dinner guests

so i invited my friend larry over for dinner and since the last time he came over, he hated my french onion soup and whatever else i made. it was just too salty and adding water totally made it great. too bad hes too picky and wouldn’t touch it! talk about wasted hours…  so this time, i needed to have something that could be done ahead of time but that he could eat. after rejecting curry, grits, tomato soup, meatloaf, encheladas, and lasagna (and no comment on crabcakes, spaghetti and meatballs, mac and cheese, an burritos (for future reference!)), i went with crabcakes because i know he orders those sometimes, and because its pretty hard to mess up.

i made this recipe from the Oceanaire Seafood Room (in dc) by the letter and it was pretty good.  of course, larry didn’t say anything about it being good or bad, but he at least ate most of it.  paige ate 2 and said they were really good (yay!) but she could have been being polite.  i ate one too, and thought they were great, but i’m not really interested in leftover crabcakes. i ended up throwing out at least $8 worth of crab…i should really consider price when i make meals for other people!

anyways, i did end up adding extra old bay to the mix (at least an extra 1/2 tsp) and thought it could’ve stood to add more.  i also added panko breadcrumbs to the top of the cakes before putting into the oven, and i liked that extra crunch on top (thanks to the melted butter!), but it needed to be eaten with a fork it was so moist! i do also remember needing to cook it longer than directed…at least 5 minutes longer, but i also had brown-and-serve rolls in the oven at the same time. THESE were so necessary for eating with crabcakes! garlic bread (my initial idea) would have been a good choice too.

in my opinion though, while the crabcakes were good, the REAL treat was the corn side dish.  i made this sweet corn maque choux and BOY was that  i ended up using 1 can of corn, a half yellow onion, diced, maybe a quarter red pepper, diced, and 2 stocks of clerey, and added half heavy cream, half fat free half and half.  i think in the future doing half skim milk and the other half half and half (fun phrase no?!), will be better. this definately benefited from tasting while i was making it – i added a TON of cayenne! i think its about what the recipe called for – but it did catch in the back of my throat – VERY nice with the crabcakes and buttered rolls.  THIS is is a must-make-again!

finally, i finished out the meal with banana cake – WOW! what a KEEPER!! this cake was fabulous – not too sweet, but so moist and delicate in a way that banana bread is not.  this is light whereas banana bread is denser. i will be making this with my leftover bananas from now on! unfortunately though i poured the glaze all over the cake.  i did use a bit of heavy cream but i really just ended up adding skim milk and mixing until it got the consistency that i needed to pour.   in the future, a cream cheese glaze would be IDEAL! i was borderline going to do this but didn’t have time to soften the cream cheese. live and learn! i think almost MELTING the cream cheese and adding a cup of powdered sugar with some vanilla, would be perfect. even adding a stick of butter (to make it a frosting – wow yum and wow bad for you ahaha), would be delish.

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