Spice Rubbed Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce

Spice rubbed Salmon with lemon cream sauce

Spice Rubbed Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce

I love salmon, especially perfectly cooked salmon. When cooked correctly salmon is moist, tender, and oh so satisfying.  Most recipes for salmon include dill, lemon, garlic or some variation of those three ingredients. I’m a big fan of garlic and lemon, but dill is just not a flavor I’m in love with.  Besides, salmon is not a fragile fish, it can hold up to more bold flavor profiles.This particular salmon recipe is proof of that.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb salmon fillet

1/4 teaspoon of paprika

1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic

1/4 teaspoon of onion powder

1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2-1 teaspoon of avocado oil or coconut oil

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Lemon cream sauce (optional)

2 Tablespoons of sour cream –can sub with yogurt

1/4 teaspoon of tabasco

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

sea salt to taste

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 425F. Mix the ingredients for the lemon sauce in a small bowl and set aside. Dry salmon fillet with paper towels, drizzle with oil on both sides, then salt, place on a foil lined bake sheet and set aside. In a small bowl mix together the paprika, garlic, onion, and cumin.

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Sprinkle the spice mixture over the salmon,

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Place the salmon in the oven for 8-10 minutes depending on how thick your fillet is.  My fillet was about 1/2 inch thick and it was done in 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, drizzle with lemon sauce and enjoy!

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Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy Caesar Dressing--DIY Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy Caesar Dressing–DIY Caesar Salad Dressing

My latest obsession is salad.  Crispy and crunchy vegetables with a drizzle of oil, and a splash of citrus or vinegar–what’s not to love?  Salads are a great way to get in a few servings of fresh vegetables in their raw state.  As much as I love salads, they can become a bit boring if you don’t mix things up a bit.  The easiest way to do that is to switch out the vegetables and the dressing.  I often make caesar salads with romaine lettuce, but sometimes I switch out the romaine and replace it with baby kale, or lacinto kale.  It makes for a hearty salad and an especially delicious twist to the standard caesar  salad, we are all used to.  I’ll post the recipe I use for the kale caesar another day, but today, I’m sharing my recipe for my favorite creamy caesar salad dressing.  It’s my go to dressing, when I crave a creamy salad dressing.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

1 clove of garlic pasted

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of anchovy paste

2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup grape seed oil

5 teaspoons of olive oil

3/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

black pepper to taste

Directions:  To a small bowl add the grated garlic and lemon juice, allow to sit for 10 minutes.  If you have a hand mixer like I do, add the lemon garlic mixture, (after it sits for 10 minutes), and the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until the mixture thickens–about 1-2 minutes.

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Transfer to an air tight container and chill until ready to use.

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If you don’t have a hand mixer,  whisk worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and egg yolks into garlic/lemon juice mixture.



While whisking, drizzle grape seed oil and extra virgin olive oil into bowl in slow, steady stream until fully emulsified.


 Add 3/4 cup Parmesan and pepper to taste; whisk until incorporated:

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust–How to make Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

I’m trying to find different ways to serve vegetables to Page.  She has a new found love for pizza–before she wasn’t at all impressed.  Recently, I’ve started to get her involved in helping me to make the meals we’re eating.  I saw a food documentary about food, and kids.  In it the narrator said that the best way to get kids to eat vegetables is to have them take part in cooking. Page is at that age where she’s very eager to help, so I thought why not take advantage of that.   I’ve also really wanted to try out a cauliflower pizza crust on our new baking steel.  I have to say that I was more than impressed with the results–so was Page.   Now for those of you wondering if this will taste anything like that delicious yeasty bread that you’re used to with pizza–the short answer is no.  Bread is bread–this is an alternative to bread.  Although it’s not bread–it mimics bread in form, and it is so delicious that it stands on it’s own.  The reason cauliflower is most often used by people as a substitution for grains is because it has such a mild flavor.  It also has great texture. This recipe requires that you add cheese.  I used parmesan, but you could use mozzarella, or pecorino, or a combination of your favorite Italian cheeses.  I also used fresh basil, but you can use rosemary, or another herb of your choosing, dried or fresh–totally up to you.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small head of cauliflower

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of truffle salt

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan–or cheese of your choice

1 egg

Directions: Pre-heat your oven and pizza stone or baking steel  to 450F for 45 minutes. Steam the cauliflower for 5-7 minutes–or until fork tender.

