Thursday, September 29, 2011

Garlic Lover's Pizza

                I know it’s true; I make a lot of pizza. I actually tend to make it more than I order it! This probably can’t be said for many Americans. I feel bad for them. Making pizza at home is so much better and in my opinion, healthier for you and your family. Not to mention, it’s kind of fun too! Honestly, I can’t wait to make pizza with my kids one day…one day that is not in the near, um 9 month, future! Haha… Anyway, like I was saying, I make a lot of pizza. This is probably in due part to my adventure on the NJ Star Ledger 's Munchmobile Pizza Patrol, where I ate at several pizzerias numerous times a week  for about 6 months in attempt to name the #1 slice! Check out the link to see who took top honorsJ Now most people think I would be sick of eating slices after that experience. However, I always tell them that it surprisingly deepened my love for this food! I love so many things about it- the crust, sauce, spices, cheese, toppings, etc. No matter how you make it, buy it, or order it, the result is almost always unique. I think that is pretty cool and exciting and it leaves me admiring this dough & cheese creation day in and day out.
                So here is yet another pizza recipe that stemmed from my lack of time to be spending in the kitchen. I let my dough rise all day and when I came home later, I tossed together a quick and quite zesty sauce. I then grabbed the only veggies in my refrigerator and got to work. What came out was delightful! The grated garlic in the sauce was very apparent, which I loved but Hubby mentioned it as a touch “overwhelming”. If you love garlic, go for the 2 cloves, if not, 1 clove will suffice. I normally roast my veggies first but with no time and a grumbling stomach, I just placed them on top and hoped for the best. Well, I learned that although they don’t get as sweet as pre-roasted vegetables, they do retain their texture and brown nicely in just 15 minutes on a pie! All in all, it was an impressive pizza that came together in a snap!
Garlic-Lover’s Veggie Pizza
Serves: 4-6
OBJ: TCW be able to make a pizza without having neither the time nor the ingredients for tomato sauce

1 frozen pizza dough, thawed and left out covered to rise (2-4 hours)
½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, grated
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
¼  tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp dried oregano
S & P: salt and pepper
½ C – 1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1 zucchini, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
¼ C grated Parmesan cheese
½ small onion, thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, place pizza stone inside to heat up
2. In a medium sized  bowl, mix the tomatoes, 1 TBS oil, grated garlic, parsley, oregano, and a pinch S & P to taste, set aside
3.  Roll out your dough to about the size of your pizza stone, leaving at least a 3 inch border if you have a large stone like myself (mine is 14 x 16)
4. Take out the pizza stone, place on top of oven or cutting board, working quickly- spoon the tomato mixture all over the dough (Use a rubber spatula to make sure you get all the “juice” on your pizza!)
5. Sprinkle the mozzarella over pizza, then spread the zucchini on top of cheese, next layer your onions throughout
6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with the remaining 1- 2 TBS oil, and top with another pinch S & P
7. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until crust is golden brown on edges and cheese is bubbling
8. Take out the pizza stone and place on cutting board, bring to table, slice and serve!

Oven Cam!......

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spaghetti with Spicy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

               I know it’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but this was the 1st time I ever made meatballs. Even as an avid cook, there are some “traditional” recipes I have yet to attempt. Included in this shameful list are chicken soup, meatloaf, an entire roasted turkey, etc… know, like the food that most of us grew up on that our grandmothers could recite in their sleep. I think that’s the reason why I haven’t dabbled in these tried and true home-style meals; my Mom and Grandma do one heck of a job cranking them out of their kitchen!  Recently though,  I felt the need to take on one of these meals, that being spaghetti and meatballs. I had an idea of how I would go about it, I first envisioned my mother making them…..stale bread, a trio of ground meat, egg, Parmesan cheese, and definitely some diced onion and garlic. Then, I looked in my fridge and noticed I had only bought ground beef, not veal, pork, and beef, and there weren’t any onions in sight. A huge block of mozz suddenly caught my attention and I had an “ah-ha” moment- cheese stuffed meatballs! Alright that was great and all but I still only had my mother’s recipe in my head and few ideas lurking in mine…..What did I do next you ask? Grab my idol chef, Giada De Laurentiis’s cookbook and see how she makes her meatballs. And can you believe that when I looked up meatballs in the index, it read “Meatballs, Spicy Smoked Mozzarella, Bucatini all’Amatriciana with”!?! Her recipe was cheese stuffed too! Wow, now I really know she’s my idol! Anyway, I did have to tweak her recipe a bit because although I apparently think like her, I don’t have a well-stocked and supplied pantry like her. The result- AMAZING! Just amazing I tell you. The meatballs were moist, full of flavor, and oozing with creamy mozzarella. They weren’t “my mom’s” or exactly “Giada’s”, but they were somewhere in between and pretty dang good if you ask me!

