Tuesday, August 30, 2011

summer delight: fried panko crusted soft-shell crab

I love eating fish and seafood in the summer; it's so light and fresh.  Today I went to the seafood market at the Washington Marina and got 2 soft-shell crabs to make a nice summer dinner for me and my mom.  I made:

panko crusted soft-shell crab
(and left-over couscous with spinach and feta)

brought them home alive, they looked like this:
Moments before we literally had to chop their faces off!  I left my mom to do it.
Cleaning them was very easy, get some tips here: http://ouichefcook.com/?p=1488 basically just need to get the gills out.  Then, as this savvy blogger  suggests, soak them in milk for a while to take a bit of the brininess out. (I have to say it worked well)

Get the flour, whisked egg, and panko ready. I added some Old Bay to my flour for good measure - these are Maryland crabs, after all!

In the meantime, heat a couple inches of vegetable oil in a pan.  While oil is heating, lightly coat the crab in flour, then in egg yolk (can add a little water or milk to it) and then roll it in the panko.
Ready to fry
When the oil is hot, place the crabs in and brown - each side around 3-4 minutes.  I admit mine got a little more brown than I planned, but they were wonderfully crispy.

To make the dipping sauce, I simply combined some soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and chili oil (or can use hot sauce) to taste.  If I had it, I would've added some chopped green onion as well.
Dipping crispy pieces of crab into this tangy savory sauce was heaven!

Voila!  Delicious soft-shell crab.  
To come: my gazpaco recipe!  

avocado addict

I adore avocados.  This is a great healthy snack that I love making for myself - garlic bread with avocado.  take a thick rustic bread (I had whole wheat sourdough) toast it up in a pan with olive oil, and rub it with a garlic clove and add some salt.  top with avocado and fresh pepper.

happy summer snacking :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

toad in a hole breakfast

Today I headed over to my friend's house for some breakfast, and she put out a lovely spread of fresh berries, yogurt, eggs, and bread.  We made a simple yummy breakfast and enjoyed the post-hurricane/rainstorm weather.
A "toad in the hole" - simply cut out a round piece from center of bread, toast it in a pan with butter and crack egg in the center, careful don't break the yolk! Bonus for rubbing some garlic on the bread or some added cheese on top (i'd say gruyere) then finish with chives or parsley.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

louisiana kitchen

Last night I had dinner with my sister, her boyfriend, my cousin and my mom at Louisiana Kitchen, one of my favorite places to eat when I'm home.  It's in Bethesda, Maryland and the food is super tasty, typical New Orleans food.  On our table was crawfish bisque, chicken jambalaya, etouffee with chicken and andouille sausage, a half shrimp, half oyster po boy.  Plus of course, as with any good American southern cuisine, buttery biscuits!  Very enjoyable.

shrimp and oyster po boy

chicken jambalaya
It wouldn't be right not to finish the meal with their iced cafe au lait made with chickory smoked coffee, and beignets with powdered sugar (taken at lunch a few wks ago!) 

Friday, August 26, 2011


check out my new bento box! it is so cute ke ai 可爱 as they say in China, or since it's Japanese, kawaii

I found it at this great Japanese store.  It is lacquered, which makes it really pretty, and has two stacking compartments of a nice modest size.

  I can't wait to use it to bring noodles, rice meals, or snacks with me!
(it will also help me save $$ in the UK) x

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"i'm in your movie, and you're in mine"

from "bored to death", ted dansen talking about love and relationships. I love this show. While I was watching, I ate this simple and delish dinner.
crab cake with smashed fried potatoes 
and green beans with toasted almonds
These potatoes were soo tasty, here's the recipe, from Giada de Laurentiis:
Boil some potatoes (i used yukon gold babies) and then after they dry a bit, gently smash them down with your hand or a spatula.
Heat olive oil in a pan with a few smashed garlic cloves to infuse the oil.  When lightly browned, remove the cloves and place the potatoes in. On medium high heat, brown one side then flip to brown the other so they are gorgeous, golden and crispy on each side! 
Combine some parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil to drizzle over the potatoes when done.  The lemon is what really makes them fabulous! Salt and pepper to season throughout of course! x

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

my food profile

Before I start, a little more of what I love...

I love: savory and spicy flavors - the spice that makes your throat and lips feel like they're on fire! But not spice that has no flavor.  One of my favorites is the Chinese flavor of "suan la" 酸辣, which is sour and hot.   I also love crispy textures- I'm addicted to potato chips and also french fries...pretty much anything potato.  I also could eat fresh tomatoes plain or with every meal if I could.  I'm also obsessed with noodles and soup, and noodle soup!  I have visited China frequently since I was young and just lived in Beijing for two years...I already miss the endless tasty eats, at your fingertips all times of day!  I have also traveled around Asia a lot and tasting new food and flavors is one of my favorite things about exploring a new culture.
Rice noodle soup in Laos. Topped with basil, cilantro and red onion. May 2011.
My favorite herbs: basil, Thai basil, coriander/cilantro, thyme, mint, and flat leaf parsley.  

I prefer the more fresh and delicate flavors of Asian cuisines, (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese) as well as Mediterranean, versus heavy, creamy and rich flavors.  I actually do not like cream sauces, except for my truffle mac and cheese! 

Worth the fat: Cheese!!  I am moving to England for graduate school and cannot wait to devour some Stilton, among others...I actually met someone recently who doesn't like cheese, and honestly I cannot wrap my head around that thought! Crazy person!  I am not a big dessert person but would always welcome an apple pie or a moist chocolate cake.  I have a very selective and limited sweet tooth, I cannot handle too much sweet without a bite of something salty!

Also, I only eat chicken, turkey, duck, fish and seafood.  Basically, I do not eat anything with four legs...it's not called anything, it's just simply what I eat!  At a young age I learned I hated beef and could not even swallow it, and to be honest, I think pigs are seriously adorable (though I do think I would enjoy pork).  I was a vegetarian when I was little until high school, so I do like to cook a lot of non-meat dishes as well. 
Why I love food:  It can evoke strong feelings and brings people together, not only family and friends, but across cultures. Cooking can be great therapy.  Food nourishes you in every way possible. x

Monday, August 22, 2011


My name is Sabrina, but I'm better known to friends and family as Bean, Beanie, and really any combination or variation thereof (ie: greenbean, beansauce and beaner).

As a new user of a smartphone, I started tweeting more and realized most of my tweets were of delicious food that I was eating or cooking, so I decided to start a blog of the foods I eat and the recipes I love.  It is my first attempt at my own blog, so wish me luck!  I also want to focus a bit on healthy eating, environmentally smart food choices, and tips for an eco-friendly kitchen.

I hope you enjoy my simple and sweet little food blog :)
Bon Appétit!