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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: May 2012


Serves 3 generously

A CookTale

For a change of pace, Crab Cakes made with Lump Crab Meat is a treat. It’s expensive, averaging $24 a tin, so it’s certainly not a weekly event nor should it be. Add a sauce of Mustard Mayonnaise, and on my plate, medium spicy Kim Chi. Cathie had Brussels Sprouts with hers. Terrific dinner.


1 lb Lump Crab Meat
8 Saltine crackers
1 Egg beaten
2 TB Mayonnaise
1 tsp Mustard
1/4 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
Sea Salt to taste


1. Carefully check the Crab Meat and remove any cartilage. Put in a bowl & set it aside.

2. Crush the Saltine crackers very fine & mix with all the other ingredients. Gently fold in the Crab. Only mix enough to combine ingredients. You don’t want to break up the Crab. Shape into 5 or 6 Crab Cakes, and refrigerate on a baking sheet for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the baking sheet, & bake until the Crab Cakes are golden brown on each side. This will take 12 to 15 minutes on one side & 10 minutes on the other.

4. While they’re baking, make the sauce with 1/3 cup of Mayonnaise, 1 TB of Dijon Mustard & a TB of Sour Cream well whisked together.

(The KimChi was pre-prepared & purchased at a fine food store.)


Serves 2

A CookTale

The Hanger Steak, also known as “The Butcher’s Cut”, is a thick strip of meat from the underside of the beef cow. It hangs (hence the name) between the rib and the loin. It is part of the diaphragm and is full of flavor but can be tough if not marinated in a mixture that permeates the meat and breaks down the connective tissues. I marinated these overnight, and while they still weren’t quite as tender as we like, the flavor was excellent.

INGREDIENTS For the Marinade

2 medium Shallots, minced
1 TB dried Thyme leaves
3 TB (packed) Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 C Soy Sauce
3 TB Worcestershire sauce
2 TB Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 C Vegetable Oil

METHOD For the Hanger Sreak

1. Marinate overnight or for 24 hours.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

3. Heat a cast iron grill pan to smoking hot. Add the Hanger, weighed down with a grill press, for 2 minutes a side. Move the pan to the oven for 3 minutes. The internal temperature for Beef should not exceed 125 degrees for a juicy result.

4. Serve with an accompanying bitter Green such as Broccoli Rabe, Kale, or Escarole for a hearty, healthy dish.


Serves 6

A CookTale

This recipe is 99% Cathie. The 1% represent my contribution of Buttered Pappardelles. The recipe, called Saute de Boeuf a la Parisienne, dates back to Julia Childs Volume 1. Julia never fails Cathie, and if the proof is in the tasting we welcome you to experience this delectable main course fit for your very best guests. Or for a very special dinner for two.
Here is Cathie’s detailed recipe.


1/2 lb sliced Mushrooms
4 TB Butter & 2 TB EVOO
3 TB minced Shallots or Onions
1/4 tsp Salt and a pinch of Pepper
2 lbs Filet of Beef
1/4 C Madeira or Marsala
3/4 C Beef Bouillon
1 C Heavy Cream
2 tsp Cornstarch mixed with 1 TB of the Cream (optional)
More Salt & Pepper if necessary
2 TB softened Butter (for finishing)


1. Saute′ Mushrooms in 2 TB Butter & 1 TB EVOO for 4-5 minutes on high heat. Stir in Shallots or Onions & cook a minute longer. Season & put in a side dish.

2. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Put 2 TB Butter & 1 TB EVOO & saute′ the beef, a few pieces at a time, for 2-3 minutes, browning each side but keeping the interior rosy. Season, set aside & put it in a side dish. Discard any fat left in the pan.

3. Pour the Wine & Bouillon into the pan & boil down rapidly, scraping up coagulated cooking juices, until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 C. Beat in the Cream, then the Cornstarch mixture. Simmer a minute. Taste for seasoning.

4. Add the Beef and the Mushrooms & some of the juices which may have escaped. Mix everything up. Can be prepared ahead to this point.

5. When ready to serve, cover the pan & heat to below the simmer for 3-4 minutes. No longer, so the Beef remains rare. Off heat, add small bits of softened butter. Baste the Meat until the Butter has been absorbed. Serve immediately.


Serves 1

A CookTale

It was that kind of evening. Cathie wanted a steamed Artichoke with Mayo, I settled for Pasta. The saving grace was that Puttanesca, as the Neapolitan ladies of the evening knew, coupled with Spaghetti or in my case Linguine, was a nourishing and rather nutritious meal to keep one up and going. In their case going. In spite of which it was still a no dinner, dinner.


3 TB of EVOO
3 or 4 Garlic cloves (peeled & lightly smashed)
4 or more Anchovy Fillets
1 Red Onion (cut to a small dice)
2 28-ounce cans of whole Tomatoes
Sea Salt & Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup pitted Black Olives (preferably oil-cured)
3 TB of Salt Capers (soaked to remove salt)
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
Chopped fresh Parsley & Basil leaves


1. Heat 3 TB of EVOO to medium-high in a large deep saute pan, add the Garlic, Onion & Anchovies. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Garlic is lightly golden, the Onion is translucent, & the Anchovies have melted.

2. Drain the Tomatoes & crush them with your hands as you add them to the pan, add the Salt & Pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Tomatoes break down & becomes sauce like, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Olives, Capers & Red Pepper Flakes, & continue to simmeruntil the sauce slightly thickens.

3. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste. I prefer a spicy Puttanesca. Add the chopped Parsley & Basil to the pan & gently mix.