FRIDAY FISH: Crab Burgers

Last Lenten FRIDAY FISH of 2023
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Just for fun, I often ask people, “What’s your favorite meal?” It’s a conversation starter or a way to get to know someone better. We’re often identified by or known for the things we like best. As in, “I’m a chocoholic” or “I don’t drink coffee to wake up. I wake up to drink coffee.” I am no longer surprised to discover many people answer, “Burgers” or “Burgers and fries” because it’s happened so many times. (Pizza comes in a fast and close second.) You have to wonder why and I have. I think it’s because we are 1. a going-out-to-eat country and burgers are — in case you hadn’t noticed — everywhere in the fast food world. They’re even on top-shelf restaurant menus because you never know when someone goes out to a swank spot if they’ll still crave a big ol’ cheeseburger with ketchup and onions. In other words, we can eat these warm, tender sandwiches (hardly any chewing involved) out of hand–like small children– easily and quickly, maybe even cheaply. and 2. Burgers are synonymous with months of outdoor cooking, whether just for dinner or at parties, picnics, and celebrations. I like a good home-grilled burger a time or two in the summer but rarely order one out the rest of the year. Always watching my red meat intake and the calories associated with a restaurant burger are typically above my lunch limit. But give me a veggie burger of any sort or a fish burger anywhere at all and I’m a happy, happy puppy. Lent seems to give me the excuse to figure out a new fish or even seafood burger every year and this time, with crab calling my name from the fridge after making crab pizza last week, there was little question about what I was making.

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FRIDAY FISH: Cheesy Crab Mini Pizzas

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During the pandemic lockdown, my husband Dave (aka best sous) took to making my homemade pizza recipe every other week. We only ate half and so froze the second half in order to enjoy a fake take-out meal or no cooking night the following week. Pizza, wondrous on the streets of Naples, delivered from our local spot, or made right in my own kitchen’s oven, is probably my favorite food. In other words, doesn’t take much to convince me to bake it in some new guise or getup. As I planned this year’s Friday Fish meals, I thought about pizza but also had crab on my mind. It was either crab pasta or crab pizza and, well, you see what won! The question was, “How did I want to do it?” A really fast version featuring purchased mini-naan flatbread sounded fun and doable for all of you, too. Homemade pizza dough isn’t everyone’s thing, though it’s easier than it looks. Takes time is all. The naan— which is also available in a larger size should you want it, usually has its own display at the grocer somewhere around the bakery area but is widely available. Instead of waiting an hour or two for dough to rise and then trying to shape it into a manageable round (square? rectangle?), these little flatbreads come ready to grill and bake. They fit in the toaster, too. Add a few toppings, some cheese, stick it in the oven, and you have pizza. Even if you chop toppings and grate cheese, dinner’s on the table in under 30 minutes as the pizzas bake only 6-8 minutes. Have kids? They can make their own pizza. Do make your salad first!

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FRIDAY FISH: Cheesy Crab Spread

Both my mother-in-law, Lorna Morgan, and my good friends Sue Hall and Audie Dunham are known to occasionally have popcorn and wine for dinner. After all, why not? Popcorn is healthy and full of fiber; wine is made from fruit, isn’t it? (Wink, wink.) There’s no reason we can’t swap in snacks or appetizers for meals once in a while, but if you’re really hesitant, I’ll write you a note. The last Friday Fish of the season, Cheesy Crab Spread, is one of those dishes typically served before a meal (and it is an easy starter), but that also totally works instead of a meal —particularly if you serve it with some raw veggies along with some whole grain chips or crackers. Great on a day when there’s no time to cook or on a hot day when even the stove refuses to work. It mostly whirrs together in the food processor in just a minute or two (use an electric mixer or a wooden spoon if you like) and before you’ve poured your wine, dinner is ready to go. It’s also perfect to take to an Easter potluck or the first picnic of the year because it’s made ahead and travels well. Is it just me or is it always hard to think of an appetizer? Keep this one in your back pocket and you’ll know just where to look when you need one.

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Friday Fish: Crab Chili

Looking for St. Patrick’s Day Ideas? Just plug “St. Patrick’s Day” into the search window and find my favorites including Irish Soda Bread with Potato Soup, Salmon on Colcannon, Colcannon Soup, Traditional Kerry Apple Cake, and more.


 Chili has to be among the most favorite and iconic American meals. Yet when I check that out, I find regular old, B-flat chili — the kind many of our mothers made and we still make year-round — doesn’t come up on the list. Green chile is there and so are flat enchiladas and fajitas.  But I truly don’t know anyone, from nearly non-cooks to chefs–who doesn’t have some sort of a pot of chili in their regular repertoire. There are simply now many, many sorts of chili because it soothes the soul and makes us feel rich, full, and as if there’s just plenty eat around here. A good way to feel.

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Leaving Seattle.  Obviously on vacation…..
Seems like I’ve had no time at all since we got home from Alaska…  We’ve had house guests twice and Dave has traveled a lot.  I’ve played big catch-up in the yard…and have a new herb garden in on the north side.  I’ve been busy with physical therapy (regaining some upper-body strength) and added hearing aids to my wardrobe. 

Summer in the hood is hot this year.  It’s our second week of mostly 90’s and I don’t remember that ever.   I’ve spent a really lot of time watering… and watering.  Some pots have needed watering twice a day.  Who could have figured?

Meantime, I thought I’d use this blogpost for some pics so you can see what’s been up around the 2-dog kitchen and other places:

Right:  My French class came to dinner…

I’ve been trying to get a good loaf of rye bread.  Still working on it.
Another try at a leftover fish salad.  This one was with cold grilled tuna and a mustard vinaigrette. Yum.
Here are a few from the trip:
With the fish at Pike Place Market in Seattle—Veggies, too.
Going to dinner…
Someone else was cookin’
Me and the glacier….
Fishing for crab…
And eating it.

This spruce pic taken during a macro-photography class in the rain forest.

Edible spruce tips…
I ate some.  Guide said she makes sorbet from them.  Hmmm.
Taken during a photography class in a small boat on the ocean…   ah, whales.
We clean up well.
More later…  2-Dog Kitchen under signature….
Be patient; I’ve got some great summer recipes. 
Tonight I grilled some wahoo on lemon slices and topped it with homemade “pickles”…
Sing a new song,