Category Archives: Fish

Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Watermelon Pico de Gallo

Hello my dear friends and readers! Several months have come and went since I last visited you, although, much to my surprise, many of you have continued to visit us. To that, I say, thank you. It is always a joy and pleasure to share my adventures in food and life with you. What has kept me away you may ask? Over the last several months I have been hard at work building a community gardens program in my hometown of Greenville, Ohio. As the director, it has been a long road full of ups and downs. After two years of research and just one month away from our proposed launch, we still hadn’t found a property on which to host our first garden project.

With some last minute heroics, and a bit of a scramble, the D.A. Fitzgerald Memorial Garden was born, bringing community garden and hopefully much fresh produce, to the locals. The last few weeks have been filled with plot layouts, bed prep, and feverishly planting. Soon, the fruits (and veggies) of our labors will begin to surface on these pages in the form of fresh produce. I am beyond excited!

It has been quite an atypical May in Ohio and we have seen a bit it of a drought set in and quite a heat wave as of lately. In the midst of all this, we have undertaken a landscaping and yard renovation project of the grandest scale. Think an episode of DIY Network’s Yard Crashers, minus the large work crew and you get the picture…or you can just check out the pictures here to get a feel…

Anywho, so amidst all this hubbub and hot weather, we have not taken a great deal of time to cook like we usually tend to do. After a hard Memorial day (sure it wasn’t Labor day) weekend of yard work, I decided to end the drought of good food with a dish to celebrate the return of summer. Here is a little Grilled Swordfish number with a cool, refreshing Pineapple Water Melon Pico de Gallo-

Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Watermelon Pico de Gallo


Two 4 oz. Swordfish fillets
Pinch of Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fresh pineapple, cubed
2 cups fresh watermelon, cubed
1 Scallion, diced
2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Key Lime rum


Lightly rub swordfish fillets with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and allow to marinate for a bit. Cube Pineapple and Watermelon into small ½ inch chunks. In a small mixing bowl, combine the Pineapple and Watermelon. Add the chopped cilantro, Lime rum, and scallion then toss. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Keep the Pico de Gallo refrigerated until ready to serve. Lightly oil grill grate. Grill steaks for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Plate with Pico de Gallo and Serve.

Serving Suggestion:

Great with either Steamed Rice or Pearl Couscous seasoned with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime!


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Filed under Fish, Quick and Easy

Can You Keep a Secret?

“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.” –A.A.Milne

“And last, but definitely not the least, I wish you food for your tummy.”

A.A.Milne being the intellectual mind and playwright behind the eternal classic Winnie the Pooh. If I were Winnie the Pooh, with his ever insatiable appetite, I would surely wish for honey. In many ways, I guess you could say that I am very Pooh-like. You see, to me, and to many others, food is love. I’ve said it before- no greater way exists to share your love for another than to nourish their body and soul with but a tiny morsel or bite.

So, when the occasion did rise to invite a few friends, new and old, to come by our humble abode for an impromptu dinner party, my main aim was to roll out all the stops and shower my guests with a full fledged, food fueled love fest!

When I was but a wee lad, I can recall my parents reveling in dinner parties of the grandest scale. Food and drink would abound and I can recall the hubbub of conversation, laughter and rollicking good times. Music was played and trays of delectable bites were placed before the guests from which to graze. A potluck of courses would ensue and I recall the look of divine contentment lingering on everyone’s faces as the evening began to wane…or maybe that was the end result of imbibing in a few too many cocktails?

Nevertheless, the indelible lore of the supper club still lingers in my mind. If you explore it’s origins a bit, you find Wikipedia describes them as such:

Supper club in United States is an American dining establishment generally found in the Upper Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. These establishments typically are located on the edge of town in rural areas. They were traditionally thought of as a “destination” where patrons would go to spend the whole evening, from cocktail hour to enjoying night club style entertainment after dinner. They feature a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

Having their birth, in part, during the latter part of Prohibition, the supper club in its earliest form was a bit of a reclusive endeavor. With folks dodging the law in order to imbibe in a few stiff drinks as an aperitif followed by a substantial intake of food to sloth it all off, the secret supper club served as an oasis from the troubles of life. We chose to keep our little affair a secret because this very blog you are reading, in conjunction with several other endeavors I have been recently undertaking, are creating quite a stir. The end result being a whispering of murmurs calling for an establishment to be formed by which one might further indulge in what I have so far, only offered to the public visually.

