Archive for November, 2016

Bacon – Broccoli Polenta Pie

3 large button mushrooms (coarse chopped)
2 cup(s) water
6 slices (8 oz) thick sliced bacon (cut horiz. Into ½” strips)
2 tbsp minced onion
1 cup frozen broccoli (thawed and chopped)
3 tbsp low-fat milk (2%)
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 cup uncooked coarse ground cornmeal
6 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tbsp salted butter softened
1 small fresh tomato, remove seeds and fine chop

1. Combine mushrooms, broccoli and 1/2 cup hot water in a small bowl; set aside. Lightly coat bottom and sides of a 10-inch glass pie pan with cooking spray.
2. Cook bacon in skillet till crisp, remove bacon and place on paper towels to remove grease.
3. Add 2 tbsp minced onion to bacon drippings and cook till clear without browning. Remove onion and add to cooked bacon.
4. Heat oven to 400°F.
5. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine remaining 1 1/2 cups hot water, milk and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly drizzle in cornmeal, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until polenta is as thick as mashed potatoes, about 6 to 8 minutes.
6. Stir in bacon, onions, broccoli, mushrooms and their liquid, 3 tablespoons Parmesan and butter then stir in about ¾ of the tomato.
7. Spread polenta mixture evenly in prepared pan. Sprinkle on remaining tomato and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool at least 30 minutes and serve warm or serve at room temperature.
8. Makes 4 to 6 servings (depending on serving size).
9. Serve with a fresh salad to complete meal.

Classic Crab Cakes w/Rice Pilaf

Rice Pilaf:


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup Finely Chopped Onion

1/4 cup finely Chopped Carrot

1/4 cup finely Chopped Celery

1 tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Dill

1 cup Basmati (Fragrant) Rice

1/2 teaspoon Emeril’s Essence

1 3/4 Cups Hot Chicken Broth (Vegetable broth can be substituted)

2 tablespoons Chopped, Toasted Pecans

Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste


In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and sauté until the vegetables are tender but not browned, 8 minutes. Add the rice and Cajun seasoning, and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Fold in the pecans and dill immediately before serving, and taste to see if it needs salt and pepper.

 Crab Cakes:


1 Pound Canned Crab Meat (Van Camp’s, Handy or Bumble Bee)

One Large Egg

1/2 cup Dukes Mayonnaise (I like Dukes)

1/4 cup Dijon Mustard

1/2 cup Finely Minced Red or Yellow Bell Pepper (about 1 medium sized pepper)

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning (This adds the authentic flavor)

1/2 Bunch of Green Onions (Chop fine including the tops)

1/2 Cup Fresh Breadcrumbs (Remove the crust from sliced white bread and use food processor) Make extra as you may need additional

Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste.

1/2 Stick of Salted or Unsalted Butter (for frying cakes) Substitute coconut oil if desired.

Fresh baby spinach and lemon wedges for serving.

Serves 6 (2 cakes each)


Dump the crab into a colander to remove packing water and pick it over for any bits of shell, this is IMPORTANT and you must make the crab as dry as possible.

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except the butter, breadcrumbs & crab, and mix well.  Then add the crab and breadcrumbs, mixing well but gently.   Hand form into 12 crabcakes by making a ball and pressing down to make a patty.  Press inward from the sides to make evenly round, or shape with cookie/biscuit cutter.

Heat some butter (or coconut oil) in a skillet over medium heat.  When the butter foams and then subsides, but before it begins to turn brown, add the crab cakes.  Best is to slide them in with a turner.

Let the cakes sear and cook well on the first side until they lift easily from the pan, about 4 minutes.  Gently flip and cook an equal time on the other side.

ALTERNATE COOKING METHOD: A healthier alternative is to place the cakes on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in the center of a 375 degree  oven for about 15 minutes, then turn over and cook for an additional 10 minutes)

Serve over baby green spinach leaves with remoulade sauce and rice pilaf.

Remoulade Sauce:

6 tablespoons Dukes Mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Finely Chopped Green Onion

1 teaspoon Cajun Coarse-Grain Mustard

1 teaspoon Hot Sauce (Tabasco Style)

1 teaspoon Ketchup

2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

2 teaspoons Capers

Combine in blender or whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Alan Dodson – 423.451.2344–