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Transfer cauliflower to a processor and process until cauliflower looks like grains of rice.

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Transfer processed cauliflower to a clean kitchen towel, or a nut milk bag, and squeeze until the cauliflower becomes dry.  You want to squeeze out as much water as you can.

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Transfer the cauliflower to a medium size bowl, and add garlic powder, salt, basil, and cheese–mix together into a ball.

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Spray a sheet of parchment paper with oil.  Add the cauliflower mixture to the center of the parchment paper, and with your hands begin to flatten and form it into the shape of a pizza.

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Once you have the shape you want, place it in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

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Once it’s golden brown and bubbly like this:  remove it from the oven.

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Now you can top it with your favorite tomato sauce, cheese and toppings.

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Once you have it topped, place it in the oven to cook until the cheese and topping melt.  Remove from oven, cut serve and enjoy!

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This made a 10-12 inch pizza, not a crumb was left over.  Everyone enjoyed it–my husband didn’t even know that the crust was made from cauliflower until Page told him! If you like this try my recipe for Tortilla Pizza!

Lemon Infused Oil-How to Make Infused Cooking oil with a Slow cooker or Sous Vide circulator

 

Sous Vide/Slow cooker Lemon  Infused Oil

Sous Vide/Slow cooker Lemon Infused Oil

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making infused oils.  I buy them all the time, but they are a little on the expensive side, so making my own seems like the better value.  Infused oils are a great way to layer flavor in almost anything, be it  a salad, warm or cold, or as a highlight to fish,  potatoes or a finish to a hummus.  The process is super simple–especially if you use a slow cooker or a immersion circulator.  I had originally planned to make this with my immersion circulator, but I didn’t want to exclude a lot of you from making it.  So I borrowed my mom’s crock pot, so that I could adapt this recipe to fit the needs of a slow cooker.  Sous vide and slower cookers have a lot in common, both cook food at low temperatures.  Immersion circulators offer the option of cooking at even lower temperatures than slow cookers.  If you have a slow cooker that has the option of allowing you to set exact temperatures then you’re ahead of the game.  If your slow cooker only has a low, medium, high, or warming settings, don’t fret, you can make this.  My mom’s slow cooker has a high, low and warm setting.  I went online and did some research on what exactly those setting are and found out that the low temperature setting on slow cookers is 200F, the high is 300F and warm is 145-165F.  I planned to set my circulator to 131F for 3 hours for this recipe, so the warm setting on my mom’s slow cooker was more than sufficient to match that. In fact it was sufficient enough to allow me to shave off a few minutes from the 3 hour cook time.  I did not, because I was busy doing other things while the oil was in the slow cooker, but if you’re anxious, you could take 15 minutes off of the cook time.  I made this lemon infused oil in both my immersion circulator and my moms slow cooker–set a timer for 3 hours for both.  The results were identical.  The lemon was nicely infused in both oils.  I used avocado oil, but this can be done with olive oil, grape seed oil, or any oil that you choose.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

1 cup of avocado oil–or oil of your choice

peel of 2 medium sized lemons

Directions for slow cooker:  fill slow cooker with water and set to 131F,–if your slow cooker has an exact temperature setting– or set it on the warm setting–low if your pot doesn’t have a keep warm setting. Place oil in a bag, then add lemon peels–making sure to bend and twist them to release oils.

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If you’re using a ziploc bag place the bag in the slow cooker and seal using the water displacement method, then cook for 3 hours.  If you have a vacuum chamber sealer that allows you to seal liquids like I do, then seal the oil and lemon mixture in a bag for 10 seconds with a 1.5 second seal.

