Category Archives: Vegetables

Sweet Corn Ice Cream Shortcakes with Blueberry Compote, seriously!

When I think of summer eating, several things come to mind. Sweet corn, fresh tomatoes on the vine, watermelon and…least we forget- ICE CREAM! Lots and lots of homemade ice cream. When I was a kid, homemade ice cream meant the hand churned kind. You would spend an hour, or so, sweat beading up on your fore head, turning that crank over and over, until it happened. Cool, creamy magic!

The summer time harvest was never short of fresh, delicious flavors to include in your cold, refreshing treat. Honest to goodness vanilla, decadent chocolate, an assortment of fresh fruit, berries and let’s not forget fresh mint! Never did it cross my mind, until this past week, to include sweet corn to that list. That is, until having read an article in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine- Always crafty and inventive, that Martha.

Working from her suggested recipe, I put a few spins on it to call it uniquely mine. I am a bit partial to the use of various liquors when formulating my dessert recipes. As was the case with this corn ice cream, I added another rich, decadent layer by including a wee splash of  The Kracken Black Spiced Rum along with a bit of black sugar. What exactly is black sugar? It’s essentially a homemade brown sugar which includes the addition of Blackstrap Molasses. Similar to Fancy Molasses, it is dark and has a slightly bitter, robust flavor. It is even taughted for its health benefits.

I have to be honest; initially sweet corn ice cream didn’t present itself as being all that appealing. But come on, when is Martha every wrong and pair it with something sweet like this blueberry compote, and it was a sure fire winner! I experimented with the family, a tough batch of food critiques for sure, at our Fathers day gathering yesterday. It was voted a hit hands down!

If you are looking for something a little different in the dessert department, then this will fit the bill nicely. Speaking of dessert, a HUGE thank you to my children for gifting me with an excellent, new cookbook for Fathers day featuring said meal course. I will put it to good use RIGHT AWAY!



4 ears corn, shucked

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon The Kracken Black Spiced Rum

2 teaspoons black sugar (see instructions)

1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

¼ teaspoon pink peppercorns

9 large egg yolks


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cups low-fat butter milk

½ cup whole milk

Heavy cream for brushing

Course sugar, for sprinkling


1 pint fresh blueberries

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Make the ice cream: Carefully cut kernels from cobs, transfer to a saucepan. Break cobs in half; add to saucepan. Stir in milk, cream, ½ cup granulated sugar, rum, black sugar, pink salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Let cool; discard cobs.

Place corn mixture in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk together egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl. Whisk 1 cup corn mixture into yolks, then return entire mixture to saucepan, whisking constantly, until custard thickens and can easily coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

Strain custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down solids; discard solids. Transfer bowl to ice-water bath, and refrigerate for an hour.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

Meanwhile, make the shortcakes: Preheat oven to 400°. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and 1 ¼ teaspoons salt twice into a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small clumps form. Make a well in the center, and pour in buttermilk. Mix until a shaggy mixture forms.

Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, spoon in batter until about ¾ way full. Place in the oven and cook for about 16 minutes. Brush tops of the shortcakes with heavy creak and sprinkle with course sugar. Finish baking for two to four minutes, until cakes are golden brown.

Make the blueberry compote: Bring 1 cup of blueberries, the granulated sugar, water, and lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until berries burst and liquid thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining blueberries. Let cool.

Split shortcakes in half, top each with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of blueberry compote, then sandwich with shortcake tops.


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Filed under dessert, Ice Cream, Vegetables

Spring Pea and Bacon Risotto

Risotto. A mere mention of the word strikes fear in many a cook. Seasoned or other wise, utter it and you may see someone break a sweat. All one has to do is watch an episode of the Food Networks “Chopped” to witness the sight first hand. For many, sometimes myself included, the risotto can be somewhat of a mystery. To properly prepare one requires a certain amount of finesse and the proper loving care in its preparation. When creating a risotto that achieves greatness, virtually no short cuts exist.

It doesn’t have to be hard to make a good risotto. A good quality Italian risotto rice is preferable. Arborio is the one most commonly available in American markets. The grains of this rice are short and stubby and absorb liquid without becoming gluey (unless they are overcooked). The rice is stirred constantly, with hot stock added a cup at a time, until it has reached a point of softness but with the grains retaining their shape. They should be creamy, with a slightly resistant core and should not stick together or to the bottom of the pan. The whole procedure usually takes about 20 minutes.

Like with anything else in life one wishes to master, a good risotto takes patience and time to perfect. Practice makes perfect and there are no shortages of the possible variations on this classic dish which you can experiment with. This Spring Pea and Bacon variation is a good example.


6 ounces hickory smoked bacon

2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small sweet onion, minced

2 cups Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

7 cups simmering organic vegetable stock

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups fresh pea tendrils


In a skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. About 6 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels; reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.

In a food processor, puree half of the peas with 1 cup of water. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add onion and cook over medium heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is evenly coated with oil. Add the white wine and simmer until almost evaporated. About 3minutes.

