Tis’ the Season. Gatherings that begin before Thanksgiving happen regularly for the next month and a half. Parties and big meals are on the ticket, be they formal or impromptu, it is the season for IN YOUR FACE food, no pun intended. After the turkey comes the ham, the goose and by the prime rib is on the table, enough cheese, crackers, veggie trays and hummus has been served to last the New Year. After a while the taste buds begs for something totally different, something to clear the palate with a nod toward lighter and healthy. That’s when we bring out the seafood tray. Trust me when I say there’s lots more on that tray than these two recipes, and we change it up but Parm Bites and Crab Cakes always star.
Parmesan Crusted Salmon Bites
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs*
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. each dried dill (or 1 tsp. minced fresh) and dried thyme
- ½ tsp. garlic powder (or 2 clove garlic, minced)
- 1 lb. (450 g) skinless salmon fillet, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup Best Foods or Hellman’s olive oil mayonnaise
- Olive oil baking spray
- *To make bread crumbs, place 1 cup garlic croutons in a food processor and process to small crumbs.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs,salt and pepper, parmesan cheese, herbs and garlic. Mix well to distribute.
- Pat Salmon very dry on both sides, and cut into bite sized pieces. If necessary pat dry again.
- Measure mayonnaise into a deep soup bowl and toss salmon chunks in mayo until all sides are well coated.
- Toss coated salmon chunks in bread crumb/parmesan mixture until well coated.
- Place fish in a single layer, not touching, on a rack over baking sheet lined with parchment, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake fish for 12-15 minutes until coating are crispy and golden brown.
- Serve with the sauce of your choice and a wedges of lemon.
Note: Cocktail sauce made with 1 part catsup to 1 part prepared horseradish, Mayo spiked with Wassabi, and Dill Pickle Tarter Sauce jazzed up with fresh dill are all wonderful sauces with these recipes.
Red Pepper Crab Cakes
2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery (tender green rib + a few leaves)
- 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 1 pound Dungeness crabmeat, drained, leg meat broken up
- 3 cups homemade toasted bread crumbs*
- 5 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- *To make bread crumbs, place 4 cups garlic croutons in a food processor and process to small crumbs.
- Combine mayo, Tabasco, mustard and black pepper in a large bowl
- In a large bowl, combine the scallions, bell pepper, and half the chopped parsley
- Place the bread crumbs in a small bowl and toss with remaining parsley, celery and rosemary
- Add crab meat to large bowl and mix lightly to combine.
- Add 1 cup of the bread crumbs into the crab, gently mixing. Don’t overwork!
- Form 8 patties, not too tight, and dredge lightly in the remaining bread crumb mixture to coat. Set aside any leftover bread crumbs.
- Cover crab cakes with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, an hour is better.
- Combine butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, adding the crab cakes when butter has melted.
- Cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown and the crab cakes are heated through.
- Serve with the sauce of your choice and a wedge of lemon.
Note:(Don’t over crowd pan, cook in two batches if necessary, using 2-1/2 Tbsp. of butter and 1-1/2 Tbsp. oil for each batch.)
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