Saturday, October 17, 2009

Seared Scallops with a Smoky Orange Glaze
Curried Rice Pilaf
Baby Greens with Ginger Pear Vinaigrette

My dinner was inspired by two things; the first was Robin Miller of “Quick Fix Meals” making chicken breasts with a smoky orange glaze. The glaze immediately appealed to me, while the chicken breasts did not. I don’t like chicken breasts in any form except presented as Cordon Bleu. The second inspiration was from a dinner my husband and I had recently in Ketchikan. While there on a business trip we dined at Annabel’s, supposedly the ‘best restaurant’ in town. While it wasn’t great, or even good, the rice pilaf was spectacular. I couldn’t figure out the warm mystery spice. I asked our server and she said it was curry. Hmmmm….

Are you catching the warm fuzzies going on in my head? And my palette? Its fall, I’m bored, I feel like nesting and I had just purchased the movie, “The Proposal”. Just perfect for snuggling into the sofa with.

Okay. Orange glaze and curry, it’s working so far for me. I decided to head off to the grocery store and find the protein to happily marry with the glaze. I already knew that rice pilaf with curry was a given, but what to serve with it? I decided on sea scallops. One, they were on super sale, and two, they marry well with citrus, and three, they are just wonderful on their own.
The last part of the meal was a simple salad tossed in a bottled Ginger Pear Vinaigrette. I add sliced figs, chopped pears and a sprinkling of goat cheese. Fabulous.

I started with the glaze In case I needed to make adjustments, which I didn’t. It was simply a jar of orange marmalade, a hint of liquid smoke, and a teaspoon or so of soy sauce gently heated, with just a whisk or two to combine the flavors.

Once the scallops were rinsed and dried, I sprinkled them with kosher salt, seasoned pepper, and chopped parsley, they were ready to go into the smoking pan.

For the rice pilaf, it was just two boxes of prepared rice, instead of using the recommended water amounts; I used ¾ of the measurements in chicken stock. Chicken stock gives rice such a delightful depth of flavor. As for the curry, use your best judgment and your own personal preference. I personally love curry so I dumped a good healthy tablespoon or so in. Literally. I had a little spillage, which worked out fine. I also felt inspired to add some nearly thawed peas and carrots, I would venture I put in about a cup or so.

1 to 1 ½ lbs Sea Scallops
Rinse and pat dry scallops – dry scallops are essential to achieve a good sear.
Lightly salt with Kosher Salt and Seasoned Pepper
Chop handful of Parsley – about a ½ cup.

Get the pan and cooking fat hot — Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat for a minute or so; then add the fat and let it heat up. If you’re using oil, it’s ready when a drop of liquid sizzles as it hits the hot oil. If you’re using oil and butter, wait until the butter stops foaming.

Don’t crowd the pan — There should be enough room between the scallops so that they sizzle rather than steam—that’s the only way you’ll get a good crust. If your pan isn’t big enough to hold the scallops without crowding, sear them in batches.

Scallops only need a few minutes per side to get nicely browned. They’re done when they feel barely firm to the touch, and when you cut into one, it should be faintly opalescent. Don’t overcook them or they’ll be dry and rubbery.

Smokey Orange Glaze;
10 oz. jar Orange Marmalade
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
½ teaspoon Smoke Seasoning.
1. Combine all ingredients and heat gently on low.
2. Pour glaze into shallow dish and place hot scallops on top.

Curried Rice Pilaf
2 boxes Rice Pilaf
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 ½ Cups Hot water
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Curry
½ Cup Frozen Peas and Carrots

1. Follow directions on box, when the rice and seasonings are boiling, add the peas and carrots and the Curry. You may want to adjust the amount of curry you use – more or less is fine.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Savannah’s Spinach Caesar Salad with Chicken

After a grueling physical therapy session I decided to head to the grocery store in search of something yummy, and comforting for lunch. When I stepped out of my truck I could smell that it was going to rain and that I only had a few hours to whip up some comfort food, before the downpour began. And knowing that when we, Alex, Savannah and I, ate it that it would be in the family room curled up on the sofa watching crap television, our favorite rainy day activity.

