Cat Convenience for a Chef

See Chef Wabecks feline-friendly recipes.

As advertised in our June issue of CAT FANCY, acclaimed Chef Wabeck shares his specialty recipes that he and his cat Ben Casey love most. To read the full interview with Chef Wabeck, pick up the June issue of CAT FANCY.

These recipes are not recommended as a substitute for cat-specific diets. These meals are predominantly for human consumption. They are meant to be given in small, tablespoon doses to cats no more than a few times per month. Consult your veterinarian before feeding any of these meals to your cat. Bon apptit!

Ben Caseys Purrfectly Grilled Salmon w/ Smoky Bacon & Red Wine Vinaigrette 

Serves 4

2 cups black-eyed peas, cooked (Cooking liquid is reserved for protein-laden lapping.)
4 strips bacon
1 cup green beans (Ben Casey likes to snip the ends himself while the salmon is grilling.)
1 tablespoon chives, minced
½ cup bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter
4 salmon fillets, skin and pin bones carefully removed to avoid choking
4 branches watercress (to aid in digestion not just garnish for kitties!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
red wine vinaigrette

Red Wine Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
2 cups quality red wine — only the best will do!
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (Again, cats attitudes toward this may vary feel free to substitute a mustard that is either less spicy or sweeter.)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Reduce shallot with red wine until ¼ cup remains. Whisk in mustard and olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Preparation: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat grill. Roast bacon until crisp, reserving fat if desired (this should get their attention). Cut into small dice. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. After the ends are snipped, cook green beans until tender, immediately plunging them into ice water to leave them a little crunchy (cats attitudes regarding this may vary). Remove and cut into ½-inch pieces or smaller depending on the size of your cat. Melt butter in a large saut pan; toss breadcrumbs in butter until golden. Brush salmon with olive and season with salt and pepper. (Go easy on the salt — remember it looks great, but its not for you!) Carefully grill salmon until desired temperature is reached about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare, which is how Ben Casey likes it. Remove to a warm place out of your cats reach. Heat a large saut pan, add reserved bacon fat if desired. Add black-eyed peas and some of the cooking liquid. Bring it to a boil. Add green beans, bacon, chives and most of the bread crumbs, reserving a tablespoon for garnish. Cook until the breadcrumbs thicken the mixture. Divide the black eyed peas among four dinner plates. (Ben Casey usually goes for seconds, so keep that in mind.) Top each with a piece of salmon. Drizzle red wine vinaigrette around the salmon. Garnish the salmon with a few pieces of watercress, drizzle with olive oil.

**Rate this recipe and give your comments at our message boards,, under “Cat Health.”**

Smoked Salmon Papusa with Avocado and Pickled Vegetables 

Serves 4

½ cup chopped smoked salmon
½ cup cream cheese
1 cup masa harina (flour made from corn tortillas dough)
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 avocado
Fresh lime juice (as much as you want)
Cilantro (as much as you want, chopped or leaves)
Pickled vegetables

Pickled vegetables
2 cups rice wine vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 2-inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 cup tomatillos, husked and sliced thin
1 small red onion, julienne

Combine all ingredients in pot or pan except for tomatillos and red onion and bring it to a boil. Add tomatillos and onions, transfer to a plastic container, let stand at least overnight.

Preparation: Place smoked salmon and cream cheese in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree until smooth, season with salt and pepper. Combine masa harina and water in a bowl, mix by hand until smooth. Divide into four balls. Using half of the smoked salmon mixture (reserving the other half for garnish), divide and stuff the four masa harina balls. Place each ball on a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, top with more parchment or plastic wrap. Flatten each with a dinner plate to about ¼-inch thick. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Place avocado in a bowl, mash with a fork, season with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet (or several if space and skill allow), treat with pan spray. Brown each papusa, flip and brown the other side (keeping them warm as you go). Cut each papusa into four wedges, transfer to entre plates. Garnish with side-by-side scoops of avocado and remaining smoked salmon atop and center of each papusa, arrange pickled vegetables atop and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

**Rate this recipe and give your comments at our message boards,, under “Cat Health.”**

Seared Shrimp with Pea Shoots, Grilled Eggplant and Tahini-Parsley Emulsion 

Serves 4

1 cup picked Italian parsley leaves (about one bunch)
¼ cup tahini, a sesame seed paste
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 medium eggplant, cut into ½-inch slices
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¾ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup (packed) snow pea shoots
1 tablespoon scallions, cut very thin on the bias

Tahini-parsley emulsion
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook for one minute. Repeat two more times, each with a fresh pot of water. Refresh under cold water. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil, blanch parsley for 15 seconds, immediately plunge into cold water. Combine cooked parsley, tahini and yogurt in a blender. Puree until smooth, adding water to thin as necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

Preparation: Preheat grill. Toss eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove, cut into batons. Heat a large saut pan with the canola oil. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, saut over high heat until shrimp are just underdone, about 1 minute per side. Add eggplant to combine. Divide shrimp and eggplant mixture among four entre plates. Spoon tahini-parsley emulsion around the food and plates. Divide pea shoots among the four plates, sprinkle with the scallions. Serve immediately.

**Rate this recipe and give your comments at our message boards,, under “Cat Health.”**

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Article Categories:
Cats · Lifestyle