Add enough hot stock to just cover the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the stock has been absorbed. Add more stock to cover the rice. Continue cooking and

A recent post by Secret Supper guest Michael Glass.

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Filed under Bacon, Greens, Peas, Rice, Risotto, Vegetables

Simply delicious: Caramelized Carrot and Ginger Soup

Easy Peasy!

The truest of beauty lie in simplicity. A sunrise at the break of day. Strolling under a starry night. The taste of a fresh tomato as it is plucked from the garden as you take a juicy bite, the warmth of the sun still lingering as you experience its tart acidity. Life is defined by the purest of moments.

Add this caramelized carrot and ginger soup to the list. It’s so simple, yet so tasty, it’s almost stupid. The ingredients are as such:

1 ½ lbs. baby carrots

1 Stick of unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon plain yogurt

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 pinch of salt

The end result is a rich, dreamy concoction that is both excellent as a cool treat on a hot day or as a steaming hot bowl to warm your soul on a cold day. At our recent secret supper, we had it warm, defying logic in light of the balmy 99 degree weather. Our geothermal A.C. had the house chilled to a pleasant 78 degrees,  so warm and yummy was good to the tummy.

 The secret weapon in all this simplicity is provided by a little pressure cooker action. Peel the carrots, dice them down to 1 inch sections, then toss them into the pressure cooker with on stick of unsalted butter. Heat the pressure cooker to medium heat for about 5 minutes and allow it to pressurize. Turn the heat off and in about 5 minutes, you will have perfectly caramelized carrots that will only require a quick whir in the blender or a food processor to turn into this marvelous, decadent soup.


Before all the blending action takes place, allow the pressure cooker to cool a few moments under a cool facet until the pressure releases enough to open. Pop in the grated ginger and stir until blended. Allow the ginger to stew in the hot carrots until softened. About 3 minutes. Add the carrot mixture to your blender or food processor and give it a few quick pulses. The carrots should already have somewhat of a pureed consistency from the pressure cooking process at this point. Add the heavy cream and yogurt along with a pinch of salt then pulse a few more times until blended. You can either serve the soup hot at this point of refrigerate it to serve at a later time cold.

In the immortal words of those famous Cooking Channel hostesses, The Two Fat Ladies“Easy Peasy”!! Simply delicious.

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Filed under Carrots, dinner party menu, Ginger, Pressure Cooker meals, Soup, Vegetables, vegetarian

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

Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Lemon and Radish Tops

*Recipe courtesy of Bon appetit magazine April 2011 Issue.


2 Bunches medium radishes (such as red, pink, and purple; about 20)

1 ½  Tbs. olive oil

Coarse kosher salt

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but ½ inch of radish green, reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in a medium bowl. Add 1 ½ Tbs. olive oil and toss to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with more kosher salt if desired.

Melt butter in a heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of coarse kosher salt to the skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.

Transfer roasted radishes to warm shallow serving bowl and drizzle with brown butter. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.

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Filed under Quick and Easy, root vegetables, sauces, Side Dish, Vegetables

Coriander Carrot Purée


1 lbs. Heirloom baby carrots, chopped into small cubes.

1 medium russet potato, chopped into ½” cubes

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

½ cup heavy cream

2 Tbs. Chicken broth

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 Tbs. butter

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


Place about 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt into a medium stock pot. Bring heat to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high. add carrots and the potato cooking until fork tender. Remove from heat and drain the water from the stock pot.

Place carrot potato mixture into a blender or food processor along with butter and pulse for about 2 minutes. Add coriander, garlic, heavy cream and nutmeg, then pulse again for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and pulse until combined. Season to taste with remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.

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Filed under Carrots, condiments, garnish, Side-dishes, Vegetables, vegetarian

Spinach Souffle with Rosemary Fennel Sausage and Fresh Tomato Confit

Let it be stated that I take great delight in the pleasure that is breakfast. Upon launching my day, I relish the opportunity to indulge  the senses and take great pleasure in a good, hearty breakfast! To be exact, nothing tickles me more.

Eating becomes the most simple of delights, when lifted from its elemental role of necessity. Air, water, sustenance, they are the root of our mere existence. But to merely exist alone is the highest form of treason against self one dare commit. We must go forth and live boldly! For it is through simple pleasure that life is truly lived.

It is my guess Publilius Syrus knew a thing or two about living a life devoid of pleasures. A Syrian slave during the 1st century B.C., he gained release from his captors in a battle of wits staged by Julius Caesar and would go on to pen several volumes of philosophical tomes containing basic moral maxims. In short, Publilius Syrus wished nothing more than to serve as a spiritual advisor, instructing his fellow man on how to live a fulfilled life.

We wake daily bent on living our lives to the fullest.  No venture is undertaken by man with greater fervor than to establish our purpose in life. We struggle to leave our mark in the world, often over looking the fact that the greatest mark we dare to leave is often just enjoying the ride. Taking cue from Publilius Syrus- “Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last.

Let us all begin by enjoying a hearty breakfast! Here is something a little different for you to try.

Spinach Souffle

3 large farm raised eggs

1/2cup heavy cream

8 oz. chopped spinach

1/4 cup whole milk ricotta

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon water


Preheat oven to 350º

In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Set aside and reserve.

Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and toss until wilted and liquid is evaporated. Don’t over cook and dry out. Set aside and reserve.

Place 3 fresh eggs, ½ cup heavy cream and a pinch of salt in a medium mixing bowl then whisk until frothy. Add chopped spinach and gently stir until combined.

Grease 3 or four small ramekins with a light coating of butter, then place in a roasting pan. Pour soufflé mixture in until each is about half full. Place small ½ teaspoon dollops of ricotta mixture evenly distributed amongst ramekins until all is gone.

Fill roaster pan with lukewarm water until the level reaches about half way up each ramekin. Carefully place in the oven and cook until the tops of the soufflés are a light golden brown. About 15 minutes depending on your oven.

Remove the roaster pan from the oven. Carefully remove each ramekin from the pan and arrange them on a wire rack from 5 minutes to cool before loosening and plating.

Fresh Rosemary Fennel Sausage

1 lbs Pork Shoulder Roast, Cut into 1 inch wide strips

2 tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, diced

2 tablespoons fennel seed, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Generously season the pork strips with fennel, rosemary, salt and pepper. Begin placing strips into a meat grinder, bit by bit, until coarsely ground. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Brown Sausage and serve.

Tomato Confit

2 Cups Cherry tomatoes, rough chopped

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

½ teaspoon olive oil

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Salt to taste

Add chopped tomatoes to a small mixing bowl along with minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch or two of salt to taste. Serve.

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Sausage, Souffle, Spinach, Vegetables

Spicy Farfalle with Fresh Sausage, Chard and Pamigiano-Reggiano

Work week meals can seem like such a chore. We are often left with zero energy for meal time at the end of a busy day at the office, even when our office is at home. This is a great meal that is quick and easy to prep but still tastes like a million bucks and you an evening in was spent in the kitchen slaving over it!

15 minutes-start to finish! With plenty of time to relax over a nice glass of wine! Try this great selection with it!

Sixfootsix Shiraz Geelong Australia

Now that we have your priorities heading in the right direction for relaxation, here is the recipe!


3/4 pound Swiss chard (preferably red; from 1 bunch)
1 pound fresh ground sage sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
3/4 pound penne
1 pound finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving

Cut out center ribs and stems from chard, then thoroughly wash, along with leaves, in several changes of cold water. Cut ribs and stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and coarsely chop leaves.

Brown fresh ground sausage over medium-high heat. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Cook chard ribs and stems with salt in fat remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard leaves, water, and red-pepper flakes and simmer, partially covered, until chard stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in sausage.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water and drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to chard mixture with cheese and salt to taste and toss until combined well. Thin with some of reserved pasta water if necessary.

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Filed under Greens, Pasta, Pork, Quick and Easy, Sausage, Vegetables

Sweet Potato Hash with Saged Sausage and Granny Smith Apples


Recently, I’ve become quite fascinated with the a.m. meal, exploring breakfast with a reckless abandoned. To me, it seems to be a meal with infinite possibilities and I have made it my mission to explore every creative avenue. From savory ham and cheese scones to sweet sticky buns, handmade bagels and every point in between. The greatest of my obsessions is hash.


Hash is defined at as such:


n. A dish of finely chopped meat (roast beef and corned beef are the most common), potatoes and seasonings, usually fried together until lightly browned. Other chopped vegetables, such as green pepper, celery and onion, can also be added. Hash is sometimes served with gravy or sauce. hash v. To chop food into small pieces.


With that notion, I’ve taken to slicing and dicing this and that, mixing concoctions with the fury of a mad scientist! I fully intend to document the most brilliant of my creations and who knows…


Maybe they will appear on a menu somewhere, some day?


Fresh Saged Pork Sausage


1 ½ lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1”stips and chilled

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


Place pork strips onto a metal baking sheet and season with onion powder, pepper and salt. Pass 1” pork strips one at a time through KitchenAid stand mixer meat grinder attachment or similar. Alternate by adding pork and fresh ground sage and thyme, process mixture until finely ground. Transfer to large bowl. Add garlic. Using moistened hands, mix sausage just until blended.  Crumble loosely and brown sausage in large skillet over medium high heat.

Sweet Potato Hash


1 ½ lb Fresh Saged Sausage, browned

2 large sweet potatoes, cubed

2 Granny Smith Apples, cubed

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 ½ tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

½ cup grade a maple syrup

Pinch each of Sea Salt and Pepper


Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil. Place sweet potatoes and apples on sheet and season with pepper, salt and thyme. Roast in a 400º oven for 15 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.


Add butter to large a skillet and heat over medium heat until melted. Add onions and sauté until slightly browned. Add saged sausage and toss until combined. Add roasted sweet potatoes, apples and ½ cup maple syrup. Sauté for 5 minutes over low heat, gently turning so as not to mash the potatoes and apples.


*Serve topped with an egg sunny side up and fresh thyme.

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Filed under Apples, Breakfast, Brunch, Hashes, Pork, Sausage, Sweet Potato, Vegetables