I knew I wanted pasta, chicken, spinach and “something”, what exactly that something was I wasn’t sure until I wandered by our deli section and saw some kind of “Caesar Pasta”; and that was my deciding factor. Refusing to purchase anything from our deli (remembering Rob’s violent food poisoning episode) I knew I was on my own for a concept, which actually came together in a flash, being a recent disciple of Caesar anything (especially homemade dressing) I figured I could bust out a bottle I had on hand and proceed on with my anticipation of a rainy day feast.
I chose farfalle because I thought it would be an easy pasta shape for small toddler sized forks and fingers to pick up, and it was.

Shortly after completing the pasta Savannah awoke from her nap, the skies had opened up with a downpour of summer awe, Alex and I were ensconced on the sofa with our blankets, the T.V. was on, and the little miss joined us for our feast on the sofa. I was having a bowl of the pasta (and a lovely mid afternoon Chardonnay – like I said physical therapy was painful) and Alex was noshing on some ice cream (hormonal therapy). Being not quite two Savannah wasn’t sure which dish to gravitate to; she tried some ice cream, tried some pasta, and proceeded to snuggle up with me to share the pasta. Not one bowl, but two – she loved it that much; the amusing part of it was her of trying to spear the spinach before anything else. Between feeding Savannah and Alex bites, I convinced Alex to get her own bowl, which she did and proceeded to share that with Savannah too.

The next afternoon we shared bowls of the pasta served cold on the deck in the sun, we shared “bites”, again, with Savannah’s preference towards the spinach. I think the flavors had melded even more overnight, and was just as delicious cold as hot.

The only thing I have to advocate is that you use the absolute best parmesan cheese you can find. My particular cheese that I had on hand runs around eleven dollars a pound, but if I am in town (Anchorage) I will go to a specialty market and purchase a fabulous cheese that runs close to twenty dollars a pound. It is worth every penny. There are few things in this world as scrumptious and delightful as great parmesan.

Alex has warned me that the bowl of pasta is low and I had better whip up some more, as it is “the bomb”, and to please not run out. I love my girl.

Today, I have a pot of Cream of Spinach soup simmering, which Savannah has been taste testing frequently with many consenting nods. The soup will be served with a garlic and olive Focaccia, another winner in her book.

Savannah’s Spinach Caesar Salad with Chicken

1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta) cooked
½ pound fresh spinach, cleaned and torn
1 cup cooked chicken
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Creamy Caesar dressing
Fresh grated – good quality – parmesan cheese

· Cook pasta until al dente. Rinse and season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
· Clean and tear spinach, place at bottom of a large bowl.
· Pour hot pasta over spinach, allowing it to wilt.
· Add chicken.
· Add Caesar dressing to taste, about three tablespoons.
· Toss.
· Add grated parmesan.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Halibut Casserole

Halibut is such a diverse fish and much like chicken it's almost impossible to run out of recipes, unless, someone catches a 100 pounder or so ... goodness!! ... We ran through our usual clutch of recipes and became somewhat desperate, and the kids were getting sick to death of it... so this cheesy goodness was created.

Halibut Casserole

3 T butter
3 T flour
2 C hot milk
1/4 t each: paprika, nutmeg
1/2 t fennel
**4 steamed and flaked pieces of halibut - guessing about 6 oz each
1/2 C chopped chives
drops of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 C Monterey Jack cheese - shredded

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
Steam Halibut
Heat butter in pan, add flour to make a roux, pour in hot milk, add spices, add halibut and lemon juice, mix in 1/2 cheese,
Bake about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, set oven to broil.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture and chives.
Broil 2-3 minutes.

** When I steam halibut, I fill the water with lemons, capers, onions, garlic, and white wine.

Salmon with Maple Mustard Sauce

This is a rendition of a recipe I found in Cooking Light. The first time I made it was on a family fishing trip to Homer, AK. So with freshly caught silver salmon I made this in our tiny galley kitchen of our motorhome, naturally my family was dubious, thankfully they ended up loving it.

(6- to 7-oz) pieces salmon fillets (1 1/4 inches thick), skinned

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped scallion greens

Pat salmon dry and season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together remaining ingredients pour over salmon and marinate salmon for about 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat, then sauté salmon starting with skinned sides up and turning over once, pour remaining sauce over salmon. cook until just through, 5 to 8 minutes per serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The classic Caesar Salad - should always be made in a wooden bowl, rubbed with garlic and never washed.

