Sautéed Grouper In Shrimp Cream Sauce
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup white wine
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup diced shrimp (about 6 large) (peeled and deveined)
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 teaspoon each of white pepper and salt
5 or 6 leaves of fresh basil, torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil for sautéing
1 grouper fillet or other white fish fillets, about 8 oz
Salt and pepper for seasoning
In a saucepan, sauté the diced shallot in 1 tablespoon butter until tender. Add the wine, tomato, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil and let the broth simmer until reduced to about half. Add the shrimp and cream. Cook for about one minute or until the shrimp are barely done.
Set aside while you prepare the fish.
Put the butter and oil in a skillet large enough to cook the grouper. Season the fish with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour.
When the butter sizzles, add the fish and cook on each side until cooked through and golden. Pour the shrimp cream sauce over the fish and garnish with basil.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups broccoli florets
Zest and juice of one orange
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
2 tablespoons toasted, slivered almonds
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the broccoli, salt, pepper, orange zest, orange juice and sauté with the olive oil and garlic mixture until the broccoli turns bright green and becomes tender.
Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve.
Easy Coquilles St. Jacques
Serve this entrée with a green salad or sautéed greens.
Ingredients for 4 servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for the gratin dishes
1 finely diced large shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
1/2 cup seafood stock or clam juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning (Old Bay)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 ounces grated Gruyère cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds fresh bay scallops or sea scallops cut in half
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place four (1 1/2-cup) gratin dishes on sheet pans. Lightly coat the dishes with butter
Combine the fresh bread crumbs, parsley, and olive oil in a medium bowl and stir to moisten the crumbs. Stir in the cheese. Set aside.
Dry the scallops well on paper towels.
In a medium-size saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat.
Add the shallots and garlic and saute for just a minute or so.
Add the mushrooms and seafood seasoning. Saute, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms no longer release moisture.
Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the wine and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the seafood stock and cream.
Season with a little with salt and pepper..Take the saucepan off the heat and add the scallops and mix carefully with a silicone spatula.
Divide the mixture equally among the gratin dishes.
Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly on top of each gratin dish and bake for 20 minutes, until the crumbs are lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly. Serve immediately.
Easy BBQ Shrimp
Serve this entrée with potato salad and a tomato or cucumber salad.
1 lb jumbo shrimp (16 per lb), cleaned, deveined and shells removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
½ cup homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce
Link to my homemade recipe.
For cooking outdoors: heat an outdoor grill to high and oil the grill grates. For cooking indoors: heat a stovetop grill pan over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
In a glass dish mix the shrimp with the olive oil and sprinkle them generously with the salt and pepper.
Thread the shrimp on skewers and place them on the grill, if cooking outdoors. Place in a single layer in the grill pan, if cooking indoors.
Cook until grill marks appear and the shrimp turn deep pink, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Place the BBQ sauce in the dish that held the shrimp and warm the sauce in the microwave.
When the shrimp come off the grill, slide them off the skewers or out of the grill pan into the dish with the barbecue sauce and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
Pan Seared Petite Ribeye Steaks
2 grass-fed, organic, petite ribeye steaks about ½ inch thick and 6-8 oz each
1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Mushroom Shallot Wine Sauce
1 large, finely chopped shallot
16 small button mushroom caps, stems removed
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Season the steaks on all sides with the steak seasoning.
Heat a heavy skillet on high heat until very hot.
Sear steaks 1 minute on each side.
Continue to sauté in the pan turning the heat down to medium for an additional 2 minutes per side.
Place the cooked steaks on a plate and cover with foil, so that they rest while the sauce is made.
Reduce the heat to medium-low in the skillet and add the garlic, shallot, mushroom caps and butter to the pan drippings. Sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the wine, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt; cook over low heat about 3 minutes or until the sauce is reduced slightly. Remove the pan the from heat and stir in the parsley. Pour the mushroom mixture over the steaks and serve.
Parmesan Baked Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 egg whites
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
Cut the head of cauliflower into large florets. Place the florets in a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl mix together the oil, garlic, salt, pepper and eggs. Gently toss with the florets.
