Variations on Crab and Wasabi

I promised to post recipes for some of the dishes from the Fel Iron Chef competition, so here they are! You may be able to tell the difference in styles of the two Chefs by looking them over.

The recipe for the most innovative dish by Chef Poob:

Creamy Wasabi Mustard (Camo Sauce)

2 tablespoon cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon wasabi
2 tablespoon mayo
3 tablespoon mustard dijon
dash of onion powder
dash of sugar

Crab Poppers

1 large can Poblano peppers

Filling
1 lb crab
2 tbs fine chopped bell pepper
2 tbs fine chopped onion
1/4 cup cracker meal
1 beaten egg
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup milk
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

Breading
2 cups cracker meal
1 cup milk
2 eggs
salt and pepper

cut peppers in half and stuff with filling
bread and dump in boiling hot oil until kitchen bursts into flame

The recipe for the most innovative dish by Chef Orlo:

Crab and Cauliflower Soup (serves 2-4):

Key notions:
We are mixing textures as well as flavors in this dish. The broth is not poured until the very last minute in order to keep the nutty flavour of the cauliflower and the crispy, sweet crab meat distinct and separate. What brings them together is the acidity of the tomato and leek, all under the umbrella of lemongrass and wasabi.

1 head Cauliflower, flourettes chopped into small bits
Fresh Crab meat : 1/2 to 3/4 of however much cauliflower you have
1 glug Olive/Canola Oil
1 glug oil, olive or Canola
1-2 liters vegetable stock or filtered water
1 cup chopped leeks
1 tomato, very thinly sliced (alternatively, you could chop them to cubes half the size of the cauliflower chunks)
3 cloves garlic, roughly crushed
1-2 strands lemongrass, smashed
1 tbsp wasabi paste
1 whole crab (the redder the better, for color and taste. Frozen is OK)

finely chopped chives
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Begin to boil water or stock in an appropriately-sized pot

3. In a bowl, dress the cauliflower with pepper and salt, and rub in oil until all pieces are covered and salt and pepper are distributed evenly.

4. Spread cauliflower out on a thin baking sheet and place in the pre-heated oven near the top

This is the fun part:
Smash, Bash and Crush the crab and garlic and optional lemongrass into bits. We won’t be eating these directly; they’ll be flavouring our broth for our soup ( But save the crab claws to snack on while cleaning up)

5. place leeks, crab, smashed garlic, wasabi paste and lemongrass into the water/stock.

6. Let stew for as long as you can. The longer the crab stays in there, the redder (and prettier) the stock gets. Taste periodically to make sure you have the desired amount of salt and wasabi . Start with light salt… you can always add more, but you cant take any away!

7. While the soup is stewing, check on your cauliflower. After about 7-10 minutes, or when your cauliflower is just turning golden brown, spread some of the fresh crab meat onto the same pan, next to the cauliflower. By roasting the cauliflower and crab, we are allowing the more complex carbohydrates to un-tangle, making them more receptive (and sweeter) to our tastebuds. Roasting the crab will also give us some bite for when we put it in the soup.

8. While the cauliflower and crab finish, start preparing your soup bowls. Place one or two of the very thin tomato slices in the bowl and dress it with some of the chopped chives.

9. When the cauliflower and crab look ‘toasted’, pull them out and let them sit for a minute, then place them on top of the tomato in the soup bowls. Notice that we have not added any of our crab stock at this point.

10. When it comes time to eat, serve the bowls of tomato, crab and cauliflower, then gently pour in some of the broth around the edges of the bowl, making an effort not to drown our beautifully toasted crab and cauliflower. Garnish with more chives, if you wish, a stalk of lemongrass or a leftover crab claw climbing out of the bowl would look awesome too.

Possible variations:

Try adding some Thai basil or cilantro at the end, to make more of a pho-flavoured dish. Add some broiled or crispy pan-fried white fish just before you pour the broth for a more seafood-y soup.

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My Refried Beans Recipe

Okay, I don’t actually refry the beans myself. I just spoon them out of the can, at which point they are edible, but then you have to do a little something something to make them great!

I had these tonight, by the way. When I’m over to my parents for tacos, my mom usually makes me do the beans. My brother said they were very good this time!

