Category: Crab

Old Bay Crab and Mushroom Vol Au Vents

 Is there anything more kitschy retro than a vol au vent?

Okay, I hear you Jello Salad.  Let me rephrase. 

Is there anything more kitschy retro and DELICIOUS than a vol au vent? 

No, there is not. 

And when you add some Old Bay into an already super tasty mix of crab, mushroom and watercress?  Oh boy, do you have something special happening both on your plate and in your mouth!

Crab Old Bay Vol Au Vents5I do not understand why vol au vents have fallen out of favour.  They’re so pretty.  Like little flowers of yumminess.   I think we should start a movement.  Viva La Vol Au Vent!

And hopefully this will be the recipe that will convince you to join in!

Let’s break it down shall we?

Lovely sweet crab meat, earthy mushrooms, peppery watercress, spicy Old Bay all wrapped in a lovely creamy, cheese sauce and baked in the lightest of light choux pastry.

It’s all good. 

It’s all sooooo good!

Crab Old Bay Vol Au Vents3These are perfect cocktail party food.  Make the filling in advance, then 15 minutes before serving pile into your vol au vent shells to heat through.  Quick, easy, pretty, tasty. 

What more could you want?  Here’s the recipe:

Old Bay Crab and Mushroom Vol Au Vents

Old Bay Crab and Mushroom Vol Au Vents

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
  • 200g spanner crab meat
  • 1 bunch of watercress, leaves picked
  • 12 finely chopped button mushrooms
  • 12 vol au vent cases, I used the ones that are about 5cm across, for smaller or larger you will need to adjust cooking times
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 25g goats cheese, crumbled
  • 30g sharp Cheddar cheese grated
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Dash of Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Cook the onion over medium heat until soft. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the watercress and stir until just wilted.
  • Take off the heat.
  • Mix the eggs with the cream and the Old Bay and the Tabasco sauce, if using. Add to the vegetable mixture and stir through.
  • Add the goats cheese and Cheddar and stir through.
  • Add the crab meat and stir to mix.
  • Season.
  • Fill each vol au vent with the crab mixture. Top with parmesan and place in the oven until the egg is set - around 15 minutes.
  • If the cheese is not golden and melty enough, heat your grill/broiler to 200C. Place the tray under the grill/broiler, checking every 30 seconds or so to ensure your pastry cases do not burn.
  • Sprinkle with additional Old Bay and serve.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/10/22/old-bay-crab-and-mushroom-vol-au-vents/

I fear both that I am running out of month and Old Bay….I had two more posts planned and then, on the weekend I found another awesome Old Bay recipe…the Octoberfest may well spill into November!  I’m totally ok with that.  The Germans start their Octoberfest in September, why shouldn’t I end mine in November?

Old Bay Crab, Mushroom & Spinach Vol Au Vents

Have a great week.  And remember, viva la vol au vent!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

Cucumber Candlestick Canapés

If you read my last post you would have already seen these amazing cucumber candlesticks…now you get to learn how to make them yourself! 

Cucumber Candlesticks
Cucumber Candlesticks

I found the original recipe in, yep, you guessed it, the delight that is Salads For All Seasons by Rosemary Mayne Wilson, because that book never gets old.  Well, technically yes it does but you know what I mean.

I fancy pantsed mine up a bit by adding a little bit of hot sauce into my crab and mayo mix but you could use wasabi or tomato paste or chilli sauce, chopped herbs, chopped up sun-dried tomatoes,  or pretty much any flavouring you liked.  You could also swap out the crab for canned tuna or salmon if that’s how you roll. 

I also added a strip of sun-dried tomato as a flame.

The only bit of making these that was even a little bit difficult was scooping out the flesh of the cucumbers and not having them break.  I don’t have a grapefruit knife as suggested by Rosemary Mayne Wilson so I ended up using a 1/4 teaspoon measure and scooping out a little bit at a time.

Cucumber Candlesticks
Cucumber Candlesticks

These were really tasty and pretty easy to make.  And a pretty cool retro canapé to kick off the celebrations. 

Cucumber Candlesticks2
Cucumber Candlesticks2

 To eat these you can slice them either across into rounds down the middle into half or quarter moons.