Sprinkle Parmesan in with the florets and mix to coat.
Cook an easy, elegant, restaurant quality dinner at home. Make the meal special by placing a bouquet of flowers on the table and getting a good bottle of wine. This picture just says – relax!
Salad With Roasted Beets, Blue Cheese and Pistachios
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 bunch small golden beets, trimmed of leaves and washed well
4 cups romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
¼ of a red onion, sliced very thin
4 ounces blue cheese, cut into cubes
1/3 cup shelled, toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Homemade croutons, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the beets on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and seal the ends to create a package.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until tender. Cool; peel and slice or cut into ½ inch pieces. Transfer to a small bowl.
Make the vinaigrette:
Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined
Toss the beets with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Set aside until ready to prepare the salad.
Place the romaine and onion in a salad bowl and toss with some of the remaining vinaigrette.
Add the beets, pistachios and blue cheese and toss gently. Top with croutons, if using.
Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon
2 filet mignon steaks, (5 to 6 ounces each, about 1 1/2 inches thick)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black peppercorns
2 teaspoons olive oil
Red Wine Sauce
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
Coarse salt to taste
For the beef:
Season the beef filets very generously on both sides with the salt and pepper, patting it firmly. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Move the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
Place the steaks in the skillet and cook, without moving the steaks, until a dark brown crust has formed, about 3 minutes.
Using tongs, turn the steaks over and cook until well browned on the second side, about 3 minutes.
Place the skillet in the oven and roast the steaks 5 minutes for rare or 7 minutes for medium-rare to medium.
Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the sauce.
For the red wine sauce:
Place 1 cup red wine in a small saucepan; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the pan from the heat and add the butter. Stir the sauce until the butter is melted and the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
Season with salt according to taste, if needed.
When the weather heats up, take advantage of the all the fresh produce that is available during the summer months. Many recipes for creating salads or cold soups do not require any cooking. If an ingredient needs to be cooked, do it early in the day and serve it chilled. Below are a few ideas to keep you cool, including a delicious dessert.
Cold Appetizer Plate
Burrata Cheese drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Olives, Roasted Peppers, Fresh Melon
The breasts can be cooked early in the day and the rest of the recipe can be prepared later. This makes enough so that there will be plenty for several meals. Serve over lettuce with sliced tomatoes and cut up veggies.
Cooking the chicken breasts
1 1/2 pounds of bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Roast for 40-45 minutes, until the chicken registers 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer .
Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Remove the meat from the bones and save the skin and bones to make chicken broth.
Dice the chicken into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl.
For the salad
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sweet (Vidalia, Walla Walla) onion
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard together in a mixing bowl with a cover.
Add the celery and onion; stir, Add the chicken and mix carefully to keep the chicken from breaking up.
Fold in the pecans and grapes. Adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Cover and chill.
Triggerfish with Caper Sauce
Triggerfish were once ignored by commercial fishermen, however, they are now considered among the finest fish on the Gulf seafood menu. Their clean white meat carries a uniquely sweet flavor when cooked. Since this fish lives in warm waters, you might not find it in your area. Use any thin mild white fish fillets in the recipe below, if you cannot find triggerfish. If you do see it in your fish market, be sure to give it a try. I like to serve this dish with the tomato salad shown below.
2 ounces butter, room temperature
1 lb triggerfish fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 ounces white wine
Hot sauce, to taste
Half a small onion, chopped fine or one shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
Add the butter to a saute pan or skillet and place over medium heat.
Season the fish with the salt and pepper and dredge the fillets in all-purpose flour.
Place each fillet in the skillet and saute until light golden brown.
Add a few drops of hot sauce to the pan as the fish browns.
After the first side is golden brown, turn the fish over and cook until the second side is golden brown.
Remove the fish from the pan to a plate. Reduce the heat to low and add the wine to the skillet.
Add the onion or shallot and stir slowly but continuously for about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and capers.
Continue to stir until a thin sauce forms. Return the fish to the skillet and spoon the sauce over the fillets.
Place the fish on serving plates and spoon any sauce in the skillet onto the fish.
