Category Archives: Seafood

Orzo with Shrimp and Feta; Recipe

I absolutely love this recipe. Fresh oregano is a must in this Mediterranean masterpiece of simplicity. Serve cold as a summer side or main attraction. Omit shrimp for a spectacular vegetarian meal.

Orzo with Shrimp and Feta

Orzo with Shrimp and Feta



1 Pound shelled shrimp

1 Pound Orzo Pasta

1/2 Pound feta cheese

Juice of 1-2 lemons

Extra virgin olive oil

3 Green onions slivered

3-4 Cloves finely chopped garlic

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

2-3 Tbsp fresh finely chopped oregano

Handful of kosher salt for pasta water

Heat a skillet over medium heat; drizzle with olive oil and saute shrimp and garlic until cooked. About 5-6 minutes turning once. Remove immediately to a cool dish scrapping all oil and garlic out. Cool in refrigerator until ready to add to orzo.

In a large stock pot boil 4 quarts of water. Cook orzo per packaging instructions, should be between 9-11 minutes.

Tip: Heavily salt the water for cooking the orzo; this should be all the salt this dish needs!

Drain orzo into a colander; rinse for 30 seconds with cold water. Let drain for a few minutes.

In a large bowl drizzle enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add orzo, drizzle a little more olive oil and add all ingredients except feta. Mix well. Cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for an hour before adding feta cheese.

This recipe can easily be manipulated to make many variations. I look forward to trying this with fresh mint and parsley.


Swordfish with Grilled Pineapple Habanero Salsa; Recipe


Swordfish Steaks about an inch thick

Grilled Pineapple Habanero Salsa Recipe

Olive oil to coat

Salt & Pepper to taste

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Coat swordfish steaks with olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides. Grill over medium high heat for 2-3 minute per side. Do not over cook, dry fish is terrible. Serve with Grilled Pineapple Habanero Salsa.

Healthy Baked Chicken Or Fish, Meal In A Foil Pouch; Recipe


I was challenged last night by a friend to come up with a healthy, quick easy and cheap. Little did she know I had this one up my sleeve. This can be done so many different ways… so have fun with it.


1 Boneless skinless chicken breast or white fish fillet such as tilapiaIMAG0419

2-3 Red potatoes sliced thin

1/4 Bell pepper sliced thin

1/4 Small onion or 1-2 green onions sliced thin

2 Mushrooms sliced thin

Garlic sliced thin

1 Oz fresh herbs: Basil, tarragon, cilantro or parsley (choose one)!

Drizzle of quality olive oil

Splash of white wine

Salt and cracked pepper (I use Goya Adobo and cracked pepper)!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees:

Tip: Use good quality heavy duty aluminum foil. Do not over stuff the pouches.


Place a large piece of aluminum foil on your cutting board or counter. Drizzle a little olive oil on the foil. Place chicken or fish in the center of foil. place 3-4 garlic slice over chicken or fish. Cover fish with potatoes first; then remaining vegetables and herbs. Drizzle a very little amount of olive oil and and season with salt and pepper. Splash a little white wine and fold up the pouch without any gaps for steam or liquid to escape. Each foil pouch serves one person. Get creative and let your family make their own using the ingredients they like. Use smaller pieces of chicken or fish for children.

Place pouches on the oven rack and cook for 40-45 minutes.



Tip: Fish cooks much faster than chicken; adjust cooking time if necessary. I tend to slice my vegies thinner in my fish pockets so the they cook evenly with the fish.

Chicken Pouch

Moules Frites Recipe; Mussels Steamed in Belgian Ale with Fennel

Moules Frites   I had Moules Frites for the first time at The Hopleaf Bar in Chicago. Mussels Steamed in Belgian Ale with Fennel. I’ve had Moules Frites since then but never quite like the Hopleaf’s! So in the spirit of Truality Bar and Grill… I made it myself! The selection of the Belgian White Ale was very important so I went to the best. Danny Gold of the Party Source beer department!

For the Mussels


2 Pounds musselsIMAG0411

1 12 Oz bottle white Belgian Ale

1 Bulb Fennel sliced thin

1 Leek sliced thin

2-3 Ozs chopped parsley

3 Sprigs thyme

2 Cloves garlic sliced thin

1/4 Cup butter

Olive Oil

Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preparing Mussels for cooking Video

Tip: In addition to the video I would add…When cooking with wild mussels using the technique of flushing them with flour water to remove the sediment from inside. Cover your mussels with water and add a small amount of flour to the water. Let stand in water for up to an hour. The mussels will flush the remaining sediment out. Rinse and cover with water for an additional 20 minutes. “Farm Raised” mussels are pretty much sediment free and do not require flushing them.

Blanche De Bruxelles

The selection of the Belgian White Ale was very important so I went to the best. Danny Gold of the Party Source Beer Department was quite helpful and understood exactly what I was looking for in re-creating this classic Belgian Dish. Danny recommended Blache De Bruxelles which was a perfect match to the mussels, fennel and leeks.

In a large skillet or dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and leeks until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Drizzle in about a Tbsp of olive oil and add fennel, thyme and parsley. Saute an additional 3 minutes or so. Add one bottle of Belgian White or Blonde ale. When the liquid has come to a bubbling simmer add mussels and cover. Cook mussels for about 4-5 or until opened. It won’t take long! Serve in a bowl with broth and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley. Make sure to have a quality loaf of crusty bread; preferably French Baguette to soak up the broth.

For the Pomme Frites; French Fries.

Using a mandoline slicer cut potatoes into thin strips. There is no need to peel the potatoes; just make sure to wash them well. Cover cut potatoes with water for about 30 minutes; this helps remove some starch to prevent them from sticking together while cooking.

