Iron Chef Momma Pt. 1

Tasia Leslie

I have been MIA the last few weeks and I'm sure most of you have thought that I've given up on the blog. Not to worry, I'm back! 
To make a long story short, I had a baby recently. He's the perfect combination of chubby and teeny tiny that newborns are. Apart from the multiple bouts in and out of the hospital, for both of us, everyone is healthy and doing well. 

Now, down to business. I don't know if it's the looming autumn weather or that there's a baby in the house again, but I find myself needing to cook and do crazy projects. I had this urge with my first as well, and the urge slowly diminished as he got older and our days got busier (and his tastes got pickier). 

In the spirit of getting organized (an oh so popular trend right now) I'm considering collecting all of my favorite recipes in one book or binder to have on hand. Who knows if I'll actually keep up with it, or if I'll even have enough recipes to fill it up, but it's something to fill my days until I return to work. 

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite recipes that I continuously return to. I don't consider any of them overly complicated. If I can make them, you can too. I'm definitely not an iron chef by any means, and you'll find my recipes have side notes with ideas on how to redeem them if a step doesn't go as planned. 

I should also note that not all of these recipes are kid-friendly, unless your kid is Gordon Ramsay. So, I've placed a kid-friendly rating at the top of each recipe. One star is not kid-friendly and five stars is on par with chicken nuggets. 

Crab Cakes & Lemon Orzo with Parm and Peas 

Kid-Friendly rating: 


If your kid likes mac and cheese, they may just like the Lemon Orzo with Parm and Peas. The orzo is a small noodle shaped like rice and super easy for them to eat. 
However, the crab cakes may not sit well with your kid due to the taste or texture of crab (or imitation crab), hence the deduction of two stars. 

Please also be sure your child is not allergic to shellfish or any of the fish that make up imitation crab before serving this dish to them. 

Crab Cakes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter - Melted
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Fresh Parsley - Finely Chopped
  • 1 Egg - Beaten
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 lb Lump Crab Meat/Imitation Crab Meat
  • 3/4 cup Ritz Cracker Crumbs - Crushed

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl combine melted butter, mayo, old bay, parsley, eggs, lemon juice and salt together. Add crab meat and ritz cracker crumbs into mixture and toss to combine (try not to break up the crab too much). Let mixture chill for about 30 minutes.

  2. Using 3oz scoop, form crab cake mixture into balls and then press down to make patties.

  3. Heat skillet and add cooking oil of your choice. Sear crab cakes on both sides until a nice golden brown crust forms.

  4. Finish in 350° oven for about 5 min.*
    *If you’re using fully cooked imitation crab, you can skip this step. 

 

Lemon Orzo with Parm and Peas 
Cook time: 12 minutes 
Servings: 4 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth or water
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Lemon zested
  • Juice of Half a lemon
  • 1 1/2 Cups Peas
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and pasta.

  2. Cook, stirring occasionally until toasted, about 30-60 seconds.
  3. Add garlic and stir it in followed by thyme.

  4. Add the broth, a small amount at a time.

  5. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet with a lid and turn down to a simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed most of the water and is tender.

  6. Remove the lid and add the lemon zest, juice, and peas and stir until the peas are bright and cooked.

  7. Add the cheese and salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately 

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