Thursday, October 28, 2010

Green Pea Soup (served with Crab Cake)

The base for this soup is adapted from Giada De Laurentis' Pea and Basil Soup recipe. Her version is delicious, light, and slightly sweet. I tried her recipe with cilantro instead of basil here. And to make it into a more filling dinner dish, topped it with a crab cake (I always have frozen crab cakes in my freezer; they are a quick fix during the week without the laborious undertaking.)

Green Pea Soup (served with Crab Cake)
Serves 2

2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of ground pepper
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup cream
2 prepared crab cakes
light sour cream (optional)
croutons (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until softened and brown on the edges. Add the peas and cilantro and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until the peas have warmed through.
2. Transfer to a blender and add the chicken broth. Puree until smooth.
3. Return to the pan and add the cream. Cook until hot throughout. Divide into two bowls and serve with a crab cake topped with sour cream and croutons.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mini Apple Fritters

It has been weeks since my last post, and my apologies for this long absence. However, I have a good reason: We were in the process of moving! After three months of house-hunting, and all the work and preparation (and hundreds of spousal disagreements; who knew I felt so strongly about a breakfast table or that he was adamant about wood floors?) that go into it, we are finally in our new home! Even though we are no longer within walking distance of some of the best restaurants in the city, the benefits are numerous including, of course, our beautiful house, all the space (my extra baking pans now have their own drawer in the kitchen and not in the coat closet!) and the ease and quiet of suburban life. And an added bonus is the beautiful wetlands behind us, teeming with wildlife, including these super-cute wild turkeys.

So the past couple of months were hectic. And during that time, it was impossible to cook. Save for making coffee and microwaving some frozen egg rolls, I last time I cooked a meal was way too long ago. Now, my fingers are twitching to turn on some burners. And just so you know, I have a nice line up too, beginning with this recipe for mini apple fritters. So stay tuned! And in case you were wondering how dare I post a recipe for something deep fried on a blog that starts with the word "healthy," my answer: who doesn't like fried food? My approach is moderation - you won't see me eating this way every day or even every week for that matter.

Mini Apple Fritters
Makes about 20

2 cups apples, chopped (about two apples)

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup cake flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup low fat milk

1 large egg, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

vegetable oil for frying


1/2 cup raw sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1. Prepare the apples first by melting the butter in a saucepan, and adding the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Cook apples until softened and the smallest pieces have melted. Remove from heat and cool.

2. To make the batter, combine the flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

3. Beat the egg white to stiff peaks.

4. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolk, and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture until totally incorporated, at which point it should be thick and sticky. Mix in half of the egg whites to make the batter more smooth. Fold in the remaining egg whites, this time taking your time not to over mix, folding about four to five times. Finally, fold in the cooled apple mixture.

5. To cook, heat enough oil in a deep frying pan, and drop scoops of batter into the hot oil. (I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop to get even sized fritters.) Fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes until medium to dark brown. Drain on paper towels. Combine 1/2 cup of raw sugar and 2 teaspoon cinnamon, and properly toss the warm fritters in this mixture before serving.