Appetizers Recipes

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Lunar New Year: Taro Cake Recipe Recipe

Remember I shared my crab cake recipe as a party food idea for the Super Bowl? Well, I developed a vegetarian version for my husband Lulu as well. I mixed shredded taro roots and rice and added green peas for extra color. Visually, they looked pretty similar to crab cakes, and their texture resembled the "real thing" too. The only difference, which you probably already guessed is the taste. But Lulu doesn't like crab, so that's a good thing!

Check back this entire week for my vegetarian dishes in preparation of Tết, the Asian New Year celebration.


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Super Bowl Finger Food: Crab Cake Recipe Recipe

Crab cakes may be synonymous with Maryland in general and Baltimore in particular, but these delectable seafood treats are made San Francisco-friendly with the use of Dungeness crab. I love Dungeness crabs almost as much as Lulu loves the Niners, so you could say that this dish is a match made in heaven. Except of course that Lulu’s a vegetarian (I’ll post a veggie version next week).

For all us seafood eaters, this is a super easy dish to prepare, which makes it perfect party fare. The only part that requires any real effort is cooking, cracking and collecting the crab meat, but the results are well worth it!


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California Sushi Rolls and Tuna and Salmon Sushi Recipe

If you love football as much as my husband Lulu does, and also happen to be a 49ers fan, you were probably frantically jumping up and down and screaming for joy as they made it to the Super Bowl last week. Lulu has been looking forward to this since they lost in overtime in last year's NFC Championship game. To be honest, I have no clue what any of those words mean, but I've heard Lulu say them on several occasions.

What I do know is food and I've concocted a week's worth of  recipe ideas in honor of the Superbowl and the San Franciso 49ers. I may not know a first down from a field goal, but preparing fun party food for friends and family is a great way for me to get involved.

To kickoff our week of SF-friendly Super Bowl foods, here's a combination of California rolls (avocado crab cucumber) and tuna (freshly caught by our neighbor Tom) and salmon sushi. It's super easy; all you need is fresh ingredients and ready-cooked sushi rice. You can make several rolls in advance, and cut them throughout the party as your guests work their way through them. The other nice thing about sushi as party food is that you can easily make different fillings depending on you and your guests' preferences and dietary restrictions.


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Caterpillar Roll (Avocado Sushi Recipe) Recipe

Lulu and I recently went to a Japanese sushi bar and enjoyed platters of delicious rolls. When I came home, I was determined to serve the same gorgeous-looking sushi for the family. I reinterpreted the caterpillar sushi with a combination of hoisin sauce and kaffir lime sauce. The caterpillar outer layer is imitated with thinly sliced avocados. Unlike most of the "fancy" sushi rolls you'll find at restaurants, this one's vegetarian.

I have to admit I was very proud of how they turned out. And to my surprise, it wasn't that complicated. Sometimes, improvisation ends up with beautiful results!

Don't forget to enter your name and email address to be able to participate in my Haute Potato Cookbook contest. I will pick one winner next Monday. And if you already have a copy, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a review on Amazon. Thank you!


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Mushroom Crepe Recipe (Crepe Forestiere) Recipe

In less than 3 weeks, La Chandeleur is going to be celebrated in France. It originially was a religious event (40 days after Christmas) but nowadays, it's become a more commercial celebration). Crêpes are traditionally served on the holiday, which gives me an excuse to flip some crêpes for my family. I know that making crepes is intimidating for a lot of people, but I have prepared crêpe batter countless times and I promise it's easy to master, and with a little bit of practice you'll have no problem with it. 

In general, for La Chandeleur you'll see them served as dessert, either with fruit and cream or simply sweetened with a sprinkle of sugar. Savory versions (ham and cheese is a staple), however, are not uncommon. This recipe is for a "forest"-style crepe, which means it's filled with mushrooms and it's also known as beggar's purse. I added a few roasted chestnuts and garbanzo beans for extra protein.

I hope you're inspired to make some crepes yourself. You'll be a pro in no time!

I'm giving away a copy this week and will announce the winner next Monday, January 14th, 2013. I am so grateful for all the blessings I have in my life. Thank you so much for your love and support. Here’s to making 2013 as unforgettable as 2012!


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