Corn and crab cakes with lemon caper butter sauce

 There are some people who are mayo-phobes.  They hate anything even remotely associated with jarred mayo including any type of aioli.  I am happy to offer this recipe for a mayo-less crabcake and mayo-less sauce.


[recipe difficulty=”easy”]

Corn and crab cakes with lemon caper butter sauce

Crab Cake

8 ounces crab meat (good quality, not canned or imitation)

2 green onions (scallions, finely chopped)

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 ears of corn, kernels removed

1 tsp old bay seasoning

cayenne pepper to taste

1 tsp dry mustard

2 egg yolks

bread crumbs


1.      Cook the corn in the heavy cream until the corn is cooked through but still crunchy (5-6 minutes) cool

2.     Mix egg yolks into corn and cream mixture

3.     Mix everything except bread crumbs together gently so as to keep the chunks of crabmeat intact.

4.     Gently make small (2 inch) patties and coat them with the bread crumbs. This is difficult since they are very crumbly

5.     Refrigerate until they are firm and easy to handle.

6.     Fry in vegetable oil until brown on each side.

7.     Serve with lemon caper sauce


Lemon Caper Sauce (hold the mayo)


Juice of one lemon

1 Tbs. capers

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. white wine or vermouth

1/4 heavy cream


1.     Boil lemon juice and vermouth until reduced to 1-2 Tbs.

2.  Add cream and reduce until thickened.

3.      Wisk in butter a little at a time while stirring. 

4.     Add capers and season with salt

4.     Refrigerate until ready to use.

5.     Heat gently in microwave


Thai corn and craw fish chowder


[recipe difficulty=”easy”]

Thai Corn and Crawfish Chowder


4 ears corn shucked

1 TBS butter

Olive oil

1 large onion, chopped into small cubes

4 cups chicken broth, seafood broth or lobster broth

1 can coconut milk (14 ounce)

1 TBS Thai red curry paste

1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat (comes frozen) or shrimp, crab or lobster

Salt to taste


1.       Fry the corn kernels over high heat in a frying pan with no oil and after 3 minutes add butter and when melted continue to cook for another 2 minutes of high heat before setting the corn aside.

2.      Fry the onions in olive oil until soft and beginning to caramelize and then set aside

3.      Defrost the crawfish and fry over high heat with some butter and olive oil in two batches for 5-6 minutes each and set aside.  IF using other seafood skip this step if the seafood is already cooked.

4.      Place the shucked corn cobs in the broth and boil together for 20 minutes to infuse the broth with the corn flavor.  Then remove the cobs and discard.

5.      Mix the red curry with 1 TBS of the coconut milk until thoroughly combined.  Then add to broth along with the rest of the coconut milk and bring to simmer.  Add the onion, corn and crawfish and bring to simmer again.  Simmer for 10 minutes and taste for seasoning.

This chowder can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for the next day.  If using lobster or shrimp do not add the seafood until right before serving and then add it to the simmering broth and simmer until warmed through.  It is important not to overcook the seafood.



Scallop, shrimp and asparagus terrine



[recipe difficuolty=”medium”]
Scallop, shrimp and asparagus terrine:  Starting with Julia Child’s fish terrine, I came up with this simpler and  show stopping version.  If you love scallops this is one of the greatest way to enjoy essence of scallop, but you need to use the best scallops you can find.

Start by heating up your oven to 350 degrees ?. Place a large oven proof dish in the oven which is big enough to hold your terrine and ½ filled with hot water. I used a lasagna pan.

Take a pound of scallops (minus 2 large scallops that you’ve set aside) and an egg and puree them together in a food processor for several minutes until very smooth.  Meanwhile chop up the scallops and 5 large shrimp into a coarse 1/4 inch dice.  Blanch ½ pound of asparagus and slice them in half if they are thick. 

Back to the food processor:  add ½ cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2 and  a small pinch of saffron that you’ve soaked in ¼ cup of hot cognac.  Blend this together for a couple of minutes and then add 1/3 cup of bread crumbs, and blend until the mixture is very smooth.  Stir in the scallop and shrimp pieces..  Add salt to your liking.  Use a 6 cup terrine (or loaf plan) that has been lined on the bottom with buttered parchment cut to fit.  Pour in half the scallop mousse and thump the pan a little to distribute evenly.  Then distribute the asparagus over the top, salt the asparagus and add the second batch of mousse.  Cover with another piece of parchment and either the top of the terrine or another piece of aluminum foil placed over the top.  Put your terrine carefully into the pan with water that has been heating in the oven.  Cook for 60 minutes and check for doneness.  The internal temperature should be 160 degrees?. This terrine can be served hot or cold.  It is very rich so keep the tapas servings to one slice per person.



