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You'll find over 350 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

July 2, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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I’ve become a huge fan of rubs. Rubs are a great way to quickly add a lot of flavor to grilled or roasted meats. There’s no need to plan ahead to marinate the meat. A good rub makes summer meals super simple.

I recently tried my hand at Tom Douglas’ rub for salmon and it was fantastic. Inspired by that experience, I wanted to come up with a rub for chicken.

I found a rub from Bon Appétit online. They call it 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub. The numbers refer to tablespoons: 4 tablespoons kosher salt, 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper. That seemed like a good place to start, but I wondered if that much salt was necessary.

I’ve played around with it over the past month. I roasted a spatchcocked chicken. (It was my first time spatchcocking. It’s very easy to do with good poultry shears.) I grilled chicken thighs over indirect heat. And most recently, I roasted chicken thighs in the oven. This Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken proved to be excellent each time.

Using half as much salt as Bon Appétit used, the rub was still excellent. I have Aleppo pepper and I used that. I don’t know if it makes a real difference. If you can’t find it, just substitute ground ancho pepper or some other ground pepper with moderate heat.

So here it is. I think it’s ready for prime time. If you try this Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken, please let me know what you think.

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Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

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Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

(Inspired by Tom Douglas’ Chicken Rub and Bon Appétit’s 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub)

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(print the recipe)

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Makes about ½ cup

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3 tablespoons maple sugar (I like the flavor that maple sugar contributes, but you can substitute brown sugar.)

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or substitute ancho pepper)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

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1. Combine all of the ingredients and store the rub in a jar.

Measured in the bowl

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Chicken Rub spices mixed together

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2. To use, generously sprinkle some rub over chicken and rub it into the skin. Roast or grill the chicken.

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Chicken thighs skin-side down in an oiled cast iron skillet. I spread the rub on this side.

rub on bottom of chicken thighs

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I turned the thighs skin-side up and generously sprinkled the rub on each one.

rub on top of thighs

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I then rubbed the rub in, covering the thighs.

rubbed in

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Ready for the oven! I roasted them in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

ready to roast

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Here’s proof that I did spatchcock a chicken. This one’s ready to go into the oven. Chickens cook faster when spatchcocked, but this was a big bird and it took about 45 minutes at 450 degrees.

spatchcocked chicken

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Happy 4th of July Weekend! 

Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken 2

All-American Potato Salad for Two

July 1, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Lately I have been craving potato salad. Maybe it’s because it’s almost the 4th of July so you could say it’s potato salad season. But I did not want to make a big batch of potato salad for just the two of us. Leave it to America’s Test Kitchen to come to the rescue. I made their All-American Potato Salad from The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook.

The recipe was so similar to the potato salad that I have made for years. I didn’t need to make many changes. I like to pour dill pickle juice over the hot cooked potatoes to give them more flavor. ATK used vinegar in the same way. I used both pickle juice and vinegar for this recipe.

The original recipe uses sweet pickle relish. I like sweet relish but Bob really hates it so I used dill pickle relish which worked fine. Use whichever one you prefer.

Working with small quantities, the recipe seemed easier than making enough to serve 8 – 10. It took less than an hour start to finish. It’s supposed to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, so it could be made early in the day before the house heats up. The only thing I had to do at dinner time was to cook some chicken and toss a Dedon House Salad.

If you’re cooking for a small household, give this All-American Potato Salad for Two a try. It’s a perfect classic potato salad and you won’t have a lot of leftovers. And it’s SO much better than your average supermarket deli potato salad. You can’t beat homemade!

P.S. The little bit that was leftover was delicious for breakfast!