Spaghetti with Spicy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Adapted from Giada At Home
Serves: 6-8
OBJ: TCW be able to finally make meatballs while following the guidelines of her idol, GiadaJ

1 small shallot, grated
1 TBS dried parsley
2/3 C plus ¼ C Parmesan cheese
1/3 C Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 TBS ketchup
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
S & P: salt and pepper
16 ounces lean ground beef
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 14 (1/2 inch) cubes
¾ lb spaghetti
2 – 3 C marinara sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lower oven rack to the lower third of oven
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
3. In a large bowl, combine the shallot, parsley, 2/3 C Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch S & P
4. Add beef, then using your hands mix well to combine
5. Shape the mixture into about 14, 1 ½ inch diameter meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet
6. Press a deep indentation into the center of each meatball, and place a cube of mozz inside
7. Re-form the meatball so that the mozz is completely covered with the meat mixture
8. Bake the meatballs for 15-18 minutes, or until cooked through
9. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and make pasta according to box directions
10. Heat marinara sauce on a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat, add meatballs to sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring a few times
11. Add drained spaghetti to sauté pan with meatballs, toss well to incorporate
12. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and a pinch S & P, serve!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spicy Cheddar Corn Muffins

                              I love warm bread and butter. To me, it’s just one of life’s little treasures that can make me smile instantaneously.  The type of bread rarely, if ever, deters me from smothering it with some unsalted butter. Or if you haven’t tried my OMG Butter recipe, you should, and should very soon because it will change your relationship with plain butter. Anyway, this recipe below provides you with yet another vehicle to smother, let melt and indulge. I was honestly surprised at how amazing this recipe turned out being that it all started with a box of corn muffin mix. It came together pretty quickly as I was preparing a roast chicken dinner and wanted a little something more interesting than plain corn muffins. I knew canned corn existed somewhere in my cabinet and Matt had been asking me to use his cherry peppers in something I was to make that week, so voila, with an addition of some sharp cheddar , these dinner muffins became quite the star. Not that my chicken wasn’t good, it was just that these came out so moist and flavorful. The cheese oozed just enough while the corn kernels added distinctive texture both of which countered the heat from the peppers. It was a great “plate neighbor” to a Sunday Feast. Servings: 10-12

Spicy  Cheddar Corn Muffins

OBJ: TCW be able to spice up boxed corn muffin mix

I 8.5 oz box of “Jiffy” corn muffin mix
1 15.25 oz can of corn, drained
½ C shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 cherry peppers, cleaned and diced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix corn muffin mix according to box directions
3. Add corn, cheese, and peppers, stir well to incorporate
4. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray or paper liners
5. Pour batter into muffin tin, filling each muffin cup ¾ full
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
7. Serve warm with butter!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes

               Are you a potato lover? Well, I most definitely am! Roasted, mashed, fried, baked, sautéed, any which way prepared I’m ready to dig in. If we had to get into the nitty-gritty of it though, my favorite kind of spud would be mashed. I love, LOVE , love mashed potatoes. Ask my mom or grandma and they’ll tell you I’ve been a mashed potato monster since about my 2nd birthday! It wasn’t until I met one of my best friends though that my beloved mashed potato took a step down and became my number 2 preferred potato dish. I remember the day very clearly; we had Cornish hens and twice baked potatoes. Sitting at the counter, I watched my friend’s mother bake the potatoes, and then mash them. This event alone made me so glad I was allowed to “eat over” that night! But when she didn’t throw away the skins or spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving bowl I was intrigued. I continued to watch her cook and make what she explained was twice baked potatoes. “So they are baked, mashed, then baked again?” I inquired. I never imagined that mashed potatoes could get any better than what I usually devoured, but I was soon enlightened! These “boats of beauty” were amazing, I ate about 3 that night and later told my mother all about it. She’s sadly not the kind of potato-admirer I turned out to be, so the dish didn’t make an appearance on our table in the coming days, months, or years! It’s okay though because she makes outstanding meals 99% of the time, so I have let this slide;) So this brings me to this dish, one in which I remember loving so much as a kid, and now one that I love so much with my husband. It’s only a party of two for now but with food like this, we keep ourselves busyJ

Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves 4-6
OBJ: TCW be able to remake a childhood favorite

3 Russet potatoes, equal in size
4 TBS unsalted butter, plus 1 TBS for crumb topping
1 C whole milk
I head of roasted garlic (see below)
Extra virgin olive oil, for coating
¼ C Italian breadcrumbs
S & P: salt and pepper

1. Roast garlic :
1.      Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2.      Cut the top off the head off garlic leaving skin on
3.      Place garlic on top of a large, 11 x 16, piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with 3 TBS of oil, ½ TBS pepper, and 1-2 tsp salt
4.      Wrap garlic up in foil, leaving room inside foil for garlic to “steam roast”
5.      Roast for 40 minutes, take out of oven and let cool in foil for about 20 minutes
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees
3. Clean and dry potatoes, poke holes in each potato using a fork, about 4 “stabs” per spud
4. Using a pastry brush, lightly oil each potato, sprinkle with salt, place in oven to bake for 40 minutes
5. Take potatoes out of oven and let cool completely
6. Cut each potato in ½ lengthwise, scoop inner potato out leaving about ¼ inch potato-lining.  Place scooped out potato in a mixer or large bowl
Potato Shells.....
7. Microwave butter and milk for about 1 minute, mix, make sure butter has melted. Microwave on 15 second intervals again if butter hasn’t all melted
8. Pour about ½ butter/milk mixture in mixer bowl with potatoes, add squeezed out garlic from the head of roasted garlic, a generous pinch of S &P (about ½-1 tsp each) and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes
9. Add another ¼ of butter/milk mixture as you’re mixing to attain the creamy consistency for potatoes, place aside (not all butter/milk mixture will be used unless you have very large potatoes)
10. Place the potato “skins” on a baking sheet, using a pastry brush lightly coat the entire potato “skin” with olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 5 minutes skin side up, then flip and roast for 5 minutes skin side down, remove from oven
11. Spoon about ½ C mashed potatoes into each “skin”
Filled and ready to for the oven.....
12. Roast for 20 minutes
13. Melt 1 TBS butter, add and mix with breadcrumbs, sprinkle evenly over each potato
14. Roast for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and edges of potatoes are crisp
15. Sprinkle with S & P and serve!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Something you should know, I am certainly a creature of habit.  Anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that I pretty much eat the same thing for breakfast, snack, and lunch each day. For those of you nosey curious people, I eat peanut butter on an English muffin with fruit for breakfast, yogurt for  a snack, and usually either a turkey sandwich or veggie wrap for lunch. This line-up has been a part of my life for oh about 11 years now! I know, just crazy for someone who loves food so much. But let me defend myself, these items are taken very seriously…..the fruit with my English muffin is carefully chosen, the English muffin is wrapped up and placed on the top of my lunch bag so it does not get squished, my yogurt is well, yogurt, but my lunch is meticulously made the night before in such a fashion that the ending result has been admired for years now. I’ll have to take a picture soon to show you this because words do not do it justice. Okay so what does that whole spiel have to do with a smoothie?? Basically the other morning, I was having my normal breakfast and Matt came downstairs to join me and claimed there was nothing to eat for breakfast so he was just going to wait until lunch! What?!? No way is my husband going to go breakfast-less on a Saturday morning! Unlike me, he didn’t want what he has every day at work- yogurt with granola and a banana. So I checked the refrigerator, cabinets, freezer and bread basket and sadly did realize he was right. But then I eyed up the on-its-last-leg banana and dusty blender on the shelf and before I knew it, I was blending away and whipping up a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Ironically, he still had his yogurt and banana like normal but he happily slurped away without noticingJ
Banana Blueberry Smoothie
Serves: 2
OBJ: TCW be able to finally use her blender she registered for and feed her hungry husband breakfast