Shrimp Tapas with Garlic and Sherry


[recipe difficulty=”easy”]
Shrimp with garlic and sherry:  Start with a pot or frying pan and add olive oil covering the bottom with about an inch.  Slice 3-4 peeled garlic into thin slices.  Add them to the pot of olive oil and heat.  Watch the garlic closely and wait  till it is fragrant but not brown.  Add 1 pound of peeled shrimp and let them cook together adjusting the temperature so that the garlic does not brown. Add salt to taste.  When the shrimp are just pink, add ¼ cup sherry ( I use Amontillado)  and boil together.  If you want an extra garlic kick (and I always do)  chop up or use a garlic press and add another couple cloves of garlic at the last minute.  Serve this right away, bubbling hot with some good bread to sop of every drop of the wonderful sauce.  Once you’ve tried this, you may not want to have shrimp cooked any other way.








(Adapted from Madeline’s version)
Serves 4
14oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (low fat or regular)
 2 Tbs. Thai roasted red chili paste (Wegman’s international: Asian section)
1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
3 Kaffir lime leaves
5 large shallots: peeled and chopped (about ¼ pound)
2 Tbs. chopped Thai basil (optional)
1 tsp. sugar
1 to 1 ½  lbs. shrimp de-veined and shelled.
  1. Combine the chili paste, garlic and ginger in a frying pan with a little oil and fry, stirring until fragrant. 
  2. Add to crock-pot or regular pot with the coconut milk. If using a crock-pot you can put it on “high” and walk away for 2 hours while it cooks. If using a regular pot, then simmer, covered, gently for 40 minutes, checking and stirring regularly.
  3. Meanwhile fry the shallots in a little oil over med-high heat, stirring, until brown. Set aside.
  4. When the chili mixture is cooked, add shallots and remove from heat.
  5. When cool enough, refrigerate the chili mixture overnight.
  6. Before serving reheat the chili mixture, remove the kaffir lime leaves, and blend in blender until a little smoother but not too creamy.
  7. Bring back to a simmer and check for seasoning. I add a teaspoon of sugar at this point. If it needs to be a little thicker simmer without a lid for a few minutes until the desired consistency is achieved.
  8. Add shrimp and, depending on the size, simmer gently for 3-5 minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  9. Add the Thai basil and serve with Jasmine rice.
  •  Thai red chili paste (Thai Kitchen brand) comes in a 4 oz. Jar. 2 Tbs. is almost half the jar. It makes for a medium spicy dish so you may want more or less according to your taste.
  •    Kaffir limes are hard to get right now. They usually come in a package with more than you need. Wegmans and the Asian markets carry them when they’re in season. I freeze what I don’t need. If you can’t find them, the dish will still be delicious.



I love to serve Chirashizushi which means, “Scattered sushi” as an elegant and simple summer meal.  It takes a lot of chopping and preparing ahead of time but no last minute work is necessary and it is a cool and refreshing meal.  The other great thing about this beautiful dish is that you can serve it as a vegetarian meal, use raw fish or cooked fish:  whatever suits your taste.


[recipe difficulty=”easy”]

Chirashizushi or Scattered Sushi

  • First you make a pot of sushi rice and season it as you like with seasoned rice vinager.
  • I make dashi which is a staple Japanese broth using dried bonito.  You can buy instant dashi powder at any Asian grocer and at grocery stores with international sections.  It comes in a little jar that you can keep in the fridge.  It also goes in Miso soup and has a wonderful salty, rich flavor that you’ll associate with Japanese food.
  • Your imagination is the limit to what you scatter on the platter of rice.  I use: smoked salmon cut in strips, shrimp that I have cooked beforehand, dried shitake mushrooms that have been soaked and then boiled in dashi, soy and sugar.  Tobiko (flying fish roe) is a great addition and can comes frozen fromthe Asian food store (Ithaca Soy has it), edaname (soy beans) which you can buy out of the pod at the Asian soy store as well, or buy them in the pods frozen at Wegmans and take them out of the pods after cooking as directed on the package. 
  • Egg is a necessary ingredient and you can either make a paper thin rolled omelette and then slice it into shreds or, an easy variation is to hard boil a couple of eggs and grate them.  Another necessary ingredient is seaweed and you can either slice sushi seaweed wrappers into think strips or buy a wonderful seaweed blend I found at Ithaca soy called roasted laver and it comes in a package for $3.99.  You can crisp it up briefly in a toaster over and then break it up a little.
  • You can cook up shredded carrots and to make it easier you can buy them already shredded.  Chopped scallions are important and any sushi grade raw fish. Tofu Kan ( that you can buy anywhere in Ithaca) is a great addition as well.
  • Though not classic, I make a little side sauce to pour on if people wish.  I make a mixture of dashi, ginger, wasabi, and ponzu which is a citrus soy sauce.
  • [/recipe]