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All-American Potato Salad for Two

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All-American Potato Salad for Two

(Adapted from a recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2 – 3

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1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon dill pickle juice

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 small celery rib, minced (about 1/3 cup)

1½ tablespoons dill pickle relish (or sweet relish, if you prefer)

1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon celery seeds

1 large hard-cooked egg, cut into ¼-inch pieces

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Ingredients

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1. Put the potatoes in a medium pot and add water so they are covered by one inch. Stir in the tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 6 – 8 minutes, until tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and put them in a bowl. Pour the dill pickle juice and vinegar over them and gently stir with a spatula to distribute the juice and vinegar. Let the potatoes cool for about 20 minutes.

Cooked potatoes

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3. While the potatoes are cooling, make the dressing. Stir the mayonnaise, minced celery, pickle relish, minced shallot, minced parsley, dry mustard and celery seeds together.

Dressing ingredients

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Dressing mixed

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4. After the potatoes have cooled for about 20 minutes, gently stir the dressing and the hard-cooked egg into the potatoes. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

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All-American Potato Salad

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All-American Potato Salad for Two 2

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Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon

June 8, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Back in 2001 Tom Douglas wrote in his Seattle Kitchen cookbook that “Etta’s Pit-Roasted Salmon with Grilled Shiitake Relish” had become a classic at his third Seattle restaurant, Etta’s. Etta’s opened in 1995. Today, 20 years later, you’ll still find Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon on the menu and it is still served with Etta’s Cornbread Pudding and Grilled Shiitake Relish.

Tom uses salmon fillets that have had the skin removed and he uses the spice rub on both sides. My Copper River Sockeye fillet still had the skin so I only used the rub on the flesh side. I don’t find it necessary to try to remove the skin because after the salmon is cooked it slips right off.

In the cookbook’s version of the recipe, Tom grills the salmon over a charcoal fire. But he also has a video showing how to start the salmon on the stovetop. Because the rub contains sugar, you need to keep the pan at a medium to medium-low heat so it doesn’t burn. Just a couple of minutes in the pan will beautifully brown the fish. At that point it can be turned and finished in a preheated 350 degree oven. To watch the video to see how he applies the rub (since I failed to get a photo of the rub on my fish) and to see how he cooks it click here.

When Tom wrote the cookbook it wasn’t that easy to find smoked paprika. He said you could buy Rub with Love Salmon Rub which uses the ingredient, or you could make the recipe in the book which calls for regular paprika. So if you want to make the rub yourself you can go either way. I had some Penzey’s Smoked Paprika so that’s what I used. (Since writing the book, Tom has added his own apple-smoked Smoked Paprika to his Rub with Love collection.)

Laura joined us for dinner last night. I cut the fillet into three 6.5-ounce portions and used Tom’s stovetop method. We all agreed that Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon is outstanding! The cookbook has the recipes for Etta’s Cornbread Pudding and the Grilled Shiitake Relish but I decided to keep it simple for a hot summer night. We enjoyed the salmon with corn on the cob and a salad made with lettuce from our garden. Delish!

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Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon (photo by Laura)

This photo illustrate’s how easily the skin slips off once the salmon is cooked. ;)

Etta's Rub with Love Salmon

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Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon

(Adapted from the recipe in Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen)

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(print the recipe)

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I made the full recipe of the spice rub but only used half of it since I only had 3 fillets instead of 6. I saved the other half in a small jar for a future meal.

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Serves 3

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Salmon Spice Rub

3 tablespoons maple sugar (or use firmly packed brown sugar as Tom does)

2 tablespoons smoked paprika (or regular paprika if you can’t find smoked)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

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Three 6 or 7-ounce salmon fillets

Oil for the pan (I used grapeseed oil.)

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1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2. Combine the five ingredients for the spice rub. Set half of it aside for another meal.

Tom Douglas' Salmon Spice Rub

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3. Preheat an oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat.

4. Just before you’re ready to cook (not more than 5 minutes before), sprinkle half of the recipe of the spice rub over the salmon. Gently press it on with your fingers so it will adhere well.

5. Heat the oil in the pan. Add the salmon, flesh-side down. Cook for a minute or two until the spice rub has caramelized.