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Directions for Sous vide:  Fill a pot or container with water, then set the circulator to 131F and wait for the water to come to temperature. Meanwhile add the oil and lemon peels to a bag–making sure to bend and twist them to release oils.

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If you’re using a ziploc bag place the bag in the water bath and seal using the water displacement method, then cook for 3 hours.  If you have a vacuum chamber sealer that allows you to seal liquids like I do, then seal the oil and lemon mixture in a bag for 10 seconds with a 1.5 second seal.

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At the 3 hour mark, carefully remove the oil from the water–remembering that even at 131F-165F water is very hot.

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Transfer the oil to a clean container–removing all of the peels–you can leave one or two for decoration if you’d like.

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The lemon oil is ready to use. There are so many uses for this oil.  Drizzle a little on avocado toast, or on roast chicken–the uses are endless and always delicious!

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Tortilla Pizza– How to make Pizza with a Tortilla crust

 

Tortilla Pizza

Tortilla Pizza

 

A friend of mine has been espousing the virtues of the Baking Steel for over a year and half now.  We don’t make very many pizza’s in this house, so I put it on my list of things that I want to buy in the future, but really can wait. Then I read all about the virtues of this steel plate in Modernist Cuisine, and I knew that I needed one sooner rather than later.  Aside from being a great way to make brick oven style pizza’s, the baking steel works as a plancha, an anti-griddle, and a teppanyaki.  A multi-purpose gadget always excites me, so I  ordered one.  I came across a great article on Serious eats about a reversible version of the Baking Steel, and right next to it was a recipe for Extra-Crispy Bar-Style Tortilla Pizza and I knew that I had to try it. Leave it to me to buy a gadget made for making pizza only to put it aside to make a pizza in a cast iron skillet.  After making this, I don’t know why I never thought to try making pizza with a tortilla as a base before.  I’ve used naan, pita, and a middle eastern bread to make pizza before, so you would think it would have occurred to me to try one with a tortilla.  This pizza is super-duper easy, takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish, and it’s the best thin crust pizza that I’ve ever eaten.   For my gluten free friends, this pizza is easily adapted to become gluten free by switching out the flour tortilla, with a gluten free tortilla, Whole Food’s sells a host of different varieties. You can add additional toppings to this, but I kept it simple.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 7-10 minutes

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Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of Organic Tomato sauce (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)

1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup of organic mozzarella cheese (grated)

3 fresh basil leaves sliced thinly

1 large organic flour tortilla

1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or grape seed oil

Directions: Pre-heat oven to broil.  Add the oil to the cast iron pan and bring to temperature over high heat.

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Once the oil is hot, wipe out any excess with a paper towel–be careful not to burn yourself.

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Add the tortilla to the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low.

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Add the 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce,

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spread the sauce out evenly over the tortilla, all the way out to the edges.

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Add the mozzarella.

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Then add the parmesan around the edges–you are giving your pizza a parmesean crust.

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Add the basil:

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Transfer the pizza to the oven,

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Allow the pizza to cook for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and browns.

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Remove the pan from the oven.  The pizza should be nice and crisp–if it is not, place the cast iron pan over a burner, turn on the fire and allow to  cook for another 30-60 seconds until it’s nice and crisp. Remove the pizza from the pan slice, serve and enjoy! This recipe is only for one pizza, so if you need more adjust accordingly.  My daughter enjoyed this so much, that she begged me to make her one for breakfast the next morning.

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If you like this recipe you will probably like my recipe for Artisan Prosciutto Tomato and Basil Pizza.

