November kind of got away from me so I’m going straight to December with these recipes. Since there are uncountable Christmas/Holiday recipes already out there I want to focus on New Year’s Eve. We all recognize the end of one year and the beginning of another, no matter what other rituals we might practice. Here are recipes for Crab Cakes, a NYE classic, and Brie En Croute (baked in puff pastry) – both sweet and savory versions.
Serve with Sandhill Crane Vineyards very lightly oaked 2007 Chardonnay. Or the Vignoles.
5 saltine crackers, crushed to fine crumbs
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
1 large egg
2 1/2 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a large bowl, gently mix together cracker crumbs, crabmeat, egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. The mixture will be wet. Form about 1/4 of the crab mixture for each cake.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Gently slide the cakes off a spatula into the oil. Saute until the crab cakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with tartar sauce.
The French seem to be the source of many decadent foods, including brie cheese. Here is a dessert-style baked brie – perfect with our Mood Indigo fortified blueberry wine – or a savory version, wonderful with the Sassy Rose dry rose, the Cabernet Franc, the Vignoles….
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, pre-packaged
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnuts
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (8-ounce) wheel brie, don’t remove rind
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Defrost puff pastry for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and unfold.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the walnuts in the butter until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and stir until walnuts are coated well. Place the walnut mixture on top of the brie and sprinkle the brown sugar over the mixture. Lay the puff pastry out on a flat surface. Place the brie in the center of the pastry. Gather up the edges of the pastry, pressing around the brie, and gather at the top. Gently squeeze together the excess dough and brush the beaten egg over top and side of brie. Place brie on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve by itself or with apple wedges and crackers.
For the savory version, slice the brie in half vertically and spread basil pesto over the top of the bottom half. Replace the top half and put the round of brie on the puff pasty and proceed as above.