1 banana, peeled
¼ C fresh blueberries, washed and stems removed
2 C ice
1 8 ounce container blueberry yogurt or any flavor you have
¼ C whole milk

1. In a blender, place all ingredients
2. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes using the “pulse” feature
3. Pour into 2 glasses and serveJ

*** I only needed one serving, so I froze the remaining smoothie mix in little Tupperware  containers and now I have frozen fruit ice!***

Smoothies ready for the deep-freeze.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pasta topped with Kale, Spicy Sausage & Cherry Tomatoes

               I am proud to say that I make a weekly “list” for the food store and farmers’ market and stick to it 98% of the time. Now I realize this is a tough, um perhaps impossible, task for those of you with kiddies or partners that tag along and want everything in sight, but I tend to go solo and stick to my plan. However, the other day something popped out at me that wasn’t on the list and I couldn’t turn it down. It just looked so darn delicious, fresh, and inviting. What was it you ask?????……KALE!  Yes, you read that right, it was kale, that fibrous, dark green vegetable that most would rather stuff in the garbage than in their mouth. But to me, it was practically glowing. I had to have it and I had to have it that night for dinner. Now usually I make kale sautéed with kielbasa and pierogies, but that would be too much deviating from the “list” for one day! I told you I’m kinda odd, right?…..Anyway, I looked in my cart and came up with this recipe.  In the end, the kale was cooked just enough so that it still hung on to its texture yet the bitterness was cut by the spicy  sausage crumbles. Cherry tomatoes added to the broth while also counteracting against the heartiness of the greens and sausage. The dish also came together pretty quickly which made for one happy shopper!

Pasta topped with Kale, Spicy Sausage, & Cherry Tomatoes
Serves: 2-4

OBJ: TCW be able to include a wintery green in a light, broth-based, pasta dish

1 bunch of Kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 links spicy sausage, casing removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
½ pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half
½ C dry white wine ( I use Pinot Grigio, but use what you booze!)
½ lb Gemelli or other non-hollowed pasta
½  TBS unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Reserved pasta water
S & P: salt and pepper
½ C grated Parmesan cheese

1. Boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 C pasta water
2. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 TBS oil over medium heat
3. Add sausage links and use a wooden spoon to break up into “crumbles” and let brown, stirring and breaking apart sausage frequently, about 10-15 minutes
4. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate, drain extra oil but make sure to leave enough to coat bottom of pan
Oh those yummy crumbles.....
5. Add 2 TBS olive oil to same pan, add garlic, a pinch S & P, and turn heat down to medium low, let garlic cook for about 8 minutes
6. Add wine and turn heat up, bring to a boil and let reduce, about 5 minutes
7. Add tomatoes, kale, another pinch S & P, and ¼ C pasta water to pan and cover, then turn heat to medium low (FYI, at this point I would be adding my pasta to boiling water)
8. After about 5 minutes, uncover pan, press the tomatoes down with a fork to release juices, add sausage and toss kale well with all ingredients. Then, add butter, cover again and let cook for another 5 minutes
10. Remove lid, add ¼ C parmesan cheese, another ¼ C pasta water and mix
11. Add pasta to pan, toss well and if needed add ¼ C pasta water for more broth. Sprinkle with additional ¼ C parmesan cheese and serve!

