A Gift For The Cook In Your Life

Sam Choy
By Sam Choy
Wednesday - December 19, 2007
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This week we’re cooking up the following recipes from The Chef, the Story, and the Dish by Food Network producer Rochelle Brown - a great gift idea! This show aired originally in December 2002.


* 1/2 pound bacon, diced

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

* 3/4 cup enriched cornmeal

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

* 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

* 1/4 cup vegetable oil

* 2 whole eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the chopped bacon in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Render the bacon, stirring often, until most of the fat has released and the meat is crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside, then transfer the pan with the bacon fat to the oven.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt with Cheddar cheese, then stir in the buttermilk, vegetable oil and eggs, mixing until dry ingredients are just moistened. Fold the bacon into this batter.

Remove the skillet from the oven and pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cornbread is light golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted into its center comes out clean.

Cut into wedges and serve warm.


For Sauce:

* 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

* 3/8 cup finely chopped dill pickles

* 3/8 cups finely chopped red onions, soaked in ice water for 15 minutes, drained and patted dry

* 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and patted dry

* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

* 1/2 to 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, or to taste, minced

* salt and pepper

For Crabs:

* 8 small soft-shelled crabs, cleaned thoroughly

* whole milk, for soaking the crabs

* 1 cup all-purpose flour

* salt and pepper

* vegetable oil, for sauting

* lime wedges, for garnish

To make the tartar sauce, stir all the sauce ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate while making the crabs.

To prepare the crabs, place them in a bowl with just enough milk to cover them. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When the crabs have finished soaking, season the flour with salt and pepper to taste and transfer it to a shallow pie dish lined with parchment paper. Working in batches, remove the crabs from the milk, letting the excess drip off, and dredge them in the flour mixture, lifting up the sides of the parchment paper to help coat the crabs evenly with the flour.

Add 1/4 inch vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat over moderately high heat until almost smoking. Add the crabs to the skillet, shell side up first, and cook on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, until brown and crisp. Be careful - they splatter. As the crabs finish cooking, transfer them to a platter, shell side down, and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Repeat the procedure with the remaining crabs.

Serve the crabs immediately, topping each portion with the tartar sauce and a lime wedge.

(Watch “Sam Choy’s Kitchen” Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL News 8.)

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