I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Bring a Plate"

'Tis the season to be invited out for drinks, and along with that comes the line.... "Just bring a plate!"  If you are anything like me, you want to make something a little special, something a little bit different, and definitely not something that you have taken along with this group of people before!

It was time for the annual neighbourly get together.  I must say I am not feeling particularly Christmasey at the moment, and this has been compounded with the fact that I have been hit by the dreaded "lurgey" (Thanks DH!!).  I did however, manage to pull off a pretty tasty couple of plates to take along last night!!!

You can of course take the easy option with these and buy bottled sun dried tomato pesto and mayonnaise, but of course, having the Thermomix, I just couldn't help myself (sick and all as I was - I still had to "show off" - and say "I made it myself in the Thermomix!").

Crab and Corn Cakes with Spicy Tomato Mayo
Adapted from recipe found in Good Taste Magazine, December Edition

Makes approximately 24

180ml (3/4 cup whole egg mayonnaise) *
1 tbs sun dried tomato pesto **
few drops Tabasco pepper sauce (oops forgot that!!!)
2 corncobs, husks and silk removed
2 x 140g Crab Claw Meat (I used Phillips brand)

2 shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 tbs finely chopped fresh coriander
lemon rind from 1 medium sized lemon
75g (1/2 cup self raising flour
3 eggs, lightly whisked
olive oil to fry
quartered grape tomatoes for garnish
fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Combine the mayonnaise, pesto (and if you like it spicy, and remember to use it!) the tabasco sauce in a bowl.  Cover and place in the fridge until required.

Cook the corn in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until tender.  Drain, and set aside for at least 10 minutes to cool down.  Cut down the length of the cob, close to the core, to remove the kernels.  Transfer to a bowl, stir in the crab, shallot, coriander and lemon rind.  Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Cover and place in the fridge for 10 minutes (or longer) to chill.

Combine the flour and egg in a large bowl (the recipe actually stated 2 eggs, but I found the mixture was too stiff, so added a third - and it was much better!).  Add the crab mixture, and stir to combine.

Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Add enough olive oil to have a thin even coating on the bottom of the pan.  When the oil is hot, add rounded soup spoon amounts of the corn mixture to the pan.  Flatten slightly with the back of the spoon.  Have approximately 6 fritters in the pan at a time.  Cook for 2 minutes, and then flip over, flattening slightly with the back of an egg lifter.  Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.  Drain in a single layer on some paper towel.

Now I wasn't sure whether to serve these hot or cold, but my reasoning said that if they were too hot, the mayonnaise sauce would melt.  So they were warm when I garnished them.

Top each crab cake with a dollop of mayonnaise mixture, top with a tomato quarter, and garnish with a coriander leaf.

Even though my tastebuds were out of whack last night, I must say these little fritters were pretty tasty, and certainly a big hit with everyone!

** Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Adapted from Recipe found on Taste.com.au

3/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1/3 cup pinenuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the tomatoes, garlic and pine nuts in the TM bowl.  Pulse with the Turbo button for 5-10 seconds (about 4 pulses) to get a rough, even texture.  Scrape down the bowl and repeat if necessary.

Place the olive oil in the reservoir, and process on speed 4 until all the oil has been added.

Add the parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper, and mix on speed 4 for 5 seconds.

Transfer to a jar.

* Mayonnaise
Adapted from Thermomix Everyday Cookbook

1 egg, at room temperature, separated
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbs vinegar
250g rice bran oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Insert the butterfly.  Place the egg yolk. salt, pepper, mustard, and vinegar in the TM bowl.  Mix for 1 minute of speed 4.

With the blades rotating on speed 4, slowly add the oil to the reservoir.  Make sure that you do it very slowly - you want to take between 4-6 minutes to add all the oil.

Once the mayonnaise has emulsified, you can add the egg white (optional) and season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.  Mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.

Transfer mixture to a bottle.

So by now Dear Readers, you should know me pretty well.  Of course, I could not stop at taking just one plate - I of course had to make another!

My second plate was a platter of spicy little chicken nibbles.  As I was frying up the fritters at the last minute, I didn't want to be frying up these as well, so I adapted the recipe to make them in the oven (cooked under the grill).

Spicy Chicken with Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Women's Weekly - December edition

1 kg (approximately 8) chicken thigh fillets
2 tbs fish sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 small red chillies, seeded, finely chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tbs sesame oil

Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce
2 tbs lime juice (approximately 1 medium sized lime)
1 tbs water
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
1 small red chilli, seeded, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped coriander stalks

Cut the chicken thighs into 4cm pieces.

Combine the fish sauce, garlic, chilli and sugar in a large ziploc bag (or a bowl - but then you have to wash it up!!)  Add the chicken, and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, if not longer.

Of course I took the easy way out with the dipping sauce - whizzed it up in the TM!!  You can however, just add all the ingredients to bowl and combine - make sure the sugar is dissolved!  Set aside until needed.

Here is where I deviated from the recipe.  They said to cook in a frying pan for 4 minutes each side, until browned and cooked through.  I however, decided to line a large baking tray with foil.  I then spread out the pieces in a single layer over the foil.  Placed them under the grill, on high, and grilled until cooked through and lightly browned.  Turn over and cook the other side until browned.

Place on a serving platter with a trio of sauces.  In addition to the Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce I used Sweet Chilli Sauce, and Ketchap Manis - that way people could vary the heat level to suit their preference!

So Dear Readers what is your "plate" that you take when asked to bring something???

As I have been so slack lately, and not posting as regularly as I should, I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!

I have a very busy week this week, playing Santa, and surprising several lovely ladies with Thermomixes that their husbands have bought them for Christmas.  I can't wait to see the surprise on their faces when I show up with a big box in tow!!!!


  1. Sorry I can't spell this morning! I promise I will give you a drink or three if you bring snacks like that with you :) Have a great Christmas. Diane

  2. Oh!!! That looks so gorgeous :) I love corn fritters so I will have to try your recipe and add some crab! Your homemade mayo looks just divine! The thermy certainly makes that an easy job :)

  3. Great nibbles! I haven't tried that brand of crab meat, will check it out.

  4. my plates are usually of the sweet kind but i am in love with the crab cakes - yum :) i want to come to your street party! hope you have a wonderful christmas.