Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Crab Cakes

I love seafood so crab cakes is one of my favorite dishes. I love the way they make it at the Great American Chain Restaurants and thought it was a difficult dish to make. However A's husband made this at a party earlier year and they were delicious, not that difficult either!


Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used ritz crackers instead)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus more if needed
1 large egg white
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves, for garnish
freshly cracked black pepper

You'll need to prepare the crabcakes first and put them in the fridge so they can firm up before you can fry them.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion gets kind of caramelized. Dump that into a bowl and fold in the crabmeat, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, egg white, lime juice, and cilantro, mixing just until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into crab cakes, cover them up and then place them in the refrigerator to chill.

To serve, heat a olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the crab cakes and cook for about 4 minutes each side until nice and crisp.

Rice and Baby Clams (Com Hen)

I believe rice and baby clams is a dish that originated from Central Vietnam (Hue), there are many variations of it that can be found. The dish created below is adapted from my friend's recipe.

Rice and Baby Clams

3 cans of baby clams (drained)
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
1 finely diced onion
2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 finely diced cloves of garlic
1/4th cup of shredded carrots

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil on a pan and saute garlic, onions, and ginger. Once the mixture is slightly golden add carrots. Fry for another couple of minutes then add clams and fish sauce and season to taste.

I like to eat this dish in a hot pot so that the rice is crispy. I sprayed the pot with non stick cooking spray and heated it on the stove for a couple of minutes. I then added rice and a couple of teaspoons of oil around the rim to make the rice crispy and added the clam mixture on top. Once ready to serve, I added some crispy pork rinds. The sauce is a mixture of soy sauce and spicy sate sauce.

Cream Puffs

Cream puffs are one of my favorite desserts, especially the ones with the custard filling. There's this lady that sells a box of 100 puffs for only $30 bucks! We used to ask friends and relatives coming down from Maryland to pick us up a box it seems to be such a hassle now. I found a recipe on the Joy of Baking ( and decided to give it a shot.

Her recipe is as follows:

Choux Pastry:
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Egg Wash Glaze: 1 large egg 1/8 teaspoon salt
Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
  • Powdered (Confectioners or icing) sugar

Instead of using the whipped cream above, I used her fruit tart pastry cream recipe ( and mixed it with some vanilla pudding! You can play around with the mixture to you get the right consistency.

Custard Recipe from Joy of Baking

Pastry Cream:

  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/8 cup (20 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
  • 3/4 tablespoon (10 ml) liqueur (Grand Marnier, Brandy, Kirsch) (optional)

I used this Wilton Cookie Master Plus to make the Puffs:

On the subject of cream puffs, on a recent trip to NYC, I tried Beard Papas ( cream puffs for the first time. This place is a Japanese franchise that is known for the world's best cream puffs! No doubt they were good, they were pretty big in size too but they're only good if you consume them there. They make it fresh and fill the puff with the custard as you order. The puffs are thin and crisp and the custard filling is fluffy and not too sweet and you have a choice of the regular vanilla cream or green tea. For the puff, you have a choice of the regular puff or puffs with a captain crunch link mixture on it. I bought a box and ate them later and they weren't so good. I'm also not too fond of the green tea custard filling.

Beard Papa's:

2167 Broadway
New York, NY 10024
(212) 799-3770

Summer Recap

The summer has come and gone so quick! The good news is I finally got a new camera so more food pics to come! Here's my new baby:

It was on sale at for 175, with free shipping, a camera case, and 2 gig SD Card:

I've taken a few trips this summer so I'll be posting pictures from that and other pics i've found on my computer. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cracker Barrel

My friend is always raving about how Cracker Barrel ( has the BESTTTT breakfast and how she'd drive 20 miles for it. Finally, my friends and I went to a wedding in Richmond and were finally able to taste all that southern goodness! I learned that you should never to go at noon on a Sunday, the wait felt like forever. Good thing is that its also a store so you can shop around while you're waiting. The wait was worth it. I had the sour dough toast with over easy eggs in them and they were delish! Turns out that there are almost 600 Cracker Barrels in about 41 states. I have been totally missing out...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back from a long hiatus

WanderingChopsticks kindly reminded me that it's been almost half a year since I've posted. I didn't realize that it's been that long as I've been caught up with other things. After finishing up school in March, I thought I'd have time to cook and post more but boy was I wrong! Events keep popping up left and right! Since March, I've taken a cruise to the Bahamas, then wedding season started and is still going strong. I've gone to 3 weddings so far this year and still have about, 6 more to go to this year. On top of that, my camera broke :( so please let me know if there are any good deals out there for point and shoot cameras. I'll try to update more frequently, but here are some pictures to look at in the mean time.

C & K's Wedding - My friend got married at a beautiful restaurant called 2941 (picture below is from the restaurant website: The atmosphere was great and same as the view but unfortunately it was raining that day so we didn't get to go outside for pictures. Highlights of the meal were the hors d'oeuvres, which consisited of crab cakes and shrimp skewers. Least favorite was the steak because I got a very tough piece of steak. Others seemed to like their entree, so I think it coulda just been piece! Everything else was good, it was a joyous occassion and I was happy to be there so I can't complain :)

OOohhh here's another highlight of the meal! Yummiee cotton candy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Restaurant Week DC!

Sorry for the long hiatus! Two months certainly flies by fast. Towards the end of the year I was busy with finals and now I'm enjoying my winter break before I start my final semester of Grad School. Two classes are really going to kick my butt! But the reward is so much greater...being done by the end of March :) So what better way to end my winter break and start off 2008 then enjoying a nice Restaurant Week Meal or Meals hehe.

I really enjoyed Colvin Run Taverns last year but they closed down, instead I'd recommend Kinkeads (same owner). Oya also has great food and wonderful decor.