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Note the thin tail portion of the fillet on the upper right. After caramelizing, I turned the tip under the fillet so it would cook more evenly as you’ll see in the next photo.

Start on the stovetop

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6. Flip the fillets over and put the pan into the preheated oven and cook for about 8 minutes, until the salmon is done to your liking. (Timing will depend on the thickness of your fillet. The general rule of thumb is about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.)

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Ready to go into the oven. I turned that thin tip under the rest of the fillet before I put the pan in the oven.

Caramelized

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Thanks to Laura for this photo!

Etta's Rub with Love Salmon 2

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Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce

June 7, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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People in Seattle have been enjoying Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce since 1938. That’s when Ivar Haglund opened a small fish and chips stand on the Seattle waterfront. By 1946 his business was doing well but he realized that people wanted a sit-down restaurant so he opened Ivar’s Acres of Clams. Ivar’s Acres of Clams is still on the waterfront, although it is temporarily closed for the city’s seawall restoration project. Ivar’s website advises to “Keep Clam”; they’re planning to reopen on July 1, 2015.

Fortunately for Ivar’s fans, people have been able to get their Ivar’s fix during this closure at one of the many other venues. There are two other restaurants, seafood bars, and seafood stands at the major sports venues in town.

Throughout his career, Ivar was one of the greatest cheerleaders for the Pacific Northwest. He was famous for his puns, wacky publicity stunts, and later for his television commercials. He was truly a beloved Seattle character. He died in 1985 at the age of 79 but his legacy lives on with his restaurants and seafood company.

In December 2013 I went to a Tom Douglas Cookbook Social with Joan, Laura, and Carrie. Bob Donegan, the current President of Ivar’s, Inc., was there with a newly published cookbook celebrating Ivar’s 75 years, Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook, the O-fish-al Guide to Cooking the Northwest Catch by “The Crew at Ivar’s” and Jess Thompson. He was also serving samples of Chris Garr’s House-Made Bacon-Wrapped Halibut which was delicious. I made a mental note that I wanted to check out the book. Laura secretly bought an autographed copy and surprised me with it for my birthday a few weeks later!

The cookbook is a delightful history of Ivar’s with lots of photos, historical information, cartoons, and trivia. It’s a fun look at the past for anyone who was in Seattle in the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. Jess Thompson is credited for all of the puns that are in the book. They really capture the spirit of Ivar Haglund.

I made Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce and it worked really well with my Homemade Dungeness Crab Cakes. Making your own tartar sauce means you get to control the ingredients. I wanted to make an egg-free version so I subbed a vegan mayonnaise for regular mayonnaise. Serious Eats did a taste test of 4 different brands of vegan mayonnaise and Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo came out on top. I have to say that it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between it and regular mayonnaise.

Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce is great with seafood, but it would also be a delicious dip for vegetables or French fries. The cookbook even suggests adding some lemon juice and using it as a dip for asparagus. If you like being in charge of the ingredients in your food, I think you’ll enjoy this one. And if you love seafood and would like a glimpse into mid-century Seattle, I highly recommend Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook!

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Ivar's tartar sauce

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Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce

(Adapted from the recipe in Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook)

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(print the recipe)

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Makes 2 cups

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¼ cup chopped yellow onions

2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons dill pickle relish

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1½ teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups mayonnaise  (Use a vegan mayonnaise for vegan or egg-free.)

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Unsweetened pickle relish

pickle relish

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1. Put everything except the mayonnaise in a food processor and process for 10 seconds. (A small 3-cup capacity food processor works fine.)

small food processor

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2. Add the mayonnaise and process for an additional 15 seconds.

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Finished tartar sauce made with egg-free (vegan) Just Mayo

processed

Ivar's Famous Tartar Sauce

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Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake

May 18, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Earlier this month, we celebrated a special birthday. Laura turned 30! (Wait! Am I old enough to have a 30-year-old?) I made a Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake and I baked it in two 6-inch cake pans to make a small cake for a small family dinner.