Isn't she gorgeous?!?!?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza

I’m really not sure what inspired this meal other than the fact that I found Naan bread in my freezer and wanted to use up the Feta cheese I felt compelled to buy a few days ago. I know that is kind of lame but sometimes, after a long day of work or just a long day of whatever, you can’t seem to think of anything to make. When this happens to me, my first instinct is to go “freezer shopping”. If I have luck there, which in this case I did, I then go to my fridge and see what I can pair with my freezer discovery. I must have been having a good day, because after finding the Naan, I eyed up that infamous Feta I just HAD to have, olives, eggplant and bag of spinach in the fridge. Score! Pizza immediately came to mind. What came together was a delicious and flavorful meal that we enjoyed very much so. Olives aren’t on Hubby’s “favorite list” but he was able to pick them off easily and fork em’ over to me! Score again! And lastly, another awesome thing that occurred with this meal was the leftover eggplant mix that I happily ate the next day for lunch! Score once moreJ

Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza
Serves: 2-4
OBJ: TCW will be able to utilize the frozen Naan bread she found in her freezer and be able to create a pizza with nontraditional ingredients

1 package Naan bread (Contains 2 flatbreads)
1 eggplant, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
2 C fresh spinach or baby spinach
½ tomato, diced (half a large tomato or 1 whole small)
½ C Feta cheese
¼ black olives, roughly chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
½ C extra virgin olive oil
S & P: salt and pepper

1. Lay eggplant slices out on a cooling rack and sprinkle with salt, let “sweat” for 15 minutes. Using a paper towel, dry slices
2. Place olive oil in a small dish and use a pastry brush to lightly brush both sides of eggplant with oil (There will be oil left, it is for later use)
3. Sprinkle one side of eggplant with oregano. Sprinkle both sides with S & P
4. Heat grill over a medium flame or indoor grill to high setting, let grill get hot, about 3-5 minutes
5. Grill eggplant on each side for about 4 minutes, or until they have softened and have “grill marks”. Place aside and let cool

Cooling eggplant......
6. Place pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees
7. Chop eggplant into large chunks and place in a large mixing bowl, add spinach, tomatoes, feta, olives, a generous pinch S and P, and 2 TBS olive oil, toss well
8. Spoon 1 TBS olive oil on each flat bread and spread with back of spoon or pastry brush, distribute spinach/Feta mixture evenly over each flatbread- about 2 Cups on each (You will have some left, it makes a great salad!)

9. Place pizzas on pizza stone or oven rack and back for 10-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and Feta is beginning to melt
10. Remove from oven, slice, and serve!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pasta tossed with Cherry Tomatoes, Shredded Zucchini & Sausage

                    Everyone has a go-to dish, right? One that you are always in the mood for, could make with your eyes shut, and that always comes out great regardless of external factors (mood, weather, phone ringing a gazillion times, etc) Well, in my home, that dish is pasta tossed with sausage and zucchini. Matt and I love the mix of sweet zucchini with spicy sausage and well, pasta could never disappoint us! So the other day, I was kind of in the mood for this because it had been too long since we’ve enjoyed it, but I wanted to change it up a touch. Not like make it a baked dish rather than a sautéed dish or change the protein from sausage to shrimp; I just wanted to tweak the appearance and texture a bit. My answer: roast and slice the sausage instead of uncase and crumble and shred the zuc instead of chop. What turned out was a fabulous, incredibly rich yet light dinner! The sliced sausage really stood out here. The fennel inside came alive, while the shredded zucchini came to become somewhat of a sauce and the cherry tomatoes literally bursted with freshness. It was a great meal and one that I know I can rely on in the future!

Pasta tossed with Cherry Tomatoes, Shredded Zucchini & Sausage
Serves: 2-4
OBJ: TCW will be able to put a spin on a classic dish of hers

½ lb tube shaped pasta
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for later drizzling
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS unsalted butter
2 TBS fresh parsley, roughly chopped
¼ C dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio, but use what you booze!)
2 zucchini, I cut into rounds then quartered, 1 shredded using a cheese grater (place grated zucchini on a paper towel and wring dry to soak up moisture)
½ pint cherry tomatoes cut in ½
2 sausage links (I used 1 sweet and 1 hot, but use what you prefer)
2 TBS parmesan cheese
S & P: salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Place sausage links in a shallow baking and rub with about 2 tsp olive oil (just to coat)
3. Roast for 40 minutes, turning ½ way through. Remove from oven, let cool and slice into rounds
4. Boil water for pasta and make according to package directions, reserving 1 cup pasta water
5. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the 2 TBS olive oil, butter, and a pinch S & P over medium-low heat
6. Add parsley and garlic, sauté for 10 minutes, enough time for garlic to soften
7. Add wine and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes, letting wine reduce
8. Add zucchini, tomatoes, another pinch S & P, and about ¼ C water from pasta water, mix well, turn the heat up to medium and cover (FYI- At this point I would put in pasta)
9. Leave covered for 10, then add sausage and all its drippings, stir well and recover for 3-5 minutes
10. Add parmesan cheese and pasta to sauté and mix well, add additional ¼ c -1/2 c pasta water as you mix
11. Drizzle with additional 2 TBS olive oil and serve!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crab Cake Trio