But before the recipe,  I thought I might do a quick “retro” spective. I spent some time the other day going through some old posts and one thing became clear.  If there was going to be a sub-sub title for this blog, it would surely have to be “I like round food.  And I really, really like small round food”

May 2012 – Cucumbers Stuffed with Cream Cheese

July 2012 – Moccha Mousse

 July 2012 – Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes

 February 2013 – Barbra Streisands Coffee Ice Cream

 April 2013 – Devilled Chestnuts

 
April 2013 – Rosé Wine Cup

 May 2013 – Television Eggs

 September 2013 – Ice Cream Muffins

 September 2013 – Vietnamese Inspired Aubergine

 Minh Mang-o Daiquiri

 November 2013 – Kale and Onion Pies, Smoked Salmon Frittata

 December 2013 – Pepperoni Pizza with Boccocini, Olives and Mint

 December 2013 – Cabbage Rolls with Meatballs

 January 2014 – Saffron Risotto Balls

 April 2014 – Ox Eye Eggs

 August 2014  – Autumn Rosti With Smoked Salmon

Autumn RostiAugust 2014- Meatball Sandwich

Umami Meatballs
Umami Meatballs

 November 2014 – Cheesy Eggplant Sandwiches

Eggplant Salami Sandwich 4
Eggplant Salami Sandwich 4

 November 2014 – Chargrilled Aubergines from Persiana

Chargrilled Aubergines
Chargrilled Aubergines

 November 2014 – Paleo Breakfast Muffins

Breakfast Muffins
Breakfast Muffins

December 2014 – Carrot Paprika BallsCucumber Boat 4January 2015 – Meringue Topped Nutella Cupcakes

Meringue Topped Nutella Cake
Meringue Topped Nutella Cake

March 2015  – Orange and Watercress Salad

Watercress and Orange Salad 5
Watercress and Orange Salad 5

 May 2015 – French Apple Tart

French Apple Flan
French Apple Flan

 And you know what else is round? 

Pie..and I like pie.

I’m not the only one.

Stay tuned, Pieathalon two is coming soon…..

And finally, here’s the recipe for the Cucumber Candlesticks:

Cucumber CandlesticksRemember, third birthday giveaway closes 14 June.  Enter now to win an amazing 1970’s cookbook, and have a fabulous week!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

Giddy-Up, It’s a Melbourne Cup Pineapple Double

Those of you who don’t live in Australia may be unaware that the Melbourne Cup is run on the first Tuesday in November.  The Melbourne Cup is our version of the Kentucky Derby  or Ascot or  the <<insert the biggest horse race from your country here>>.

Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer
Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer

They call it the race that stops a nation because, come tomorrow  at around 3:00pm, just about everyone in the country will stop what they are doing to watch, or listen to, the running of the Cup.  If you happen to live in Melbourne, you get to stop for a hell of a lot more than that.  We get the WHOLE day off work.  Seriously.  We don’t go to work all day because for about 5 minutes in the afternoon some horses run around a track.  It’s awesome, the most mad and random holiday ever!!! 

 And because we’re not working, if people aren’t actually going to the races, they have parties and bbq’s or set up parties in the car park at the track, kind of like tail gating but classier.  Every one dresses up and the weather is generally good – it’s party time here!!!    Apart from the hay fever.  That’s still sucking. 

Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer
Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer

And what better way to celebrate your Cup Day holiday, than this adorable vintage salad from Rosemary Mayne-Wilson’s Salads for All Seasons and the accompanying MC Cocktail which I made up to go along with it?

The unifying element between the two is pineapple.  And can I just say.  Forget Chanel #5.  Forget even this gorgeous Sohum Mint Tea perfume which is my current favourite perfume (Notice how even my perfume is named after food?)

Sohum Mint Tea

Pineapple has got to be the best smell in the world.  When I opened that can?  I  just wanted to take a big swim in that glorious scent.  Soooo good. And yes, I used pineapple from a can.  Fresh pineapple is great.  If you happen to live in Cambodia…OMG, the best, sweetest most heaven scented pineapple ever…or you have a couple of spare hours to pfaff about with peeling and coring and taking the eyes out and blah blah blah.  As far as I am concerned, canned pineapple is the way to go.