The Secret Supper Club, which has just been hereby outed, took place. The destination: our house on the edge of town. A decent spread was put out, drinks and good times where had by all and it has been decided to be a good and rewarding thing. Just so happens we might do it again. When and where? They are up in the air, because, after all…IT’S A SECRET!.

Beautiful photography provided by our friends Rob and Amber Garrett at Look Here Photography.


Supper Club guest, Michael Glass, leaves his lasting impression.

For now, we will resort to the usual and share the after effects with you. For the next coming week or so, I will relay a few of the dishes we partook in and share their recipes. Enjoy!

The Prelude- mixed charcuterie plate

Spring Crab Salad with Avocado, Peach and Jalapeño


½ pound jumbo lump fresh crab meat

½ Hass avocado, skin and pt removed, cut into 1/4inh cubes

1 one medium peach, cut into ¼ inch cubes

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

½ cup red onion, finely diced

¼ cup loosely pack cilantro leaves, finely chopped

½  jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch of fresh ground pepper

"Secret Recipe" Bourbon Bacon Jam

June Menu- Secret Supper Club

Appetizers/Hors D’Oeuvers


Charcuterie Platter

Liguria Salame

Tuscano Salame

Veneto Salame

Spicy Capicollo

Soppressata di Calabria

Cheese Platter

Bourbon Bacon Jam

White Wine and Rosemary Pickled Portobella’s

Crab Salad Cups

Cucumber with Herbed Cheese




First Course

  • Spring Ceviche with Shrimp, Avocado, and Cucumber


Second Course


  • Arugula, Grilled Peach and Mozzarella Salad with a Balsamic Honey Dressing


Third Course

  • Caramelized Carrot and Ginger Soup


Fourth Course

  • Spring Pea and Bacon Risotto with Braised Pea Tendrils


Main Course

  • Sesame-Ginger Beef/Tofu and Shiitake Kebabs in Citrus Hoisin Glaze


Dessert Course


  • Avocado Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis, Crème’ Anglaise and Fresh Mint Ice Cream


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Filed under appetizers, bourbon, condiments, crab dishes, dinner party menu, hors d'oeuvres, Salad, secret supper club, Uncategorized

Sure Don’t Make Them Like They Used Too

American, land of the free and home of the brave. Once she was thought to be the land of milk and honey. Full of splendor and promise, she was the belle of the ball, exuding opulence and grandeur. During the late 1800’s, heavy industrialization proliferated throughout the eastern states of a still young America. Fortunes where made and the rich, luxuriated in their lavish lifestyles of wealth and abundance. This sprang forth the Gilded Age, an era of rapid economic and population growth in the United States during the post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction eras of the late 19th century. The term “Gilded Age” was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their book The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.

The Gold Boom’s of California in 1848 and Colorado in 1859 further expanded both the population and fortunes of our great nation. The Colorado gold rush, which followed approximately a decade after the California Gold Rush, was accompanied by a dramatic influx of emigrants into the region of the Rocky Mountains and exemplified by the phrase “Pikes Peak or Bust”, a reference to the mountain in the Front Range that guided many early prospectors to the region westward over the Great Plains. The prospectors provided the first major white population in the region, leading to the creation of many early towns in the region, including Denver and Boulder, as well as many other smaller mining towns, some of which have survived.

Many struck off to Colorado, looking to stake their own claim on fortune. Henry Cordes Brown, a carpenter-turned-real-estate entrepreneur from Ohio, came to Denver in 1860 after a number of adventures in California, Peru, Nebraska and St. Louis, Missouri. In Denver, Brown purchased several acres of land, including a triangular plot at the corners of Broadway, Tremont and 17th street, where he grazed his cow.

