Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lunch at the Comfort Cafe

Thursday 10/21 9:12
I had a few winner dinners this week. Monday Night- Vegetarian Paella: brown rice, green beans, garbanzo beans, a cookbook keeper- even the veggie averse Girlette, and rice challenged Big Bro, finished their servings. Tuesday Night- Tofu Pad Thai: rice noodles, bean sprouts, lime, thai chili roasted tofu nuggets, red pepper strips, crushed peanuts- lots of color and lots of spicy flavor. Wednesday Night- Black Bean Burger: Could've been good, however, I forgot to add bread crumbs so they were an amorphous mess. Thursday Night- Pizza Night: Margherita pizza for the kiddles, tomato sauce base, thick slices of mozzarella, torn fresh basil, and a sprinkling of romano. For Hub I sauteed fresh spinach in some olive oil and and chopped garlic and spread it over the dough and scattered with goat cheese crumbles.
Tonight I start my cooking semi-marathon. We're having a few distinguished guests over for lunch on saturday, as well as some old friends we haven't seen in a while. I decided on a comfort food theme for the meal. Starting with Maryland Krab Kakes (imitation crab, old bay seasoning, saltine crumbs, mayo). Going on to roasted chicken, blue plate special meatloaf, garlic and herb roasted potatoes and yams, green beans. For the vegetarians: sesame pan fried tofu on a bed of sesame ginger rice. And I'll finish up with a half-sheet chocolate birthday cake.
Got my red re-up'd (salon visit), and am feeling particularly fiery and revved up. Might sneak in some red chili flakes here and there.
10/22 12:15
Meatloaf -done. Roasted Chicken- done. Chocolate cake- done. Krab Kakes-done. Sesame ginger tofu and rice-done. Herb roasted potatoes and yams- almost done. Still to do: green beans. Lately, I've been hearing a lot about Pop-Ups. In this economy there are a lot of vacant stores and locations everywhere. Cafes and shops rent these vacant locations for a few days as a temporary spot to sell their wares. It's a long-held dream of mine to have a cafe, but I'm not there yet for a handful of reasons. So I view these stints in entertaining as my own pop-up. I devise a menu, a theme, and a setting. Tomorrow will be my Pop-Up Comfort Cafe.
10/23 9:55 pm
Comfort Cafe was well recieved. The greatest hit was the krab kakes. They were savory and light and had a pleasing texture. Next time I'll serve them with a creamy horseradish dipping sauce. The dissappointment was the chocolate cake- I think I overbaked it, so it was a little too dry. I think the recipe has potential so I'll have another go at it.

Krab Kakes

1 package surimi imitation crab
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. Old Bay
bunch of scallions, finely chopped
juice of half lemon
1 sleeve of saltines, crushed
dash of sriracha optional

Using a food processor finely chop surimi. Empty surimi into a large bowl and fold in eggs, Old Bay, chopped scallions, lemon juice. Add saltine crumbs one handful at a time, mixing after each handful. If desired: add dash of sriracha and mix in.
With a serving spoon, drop rounded heaps of surimi mixture in sizzling vegetable oil. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Allow to cool on paper towels

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