The recipes on this blog are a combination of things I've learned over the years and meals inherited through generations of adoration for good food. They are a cherished property, so please be good to them.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Baltimore’s New School Chef- Tony Geraci

I'm proud to say my close family friend, Melody Simmons has written an incredibly interesting article for Gourmet Magazine on the continuing child obesity epidemic and the changes some local folks are trying to make. Melody has been a reporter in Baltimore for more than 25 years. She was a staff writer for The Evening Sun and The Sun for two decades where she covered city and metropolitan news, and was on a team that investigated a corrupt city public housing program that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has covered medical issues and the health care system as a former weekly freelance columnist for The Washington Post, and now is a news feature reporter on my favorite radio station, WYPR. I'm proud to know her... and to post a special blog on this article.

You can check out the article here . I'd love to hear your thoughts on what this chef for the Baltimore school systems is trying to accomplish. I think it's quite amazing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Easy Herb Spread

Sometimes a girl grows a lot of different herbs in her backyard and sometimes, she needs to find ways to get some of them used up! I tend to dry them around early fall, but sometimes I just want to savor the freshness of a newly picked stem of rosemary or thyme.

This isn't a "recipe" as much as it is an idea. One night my husband, the grill master, was grilling some steaks on our grill (along side our home grown squash and zucchini) and I wanted to give those steaks a little "va va voom"! I've done balsamic reductions and Bearnaise variations to bring more life into my steaks, but I felt I wanted something not saucy, but filled with fresh flavor.

1-2 tbsp each:
thyme leaves
rosemary leaves
1/4 c basil leaves
1/8 c parsley
1 tbsp fresh lemon zest

Chop this mixture into a fine paste. Spread onto steaks, fresh from the grill. The smell of the herbs as it hits the hot steak is outstanding!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grilled Scallion Panko Crab Cakes

This crab cake was a wonderful meal on a warm summer night before vacation. We had some great Maryland lump crab meat from our local fishmonger and I wanted to make crab cakes.

If you live here in the Chesapeake Bay area, you use Old Bay seasoning for your crab cake, typically. Anyone who lives elsewhere and hears of a Chesapeake Bay "style" crab cake, it usually has Old Bay or some sort of replica seasoning. I love Old Bay and it's very much a part of my favorites, but I wanted to go somewhere else with this crab cake.

These crab cakes are grilled, in that they were placed on a grill topper and grilled over direct heat. This does require some delicate finger work, but I didn't lose a single crab cake!

1 lb fresh lump crab meat
2 scallions, white and green parts chopped fine
1 c panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 egg

Drain crab meat and lightly pick through to remove any left over shells. Do not break up lumps!

Add scallion, and panko and mix lightly with your hands. In a separate bowl, add the remainder ingredients and mix well. Fold mixture into crab mix and lightly combine. Form crab cakes ( this made 6 for me, but we like them big! ) and place in refrigerator for about an hour.

Place on well oiled grill topper and put on a grill over direct heat (medium high temp) and grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side, and serve!