Meet Hezzah! Hezzah is one of my single friends. We've known each other since we were babes in arms. Start writing your wedding vows now, gentlemen, because this woman’s a catch. Her real name is “Heather,” but my Austrian mother couldn’t pronounce that, so Hezzah it became and remains to this day.
Hezzah doesn’t like cooking. It’s her dirty little secret, so keep it to yourself. Hezzah has been our house guest this week, so naturally, I pressed her into service, forcing her to cook and clean while I do Important Intellectual Things - like writing this blog for you. I’m going to give you Hezzah’s special recipe for Crab Cakes with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Rice. Here’s how Hezzah makes it!
For six crab cakes, take stairs or elevator one floor below Ron and Nicole’s apartment. Proceed to fish store (located directly below R & N’s kitchen) to peruse seafood selection. Using cash or credit card, purchase six crab cakes. Return to R & N’s apartment. Fake it and pretend you made crab cakes while N was writing blog.
Prepare rice. Here’s Hezzah’s recipe for that! Ask R to dislodge himself from TV set to measure and rinse rice. Add water and rice to rice cooker. Set timer and return to TV.
Third step: Prepare vegetables. Hezzah’s sprecial recipe follows for this, too. Ask N to stop blogging and start chopping. N tells Hezzah to take a flying leap. Hezzah then takes knife and … not wanting to spend time in the slammer, starts chopping. So do this:
Use 3 or 4 tbsp. oil, for frying
Stir-fry vegetables in wok on medium-low heat, adding one at a time:
¼ of a sweet onion
1 inch of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
3 or 4 small young, tender carrots, sliced into rounds (Note: Cut off tops and stems and feed to poodle. Hezzah’s poodle is part of the package. Love her, love her dog)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into rounds (Feed poodle leftover sweet potato)
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
12 mushrooms, halved or quartered, depending on size (Hezzah - having had two glasses of wine by this time - threw the mushrooms into the wok from across the room, slam-dunk style)
½ red bell pepper, in slivers
½ medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into rounds
½ broccoli flowerets
(At this point, Hezzah's had three glasses of wine. She announced to the Blogosphere: “Let me cook for-r-r you, Dollinks! I vill make you a vonder-r-rful dinner-r-r!”)
Dip six purchased crab cakes into Panko bread crumbs.
Make room to fry three crab cakes at a time, browning on one side. Pour ¼ c. sweet and sour Thai sauce over crab cakes. Turn and brown second side, pouring additional ¼ c. sweet and sour Thai sauce over crab cakes.
(R & N have begun to salivate over Hezzah’s meal. Hezzah has begun to salivate over all the men in Croatia, Russia, Brazil, El Salvador, and Taiwan who will be anxious to meet her after they read this blog.) To quote my dear single friend, who is now sipping her wine with a straw: “Vere is zis Hezzah? Vere does she lif? How do I get hold of her? I vant to marry her! Ja Ja!” Those last two words were Hezzah’s acceptance speech. Come and get her, guys!
Add clutch of snap peas to crab cakes and vegetables. Move vegetables to upper sides of wok and add remaining crab cakes. Hezzah is now pouring her fourth glass of wine. Her motto: “Never have an empty glass!” Her other motto: “Use local wine - not for the pot, but for the cook!” I suspect she’s angling for a free case, because she’s hoping I have a wine sponsor. Alas! I do not.
When crab cakes are fully cooked, add 4 or 5 sliced baby bok choy. While bok choy is cooking, feed poodle again. Allow me to move the microphone closer to Hezzah, to capture every word: “A handful of ze Cr-r-runchies for ze poodle! Ze kibble for ze poodle! Ze canned dog food! Und some of Nicole’s leftover Cheese Soufflé from last night’s dinner for ze poodle-oodle-oooo!”
Hezzah talks this way when she’s had a glass or two (or four). Cover veggies and crab cakes and let steam for 2 min. Spoon over rice. Accept adulation and applause and graciously take a bow. Gobble, gobble, R & N! Thank you, Hezzah! Danke schön, Hezzah, for working so hard! Now have a little rest before you tackle the dishes. How Ron and I love having house guests!
|Hezzah prepares to peel ... a sweet potato!|
|Sliver those bell peppers, Hezzah!|
|Two glasses of wine: "Ze zucchini!"|
|Stir-fry those veggies!|
|Crab cakes, before cooking|
|Ohhhhh, so good! Cook, Hezzah, cook!|
|Hezzah, plugging her favorite commercial Thai sauce|
|Hezzah's one True Love|
|True Love's dinner - no crab cakes for him!|
|Hezzah's Crab Cakes with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Rice|
|Hezzah's secret ingredient|