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How to make Onion Powder–DIY Onion Powder

DIY Onion Powder--How to make Onion Powder

DIY Onion Powder–How to make Onion Powder

Recently I was chatting with some professional chefs online one of them was talking about using dried powders like garlic and onion in a recipe that he was playing with.  He wanted to know where he could find better quality powders.  The discussion quickly went from people being helpful, to people questioning whether any chef of good standing would ever use a dried product versus a fresh product. One person in particular, said absolutely not!  Others, said of course and then went on to make a case for when dried spices are needed, and in those cases how using dry spices make the dish better.  The discussion got me thinking about how often I use dried spices, and what dry ingredients I use.  The truth is that I am one of those cooks, who relies heavily on fresh ingredients.  The produce bin in my refrigerator is always stocked with, fresh thyme, parsley, mint, cilantro, basil, and whatever other herb is in season–ALWAYS.  I can’t imagine cooking without the use of fresh herbs.  At the same time, my cupboards are stocked with the dried version of all the fresh herbs that I just mentioned, and many, many other dry spices, like garlic powder, cumin, tarragon, onion powder…the list could literally fill this page!  If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I make many of my own spices.   When the person in that forum asked about sourcing onion powder, my immediate thought was, why not just make it? So I did.  It’s a simple process, but the onion powder that you get from this process is the best that you will probably ever taste–or smell–the smell had me salivating–this is the stuff that great onion dips, and soups are built from!

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 6-8 hours–

Ingredients:

2 large onions sliced thinly

Directions: Evenly spread the sliced onions on a dehydrator sheet.

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If using an oven, place the onions on a parchment lined bake sheet. Set the temperature on your dehydrator to 125F.  If using an oven, set it to the lowest possible setting 150F.  Let the onions dehydrate until brittle, then remove and let cool.

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Once the onions have cooled, place them in a spice grinder/coffee grinder and blend into a powder.  Stop here if you want onion flakes,

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Transfer to an airtight container until ready to use.

 

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Mango Ice Cream

Mango Ice Cream

Mango Ice Cream

My husband loves mango’s and is especially fond of mango kulfi–an Indian ice cream.  It’s a special treat that he likes to enjoy whenever we go out to eat at an Indian restaurant. Although Kulfi is delicious, most recipes call for corn flour as a thickening agent.  I prefer the use of egg yolks to thicken my ice cream.   This ice cream is ultra creamy, not as rich as a Kulfi, but delicious none the less.

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Prep time: 30-45 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups of organic mango puree

1.5 cups of organic milk

2 cups of organic heavy cream

4 egg yolks

1 vanilla bean

1/4 cup-1/2 cup of maple syrup more if you like it ultra sweet or if your mango’s are not sweet

Directions:

In a medium bowl, beat together the yolks, and your sweetener of choice.

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You can beat by hand using a whisk, or use a hand mixer. Beat until thoroughly smooth and creamy. (A couple of minutes by hand.) If you’re using maple syrup, or agave, the mixture comes together quite quickly.

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Put 1 cup of the cream, and all of the milk, into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
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Scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean with the tip of a small knife, and place into the pan; add the pod too. Heat the mixture until just before it starts to simmer (DO NOT LET IT SIMMER). Remove mixture from heat.Strain the hot mixture, reserving the milk and discarding thevanilla bean pod.
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Add half of the hot mixture to the egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Be careful when adding the hot mixture to the egg mixture, go slowly you don’t want scrambled eggs.  Stir this mixture into remaining hot mixture in the sauce pan,add the last cup of heavy cream and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, add in the mango puree,and cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

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Remove from heat.  Quickly cool the mixture by pouring the hot mixture into a bowl over an ice bath, or let it cool to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Once the cream has cooled sufficiently, freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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If you don’t have an ice cream maker, check out this Link to see how make ice cream without one.

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You could also freeze the cream in popsicle molds, or make a instant pop in a Zoku Quick Pop Maker–like I did below!

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Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Cider Herb Vinaigrette

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Cider Herb Vinaigrette

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Cider Herb Vinaigrette

One of my favorite winter vegetables is cabbage.  I love it in a hearty soup, braised in a crock on the stove, or roasted in the oven. Cabbage seems to be one of those vegetables for me that not matter how I cook it, it’s comforting in every way! This recipe is a favorite of mine, the roasted cabbage alone is awesome, but the vinaigrette really takes it to another level!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 small head of cabbage quartered with core intact, so it doesn’t fall apart

3-4 tablespoons of oil

4 cloves of garlic sliced thinly

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of mustard oil

1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro

sea salt to taste

 

Directions: Add the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a bowl, mix well and set aside.

