Martha on Demand: Golden Crab and Papaya Salad

June 29, 2010

Sarah at Mum in Bloom asked me to make Golden Crab and Papaya Salad from Martha’s Healthy Quick Cookbook for Martha on Demand (where you pick a recipe and ask me to test drive it for you).

This sounded sort of complicated, but it actually wasn’t hard to make at all. The only problem I had was finding papayas – I had to buy one giant one and use that but it worked out.

You start with making a lime caper vinaigrette which was easy: 2 tbsp oil, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup parsley, 2 dashes Tabasco, 2 tsp capers, 1/2 tsp dried hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper, 1 tsp sugar.  Then you mix together 1 lb of crab, 1/2 lb of snap peas, 1/2 small red onion and salt and pepper and put the dressing on it. Serve it in the papayas, seeds removed. Martha said to peel the papaya, but I didn’t. I also did not add Tabasco and used only a little red pepper.

I LOVED this. Really and truly thought it was fantastic. I think it would be perfect for a summer luncheon with your girlfriends. Mr. MarthaAndMe did not enjoy this but could not say why. He said it tasted ok, but he just didn’t want to eat it. It’s girl food, not guy food.  So thank you Sarah for requesting this one – I adored it and will make it again.

Do you have a Martha recipe you’ve been thinking of making but weren’t sure? Post a comment and tell me what it is and I’ll test it for you.

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Martha on Demand: Mrs. Kostyra’s Meatloaf

June 22, 2010

This is part of my ongoing series where you ask for it and I make. I’m calling it Martha on Demand and the idea is that I’ll be your guinea pig and try any Martha recipe you suggest so you can see if it’s worth making (if you have a request, leave a comment!). Almost Slowfood suggested I make Mrs. Kostyra’s Meatloaf. Mrs. Kostyra was Martha’s mom (Big Martha, as she called her) and often appeared on her show to make her recipes, and so far every one I have tried has been very good. I hadn’t tried her meatloaf though, so this was a fun experiment for me. I don’t make a lot of meatloaf. In fact, I hardly ever make it. And when I do I have two recipes. One is a turkey and rice meatloaf that I stick some veggies in and serve with a cheese sauce. The other is meatloaf the way my mom taught me, which is just a lot of dumping – ground beef, breadcrumbs, ketchup, onion, herbs, cheese, Worchestershire with mozzarella on top.

Martha’s meatloaf is truly fantastic. I think I like it more than the way my mom taught me. It comes out dense and moist. It’s even better cold the next day for lunch. I cut the recipe in half and it made enough for 4 people. It was pretty easy to make, even if it involves chopping some veggies (carrots, celery, onion, garlic). I think that using some real bread instead of breadcrumbs really adds to the flavor and texture as well. The only thing missing in my opinion is cheese. I missed the mozzarella on top and so if I make this again, I will probably add that to it, but otherwise I thought it was truly fantastic.

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Martha on Demand: Veggie Burgers

June 17, 2010

As part of my new Martha on Demand initiative, I recently asked readers of this blog to tell me what Martha recipes they would like me to test out for them. There was an overwhelming number of people who asked for veggie burgers. Stephanie in particular requested the veggie burgers in the July issue of Everyday Food and others chimed in saying any veggie burger recipe would be great.  Thanks to all of you who requested it, I gave this recipe a try.

Things did not start off well in the grocery store! I could not find bulgur. I ended up buying a tabbouleh mix, which has bulgur and then spices in an envelope inside. You start by soaking 1/2 cup bulgur in 1 cup boiling water for 30 min. Then you drain it. Coarsely chop 1 can of drained and rinsed pinto beans and add to the bulgur. Shred 2 carrots and add that and an egg. Also add 1 thinly sliced scallion and salt and pepper and 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese.

The recipe says to measure 1/2 cup of the mix as one burger and smush it with a spatula to the right thickness. It was supposed to make 4 burgers, but I ended up with 5. You cook them in a pan with a little olive oil. My mix was really kind of mushy and didn’t hold together too well. The recipe says to cook 3 min per side. Mine took about 20 min before they were cooked through, but I had them all in one large pan so the heat was not very direct. I did successfully transfer most of it to buns. The recipe says to put avocado and bean sprouts on the bun. I used Miracle Whip and avocado.

They looked pretty decent – nicely browned. They tasted really bland though. There’s nothing in them to give them any flavor. It just tasted like plain beans. At the very least this needed onion or garlic and some other seasonings – herbs of some kind. I don’t think I would make this again. It was a lot of work with not much taste, unfortunately! A big disappointment. My kids hated it, but they aren’t veggie burger fans in general. I love Gardenburgers, but this didn’t measure up at all.

I’ll be making some of the other Martha on Demand requests made on the other thread in my continuing Martha on Demand series, but if you have any requests, go ahead and post them here. I’m always open to suggestions and it’s great when people post specific Martha recipes they want me to try.

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Martha On Demand

June 10, 2010

I’ve decided to shake things up a bit. I’m officially calling on you (yes, you, anyone who reads this blog!) to tell me what Martha recipes you want me to make. I’d love to get reader suggestions and then I’ll do one a week or so. I’m thinking I’ll occasionally post a call for suggestions to keep the well filled. I’ll try to do one recipe every week and will post my results here for all to see. So if there’s a Martha recipe you’ve been wanting to try and wondered if it was any good, leave me a comment and I’ll test drive it for you. Simple or complicated, it doesn’t matter.

I would especially love it if you would spread the word. Here’s a tweet that could be posted:

@MarthaAndMeBlog is doing #Martha on Demand – tell her what you want her to make!

Or feel free to Facebook it. The more input the better.

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