Fine Cooking

August/September 2015

Fine Cooking Aug-Sep 2015 /

Make It Tonight column
Just 30 minutes to dinner, start to finish

Crab and Corn Cakes with Lime Sour Cream
Classic crab cakes get a subtle Tex-Mex treatment with the addition of corn and a refreshing lettuce and cilantro salad on the side.

Serves 4

1 lb. lump crab meat, picked over
1 1/3 cups panko
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels, preferably fresh
Kosher salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine the crab, panko, corn, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Gently stir in the eggs. With damp hands, tightly shape the mixture into eight 3/4-inch-thick cakes and place them on a small cutting board or flat plate. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the lettuce and cilantro together and arrange on 4 plates. Finely grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the lime into a small bowl. Stir in the sour cream, and thin with a little water to make a pourable sauce. Season to taste with salt.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 crab cakes and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Repeat with the remaining oil and crab cakes. Divide the crab cakes among the plates and serve with the sour cream.

Spice-Rubbed Steaks with Grilled Gazpacho Sauce
Reminiscent of the classic chilled Spanish soup, this spicy, smoky, tangy sauce is also delicious with grilled chicken breasts or pork chops.

Serves 4

2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. smoked paprika
2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1/2 red onion, cut into 6 wedges through the root
4 boneless beef strip steaks, about 1 inch thick (about 9 oz. each), trimmed of excess fat
1 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves
2 tsp. sherry vinegar, or more to taste
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
Hot sauce to taste (optional)
1/3 cup pitted and sliced olives (black, green, or a combination)

Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire.

In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbs. salt with the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion with 1 Tbs. of the spice mixture and 1/2 Tbs. of the oil.

Sprinkle the steaks on both sides with the remaining spice mixture, rubbing it into the meat.

Grill the pepper and onion until softened and lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Grill the tomato, skin side down, until softened and lightly charred, about 2 minutes.

Grill the steaks, flipping once, until cooked to your liking, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare (135°F). Transfer to a plate, tend with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the grilled vegetables and any accumulated juices with the oregano, vinegar, cumin, and the remaining 2 Tbs. oil until coarsely chopped, like a chunky salsa. Season with additional salt, additional vinegar, and hot sauce, if using.

Serve the steaks with the sauce on top, garnished with the olives.