Brown originally left his Ohio home in 1860, planning on striking it rich in California.  However, as his family passed through Denver, his wife liked it so much, she reportedly said to him, “Mr. Brown, thou may press on to California if such be thy wish. I shall remain here.”

Making Denver their home, the Browns soon homesteaded 160 acres on what would later become known as Capitol Hill.  A shrewd businessman, Brown soon developed the acreage into the most influential neighborhood in the city, where the wealthy began to build palatial brownstone mansions up and down Grant and Sherman Streets.

Henry made a fortune from his real estate development; however the economic panic of 1877 nearly destroyed him.  He was forced to sell his palatial estate to Horace Tabor for $50,000, but the enterprising Brown soon recovered his fortune and by 1880 was worth nearly five million dollars, making him one of the wealthiest men in Colorado.

When the Windsor Hotel, one of Denver’s most elegant at the time, would not let Brown enter because he was dressed in cowboy attire, Brown decided to build his own hotel, and in the process, outdo the Windsor. In 1888, he retained architect Frank E. Edbrooke to design a new hotel, the likes of which had never before been seen in Denver.

The Brown Palace Hotel in 1898

Edbrooke designed Brown’s hotel in the Italian Renaissance style, using Colorado red granite and Arizona sandstone for the building’s exterior. For a finishing touch, artist James Whitehouse was commissioned to create 26 medallions carved in stone, each depicting a native Rocky Mountain animal. The hotel’s “silent guests” can still be seen between the seventh floor windows on the hotel’s exterior.

The Atrium of The Brown Palace, Denver,Colorado.

For the interior, Edbrooke designed an atrium lobby, with balconies rising eight floors above ground, surrounded by cast iron railings with ornate grillwork panels. No one knows for sure whether it was done intentionally, but two of the grillwork panels were installed – and remain – upside down. Edbrooke imported onyx from Mexico for the lobby, the Grand Salon (now the Onyx Room) on the second floor, and the eighth floor ballroom. The hotel was hailed as the second fire-proof building in America. No wood was used for the floors and walls, which were instead made of hollow blocks of porous terracotta fireproofing.

After an expenditure of $1.6 million – a remarkable sum for the time – and another $400,000 for furniture, The Brown Palace Hotel opened on Aug. 12, 1892. It had 400 guest rooms (compared to 241 today) that rented for between $3 and $5 a night. There were two banquet halls, a ladies’ ordinary (lounge), and a Grand Salon. The lobby housed a smoking room, a men’s bar, a ladies’ waiting room, and at least 18 stores. Today, there are four restaurants, 11 banquet rooms (all but one on the second floor), a gift shop, spa, floral shop and business center.

There were, and still are, many interesting and unique features about The Brown Palace. Because of its triangular shape, all rooms face the street. Early on, guests were asked whether they preferred morning or afternoon sun. The hotel derives all of its water from its own original artesian well. A huge carousel oven, at least half as old as the hotel and one of only three known to be in existence, still turns out the melba toast, macaroons and other baked goods on a daily basis in The Brown Palace bakery.

The Brown Palace Hotel has been open for business every minute of every day since Aug. 12, 1892. Unlike most and perhaps even all historic hotels, The Brown Palace has never closed for renovation. Instead, it has been remodeled, refurbished, updated and redecorated on an ongoing basis, including the latest $6.5 million restoration of the top two floors, and $3 million for the newly constructed Spa at The Brown Palace.

Standing the test of time, The Brown Palace today remains what it was originally meant to be – a grand, unprecedented hotel. Indeed, The Brown Palace is still known for many of its original qualities: its unusual triangular shape, its stunning, eight-story atrium lobby, its elegant atmosphere, and perhaps most importantly, its ability to treat weary travelers like royalty.

Afternoon tea, a longheld tradition at The Brown Palace.

The Brown Palace is truly a rare gem. Few places exist in this day and age which exude the same grandeur and regalia. They sure don’t make them like they used too! A chance last minute business meeting landed us in Denver last week- on a long Memorial Day weekend, nevertheless. We stayed at the Brown Palace, where we did indeed feel like we had stepped back in time and where we also felt like we were being treated like royalty.