In a saucepan, combine:

  • A splash of water
  • One can vegetarian or fat free refried beans
  • Half a jar of your favorite salsa, usually medium spiciness (my usual instructions are: add as much as you think is prudent, then half again as much)
  • a palmful of diced dehydrated green and red bell peppers (these can be hard to find, but are sometimes with the spices at the store; I assume you can also dehydrate them yourself, somehow)
  • slightly less than a palmful of dehydrated onion flakes
  • one fresh tomato (or three roma), diced
  • a tablespoon of ground parsley
  • a tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • If you like it spicy, 4 dollops of your favorite hot sauce; otherwise Tabasco
  • If you aren’t a vegan, half a cup of grated cheese.

Stir and simmer.  When it starts farting and popping, move it to the warmer.

Serve as a dip with chips, as a side dish, or as a topping for tacos and other tex-mex delights.  Also good leftover.

I made them once in college for some vegans, and accidentally used the “traditional” beans, which contain lard.  I felt pretty terrible about that.  The fat free and vegetarian beans actually taste better anyway.  I recommend using the dehydrated peppers and onions because they absorb the essence of the rest of the ingredients quite impressively.  Fresh onions are not as good and I’ve never tried fresh peppers, though they seem like they would be too crunchy.

Das Uber Sandwiche

Guest post: by poober

Leftovers have to be the greatest invention known to man. Take something you cooked the night before, let it stew in the fridge to fully release its flavor, then pull it right back out and enjoy. My favorite way to get those nuggets of deliciousness back out of the fridge is Das Uber Sandwiche.

Half new materials, half leftover goodness, half insanity, is the recipe for greatness. Take three slices of your favorite bread (I’m a fan of rye not only for flavor but because it’s a little bit elongated and thus can hold more toppings) and lay them out. You’ll need some meat of some sort, whether classic sandwiche meats fresh from the store or maybe that meatloaf you cooked the nice before (maybe the steak you couldnt finish.)

Mix and match, I normally try for two kinds of meat.

Then you’ll need a cheesy substance. Again I shoot for two varieties. Sliced cheese makes a good base, but for something exotic throw some mac ‘n’ cheese on there. Maybe those cheesey potatoes no one finished for dinner.

Now two slices should be filled with one meat and one cheese each. Time for the variables. Things you would not normally find on a sandwich is what makes the Das Uber Sandwich king of the wiche phylum. Perogies, mashed potatoes, beef strogonoff, chili, a slice of pizza, asparagus, or even some stuffing.

Don’t let “Ew that sounds gross” rule your culinary actions. Perogie, asparagus, and roast beef sandwiches are deliciouse. Chili does go with beef strogonoff. Let your imagination run wild. Alright, so you have your variables on your two slices. I like to keep the third slice as a holder of mustard and mayo, as well as a seperator of the other two foodstuff filled slices. Throw it all in the toaster and let it cook together to mix flavors. Smash the three slices together and there you go. Not only to you get those leftovers out of the fridge, but you made a meal fit for a king in the process.

Add an olive with a toothpick for flare!

Dessert Quesadilla, An Untapped Resource

Guest post by: poober

Who can seriously say they don’t enjoy quesadillas? They are the spanish equivalent of a grilled cheese sandwich, which, dont you worry, will get my attention in a later post.

Quesadillas are simple to make, go great as an appetizer, snack, or full blown meal, depending on hunger levels or magnificence of said consumable.  And it comes in so much variety! You can have the classic cheese quesadilla, or spice it up with a THREE cheese quesadilla. Throw some chicken or steak on there if you’re a meat lover. I’m a fan of the mushroom quesadilla. I have even seen it taken to the fatter wallet requirement of a lobster quesadilla.

But, one of the facets of the quesadilla not often exemplified on menus is the dessert quesadilla. It is simple to make and I challenge you to try it for yourself at home. Just take the omnipresent two pieces of tortilla, fill them with apple pie filling, spread some cinnamon or confectioners sugar on the top, throw it in the toaster, and VOILA! instant classic. Fun for the whole family.

You can pretty much substitute the apple pie filler for any other generic pie filling, but im all about the appley goodness. Have some fun, play around with the ingredients. Put anything between those two tortillas and I’m positive deliciousness… or hilariousness… will ensue. Send some pictures of quesadillas your crazy recipes have concocted for follow up posts!