The recipe for Cocoa “Crazy” Cake makes just the right amount of cake batter for two 6-inch layers. This time I tried it with coconut sugar and it worked just fine.

For frosting, I used half of the recipe for Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting. I subbed coconut sugar for the powdered sugar. It made way too much frosting for my little cake, but we found that the leftover frosting was delicious served as a little dollop over ice cream.

I’m really glad I invested in those 6-inch cake pans. It’s so much fun to make smaller versions of large cakes! If you like to try alternative sweeteners, I highly recommend this Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake. It was a big hit at our house.

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birthday cake

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Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake

(Adapted from the Cocoa “Crazy” Cake in The New American Diet, by Sonja L Connor, M.S., R.D. and William E. Connor, M.D.)

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(print the recipe)

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The cake is vegan. I used butter for the frosting, but you could swap the butter for a vegan butter substitute if you want to make the cake totally vegan. The parchment paper probably isn’t necessary in the pans, but I had some so I used it.

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Makes a 6-inch layer cake (or you could make a one layer 9-inch cake or 12 cupcakes)

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Coconut oil (or other oil) for greasing the pans

1½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut sugar (or white sugar)

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 cup cold water

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1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2. Prepare two 6-inch cake pans. Grease the bottoms and sides with coconut oil. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pans. Put the paper in the bottom and then grease the paper.

3. Stir the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

4. If your coconut sugar has a coarse texture, press it through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl to give it a finer texture. Stir it into the other dry ingredients.

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The coconut sugar I used was a bit coarse.

coconut sugar

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I pressed the sugar through a fine meshed strainer with the back of a spoon.

through a strainer

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5. Pour the liquid ingredients into a bowl and stir well with a fork or whisk until well blended.

6. Pour the cake batter into the two prepared cake pans.

ready to bake

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7. Bake the cake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

8. Cool in the pans on a cake rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans and finish cooling on wire racks.

baked

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cake cooling

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9. When completely cool, frost with Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Frosting.

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Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Frosting

(Adapted from Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting recipe on the Hershey’s Cocoa box.)

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½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter (or a vegan substitute to make it vegan)

1/3 cup cocoa

1½ cups coconut sugar (or powdered sugar)

2½ tablespoons coconut milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

 

1. Melt the butter in a pan and pour it into a mixing bowl.

2. Sift the cocoa through a strainer into the bowl and mix well with the butter.

3. Blend the coconut sugar in a blender until it is as fine and powdery as you can get it. (Obviously, this step is not necessary if you use powdered sugar.)

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Blended coconut sugar

Coconut sugar blended fine

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4. Alternately add the coconut sugar and the milk to the butter/cocoa mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add a bit more milk if needed. Mix in the vanilla.

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Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake tall

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Hummus with Smoked Paprika

May 13, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Hummus with Smoked Paprika, a variation of the Classic Hummus in The America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, was a big hit at Chez Dedon recently. It was, as ATK says, “silky-smooth”. The smoked paprika added a lot of flavor and made the hummus a beautiful light orange color.

You may have seen other hummus recipes that claim that it is impossible to make a smooth hummus without peeling all of the little skins off of each and every chickpea. That has always sounded like way too much work to me and apparently the good folks at ATK agreed. They experimented and found that a simple technique using a food processor could achieve the same smooth results.

Their method involves processing the chickpeas and then slowly adding water and lemon juice while the processor is running. They then add a tahini and oil mixture slowly with the processor running. This method magically produces a super smooth hummus!

Give this Hummus with Smoked Paprika a try, and I think you’ll be hooked!

Hummus with Smoked Paprika_edited-1

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Hummus with Smoked Paprika

(Adapted from a recipe in The America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook)

 

Note about food processors: If you have a mini food processor with small holes at the top for drizzling in oil, please learn from my mistake. The holes are too small to handle the lemon juice and the tahini. It clogged for me and I had quite a mess on my hands. It is easiest to use this method with a full-sized food processor. If you only have the mini version, I suggest trying to blend in the lemon juice/water and the tahini/oil mixtures a bit at a time. It should work well even if it isn’t quite as smooth.