                      If you are a frequent follower of my blog, which I hope you are, you know that a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be a judge at the Shore Chef Crab Cake Cook Off. Having eaten all that seafood, I was surprisingly not sick of it! In fact, I was inspired by it. The following recipes are a combination of inspiration, imagination, and basic bravery, haha. Now I have made crab cakes before, I call them OriGINAl Crab Cakes and I honestly love them for their simplicity and flavor. However, like almost everything I make, I try to “out-do” myself the next time I feel like having it. Which basically brings us to these crab cake recipes… Rather than going with traditional, I wanted to go with, well, experimental. I decided to coat them 3 ways- crushed up potato chips, French’s French Fried Onions, and Panko breadcrumbs. I tried to keep the size of the cakes small so I could indulge in all three in one sitting, I recommend you do the same because each one is distinctive and delicious. My favorite though was the fried onions, my goodness those cakes were superb! The sweet onion flavor survived the “fry” while the itsy pieces of crunchy onions crackled with every bite!  Also important to note is they all made great sliders the next day!Serving: 9 crab cakes

Pan-Fried Crab Cake Trio
OBJ: TCW be able to make some sort of restaurant quality crab cake appetizer

1 C jumbo lump crab meat (1/2 of a 1 lb can), drained and picked through
½ Vidalia onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ red bell pepper, chopped
¼  tsp crushed red pepper
1 TBS fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 C fresh spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped
3 TBS mayonnaise
1 egg
1 TBS Dijon mustard
¼ C plus 2 TBS Panko breadcrumbs
½ C canola oil
S & P: salt and pepper
For breading purposes:
1 C Panko breadcrumbs
1 C French’s French Fried Onions, pounded in a baggie
2 C Potato Chips, pounded in a baggie (when pounded in should = 1 C)
2 eggs

1. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-low flame
2. Add onion, garlic, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch S & P, cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often
 3. Add red bell pepper and another pinch S & P, cook for 10 minutes, or until pepper has softened
4. Add spinach, cover for 2 minutes, then turn off flame and mix well. Put aside and let cool completely or refrigerate

Saute mixture...

5. In a large mixing bowl, add crab meat, sauté mixture, mayo, mustard, egg, panko, and a pinch S & P. Mix well to incorporate   

Crab mixture...
6. Assemble the breading station: Place Panko, fried onions, and potato chips each in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat 2 eggs
7. Optional: I sprinkle a pinch of pepper in my Panko, fried onions, and chips for extra spice and flavor
Assembly line.....
8. Using a ¼ C measuring cup, shape crab mixture into a plump patty, dip in egg, drain well (kind of go back and forth between your hands), then coat both sides and edges in Panko, shake off excess and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining crab mixture and other breading options. This recipe worked out great for 3 of each type of breading
 9. Once all the crab cakes have been breaded and placed on baking sheet, place in refrigerator for at least an hour for the cakes to set
10. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
11. Heat a large sauté pan (use same one as previously if you washed it) over medium-high heat, add about ½ C canola oil (depending on the sides of your pan, it should come up ¼ way) and allow oil to heat up, about 5 minutes (When oil is ready, it immediately bubbles when a small piece of breadcrumb immediately fries or the back of a wooden spoon when put to bottom of pan makes bubbles), place crab cakes in oil
*** If they don’t immediately start to fry when placed in oil, the oil isn’t hot enough, you have to wait longer!***

Potato Chip...

Fried Onion....

12. Flip after about 4-5 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Fry opposite side for 4-5 minutes, or until bottom is golden brown
13. When both sides are golden brown, place on baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake for 5 minutes. This ensures a hot crab cake all the way through
14. Serve with lemon slices