Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Today was a very special day. A day to celebrate the men that will forever shape the lives of their little girls. Our Dad's have a VERY strong influence on the type of man we marry. Studies show we either marry a man just like our Dad's...or nothing like them. I woke up so excited to celebrate the most special man...the one who has been there since my first breath. Come on girls, in most cases, no one will ever mean as much to you as your Daddy. With that said, my Mom and I woke up nice and early to start the cooking festivities.

First, I started on the sangria. (OK, i realize that my Dad doesn't even drink I guess I made it for me. Oh well.)

Step 1: Cut up 5-6 strawberries, 1 champagne mango, slice an orange, and rinse off some fresh blueberries.

Combine the fruit in a pitcher with an entire bottle of your favorite red wine. You could pretty much make this with anything you prefer. Since I'm adding in a 1/2 cup of Brandy as well (Metaxa is what I used), I chose to go with a sweeter red...that way the sangria won't be too strong tasting. This was the first time I tried this lovely bottle:

B. Lovely sweet red wine. I took a sip of it before I added it to the rest of the mix & it was wonderful on it's own. Slightly sweet but not as much as a Moscato. SO good.

Look at all those beautiful colors!! The longer this sits the better it tastes.(Beware the fruit! It soaks up all the just when you think you're eat this innocent looking fruit...BAM!! You are seeing double). If you can't control yourself and you have to have a glass, NO WORRIES! Just throw some ice cubes in your favorite wine glass and go to town. If you feel like you can wait a while, pop this baby into the fridge and let it chiilll.

With my glass full of fruits (and wine), MamaDeLuxe and I got started on the crab cakes. First, we washed and finely chopped 2 green onions, 1/4 of a white onion, 2 mini red bell peppers, and a bit of fresh cilantro.

Place in a large bowl & add in the juice from 1/2 a lemon, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, and about 1/2 cup panko (or your favorite breadcrumbs). You will likely need more but it's best to slowly add it in rather than to have tough crab cakes. Right?

Next, mix & mash everything up with your hands. I use gloves only because I'm squeemish...shocking. I know. My Mom graciously took over so I could take some photos. Once everything is formed, use a mini ice cream scooper to form even sized portions.

The next steps are as follows:

Form little patties with your hands.

Next, gently roll them in a separate bowl filled with panko. This adds an extra "crunch" to your crabeycakes.

Do this over and over until you run out of crabmeat. Place on an oven safe sheet & broil for about 6 minutes per side (or until nicely golden on top).Broiling is a nice option I prefer over pan frying the crab cakes. It keeps the dish lighter, healthier, and they actually end up crispier rather than drenched in oil. Here is a before picture. I don't have an "after" shot because my big Greek family devoured them before I even put them on a plate. That's life.

Once you eat your own, homemade crab cakes, you'll appreciate how much better they taste than the processed frozen ones you find at most restaurants (excluding the high end ones like @ Capital Grille...those are pure bliss).

My sister graciously made the caprese salad. This is so simple and easy and really adds something different to the same old lettuce & dressing "salads". Just slice up a nice beefsteak tomato on the thicker side, place a thick slice of fresh Mozzarella cheese on top, then top it with a large, fresh basil leaf. Drizzle the tops with quality olive oil & balsamic vinaigrette. Salt & freshly ground pepper are the finishing touches. Here it is! (Click to enlarge these. I want you to see the yumminess)

Oh so savory! I hope you all try some of these recipes soon (and leave me a comment telling me how they worked out for you). It's great to be back after a week long hiatus. Check back tomorrow. I'm going to blog about an AMAZING, classic Greek appetizer (cheese pockets- Tiropita) my Mom and I made. It's sure to be a hit at your next tapas party. Goodnight, Bloggees!

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