1 head romaine lettuce
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 tablespoon ground mustard
1 clove garlic
1 egg
1 lemon, juiced
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups garlic croutons
1 (2 ounce) can anchovy filets

Clean lettuce thoroughly and wrap in paper towels to absorb moisture.

Refrigerate until crisp, at least 1 hour or more.
In a bowl rub with garlic, combine oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard, and lemon juice.

Whisk until well blended.
Coddle egg by heating 3 cups of water to boiling. Drop in egg (still in shell) and let stand for 1 minute. Remove egg from water and let cool. Once cooled crack open and whisk egg into dressing. Whisk until thoroughly blended.
Mash desired amount of anchovies and whisk them into the dressing. If desired set aside a few for garnish.
To assemble, place torn lettuce leaves in a large bowl and toss with dressing.

Add the grated cheese, garlic croutons and freshly ground pepper.

Serve immediately!

Pasta with Gorgonzola-Parmesan Sauce

Rich and decadent, this recipe pairs two of my favorite cheeses…the veiny blue Gorgonzola and the salty freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The sauce cooks in less time than it takes for you to cook the pasta, even if it is fresh pasta, making it perfect for busy nights.

This sauce is great with farfalle, fusilli, gnocci, shells, or elbow shaped pastas


1/2 pound pasta

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 minced garlic cloves

6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/3 cup chicken, beef, or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

Freshly ground black pepper.

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cook the pasta according to the package directions

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter and olive in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and sauté for three minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the cheeses and stock.
Stir until the cheeses melt and the sauce is smooth.
Drain the cooked pasta well and toss it with the hot sauce and parsley.
Season to taste with the pepper.

Serve hot with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano if desired.

Toss with chopped walnuts.

Makes 4 servings.

Lobster Ravioli with Crab Meat Cream Sauce

Lobster isn't native to Alaska, so this is a real treat.


2 ounces unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

16 ounces cooked lobster meat

4 ounces cooked snow crabmeat

2 ounces Cognac

2 ounces ricotta

Salt Pepper

1 tablespoon chopped chives

Crabmeat Cream Sauce:

2 ounces unsalted butter

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

4 ounces whole chunk Maryland crabmeat

2 ounces Cognac

5 ounces tomato sauce

10 ounces heavy cream


For the Lobster Ravioli:

In a large saute pan, add the butter and melt.

Add the garlic and shallots and saute until golden brown.

Add lobster, crab, and chives and saute 2 to 3 minutes.

Add Cognac and reduce for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes, until room temperature.

Chop lobster mixture into small chunks.

In a large bowl, combine lobster mixture and ricotta and mix well.

Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta dough;
Egg white, slightly beaten
I package round won ton wrappers.
Place a spoonful of mixture in center, add another wonton on top, crimp edges.
Brush with egg whites.
Gently place ravioli in boiling water and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente.

For the sauce:

Using a 12-inch saute pan at medium heat, add butter, shallots, and saute until shallots are translucent.

Add the crabmeat and saute for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the saute pan from the burner and add Cognac then place pan back on the heat to cook off the alcohol. (Please beware: the Cognac will create a large flame.)

Once the flame stops, add the tomato sauce and cream with salt and cook until it reduces half way and becomes creamy.

Add the cooked ravioli to the sauce and let cook together for about 1 minute before serving. Garnish with chives.

Crab Tartletts

Makes 24

From "tapas" by Susanna Tee


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely minced

splash of dry white wine

2 eggs

2/3 cup milk or light cream

6 oz/175 g canned crabmeat, drained

1/2 cup manchego or Parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

salt and pepper

sprigs of fresh dill, to garnish

Pastry dough:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dustingpinch of salt

6 oz/175 g butter

2 tablespoons cold water-OR-1 lb 2oz/500g ready-made unsweeted pastry

Preheat the oven to 375*F/190*C.

To prepare the crabmeat filling, heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom skillet, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened but not browned.

Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Add a splash of wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until most of the wine has evaporated.

Lightly whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl, then whisk in the milk or cream.

Add the crabmeat, cheese, and parsley, and the onion mixture.

Season the mixture with nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well together.

To prepare the pie dough--If you are making it yourself;

mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

Add the butter, cut into small pieces, and rub in until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Gradually stir in enough of the water to form a firm dough.

