Crab cakes with tomato ginger jam

Part two of my New Year’s Eve feast. You can read about my main course, roasted turkey with vanilla bean, honey and lemon zest marinade, here. I needed a fun appetizer that could stand alone, something to go between the spice-roasted chickpeas and the full-on main course. I wanted something flavorful, out of the ordinary (for us, anyway). I saw a commercial early in the week for canned crab, and couldn’t get it out of my head. While I could easily have purchased fresh, we’re not that big on sea food so the preserved version seemed like the perfect compromise.

I came across a recipe pairing crunchy crab cakes with sweet, tangy tomato ginger jam and I was sold. I made the jam immediately, but continued to root around on the internet for the perfect crab cake recipe. I ended up mixing a few different ones, including making my own take on the Old Bay seasoning that the first called for, and that I had no hopes of finding here in France.

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Summer nostalgia

And so it ends. The amazing warm streak we had last week is officially finished. The temperature dropped by about 25 degrees in the span of three days. It is fall, which means that winter is right around the corner. While fall offers lots of delicious possibilities (I’m already dreaming of Thanksgiving dinner and mentally planning my menu), I’ll definitely miss the quintessential summerness of barbecues, homegrown fruit and vegetables and eating outside.

One of the best things about my new house (and one of the main selling points, for me anyway), is our cherry tree. I’ve never been a fan of cherries. Cherry pie, okay. Cherry cobbler, sure. I never understood, however, when my French friends and colleagues would come to work with a paper bag full of cherries from the market, and revel in the fact that it was finally the season for them. I’d take one or two when offered, and politely eat them while wondering what all the fuss was about. They were good, yes. But nothing compared to a ripe melon, a tender fragrant pear, or a juicy, sweet orange. Continue reading

Spicing it up

I am officially on day 13 of my redo Dukan diet, and doing just fine, a part from a little fatigue. I think the key to this being a success is spending time in the kitchen. When I hear the word protein, I immediately think of omelettes, meat and yogurt. Yes, but not only. Eating these things day in and day out would be monotonous, but how do I adapt my daily go-to recipes to my dieting constraints?

I’ve figured that out, and while eating 1 1/2 pork chops without any side dish is still kind ofsad, at least my pork chops were kick-ass (three times in a row; my grocery store was having a sale!). I can’t really post a recipe, because I don’t really have one. I combined several that I found on epicurious and added and omitted depending on the ingredients, quantities and especially the spices. Curcuma, piment, curry, ginger, cumin… of course paired with fresh lime juice, sometimes soy sauce, a fair amount of salt and pepper, and always applied as a dry-rub.

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