What has this all got to do with my meager little food blog, you may ask?


 We where also very pleased to find out Denver happens to be a splendid little food town. Here are a few highlights from our food-filled adventure in the Mile High city…

Ship Tavern

located at The Brown Palace, Denver Colorado

Truffle French Fries at Ship Tavern, Brown Palace.

Ship Tavern: The Brown Palace, Denver,Colorado

Ahi Tuna Burger

The Delectable Egg

The California Benedict

Stuffed French Toast

Lou’s Food Bar

1851  West 38th AVE.

Denver, Colorado

Beef Carpaccio, Parmesan, Arugula

White Bean, Harcots Vert, Hard Cooked Eggs and Sherry Vinaigrette

TAG Continental Social Food

TAG is located on bustling Larimer Square in Denver’s historic LoDo downtown district.
1441 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80202

Sample Menu


Lemon Herbed Sea Bass

Wild Boar Chop


Fresh Mint  Ice Cream Recipe

The Windy Saddle

1110 Washington Avenue

Golden, Colorado  80401

Everythings Golden!

Windy Saddle Cafe

Tuna Salad Sandwich and Chipotle Turkey Club

Afternoon Tea

The Brown Palace Atrium

Tea for Two!

Housemade Pastries

Tea Sandwiches

God save the Queen!

Room Service

The Brown Palace

A fond farewell!

Denver has a fabulous food scene indeed. We just touched the tip of the iceberg in the four days we where there. On a return trip, and very soon, I might add, we hope to visit Table 6,  Riajo, Bistro Vendome,  and Panzano as well as the many other outstanding eateries, food trucks and other culinary delights which Denver has to offer!

Notable Guests at The Brown Palace

Since Theodore Roosevelt visited in 1905 en route to a bear hunt in the Colorado Rockies, every U.S. President except Calvin Coolidge has stayed at the Brown Palace Hotel. Dwight Eisenhower even ran his 1952 presidential campaign from offices on the second floor of the hotel.

During World War II, troops were quartered at the Brown Palace Hotel and soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division were known to rappel from the balconies, much to the management’s chagrin.

Pop-star Billy Joel once joined the lobby pianist for a duet, and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor’s cat was once lost in the hotel heating system.

The Beatles stayed at the Brown Palace during their 1964 tour and the hotel was inundated with applications from young women eager to work as housekeepers during their stay.

The Rolling Stones brought more than 200 pieces of luggage during their two-night stay in 2003.

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Carrots, Curry, dessert, Eggs, Meat Dishes, Pork, root vegetables, Salmon, sauces, Side Dish, street food, Tuna, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Don’t Give Up The Ship

When you cook, No greater compliment exists than when someone asks you to share a recipe, assist them in their kitchen efforts or comes to you for advice. I am finding, the longer I cook, the more frequently this tends to happen.

Such was the case recently when an old friend sent me an email asking me to help her out. You see, she is currently acting as the “cookie” on an historical re-enactment project called the Flagship US Niagara.

Docked at the Erie Maritime Museum, in Erie, PA, the Flagship US Niagara serves as a reminder of a very critical piece of the history of the United States. In service during the time of the War of 1812, the real Flagship Niagara, under the command of Oliver Hazard Perry, was very crucial in our countries defeat of the British Naval fleets which allowed us to go on toe rather decisive victory in the War and eventually go on to open up the west to settle the remainder of the United States.

Later called the Hero of the Lake, At his request, Perry was given command of United States naval forces on Lake Erie during the War of 1812. U.S. Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton had charged prominent merchant seaman Daniel Dobbins with building the American fleet on Presque Isle Bay at Erie, Pennsylvania, and Perry was named chief naval officer.