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Pre-heat the oven to 425F.

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Add the cabbage to a foil lined bake sheet, then drizzle with oil  and season with sea salt and black pepper on both sides. Lastly top with sliced garlic, and place in the oven.

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Cook  for 10-15 and cabbage takes on some color.  Remove from oven, drizzle each wedge with some of the vinaigrette, serve and enjoy!

 

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If you like this recipe check out my recipes for Indian Spiced Cabbage and Ground Chicken and Cabbage Curry!

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DIY BBQ Rub–Lazy Girl All Purpose Barbecue Seasoning

Lazy Girl BBQ Spice Rub

Lazy Girl BBQ Spice Rub

By now you know that I love to make my own dry rubs and seasonings. I am a particular fan of the Trader Joe’s brand BBQ rub, but it’s not organic, and it contains sugar.  So of course I had to make my own version–without the sugar. I find that most things that call for sugar, either need less than the recipe calls for, or  don’t need it at all.  If you want to add sugar to this, then by all means add it, 1 teaspoon of maple sugar won’t kill you, but it really isn’t necessary for this recipe, this seasoning is fantastic all own its own. Also a bit of spice is nice in the recipe but I have made it optional.  My daughter isn’t a fan of spicy foods, so I often leave the spice as a later addition for the grown ups.  This truly is an all purpose seasoning, it taste great on chicken, pork, tofu, or steak.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of onion flakes (can sub onion powder)

1 teaspoon of satsuma powder (can sub 2 teaspoons of orange zest)

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coffee

1 teaspoon of himilayan sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Directions: Add all ingredients to a small bowl,

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Mix well:

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This is such a great seasoning, and it’s not just something to use on grilled meats.  I used it to make oven roasted barbecue chicken the other night, and it was a huge hit!

 

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Curry Spiced Crab Cakes with Raita

Curry Crab Cakes

Curry Crab Cakes

We have been chugging along here, still trying to help Page adjust to being in school and away from me. Friday was hard, as soon as we pulled up to her school she began to cry. It was so hard to leave her, she was crying and begging me not to–this parenting gig is hard! Despite the hard drop off, she did much better through out the day, than she had the day before…baby steps.  In other more happy news, we got a new refrigerator! We settled on a Kenmore Elite LG Grab-N-Go and we could not be more happy. Our old refrigerator was 20 years old, so we could have gotten away with getting something much less expensive and it still would have been an upgrade for us.  The Grab-n-go feature is great, but what really sold me on this refrigerator was the airtight compartment it has. I’ve had a bundle of kale in the airtight compartment for 2 weeks, it is still as fresh, and crisp as the day I bought it.  It would have been trashed in my old refrigerator.   Now on to the crab cakes. I love crab cakes, and I love crab curry.  so why not combine the two? I topped these with raita,  but these are equally as delicious all on their own alone.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

8 ounces lump crab meat

1 egg

2-3 tablespoons coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon lime powder (or zest)

3 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons of curry powder

1/4 cup of onion, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove minced

1 tablespoon of lime juice

2 tablespoons of oil, I used olive

2-3 Tablespoons of butter or ghee for frying crab cakes

Sea salt to taste

Recipe for Raita

1/2 cup of full fat organic yogurt

1/4 cup of chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup of chopped cucumber

3 tablespoons of finely chopped red onion

3 tablespoons of cilantro, finely chopped

sea salt to taste

Directions for raita :  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Directions for crab cakes: Heat oil in a saute pan, add in onion garlic and curry seasoning, cook for 2-5 minutes or onions turn translucent.

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Transfer onion curry mixture to a bowl to cool ( 5 minutes).

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Add in crab meat, cilantro, egg, lime zest and coconut flour and combine well.

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Once crab mixture has come together form patties for frying.  Heat the butter or ghee in a skillet, add crab patties and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes on each side.

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Remove from heat and enjoy!

imageIf you like this recipe you may like my other crab recipes:  crab cakes, crab fried rice,  steamed crab recipe or crab taco’s.