Melbourne Cup Appetiser 3
Melbourne Cup Appetiser 3

What was not so good was the tinned crab.  It was….fairly bland is a nice way of putting it.  Completely tasteless would be another.  Despite that, the pineapple was sweet and the dressing was surprisingly good.  I think that if you used fresh crab meat this would become super good.

RMW recommends decorating this with crab legs.  Even if I had made this using fresh crab I would find that a bit creepy.  I used some chopped up chives and mint (both can I add, fresh from my garden)!

Alternatively you could forgo piling the crab into and onto the pineapple rings and mix them together and serve in these amazing bits of crabby kitsch!

Crab Salad Bowls
Crab Salad Bowls

 I would still use the watercress to line the crab bowls.  That peppery goodness added a real bit of zing to this dish.

But I will tell you something totally weird.  As I was making it, I believed I had spotted a huge flaw in the logic of this salad.  Cos that’s the kind of thing I think about,  The logic of food.  As I may have said a couple of times before, it’s nice to see that Philosophy major isn’t going to waste!

So, here was my concern.  You pile your crab meat onto and into the hole of your pineapple ring.  However, the law of gravity would suggest that when you picked up your pineapple ring that the crab meat in the hole would not, should not lift with the ring….

Weird thing is?  It totally does.  Well nearly totally does.  A smidgeon of crab may remain on the plate but it will lift.  You need to pack it in fairly tight though.

I would definitely make this again.  But I would definitely use fresh crab meat. 

MC - Midori and Chartreuse Cocktail
MC – Midori and Chartreuse Cocktail

So, what do you do with the leftover juice from the can of pineapple?  Well, if life gives you pineapple juice, I say make a super refreshing and tasty as hell cocktail.  I also happened to have a bottle of Midori hanging about.  It was given to me as a housewarming present when I moved into my old apartment.  How on earth it managed to survive 13 years I have no idea.  Anyway on that bottle was a tag and on that tag was a recipe for a cocktail called a 24/7 which was Midori, Chartreuse, lime cordial and pineapple juice.  I made this and it was ok.  Then I made a second one where I subbed in some fresh lemon juice for the lime cordial and it was much better.  Then I made a third…(see what I mean about being surprised that bottle hadn’t been drained long ago?)  where I added a splash of ginger beer.  And ladies and gentlemen, we had a winner!

The MC Cocktail
The MC Cocktail

I’m calling my version the MC – Midori and Chartreuse, Melbourne Cup…

 Oh, and the left over salad dressing?  Was really good on some oysters the following day! It had that Bloody Mary Shot vibe about it.  Kind of retro in it’s own way!

Oysters with Tomato - Horseradish Dressing
Oysters with Tomato – Horseradish Dressing

 I will be spending Cup Day cooking up a Joan Crawford inspired Romantic dinner for two courtesy of Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers…stay tuned, I think it’s going to be awesome!  Whatever you do, I hope it’s fabulous!

Melbourne Cup Crab & Pineapple Appetizer and MC Cocktail

Melbourne Cup Crab & Pineapple Appetizer and MC Cocktail

Ingredients

    For the Appetizer
  • 6 pineapple rings
  • 400grams (14oz) crab meat (preferably fresh)
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • Mint and Chopped Chives to serve (optional)
  • For The Tomato Horseradish Dressing
  • 1 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • For the MC Cocktail
  • 30ml (1 oz) Midori
  • 15 ml (1/2 oz) green chartreuse
  • 15 ml (1/2 oz) lemon juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Ginger Beer
  • Ice

Instructions

    For the Tomato - Horseradish dressing (can be made in advance)
  • Mix all the ingredients together and chill
  • For the Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer
  • Arrange the watercress on a large plate or six small plates.
  • Place the pineapple on top of the watercress.
  • Mix 1-2 tsp of the dressing through the crab -just enough to help it stick together. Pile the crab onto the pineapple rings
  • Spoon a little bit of the sauce over the crab (a little goes a long way, so go easy) or serve the dressing on the side. Sprinkle with the chives and mint.
  • For the MC Cocktail
  • Fill a long glass with ice. Add the Midori, Green Chartreuse and Lemon Juice. Add pineapple juice to about 2 cm below the rim of the glass.
  • Top with ginger beer.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2014/11/03/giddy-melbourne-cup/

 

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