On September 10, 1813, Perry’s command fought a successful fleet action against a task force of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Lake Erie. It was at the outset of this battle that Perry famously said, “If a victory is to be gained, I will gain it.” Initially, the exchange of gunfire favored the British. Perry’s flagship, the USS Lawrence, was so severely disabled in the encounter that the British commander, Robert Heriot Barclay, thought that Perry would surrender it, and sent a small boat to request that the American vessel pull down its flag. Faithful to the words of his battle flag, “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP” (a paraphrase of the dying words of Captain James Lawrence, the ship’s namesake and Perry’s friend), Perry ordered the crippled Lawrence to fire a final salvo and then had his men row him a half-mile (0.8 km) through heavy gunfire to transfer his command to the USS Niagara. Once aboard, Perry dispatched the Niagara’s commander, Captain Jesse Elliot, to bring the other schooners into closer action while he steered the Niagara toward the damaged British ships. Breaking through the British line, the American force pounded Barclay’s ships until they could offer no effective resistance and surrendered. Although he had won the battle aboard the Niagara, he received the British surrender on the deck of the recaptured Lawrence to allow the British to see the terrible price his men had paid. Perry’s battle report to General William Henry Harrison was famously brief: “We have met the enemy and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.”

This was the first time in history that an entire British naval squadron had surrendered, and every captured ship was successfully returned to Presque Isle. Although the engagement was small compared to Napoleonic naval battles such as the Battle of Trafalgar, the victory had disproportionate strategic importance, opening Canada up to possible invasion, while simultaneously protecting the entire Ohio Valley. The loss of the British squadron directly led to the critical Battle of the Thames, the rout of British forces by Harrison’s army, the death of Tecumseh, and the breakup of his Indian alliance. Along with the Battle of Plattsburgh, it was one of only two significant fleet victories of the war.

This brings us to modern times and the Flagship Niagara replica, which now calls the Erie Maritime Museum its home. The museum opened its doors May 21, 1998. As home port of the Flagship Niagara, the Erie Maritime Museum presents the story of the Niagara as the reconstructed flagship of Pennsylvania and the warship that won the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. Offering a wide range of multi-media and interactive exhibits, and coupling with lively interpretive programs, Erie Maritime Museum vividly illustrates Niagara’s history and the region’s rich maritime history.

At a time when our country is reeling from record unemployment, declining economics and political unrest, never has this phrase stood as a more fitting or worthy “Battle Cry” which to rally behind!

Here are a dozen classic Chowder, Stew and Soup recipes I sent to my “cookie” friend on the Flagship US Niagara to stymie off hunger and fuel their bodies while hoisting sails on deck!

Tomato Bisque


1 28 can Whole Tomatoes

1 cup water

1 Medium Sweet Onion, Chopped

2 Tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 pinch raw sugar


In dutch over, combine 1 can fire roasted tomatoes and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer. Add garlic, celery salt, sea salt, white pepper and nutmeg and cover. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add onions. Sauté until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and add to food processor. Add tomatoes and mascarpone then puree until smooth.

Return to dutch oven and simmer over medium heat until warm. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Clam Chowder


* 4 slices bacon

* 1/2 cup chopped onion

* 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed

* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

* 1 cup bottled clam juice

* 1 cup half-and-half

* 2 (6 ounce) cans minced clams

* salt and pepper to taste

* 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels, reserving the bacon fat in the pan, crumble and set aside.

2. In the same saucepan with the bacon fat, saute the onion and potatoes for 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well to coat.

3. Pour in the clam juice, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

4. Add the half-and-half and minced clams and season with salt and pepper to taste. Finally, whisk in the heavy cream, if desired. Allow to heat through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and crumbled bacon. (Note: Do not boil if adding cream.)

Classic beef Stew


* 4 pounds bottom round, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

* 1 cup all-purpose flour

* 1/3 cup olive oil (plus more if needed)

* 2 large onions, diced (2 cups)

* 1 6-ounce can tomato paste

* 1 cup dry red wine

* 1 pound potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

* 1/2 pound baby carrots (about 2 cups)

* 2 cups beef broth

* 1 tablespoon kosher salt

* 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

* 1 bay leaf

* 1 cup frozen peas, thawed


1. Coat the beef in the flour. Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to a heavy casserole or a heavy, covered saucepan or Dutch oven.

2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions; transfer to the casserole. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add to the casserole. Stir in the broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf.

