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Archive for February, 2009

We had a heatwave the other day, and grabbed a box of brats out of the freezer to take advantage of it.  We grilled the whole 3 lb box for our family of four.  Of course there is NO WAY we could eat all of them in one meal.  And with only 8 buns in the pack, what are you supposed to do with the extra brats?  Many times we will grill them and freeze all but the 8 that we have buns for.  However, I have the perfect way to use them up.  And no one will even realize you are using up leftover.

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2 – 3 grilled or cooked brats – sliced thin lengthwise

sliced onions – about 1 cup

sliced peppers (red, green, yellow – whatever you have) – 1 to 2 cups

4-6 8 – 10″ flour tortillas

shredded pepper jack cheese

Place sliced brats in skillet with pepper and onions.  (Hint – My local grocery stores sells a store brand frozen mix of pre-chopped red, yellow, and green peppers with the onions all in one bag.  Wonderful to have on hand for something like this).  Cook over low to medium low heat until veggies are tender (think fajitas) and brats are reheated.  Place one flour tortilla on plate.  Spoon small amount of filling in center of tortilla.  Sprinkle with shredded pepper jack cheese.  Roll tortilla around filling and enjoy.

If you wish, you can fold like a burritto and grill.

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Crab Cakes

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So I went to make crab cakes yesterday and realized that I didn’t have any lemon.  Most every recipe I have ever seen or used for these yummy treats calls for lemon.  As I usually fly by the seat of my pants when cooking, I had already put the eggs and mayo in the bowl and had my heart set on them before the lack of lemon was realized.  Being the person I am, crab cakes had to be made.  So a threw a little of this and a little of that together and figured if they didn’t turn out, there was always leftovers.  My husband took one bite and said “If I had ordered these in a restaurant, I would NOT have been disappointed”.  I took this as a compliment and figured I would share.

2 eggs slightly beaten

2 Tablespoons Mayo (use the real stuff here…no miracle whip)

2 good shakes of Cayenne pepper

2 Tablespoons of sweet hot mustard

a pinch or two of parsley for color

fresh ground pepper and a dash of salt to taste

1 lb chopped or shredded crab meat (I actually used imitation crab)

bread crumbs (a handful or two till you can form the mixture into patties)

extra bread crumbs to coat the patties

2 Tablespoons oil for frying.

Whisk together eggs, Mayo, Cayenne pepper, sweet hot mustard, parsley, pepper and salt.   Once combined, add chopped crab meat and bread crumbs.  Mix well.  Form into approximately 8 patties.  Coat patties in bread crumbs.  If time allows, the frying will go easier if you allow them to set up in the fridge for 4 hours or so.  If it doesn’t allow, no problem, you just will need to be a little more careful when frying.  Coat skillet with 2 Tablespoons oil (I use Olive Oil, but you have to watch carefully with the heat as Olive Oil will burn).  Place Crab Cakes in oil (in batches if needed) and cook for approximately 4 minutes or until browned.  Turn over and cook another 3 -4 minutes on the other side.

I served these over a scoop of garlic smashed potatoes.  (Easy to make as well) – Wash and cube a pound or so of red potatoes (I didn’t peel mine).  Boil in water until cooked.  Drain.  Place back in pot.  Add 4 Tablespoons Butter, Garlic and Milk or Heavy Cream.  Smash to desired consistency.  The Milk or Heavy Cream will be used to get the consistency you want as well.  I tend to like mine a little moist, so may use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.  Just depends.  I add a little, mash, and add more as needed.

Trust me…This is well worth the time to make!

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Breakfast anyone???

Mini Quich

You have got to try these little guys.  They are bite size pieces of heaven.  I have been making them for about 4 years or so.  Don’t think I’ve used the same ingredients twice, and what is really nice about them is that you can suite them for any taste.  Did I mention that they are easy, but everyone will think you spent lots of time on them?  I make them often for brunch or even a quick supper.

Mini Quiche

1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)

1/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup very finely chopped ham

1 green onion (both the white and the green parts), very finely chopped

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly spray a 24 “slot” mini-muffin pan.  Unroll one pie crust on a lightly floured surface.  You will need to roll the crust out a little bigger, but not too thin.  Cut 12 circles (approx. 2 3/4″ in diameter) from the crust.  (Note, if you don’t have a round cookie cutter, use a glass as your cookie cutter.)  Repeat with the 2nd crust.  Place the circles into the mini-muffin pan.  You can use a fancy little tool meant to push the crust down or you can simply use your fingers to shape them to the pan.

Mix the milk, eggs, ham, onions, cheese and seasoning.  Using a small cookie scoop (or a spoon), fill each of the crust “cups” with filling.  Bake 18 to 21 minutes.

You can substitute the fillings for whatever your family likes.  If you are using lots of vegetables, you may need to cut back a little on the milk as the vegetables will add moisture.  I have made these with ham, bacon, pepperoni or Canadian bacon.  I have also made them with just cheese.  Or with all veggies.  Think tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, even zucchini.  They are wonderful!

Let me know if you try them.  Would love to hear what you think!

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