The Wedding Experience tomorrow. You just need to comment here on this blog post. You don’t have to be a bride, you might have a friend who is getting married and could benefit from this – so get your comments in!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Nat King Cole – Love

Valentine’s Day Dinner

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Welp, today’s the day. The day we make those who are so special to us feel even more special. This does not mean you have to have a significant other – or more specifically, it means that a significant other can mean lots of different things.

It could be your best friend, your child, your dog. Doesn’t matter. Just give someone you love a big hug and enjoy the day together. And tonight, cook up something special.

Eric and I love to cook together and it’s a rare occasion on a weeknight. But tonight at our house it will be crab cakes and pasta with cream sauce, fresh green salad and lemon souffle for dessert. Crab cakes are one of those fab dishes that are super easy and impress everyone. Just add bubbly! Here is a great recipe from Miss Paula Deen, who knows what we southerners like. I would omit the bell peppers, but that’s just me. And I would let the cakes rest in the fridge before I dipped them in flour and fried them, just to make sure they keep their shape. And one more note: I like buying big king crab legs instead of the canned crab. This way I know where the meat came from and there is less chance of shells. You just cut them up the middle and pull out the crab meat. Easy peasy.

Paula Deen's Crab Cakes, Courtesy of Food

1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells
1/3 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
3 green onions (green and white parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Flour, for dusting
1/2 cup peanut oil
Favorite dipping sauce, for serving

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with preferred sauce.

Don’t they sound good? See? Now go impress your loved ones. And don’t bother baking – let your neighborhood bakery do the work.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Ella Fitzgerald – That Old Black Magic

A Lavish Repast

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This past Saturday night was the last stop in my birthday celebration tour.  And what a night it was!  My darling bff, John, took to the kitchen and whipped up the most amazing meal ever. I’m serious. If we could have had some judges there, he would have won a James Beard Award. And there was also a fabulous gift for yours truly!

The Maestro at Work

Hurry on in, you have got to check out this meal!