3. Cook the casserole in a 325° F oven for 4 hours, or in the saucepan or Dutch oven on the stovetop over low heat for about 2 1/2 hours. In either case, stir occasionally and add up to 1 cup of additional beef broth if necessary. Add the potatoes and carrots during the last hour of cooking, and the peas just before serving.

Classic Gazpacho


* 2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound)

* 1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded

* 1 medium onion

* 1 large roasted red bell pepper (available in jars)

* 3 cups tomato juice

* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

* 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

* 1/4 cup olive oil

* 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

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Cut 1 tomato, 1/2 cucumber and 1/2 onion into 1-inch pieces and transfer to processor. Add bell pepper and puree. Transfer to bowl. Add tomato juice, cilantro, vinegar, oil and hot pepper sauce. Seed remaining tomato. Dice remaining tomato and cucumber and onion halves and add to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.) Serve well chilled.

Carrot Soup with Orange and Tarragon


* 1 tablespoon butter

* 1 1-pound bag classic-cut peeled carrots

* 3/4 cup chopped onion

* 3 cups low-salt chicken broth

* 1/2 cup orange juice

* 1 tablespoon brandy

* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

* Fresh tarragon sprigs

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Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and onion; sauté until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add broth; cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat, uncover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in orange juice, brandy, and chopped tarragon. Simmer 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish soup with tarragon sprigs and serve.

10 Minute Shrimp and Bean Stew


* 2 tbsps olive oil

* 3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin

* 1 cup tomato sauce

* 2 cups water

* 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

* 1 tsp dried thyme, or 3-4 sprigs of fresh

* 1 can (15-oz) butter beans, drained

* 1 can (15-oz) white cannellini beans, drained

* 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

* 1 lemon, juiced

* salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic slices on medium-low heat, until the garlic begins to sizzle. Cook for about 1 minute, being careful not to brown the garlic. Add the tomato sauce, water, pepper flakes, thyme, and beans. Turn up heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the shrimp, and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked. Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot in bowls with bread.

Bacon and Potato Chowder


* 8 slices bacon

* 2 teaspoons olive oil

* 1/2 onion, chopped

* 1/2 cup diced carrots

* 1 stalk celery, diced

* 1 quart chicken broth

* 4 cups cubed potatoes

* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

* 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

* salt to taste

* sour cream, as needed (optional)


Cook bacon in a soup pan until crisp. Remove, and reserve. Discard bacon fat, and add olive oil to the pan. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté on medium-low until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth, potatoes, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cheese, until melted. Dice bacon and add to soup. Seasoning with salt, and serve hot with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.



* 1/4 cup olive oil

* 1/4 cup butter

* 1 rib celery, chopped

* 1 onion, diced

* 1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)

* 2 cups clam juice or fish stock

* 2 cups white wine

* 4 cloves crushed garlic

* 1 lemon, juiced

* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

* 1 bay leaf

* 1 teaspoons dried basil

* 1 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 Dungeness crab (about 2-lbs), cracked and cleaned, or 1-lb frozen crabmeat thawed

* 2 pounds walleye fillet, cut into 1-in slices

* 24 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined

* 12 mussels

* 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped


1. In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley. Simmer on low, uncovered, for one hour. Add a splash of water if the sauce gets to thick. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.

2. Add the crab, shrimp, and halibut, and simmer covered another five minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Turn off the heat, and stir in the Italian parsley.

Brunswick Stew


* 1 cup chopped onion

* 2 tablespoons bacon drippings

* 2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken parts

* salt and pepper

* 3 cups water

* 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes

* 1/4 cup dry sherry

* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

* 1 pound fresh lima beans

* 1/2 cup okra

* 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

* 2 tablespoons butter


In a stockpot or Dutch oven, cook chopped onion in the bacon grease. Add the chicken seasoned with salt and pepper. When chicken is browned on all sides, pour off the excess fat. Add the water, tomatoes, sherry, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook slowly over low heat for 1/2 hour, then add the lima beans, okra, fresh or frozen corn kernels from the cob. Simmer 1 hour. Add the butter and cook 1/2 hour longer.