Alternatively, the pie dough could be made in a food processor.

On a lightly floured counter, thinkly roll out the dough.

Using a plain, round 2 3/4-inch/7-cm cutter, cut the pastry into 18 circles.

Gently pile the trimmings together, roll out agai, then cut an additional 6 circles.

Use to line 24 x 1 1/2-inch/4cm tartlet pans.

Carefully spoon the crabmeat mixture into the pastry shells, taking care not to overfill them.

Bake the tartlets in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set.

Serve the crab tartlets hot or cold, garnished with fresh dill springs.

Tequila Lime Shrimp

I created this for the fresh shrimp we pull out of Prince William Sound.

1 lb shrimp
½ C tequila
¼ C sweet & sour
Juice of one lime
2 teaspoons white pepper
2-3 fresh basil leaves, snipped

Combine all ingredients except the shrimp, you want the mixture to taste like a spicy margarita, when you have the exact taste you like marinate the shrimp from 60 minutes to a couple of hours.

Place shrimp on skewers that have been soaked in water and grill about two minutes on each side, until just pink.

Fresh Shrimp Dip

Easy and delicious. The shrimp from Prince William Sound are so sweet.

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4cup catsup

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup minced onion

Tops of 2 green onions,chopped

5 drops Tabasco sauce

White pepper to taste

1 1/2 pounds cooked shrimp, cut into small pieces.

Shrimp Dip should be made 1 day ahead,
Combine all ingredients; mix thoroughly and chill.
Serve with crackers

Shrimp Salad Rolls

They're inspired by lobster rolls, but we think you'll find these sandwiches more popular with a crowd of all ages — not to mention more affordable and easier on the cook.

4 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb)

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, or to taste

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups chopped celery

12 hoagie rolls (preferably top-split)

Cook half of shrimp in a 5- to 6-quart pot of generously salted (2 tablespoons) boiling water, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a platter and return water to a boil.

Cook remaining shrimp in same manner (then discard water), transferring to platter.

When shrimp are cool enough to handle, peel, then chill, covered, until completely cold, about 1 hour.

Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and chill until ready to use.

Devein shrimp and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Season with salt and pepper, then add to dressing along with celery, and toss to combine.

Serve salad in rolls.

Shrimp can be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Lemony Plank Grilled Salmon

A really fun and summery dish! Soak the plank in whatever wine you choose to drink.


1 - 1.5 pound salmon

3-fresh lemons

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup minced parsley

3-cloves crushed garlic

1-tsp salt1-tsp black pepper

Cedar planks soaked in pinot grigio about 2 hours

Heat grill and brush olive oil on salmon and cedar plank.

Salt and pepper it.

Now, squeeze juice from lemons in a bowl add olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and mix well. Now put planked fish on grill and baste with some of the lemon mixture.

Cook fish well.

Then, put cooked salmon on a platter and top with the remaining lemon sauce.

Serves 4 people.

Peppercorn~Crusted Salmon with White Wine Butter Sauce

From Bon Appetit 11/95

We have served this for years with many variations, it is our daughters favorite dish to request time and time again.

4 servings


1 1/2 C water

1 C packed golden brown sugar

3 T course salt

1 T smoke seasoning

1 T fresh ginger

3 Bay leaves

1 t allspice

4 8oz salmon fillets
4 1/2oz. mixed peppercorns

8 t honey


1 C dry white wine

1 shallot minced

2 T white wine vineage

1/2 C whipping cream

6 T chilled butter, cuhed
chopped fresh dill


Mix first 7 ingredients in heavy saucepan.

Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, simmer 10 minutes.

CoolPlace salmon in large glass baking dish, Pour brine over, cover and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove salmon from brine, pat dry.

Arrange salmon on large baking sheet.

Strain brine into medium saucepan.

Place all peppercorns in plastic bag, using rolling pin crush peppercorns.

Add peppercorns to brine.

Simmer over medium heat 15 minutes, strain reserving peppercorns, discard brine.
Spread top of each salmon fillets wit 2 teaspoons honey.

Divide peppercorn mixture over honey, pressing gently to adhere.

Bake salmon until cooked, about 25 minutes.


Combine wine, shallots and vinegar to heavy sauce pan.

