Crispy Zucchini Cakes

Lately I have had a major hankering for crab cakes. Not fake surimi cakes but honest to goodness crispy crab cakes with little bits of color and that tang of Old Bay seasoning. Unfortunately finding crab—at a reasonable price—around these parts is about as easy as finding Unicorn meat so I had to improvise.

At first I was hopeful I could find canned crabmeat, but alas in Germany most of their canned seafood does not fit the bill. Canned tuna, while not awful, tends to dry out a lot as I learned years ago in a failed attempt to sate a crab cake craving. The rest of this aisle is filled with mackerel, sardines and tuna, but packed in a variety of flavored oils. Needless to say it didn’t fit.

 zucchini cakes recipe

Plus I was sick of using beans so I decided to get some deliciously fresh zucchini. I never was a big fan of zucchini if I’m being honest but when I was about 12 years old our neighbor Rosemary made zucchini pie. And I was thinking “yuck” until I slid a piece off the fork and I decided it was some of the best pie I’d ever eaten. Of course Rosemary made a superb crust that was the perfect blend of flaky and buttery, but the cinnamon, nutmeg and what I later learned was cardamom made zucchini pie taste a whole lot like apple pie. Continue reading Crispy Zucchini Cakes

Dirty Rice & Beans

When I was younger I guess I was like most kids and teens, equating good food with, what I now know is unhealthy crap. As such whenever there was a dish that contained both beans and rice—and no meat—I looked at it as Third World food. I would turn my nose up at it and once I got my first job at White Castle I’d use my own money to buy food I found more palatable.

These days as meat makes a more infrequent appearance in my meals, not to mention time spent in Louisiana and Los Angeles, I’ve learned to appreciate the subtle nuances of rice and bean dishes. Whether it’s dirty rice or Mexican style rice & beans I’ve discovered how delicious and healthy beans can be. Continue reading Dirty Rice & Beans

Mushroom & Guinness Stroganoff

One of my favorite things to do for my husband is to take traditionally meat-based meals and turn them vegetarian for him. Of course it’s for me too, but if left to my own devices I’d probably chop up some filet and make old school beef stroganoff.

One day in the market I passed by some delicious looking egg noodles and immediately I was transported back to my granny and her tasty thick stroganoff gravy. I always enjoyed the gravy with mushrooms and onions, but honestly my granny (both of them) tend to make their beef a little well done, which sucks when you have to reach inside a gravy-filled mouth to pull out meat stuck between your teeth. Even thinking back to the last time I made it with meat, I think I made the meat too tough as well so I was pretty excited to try something new. Continue reading Mushroom & Guinness Stroganoff

Mediterranean Sardines & Herbed Bulgur

In my recently rediscovered love of all things whole fish I decided to give sardines a try. I mean, I’ve had sardines before but usually of the canned and packed in oil variety, but I’ve never had the actual fish in all its bony glory. So when I spotted these babies in the frozen section—not fresh but since I’ve no experience with them I figured it was good enough—I snatched’em right up. Continue reading Mediterranean Sardines & Herbed Bulgur