Tip: It is very important to dry the potatoes thoroughly before cooking to avoid being burned with oil splatter. Also be very careful to not add too many potatoes to the oil at a time. My first time I added too many; the oil bubbled over onto my stove almost causing a kitchen fire. I stress… be very, very careful!

Use only enough oil to come up less than half way full in your pan. Using too much oil will result in a bubble over onto your stove top. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry potatoes in batches for about 4-5 minutes. I like my fries cooked past golden to a little brown. Remove to a paper towel lined dish and season immediately while hot.

Baked Trout in Parchment

Trout in Parchment

I made this incredibly easy recipe for trout and it turned out to be the best fish I’ve ever had! The lemon and cilantro seem to be the ultimate pairing with trout.


1 Whole trout or larger filet

1 Bunch cilantro and or parsley

1-2 cloves garlic sliced very thin

1 Lemon sliced very thin

Salt & Pepper

High quality olive oil

Parchment paper

Place filet or whole trout on parchment paper and coat with olive oil. Salt and pepper the trout and place shaved garlic all over the filet. Cover the trout with cilantro and or parsley. Lastly, cover the trout with sliced lemon. Fold parchment paper loosely and staple closed with an office stapler folding the ends under. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the filet.

Remove trout from oven and carefully open the parchment with scissors. Be careful of the steam; it will burn you. Serve with white wine.

If cooking with whole trout: Coat the trout with olive oil, salt and pepper the skin sides and cavity. Place all remaining ingredients in the trout cavity. Adjust cooking time to size of the trout. Individual trout parchments are a great meal for dinner with friends and adds a nice presentation at the table.

Squid with Baby Ginger and Chili Paste (Sambal)

I conceptualized and cooked this recipe in 15 minutes! Very easy with simple layers of flavor. Based on Southeast Asian cuisine and simplicity. This can be done with shrimp and chicken as well. Squid contains a lot of water and cooks in about two or three minutes in a hot pan so you have to work fast and use the corn starch to thicken. The entire dish takes about 15 minutes to prep and cook. I love spicy so this may be too much for most; simply control by adding less or more of the chili paste (Sambal).

I picked up some baby pink ginger from my friend Gretchen at the farmers market. Baby ginger is tender and less spicy allowing for more subtle flavors. You won’t have to eat around the ginger, it’s fabulous!


1 pound cleaned squid

1-2 tbsps canola oil

1-2 ozs baby pink ginger or 1 oz regular ginger

2 spring onions

1 clove garlic

1-2 tbsps Sambal Oelek

Splash of fish sauce

1-2 tsp corn starch for thickening

Heat a wok to medium high and canola oil. Stir fry ginger, garlic for 2 minutes. Add sambal and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add squid cook for 3-4. Add corn starch and let thicken. remove from heat and serve over jasmine rice or as is.

If using chicken you will have to extend the cooking time and add onion just a bit later in the process so it stays a bit crisp.


Brined and Smoked Salmon

Brining and smoking salmon is easy and very rewarding. You will need smoking wood, Smoker, tongs and an accurate thermometer. This recipe is not just for salmon; you could use various varieties of salmon, trout and other fatty fish.  If you have an electric smoker, it is perfect because you can set the temperature at 185 degrees and forget it for 2-3 hours. Otherwise, you will have pay close attention to the fire and temperature. If the temperature gets too high, the fish will expel it’s liquid and cook very quickly. We want the temperature to come up slowly to retain liquid so the fish has a long time in the smoke.

Start by selecting your fish from a respected fish monger or grocery store. I find some good deals on at my local super market. I bought this salmon for $4.99 a pound; not bad at all.

TIP: Buy your fish during lent and freeze it. Groceries will stock large amounts and have good prices as well as very fresh fish.

Preparing the brine:

1 cup brown or white sugar

1 cup kosher salt

1 gallon of cold water

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

1 tsp ground black pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a non reactive container; I use a stainless steel stock pot. Stir to combine and add your salmon steaks cut into 2-3 inch sections. see picture above. The thing about brines is this; Brining enables the meat to absorb water because the salt changes the structure of the meat enabling it absorb and retain water. Any flavors added to the brine will be absorbed into the fish. This is an added value as the fish stays moist longer because it can add up to 10% more liquid than non-brined fish.

Preparing the fire and smoking:

In your smoker box start a small fire using hickory, oak or apple wood. Let the fire burn a while creating some nice coals. after about 1/2 hour you can start to regulate the heat. 185-200 degrees is optimal but it’s pretty hard to maintain at the 185 degree range.

Place the fish as far away from the heat source as possible with the smallest pieces being the farthest from the heat. Close the lid and don’t open it for at least an hour. When the fish has been smoking for at least an hour you will need to rotate the middle pieces with the one closest to the fire. The pieces furthest away may not have to be rotated since they are the smallest and take the least amount of time to cook. The salmon will not have changed much in color yet. Close the lid and let smoke for another hour or hour and a half depending on how dry you want your salmon. I’m trying mine a little longer this time to see how it is a little drier.

Removing and storage:

When the salmon is done remove very delicately using your fingers or plastic spatula taking care not to break the skin. Place on a cookie sheet or cutting board and let cool for an hour. If you have room in your refrigerator let cool for an hour or two before you vacuum seal your fish. The oils will solidify and not be sucked out by your sealer. I seal two or three pieces together at a time. Salmon will store in plastic zip lock bags for several weeks and over a month in vacuum sealed bags.


I serve my smoked fish at room temperature by itself or with crackers. I’m sure it would go well with creamy cheeses and a nice Pinot Noir. Smoked salmon can cost as much as $30 a pound or more. This recipe can get you a very high quality Salmon for as little as $5-$7 a pound.

After 3 hours in the smoker.

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