Sausage, Potato and Zucchini Stew


* 1 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 pound spicy, garlicky, and possibly smoky sausage (Italian, Cajun, Chorizo, etc.), cut in 1-inch pieces

* 1 onion, chopped

* 6 zucchini, cut in 2-inch pieces

* 1 1/2 pound small Yukon gold potatoes, cut same size as zucchini

* 1 quart vegetable or chicken broth

* 1 bay leaf

* 6 springs fresh thyme

* water as needed

* salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

* 1 cup cherry tomatoes

* 1 tablespoon sliced fresh chives (and/or any fresh herb)

* 6 thick slices of crusty bread


In a Dutch oven or soup pot, brown the sausage and onion in the olive oil, over medium-heat. Add the zucchini, potatoes, broth, bay leaf, thyme, and a big pinch of salt. Add enough water to just cover.

Note: I didn’t use garlic in this recipe since the sausage I used was quite garlicky. If you’d like, you can add a few minced cloves just before the onions are soft.

Bring to a simmer over high-heat. Reduce to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the stew has thickened slightly. Adjust with water or broth as the stew cooks if it is getting to dry. Use a spoon to skim any excess fat that pools on the surface.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn off heat and stir in the cherry tomatoes and chives, or other fresh herbs. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Stuffed Pepper Soup


* 2 pounds ground beef

* 2 quarts hot water

* 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce

* 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

* 2 cups cooked long grain rice

* 2 cups chopped green peppers

* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

* 2 teaspoons salt

* 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

* 1 teaspoon pepper


* In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until peppers are tender. Yield: 10 servings.

Classic Minestrone Soup


* 10 large ripe plum tomatoes (or two 14 oz cans of tomatoes, drained)

* 3 medium carrots

* 2 medium leeks

* 5 ribs of celery

* 2 red onions

* 1 cabbage

* 1 tbsp olive oil

* 2 clv garlic, finely sliced

* 1 heaped Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

* 3 cup ham, chicken, or vegetable stock

* 3 good handfuls of fresh basil, torn

* 6 oz spaghetti

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* extra-virgin olive oil

* Parmesan cheese, grated


Score the tomatoes and place briefly in boiling water. Then skin, seed and roughly dice. Peel or scrape the carrots, quarter lengthwise and chop. Remove the outer leaves of the leeks, quarter lengthwise, wash well and chop. Peel the celery with peeler to remove the stringy bits, then cut in half lengthwise and chop. Peel and chop the onions. When you are chopping all these vegetables, try to make them more or less the same size (around inch dice. Wash and roughly chop the cabbage.

Put the olive oil into a warmed thick-bottomed pan and cook the carrots, leeks, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary over medium heat until just tender (about 15 minutes). Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming if necessary. Add the cabbage, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the basil and the pasta, which will absorb the flavors of the soup. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or more. Taste and season. The soup should be quite thick, full in flavor, and the cabbage shouldn’t be overcooked–you want to retain its deep color.

  US Flagship Niagara

Erie Maritime Museum Homeport

Flagship NIAGARA

150 East Front Street

Erie, Pa 16507

ph. 814.452-2744

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Filed under beef, Carrots, Chili, Chowder, Fish, Italian, Pork, Soup, Spicy, stews, tailgate parties, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Oakleaf Lettuce and Citrus Honey Dressing


Life around our house can get crazy. Sure, we are a work at home family but with 3 teen age kids, two dogs and oodles of side projects or activities, we can all be fairly overloaded with “stuff” to do. Nothing destresses me from all the hustle and bustle more than spending time in the kitchen. I have never looked at cooking as a  chore,  but more as a pleasurable means to an end. Hacking away at veggies and other food as you cook can be quite therapeutic indeed!


Nevertheless, there are days when our schedule is so overloaded the idea of a decent meal is left to the mercy of dinning out or throwing together something quick with what ever is on hand. Not ever meal can be an iron chef affair with multi-course offerings and lengthy prep times. A quick salmon recipe with a nice, healthy salad is often times our go-to meal when we are left with little spare time or energy.  Nothing beats quick, easy and healthy.

