Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day…it’s only a week away. As much as we enjoy restaurants, I find it much more romantic to stay at home, snuggled in to keep the February cold at bay. Being a blogger, I tend to celebrate the holidays a week or so before so that I can write about them. My friends and family are very amused by this but Steve is so excited because some of the girls from the dining club are coming over tonight and he will be hosting.

For Special Dinners I tend to plan the menu keeping my husband, the carnivore, in mind. He loves steak and, being a native of Annapolis Maryland, nothing is closer to his heart than Crab Cakes. Steve takes pride in cooking the things he excels at. Celebrating an early Valentine’s Day with his girls is a true gift to him. There is nothing like having a variation of Surf and Turf for a special dinner!

As always, I did my shopping at our local Whole Foods and they have on roses on special for Valentines. I couldn’t resist the deep pink so I divided them so Steve could give a vase to each of his girlfriends, of course I got some too! Beautiful, aren’t they?

Make sure you take advantage of Whole Foods special Sales for Valentines Day. Dinner is so special when it’s made with love! Chose special discounts on Boneless Rib Eye Steaks, to Lobster Tails, Heart Shaped Ravioli and Cheeses in the gourmet section. Sales start today and run through Tuesday February 14th. Click Here for a PDF of the sales flyer.

The evening of the dinner Steve and I get to work. It’s fun to be in the kitchen together. We divide the duties, he prepares the Steak and Crab Cakes, I take care of the salad, Brussels sprouts with mustard sauce, slice the radishes and plate the cookies for dessert . We set the table and when the girls arrive we are ready to go!

Appetizer

Toasted Almonds with Truffle

Sliced Radishes with Butter and Salt

First Course

Crab Cake
with Tartar Sauce

Tenuta Olim Bauda “Gavi di Gavi” 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Second Course

New York Strip Steak
Over Brussels Sprouts in Mustard Sauce

Small Gully “Mr. Black’s Concoction” 2012, Barossa Valley

Cheese Course

Salad of Butter Lettuces
with Champagne Vinaigrette and a Soft Cheese

Dessert

Assorted Cookies
Coffee and Tea

Part of the fun of planning a special dinner is paring the wines to the meal. One of the pleasures of shopping at Whole foods is having Bin 201 right across the street. I wheeled my cart over there ant they recommended the perfect wines for our special dinner. Here are the tasting notes on our selections:

Tenuta Olim Bauda “Gavi di Gavi” 2014, Piedmont, Italy
Gavi was Italy’s first white wine to gain international repute and is still considered one of the top-ranking Italian whites today. Made exclusively from the Cortese grape, a variety which has a heritage dating back to the 1600s, this is a wine that reflects its terroir. It is noted for its bone-dry character and crisp, flinty and fresh acidity, coming from the mineral-rich soils of the area. Olim Bauda’s aromatic nose has prominent floral notes, while the medium-bodied palate is soft but well balanced, with delicate tones of limes and a touch of minerality.

Small Gully “Mr. Black’s Concoction” 2012, Barossa Valley
A Côte-Rôtie inspired blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Viognier, “Mr. Black’s Concoction” is mouth-filling and terrifically extroverted with bold, brambly dark fruit. The fruit is selected quite late in the growing season to coincide with the picking of the small parcel of Viognier. The addition of the floral white wine contributes to the rich aromatics of the wine without diluting the power of the Shiraz.

5 from 2 votes
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Crab Cakes

Steve prides himself on making the best crab cakes. The secret is the searching out the beat jumbo lump crabmeat and enhancing it simply - mayonnaise, mustard, seasonings and a bit of filler to hold the Crab cakes together. We believe the best ingredients, prepared simply, give the best results.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Author Monica

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Jumbo Lump Crab meat
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning plus more to taste*
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Parsley plus more for garnish
  • Juice of ½ Lemon 2 Tablespoons +/-
  • 4 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
  • ¼ Cup soft Bread Crumbs or crushed Ritz Crackers plus more as needed

Instructions

  1. Place the crabmeat into a bowl and gently, with your hands, remove any bits of shell or cartilage taking care not to break up any of the lumps.
  2. In a small bowl mix the egg with the mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Old Bay, parsley, lemon juice, mayonnaise together and the bread crumbs or crushed crackers. Gently mix this into the crab meat, taste and add more old Bay, mayonnaise or breadcrumbs, if needed.
  3. Divide the mixture into four or six crab cakes and broil under a broiler. Watch the crab cakes closely and immediately remove them from the oven when browned. Plate the crab cakes and garnish with a bit of chopped parsley, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Resist the impulse to add more Old Bay unless you taste it first. The Old bay is spicy and salty and it’s meant to enhance the flavor of the crab, not overpower it. Gluten Free variation: Substitute almond meal for the bread crumbs/crackers.

I am grateful for the Annapolis Whole Foods who provided all of the amazing cheese for the creation of this post. I’m a devoted Whole Foods shopper but any opinions or findings you read here are solely my own.  

As always, I am most grateful for you, my community and will always do my best to serve you in introducing products that you will find the most useful, amazing, helpful, to keep you sane in the kitchen, at home and on the streets.

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