Boil until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes.

Add cream and boil until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.

Strain sauce and return to same sauce pan.Bring to simmer.

Remove from heat.Gradually add butter, whisking just until melted.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Tranfer salmon to plates, Pour sauce around salmon and garnish with dill.

Clams Casino

A favorite old classic - revamped.

1/2 cup(s) water
18 littleneck clams, scrubbed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced
1 small green bell pepper, minced
2 ounce(s) Canadian bacon, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoon(s) white-wine vinegar
3/4 cup(s) fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoon(s) minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon(s) smoked or regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Bring water, clams and bay leaves to a boil in a large covered pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook the clams until they open, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain in a colander. (Discard any clams that do not open.) Discard the bay leaves.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add Canadian bacon; cook, stirring frequently, until heated and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar; transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, chives, oregano, paprika and pepper.

4. Remove clam meat from shells (reserving the shells), chop and stir into the breadcrumb mixture. Pull clamshells apart and spoon the breadcrumb mixture into the half shells, packing lightly and mounding slightly (you may have a few shells left over). Place the clams on a large baking sheet. Bake until well browned, about 20 minutes.

Garlic~Lime Alaska Prawns with Avocado Cream

From the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Amazingly delicious!

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes


1-1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt

1-1/2 Tablespoons sugar

1-1/2 pounds peeled Alaska Spot Prawns (16 to 20 per pound), tails on

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 teaspoons grated lime peel

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper


1. In a bowl, mix salt and sugar.

Rinse prawns and pat dry.

Add to salt-sugar mixture and stir gently to coat.

Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Rinse prawns well and drain; rinse and dry bowl.
2. In bowl, combine olive oil, cilantro, garlic, lime peel, and pepper.

Add prawns and mix to coat.

Thread prawns on metal or soaked wooden skewers, running them through each prawn once near the tail and once near the head end so it looks like the letter C.
3. Lay skewers on a well-oiled barbecue grill over hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand just above the grill only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, just until prawns are opaque throughout, about 3 to 5 minutes total.
4. Push prawns off skewers and arrange on a platter. Set avocado cream alongside.

Avocado Cream:
Peel 2 ripe avocados (about 1-1/2 pounds total), cut into chunks, and put in the bowl of a food processor.

Add 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon ground dried ancho chiles or chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whirl until smooth.

Taste, and add more lime juice and salt if desired. Scrape into a small bowl. Makes about 1-1/4 cups.

Nutrients per serving:
277 calories, 19g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 61% calories from fat, 10mg cholesterol, 16g protein, 11.5g carbohydrate, 2.5g fiber, 489mg sodium, 67mg calcium, and .1g omega-3 fatty acids.

NOTES: A brief cure in salt and sugar adds flavor to prawns and makes them more tender. You can cure and marinate the prawns up to 1 day ahead; chill airtight.


Coquille St. JacquesS3

I call this Coquille St Jacques3 because it took me three attempts to get it just right!

2 lb. Bay scallops
1 bay leaf
Pinch dried thyme
Salt & Pepper
1/2 c. white wine
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp. minced onion
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. dry sherry
1/3 c. buttered fine bread crumbs
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place scallops in a saucepan.
Add 3/4 cup water, bay leaf, thyme, lemon juice, wine, salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes.
Drain scallops, reserving broth.
Discard bay leaf.
Heat butter: add mushrooms and onion, and cook over low heat about 5 minutes.
Blend in flour.
Measure 1 cup reserved broth and add to mushrooms.
Add cream and cook, stirring, until thickened.
Add scallops and sherry.
Fill scallop shells or ramekins with creamed mixture.
Mix crumbs and cheese and sprinkle over filling.
Bake until crumbs are brown, about 15 minutes.
Makes 6 servings

Shrimp Bisque in Bread Bowls

Simple to make and a fun presentation too!!


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved

4 cups seafood stock

3 tablespoons good olive oil

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)

1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 cup Cognac or brandy

1/4 cup dry sherry

(1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups half-and-half

1/3 cup tomato paste

2 teaspoons grey salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.

Strain and reserve the stock.

Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.

Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned.

Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.

Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer.

Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.
In the same pot, melt the butter.

Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling.

Season, to taste, and serve hot in bread bowls.

