Friday, December 30, 2011

Comfort Foods: Crabmeat Crostini with Sriracha Mayonnaise and Toasting Another Happy Year

After a lovely Christmas with my family in Ohio, we came back to New York to enjoy the city with our daughters for the rest of the holiday vacation. After-Christmas shopping, Christmas windows and decorations and the giant tree at Rockefeller Center still hold their magic for all of us.

Last night, we opened a bottle of champagne to toast the end of a great year, and the start of a happy one. I made spicy crabmeat crostini, and they were a perfect accompaniment to the delicious champagne.

Easy to make, serve and eat, the crostini are elegant, rich and delicious. The crab gets an unexpected kick from the sriracha, and the toasty crostini adds crunch to the silky crabmeat pâté. If you are looking to cut down on carbs--you can spoon the spicy crabmeat into endive leaves for a light but crunchy amuse-bouche.

If you are looking for an easy and tasty appetizer to ring in the New Year--this is it. Not that a good glass of champagne needs much to go with it--a toast with loved ones and a grateful nod to all that is good in your life is plenty. Happy New Year!

Crabmeat Crostini with Sriracha Mayonnaise
1/2 pound fresh lump crab meat
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (available in Asian grocery/markets)
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
Freshly ground pepper and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

In a bowl, mix crabmeat, mayonnaise and sriracha with a fork until the sauces are mixed through with the crab. I prefer to keep the crabmeat a little chunky, but more mixing will make the
pâté more smooth. Spoon onto crostini (or into endive leaves for a lighter dish) and garnish with freshly ground pepper and chopped cilantro.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Healing Foods: Persimmon Orange Salad and He Can Cook, Too!

I have often invited my husband to join me in the kitchen to cook. A dashing French gastronome, he has introduced me to many lovely dishes in our years (and travels) together. In the past couple of years, as we both try to take control of our health, he has become a wonderful partner as we peruse recipes, shop for ingredients and discover dishes that are both delicious and nutrient filled.

For Thanksgiving, he came across a recipe in the New York Times that he thought would be a great pairing with our “lighter than years past” meal with friends. It is delicious, and so worth sharing. The refreshing, sweet persimmons and the citrusy sweet/tart oranges are a great combination, and the peppery watercress is a great juxtaposition to fruit’s textures and flavors. We have made it a few times since Thanksgiving, and it is a welcome addition at any dinner. And although making this delicious salad isn't exactly is a treat to have my handsome man joining me in the kitchen!

1 small shallot, minced

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper

4 tablespoons fruity olive oil

4 navel oranges

4 Fuyu persimmons

1 bunch watercress, optional

Put the shallot and vinegar in a small bowl and macerate 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and a little pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.

With a serrated knife, peel the oranges, then slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Arrange the orange slices on a platter. Peel the persimmons, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices or wedges and arrange over the oranges.

The salad can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 hours. Just before serving, whisk the dressing again and drizzle over the fruit. Garnish with watercress sprigs.