Here is a quick and easy twist on a tasty Salmon dish-


serves 4

prep time: 15 minutes


Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Oakleaf Lettuce and Citrus Honey Dressing

4 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tblspoons Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tblspoon Organic Honey

1 Tblspoon Toasted Sesame Seeds

1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Stir together balsamic, vinegar, honey, and sesame oil.

Pat salmon dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Increase heat to high and sear salmon, skin sides up, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn fish over and sear until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Transfer salmon to plates and carefully add vinegar mixture to skillet (liquid will bubble vigorously and steam). Simmer, stirring, until thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 2 minutes.

Spoon glaze over salmon.

Citrus Honey Dressing


¼ cup Orange Marmalade

2 Tablspoons Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tablspoon Honey

1 Tablspoon Fresh Orange Juice

1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

½ teaspoon Maple Syrup

1 orange

Salt to taste


Combine marmalade, vinegar, honey, orange juice, sesame oil and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Can be made in advanced and refrigerated. Rewhisk before serving. Serve salad with fresh orange sections.

Wine Suggestion:

2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle Reisling

Riesling is a chameleon of a grape, able to produce world class wines that range from bone dry to unctuously sweet. Germany is most closely associated with Riesling, where all styles are made and the range of flavors runs the gamut from steely and crisp with crunchy mineral-driven flavors to fresh lime, apple and peach flavored expressions – even rich honied, candied fruit tones in the great dessert wines.


Filed under condiments, dressings, Fish, garnish, Greens, Salad, Salmon, Uncategorized

Last Hurrah’s for the Waist Line

Fall- That time of year when the leaves get crunchy, the days get longer and the air gets decidedly cooler. As the north wind starts to howl, one needs a little something to warm the insides. We have been exploring the bounty of a fruitful harvest season lately, indulging in more than our share of stews or hearty dishes featuring meats and root vegetables of all sorts. It’s been wonderful experiencing the rich earthiness Mother Nature has so graciously provided us with as we scour the local farmers markets.

Maybe a little to wonderful as this entry is about a slight return to something much lighter, if only for a few days, before we indulge in that grand feast which is Thanksgiving and set sail on the annual glut of the holidays. You can call it a last ditch effort to hold on to some semblance of a healthy weight before packing on that extra layer of insulation to shield us from the harsh winter months.

In a last hurrah of health, I whipped up this light and easy little dish to even out the till and give our waist lines a breather before the gorge fest later this week.

Seared Tuna with Arugula Watercress Salad and Asian Dressing

Searing the tuna well on the outside but leaving it rare on the inside gives you a lovely contrast between the two textures. That said, if you like your tuna cooked through, the salad will still be delicious.

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon fish sauce

6 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)

2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger

1 tablespoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons nori fumi furikake

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (1-lb) sushi-grade tuna steak (about 2 inches thick)

1 lb jicama, peeled

1 bunch arugula (8 oz)

1 bunches watercress (8 oz), tough stems discarded

  • Whisk together olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce and ginger.
  • Combine ground coriander, nori fumi forikake, and kosher salt in a small bowl.
  • Rub vegetable oil all over tuna, then coat with spice mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere.
  • Drizzle non-stick fry pan with extra virgin olive oil, then sear tuna, turning onto all sides, until seared on all sides but still very rare inside, 3-4 minutes total. Transfer tuna to a cutting board and cut across the grain into 8 slices.
  • Julienne jicama using an adjustable-blade slicer fitted with 1/8-inch julienne attachment or using a knife.
  • Toss arugula, watercress and jicama with drizzle with enough dressing to lightly coat, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve tuna over salad and garnish plate with asian watercress sauce(See Recipe). Serve remaining dressing on the side.

Cooks’ notes:

  • The tuna in this recipe will not be fully cooked.


2008 Lapostolle Casa Sauvignon Blanc

2007 Trimbach Reisling

2007  Schlumberger “Prince Abbes” PinotGris

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Filed under Fish, Salad