Thursday, September 12, 2013

Third Chef, Dinah Shore and Corn Crab Cakes with Jalepeño Tartar Sauce

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This will be a regular dinner around here.  Delicious!
 So here we are on my third, Chef of 50 that has influenced me.  Dinah Shore.  I'll wait while my young readers click this link and read the synopsis on the Dinah Shore fan club.  So, obviously I was a fan in the 70's.   Her singing career took off in the 50's, but I'm not old enough to remember that era.   I remember her TV show and watching it in the summer, out on our big screened in porch.  I loved all those talk/variety shows.

Dinah was really one of the first "celebrity" cooks.  She did cooking segments on shows, and she was a prolific entertainer, singing duets and doing interviews.  Here is a YouTube clip of Dinah and Frank Sinatra cooking.  Just listen to that sweet Southern voice.  How could a little girl from Iowa not be enamored with her!?

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My first signed cookbook!
I am the proud owner of The Dinah Shore American Kitchen cookbook.  I wish I had its dust jacket, but I tossed it years ago, however, the book is signed to me.  I know.  It was my first signed cookbook and kind of started this little addiction to acquire signed books, cookbooks, that is.  Unlike many celebrity books, this one is fantastic, almost timeless.  The recipes are relevant today as they were then.    She was ahead of her time with the international cuisine in the book, especially the fresh ingredients and Mexican themed dishes.  Like many of my older cookbooks, this one has been on a shelf away from the kitchen for many years, but there were many things I wanted to make, and I will be back. I decided that any chef or cook in my 50 Fabulous series, that has a book  I own, I have to read it, really read it.  I need to remind myself of why I loved them in the first place.

Dinah was in amazing shape, she was a great golfer, and did many charity events.  She refers many times throughout the book about the Fat Farms and Pamper Palaces she would check into after writing one of her cookbooks.  After the First Chef Dinner (featuring my Mom), then Cheese Soufflé (featuring Chuck),  I could use a Fat Farm. The previous meals were fantastic, but a little on the heavy side.  So I thought the crab cakes would be a nice light dinner for a scorching September night.  I was absolutely correct!  I had to make a few changes, which I noted, and I lightened up her tartar sauce.  I will never make bland colored crab cakes again.

This was a delicious dinner....healthy too!

Corn Crab Cakes with Jalepeño Tartar Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg plus 1 egg white (cholesterol was a buzz word when this was published)
1/3 cup cooked corn kernels (I used frozen)
1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced California chilies (I used Anaheim)
2 Tablespoons finely diced red onion
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1/2 pound crab meat
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Pickled Baby Corn for garnish (think of the movie Big!  But I couldn't find them)
Lemon wedges for garnish
Pickled jalepeños for garnish
Jalepeño tartar sauce (recipe follows)

Blend mayo and eggs in a bowl.  Add corn, pepper, chilies, onion, mustard, white pepper, Worcestershire and cayenne.  Stir in bread crumbs and fold crab in carefully.  Shape into patties,she says 12!  I made 6 patties and would say 3 servings, not 4.

Look how colorful this is!

They cooked in a few minutes.
Heat the oil in a heavy, large skillet.  Cook the crab cakes until lightly browned on each side.  Garnish, I used pickled okra, lemon wedges and jalepeños.  Serve with tartar sauce.

Jalepeño Tartar Sauce

2 cups mayonnaise (I used 1 cup may and 1 cup plain Greek yogurt)
3 Tablespoons chopped red onion
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons seeded and chopped jalepeños
1 Tablespoon chopped cornichons
3/4 teaspoons dry mustard
Dash of Tabasco

Combine all ingredients, Dinah suggests a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but I like it chunky so I skipped that step.  Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Dinah would be disappointed that cornichons and baby corn are not available in the supermarket anymore.  At least not in mine.  Since she was a fine Southern woman, I thought she would approve of some chopped bread and butter pickles from Blackberry Farms in my tartar sauce and my pickled okra garnish.  They were both tasty.  The crab cakes were full of fresh veggies, so colorful and really one of the best I have ever had.  I will be making them often.  And the Jalepeño Tartar sauce would be tasty on any piece of fish or in a fish taco.  Thanks Dinah!

My fabulous 50 Chefs for 50 Years started with this post.
1st chef, Mom, and Steak In A Bag with Chocolate Ambrosia Pie is found here.
2nd chef, Chuck Williams, founder of Williams Sonoma, and Cheese Souffle.
Stay tuned.  3 down, 47 to go!  What are you waiting for?  Get in there and cook!

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