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(print the recipe)

 

 

Makes about 2 cups

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Ingredients for Hummus with Smoked Paprika

Ingredients for hummus

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¼ cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

6 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

1 small garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pinch cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion (the green part)

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1. In a small bowl, combine the water and lemon juice. In another small bowl, blend the tahini and olive oil together.

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Lemon juice and water on the left; tahini and olive oil on the right.

lemon juice with water and tahini and oil

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2. Put the chickpeas, garlic, salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne in the bowl of your food processor and process for about 15 seconds.

ready to process

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3. Scrape the mixture down into the bowl. With the machine running, slowly add the water and lemon juice. Scrape the mixture down and then process for about 1 minute more.

4. Scrape the mixture down and, with the machine running, slowly add the tahini and olive oil mixture and then process until smooth, about 15 seconds more.

processed hummus

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5. Put the hummus in a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

6. When ready to serve, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top and garnish with the pine nuts and green onion slices. Serve with carrot and celery sticks and/or pita chips.

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Hummus with Smoked Paprika tall

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Homemade Dungeness Crab Cakes

May 8, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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We love Metropolitan Market’s version of Dungeness Crab Cakes, but I wanted to try recreating them to make wheat-free and egg-free crab cakes. In order to thoroughly test my recipe, I had to make Dungeness Crab Cakes twice in one week – first for Laura’s birthday and then for our anniversary.

The ingredients in Metropolitan Market’s crab cakes are: crab, mayonnaise, panko, mustard, garlic, and green onion. I went wheat-free and egg-free for Laura’s birthday. Instead of panko, I made bread crumbs using a gluten-free, egg-free baguette and I subbed a vegan (thus egg-free) mayonnaise for regular mayonnaise. It worked great! The crab cakes were fantastic even though they kind of fell apart a bit.

For our anniversary I made them wheat-free but not egg-free. I used The Essential Baking Company’s Gluten-Free Deli Slice White Bread to make bread crumbs and used regular mayonnaise. The crab cakes held together much better this time. Could the small amount of egg in the bread and the mayonnaise make a difference? I don’t know.

I have to say that the Dungeness Crab Cakes were fabulous both nights. With the price of crab, this is most definitely a special occasion treat, but it’s still less expensive than going out for dinner and you get to make the crab cakes just the way you want them.

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Wheat-free Dungeness Crab Cake for our anniversary

Dungeness Crab cake_edited-1

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Homemade Dungeness Crab Cakes

(Inspired by Metropolitan Market’s crab cakes)

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Use vegan mayonnaise and omit the egg if you want to make the crab cakes egg-free. The crab cakes won’t hold together quite as well without the egg, but they will still be delicious.

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4 (Can easily be cut in half to serve 2)

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1 pound Dungeness crabmeat

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup panko (can sub gluten-free white bread crumbs)

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced green onion

1 beaten egg

3 tablespoons olive oil for frying

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1. Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl.

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Mmmm….fresh Dungeness crab!

Dungeness crabmeat

Fresh gluten-free bread crumbs

Homemade bread crumbs

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2. Divide into 4 equal balls and flatten into patties on squares of parchment paper. (The parchment paper makes it easier to transfer the crab cakes to a skillet.)

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Each crab cake weighed about 5.3 ounces.

5.3 oz crab cake

Crab cakes formed

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3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. (I used a nonstick skillet.) Cook the crab cakes for about 4 minutes on each side and serve.

The crab cakes can be made up to a day ahead of time. Put the formed crab cakes on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until you’re ready to cook them.

Covered with plastic wrap

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The wheat-free and egg-free crab cakes for Laura’s birthday dinner fell apart a bit, but they were still fantastic!

Egg-free crab cake

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Dungeness Crab cake tall