Everything has a beginning, and with some trepidation, so goes my first blog post. Have I edited enough? Will readers like the recipes? Or worse, will anyone ever read them? Will I ever figure out the navigation necessary to configure this site the way I want it? Have I controlled my usual ramblings? Apparently, the answer is No to the last question, but I am going for it regardless.
From my newly created list of foods with three recipe options, the crab won. Maybe it was a level of confidence because I have made the crab cakes so often. Happily, the old has become new in creating the palmiers; they are my favorite of the three recipes. At the next family gathering, these palmiers will be a substitute for the crab cakes on cucumbers, a menu change long overdue.
Along with developing this blog, my photography is a work in progress. Cooking blogs with gorgeous photography are my inspiration to learn the many features of the beautiful SLR digital camera gifted to me this past year. Hmmm…if only I could figure out a way to convince my sister-in-law, an extraordinary artist and photographer, to cross two states and live next door.
Crab cakes are baked, not fried, but using panko and spraying with some olive oil does the trick for crispy crusts and soft centers. A variety of foods do well on a slice of cucumber, but for me, fish-like smoked salmon-and cheese pair well with the crunchy fresh bite of the cucumber. It is a great do ahead for a party because they freeze well.
Adding some Parmigiano Reggiano and Gruyere cheeses bolsters the flavor of the crab. I tried it without and they were too bland. Mini portabella mushrooms may be substituted for the white buttons creating a stronger, earthier mushroom flavor.
Going for the savory rather than the sweet, these palmiers are my favorite of the three appetizers. Not quite as easy to make as the stuffed mushrooms, but a relatively short prep time for such a substantial platter of appetizers. I had to control myself from making them my main course for dinner…light, delicate and crispy. Any brand of puff pastry works. Dufour happens to be the one I prefer because it is good quality and available in my nearby markets. Cold dough and a sharp knife make the job easier and like the crab cakes, they freeze well.