I have returned from rainy Suva to sometimes sunny California. My plans for the next week before I head back to Bowdoin College include: getting over jetlag, working on my tan, writing, and creating fabulously creative meals that adhere to the restrictions of my low-carb (Dukan) diet.
Today, post appointment with my endocrinologist, I got together with two friends to cook up an exciting feast. Today’s menu included an hors d’oeuvre of smoked salmon on sliced carrots with a tzatziki sauce, a tomato onion and mozzarella salad in a balsamic dressing, crab cakes with a spicy mayonaise sauce, a side of eggplant with caramelized onions, and for desert an experimental fromage frais soufflé.
A candlelit toast to our friendship and Buon appetito!
1. Smoked Salmon on Sliced Carrots with a Tzatziki Sauce
– 1 package smoked salmon sliced
– 4 large carrots cleaned and sliced diagonally into slim slices
– 1 cucumber
– 1 tbsp white wine vinigar
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
– 1 clove garlic
– 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
– 1 lemon- two tbsp lemon juice
– salt and pepper to taste
1. Overnight, or for at least 2 hours strain yogurt using a cheesecloth or coffee filter suspended over a cup. This removes excess water providing for a thicker dip.
Cut cucumber in half and grate into larger pieces. Let sit suspended in fridge overnight or towel to remove excess water.
Mix all ingredients together with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Assemble appetizer by placing pieces of salmon on sliced carrots with a small dollop of tzatziki and a bit of dill as garnish.
2. Tomato Onion and Mozzarella Salad
– ½ onion sliced
– 4 large heirloom tomatoes cut in chunks
– ¼ cup cubed part-skim mozzarella
– 3 tbsp balsamic vinigar
– 7 leaves fresh basil
Toss all ingredients together and garnish with fresh basil.
3. Crab Cakes with Spicy Mayo
– 1/3 onion
– 2 tbsp chives chopped
– 16 ounces crab meat
– 1 egg
– 5 tbsp oat bran
– 2/3 cup mayonnaise (I used homemade)
– salt and a dash of cayenne pepper
- Caramelize the onion by cooking over low heat for fifteen to twenty minutes until sweet and brown
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill for 15 minutes
- Season with salt and cayenne
- Heat a non-stick frying pan with a drop of oil. Form round burger size patties and cook for about 4 minutes on each side till golden brown and slightly crispy.
- For sauce: mix 1 tbsp cayenne pepper into a ½ cup mayonnaise serve on the side
4. Eggplant with Caramelized onions (contorno)
– 1 eggplant
– 2 large onions
– 1 tomato
– basil for garnish
- Salt and Sweat the eggplant by cubing and rubbing salt into cubes then let sit for half an hour to an hour before scraping off salt and squeezing out excess water with a paper towel.
- While waiting for eggplant, chop onions and cook on low heat until brown and sweet in flavor.
- Cook eggplant until soft and no longer white in color mixing in with the onions. Throw on chopped tomato and garnish with fresh basil.
5. Fromage Frais Souffle
Note: this recipe still needs to be perfected
– 5 tbsp fat-free fromage frais
– 2 tbsp cornflour
– 2 egg yolks
– 2 tbsp stevia
– 5 egg whites
- Preheat oven to 350
- Beat the fromage frais, cornflour, egg yolks, and stevia till frothy.
- Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg yolk mixture into egg white mixture.
- Pour into soufflé dish and cook for 2o minutes. Lower heat to 200 and cook another 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat, but leave in oven to gradually cool.