Mushroom Tartlets

These delicous tarts are easy to make and a delight to serve!

· 2 T olive oil
· 10 oz wild mushrooms (such as oyster, chanterelle, shiitake), chopped
· 10 oz white mushrooms, chopped
· 1 T butter
· 1 clove garlic, minced
· 3 T chives, finely chopped
· 1 tsp herbes de Provence
· 1 T heavy cream
· 1 whole large egg
· 2 large egg yolks
· 1 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 box phyllo tartlet shells, thawed in the refridgerator

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat.

Sauté all of the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until they give up their liquid.

Empty the mushrooms into a colander and drain off the liquid.

While the mushrooms are draining, melt the butter in the same pan, over medium heat.

Return the drained mushrooms to the pan and sauté again until all of the remaining moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are lightly browned.

Add the garlic, chives and herbes de Provence, sauté for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, egg yolks and parsley.

Stir in the cooled mushrooms to combine thoroughly.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour mixture into into phyllo tartlets, set on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the tartlet comes out clean and the tops are nicely crusted.

Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, and serve.

No Fry Crab Cakes

I serve these over coleslaw tossed lightly with a Citrus Champagne Vinaigrette and topped with a citrus mayonnaise.

1 lb crab meat ( I prefer Dungeness )
2 – 3 cups breadcrumbs or Ritz Crackers
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
3 scallion, sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 large eggs
1 egg white
10 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
fresh ground black pepper
1 rib celery, minced


1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees; generously coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Mix crab meat, breadcrumbs, bell pepper, scallion, mayonnaise, eggs, tobasco, peppers and celery in a bowl until well combined.
3. Divide mixture evenly – place in muffin tins.
4. Bake until crispy and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes, serve with lemon wedges.

Curry Chicken Salad

We really love having a bowl of this salad on hand, it is excellent as a side dish or over a pasta.

1 roasted chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes (I use store bought)
1/4 cup chopped celery 1 (8-ounce) can sliced or chopped water chestnuts, drained
1 1/2 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
½ red apple, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise
2 T Thai green curry paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Gently combine the chicken, celery, water chestnuts, grapes, peanuts, onion, garlic & apple in a large bowl.
Combine the dressing ingredients and mix well.
Add to the chicken mixture and stir gently to combine.
Salt & pepper to taste.

* Can be served as is or spooned over pasta of your choice.

*Black Dog's Caramelized Scallops with Smoked Chili Cream

This is a fall back recipe we go to time and time again.

Smoked chile cream:

2 t. chipotle powder

juice of 2 fresh limes

3/4 C. sour creamsalt to taste

Caramelized scallops:

1 1/2 lbs. large sea scallops

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

about 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

mixed greens for serving

sliced lemons

chopped fresh chives

To make the chile cream:

Mix the chipotle powder with the lime juice and let it sit for the flavors to bloom, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Whisk the chile-lime mixture into the sour cream and add salt.

Set aside.

Sprinkle the tops of the scallops liberally with the parsley, salt and pepper.

Heat (over high heat) enough oil to cover the bottom of a large nonstick skillet until the oil just beings to smoke.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and place the scallops seasoned side down.

Cook, without disturbing, for 2 to 3 minutes, which will allow them to caramelize their sugars. Turn and sear on the opposite side for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops. Serve immediately on a bed of greens and garnished with the chile cream, lemons and chives.
Serves 4 to 6.

We serve this with a potato - crab cake.

* The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook

TWO amazing things from Dinner Saturday night...

Dinner at ORSO.

.... among the many including the wine and port!

1.Crispy Seafood SamplerTender pieces of Alaskan salmon and halibut, with shrimp lightly battered, along with a **seafood-stuffed squash blossom**, served with a red pepper preserved lemon coulis.

~ Having never had a stuffed squash blossom before I am a converted fan and would eat one everyday if I could, it was *that* good.

2.Fresh Alaskan Silver Salmon simply seasoned and grilled. Served over harissa lentil ragout finished with tomatoes and foraged Alaskan mushrooms in a garam masala spiced Matanuska Valley pool ball squash. Topped with Alaskan Moosetard-dill crema.(

~ Absolutely outstanding! I have to reconstruct that moosetard sauce. It was the perfect cooling accompaniment to the spicy harissa.