Tomato Feta Salad
4-5 medium plum tomatoes, sliced thin
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons good quality white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Place the sliced tomatoes on a serving plate.
In a mixing bowl combine the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and parsley and toss well.
Pour the dressing over the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 12 squares
1 (3-4 ounce) package chocolate pudding mix
Two 3-ounce packages ladyfingers, split
1/3 cup chocolate liqueur (Kahlua)
1/3 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
One 8-ounce carton mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Do ahead: Prepare the chocolate pudding mix according to the directions on the package. Chill in the refrigerator.
Mix the coffee and Kahlua together in a shallow dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form.
Add the chocolate syrup and mix until just combined.
To assemble the tiramisu:
Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 x 2-inch or 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish with some of the ladyfingers dipped in the espresso/Kahlua mixture.
Spoon a thin layer of chocolate pudding over the ladyfingers in the baking dish.
Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over the chocolate pudding layer, spreading it evenly.
Sprinkle with grated bittersweet chocolate.
Top with another layer of ladyfingers dipped in espresso, followed by chocolate pudding and the mascarpone cheese mixture.
Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours. Sift cocoa powder over the top before serving.
No reservations needed for this dinner! Sometimes it is just nice to have a special dinner with your partner in your own home. I try to have this special kind of evening every once in a while. Come up with a menu that is elegant but easy to make and the evening will be memorable. The salad and main dish recipes below are easy and come together quickly. The dessert takes a bit longer but eclairs and cream puffs are not difficult to make. You can certainly make anything you like for dessert, as long as it is special to you. Keep romance alive.
Blue Cheese and Dried Cranberry Tossed Salad
1 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 of a cucumber, sliced
1/4 of a red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the dressing: Whisk vinegar and honey in a small bowl until blended. Whisking continuously, slowly add oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Layer the romaine lettuce with the cucumber, onion, almonds, cranberries and bleu cheese on two individual salad plates. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette just before serving.
Filet Mignon with Leek Sauce
2 Filet Mignon steaks, about 7 oz each and 2 inches thick
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 large leek, finely chopped white and light green sections of the leek
1/4 cup red wine (such as Cabernet)
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the grill or broiler. Lightly oil the grill rack or broiler pan. Rub the steaks with the salt, then press the pepper into both sides of the steaks.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the leeks for 6 minutes, or until very soft. Add the wine, capers and tarragon.
Simmer for 3 minutes, or until well blended and heated through. Keep warm.
Grill or broil the steaks about 5-6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 135°F for medium-rare. Place the steaks on individual serving plates.
Top with the leek sauce and sprinkle with parsley.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/4 – 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.
Mash the potatoes, adding the buttermilk until moist. Add the chives, cover and keep warm.
Chocolate Filled Eclairs
Makes 12 medium-sized eclairs
3/4 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use an eclair pan.
Put the butter in a saucepan with the salt and water; bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and stir until the butter is melted.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour; continue to cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture pulls away from sides of the pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds.
Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the eggs to the slightly cooled flour mixture one at a time, beating well with the wooden spoon after each addition — the batter will come apart after each egg is added but will reunite as you stir.
Mound dough about 1 inch high and 1 to 2 inches in diameter on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about an inch of space between each one. If using an eclair pan simply fill the indentations.
Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Remove the puffs from the oven and pierce the bottom of each puff once with a skewer, to keep them from getting soggy.
Return to the oven; prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon and let the puffs crisp up for about 5 minutes. Cool on a rack.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Place cream, vanilla extract, sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Stir to combine the ingredients. Cover and chill the bowl and the beaters for at least 30 minutes.
When chilled, beat until stiff peaks form.
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water, combine the chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup. Stir until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth; then add the vanilla.
To assemble the éclairs:
Cut the eclairs in half lengthwise. Pipe or spoon the filling into the pastries, then dip the tops of each one into the glaze.
For best results, serve immediately or refrigerate and serve within several hours.
Note: Puffs can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days; freeze unfilled eclairs for longer storage. If the eclairs soften in storage, they can be crisped up in the oven before filling and serving. To re-crisp; bake uncovered in a 300°F for about 5 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before filling.