Ever since I read this post over at Fancy Toast, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a meal out of crab cakes. They’re not cheap to make, even with canned crab, and even less cheap when you buy them like I do, pre-made. So to have enough to fill everyone up would be difficult. But I could buy us one each without breaking the bank.
Last Saturday, I went to the Farmers’ Market in Pleasant Hill, and there was a booth there for a new restaurant in the neighborhood that sounds pretty yummy, Nibblers. (I only ate four or five of the little samples they had sitting out. I was hungry, and therefore greedy.) It seems like a total girl restaurant to me…the type of place you go with your girl friends, and you order a bunch of tiny plates of food, and you share them and drink wine. Mmmm. And if you bring a man with you, he’ll say, “That was really good, where’s the steak?” Anyway, I was inspired by the idea to make a Nibbler meal here at home.
Sunday is the Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market, so this morning I went and picked up some gorgeous tomatoes and other fruits. So, what to make? I have a recipe for a really good corn soup that calls for corn, potatoes, and tomatoes, so I made that. I also made some bruschetta. And there was a guy (hey, he’s from my hometown!) at the Farmers’ Market selling White Sweet Potato Pie that was actually really good, so I bought one of those. (I say ‘actually’, because I’m generally not fond of sweet potatoes. He said that’s because I’m usually eating yams, and sweet potatoes are different. Oh, OK. So this pie was made with sweet potatoes, not yams. But I went looking online for the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, and found that what I think we’re talking about is the difference between two different types of sweet potatoes, and neither one are actual yams. Confusing.) So our Sunday evening Nibbler menu was:
1st course: Bruschetta
2nd course: Creamy Corn Soup
3rd couse: Crab Cakes with Saffron Orange Dipping Sauce (totally yummy, thanks Erielle!)
and Green Salad with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and red bell peppers
Dessert: Patrick’s Famous White Sweet Potato Pie, with whipped cream
It was delicious, and very relaxing.
Creamy Corn Soup
recipe from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant
1 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
3 tblsp butter or vegetable oil
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tblsp minced chiles
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock or water
2 1/2 cups cut corn (fresh or frozen)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the butter or oil on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions are very soft. Add the coriander, cumin, and chiles. Saute for 2 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they are juicy. Add the potatoes, bell peppers, and stock or water. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and heat thoroughly.
In a blender, puree about half of the soup with the milk and cheese. Stir the puree back into the soup pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat slowly until the soup is hot, but not boiling.