Thursday, May 21, 2015

Salmon Salad

Looking for an alternative to tuna salad?  Try this: Salmon Salad using fresh (not canned) salmon.  A lovely summer lunch or light dinner choice.  You could certainly serve this as a sandwich, but I loved it on a bed of shredded lettuce.  While it is delicious at the time you make it, it's even better hours or a day later.

SALMON SALAD (4 servings)

2 cups cooked, flaked salmon
2 hard-boiled eggs, crushed
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (I prefer small pickling cucumbers {2}, not seeded and only partially peeled.....much sweeter)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onions
4-5 Tbsp mayo, or enough to moisten
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional (I used it, but just a sprinkle)
1/2 lemon, juice

In a large bowl, gently toss together the salmon and crushed hard-boiled eggs.  In another bowl, combine bell pepper, cucumber, onion, and mayo.  Add seasonings and stir to combine.  Pour mixture over salmon, add lemon juice, and toss light to combine.  Serve over lettuce or as a sandwich.

Recipe Source:

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fish Chowder

On an ever-going quest to thin out my freezer, I had some fish that needed a home.  I had picked up some red potatoes and found some clam juice on the clearance rack, so I cruised the internet for a fish chowder recipe.

My first stop is almost always This was the first fish chowder recipe that popped up.  The submitter said it came from the fishermen at Bodega Bay, California (as in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds.")  It's such a simple recipe and I wasn't sure it would have any depth of flavor but, BOY! was I wrong!

This is absolutely delicious.  I could have eaten the entire batch in one sitting.  Since there are just two of us, I halved the recipe, but you can double it or change the number of servings by going to the website to get proper ingredient amounts.

It (this 4 serving size) calls for 2 cups of potatoes.  I prefer red potatoes in chowders, but you could certainly use russets.  Also, they call to use cod (which would be wonderful), but others used other white fish like catfish.  I used Barramundi Sea Bass, but something like Swai or tilapia would be perfectly good.

FISH CHOWDER (4 servings)

1 Tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups diced potatoes
1 pound cod or other white fish, diced into 1/2" cubes
1/8 tsp Old Bay seasoning
S&P to taste
1/2 cup clam juice
1/4 cup AP flour
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute onions, mushrooms, and celery in butter until tender.

Add chicken stock and potatoes; simmer for 10 minutes.

Add fish, and simmer another 10 minutes.

Season to taste with Old Bay seasoning, S&P.  Mix together clam juice and flour until smooth; stir into soup.  Remove from heat, and stir in evaporated milk.  Serve.

Recipe Source:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hudson's Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce

A quick and easy baked fish recipe with fresh dill for summer.  Or you could grill it to keep your kitchen cool.  A big suggestion, however, is to definitely bake some potatoes with this, preferably big reds.  The sauce is an awesome topping for the potato!

4 (4 oz) tilapia fillets (or other mild white fish, like Swai)
S&P to taste
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (I only used 1 tsp) or to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Season the fish fillet with S&P and Cajun seasoning on both sides.  Arrange the seasoned fillets in a single layer in the baking dish.  Place a layer of lemon slices over the fish fillets.  Try to cover most of the surface of the dish.

Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

While the fish is baking, mix together the mayo, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice, and dill in a small bowl.  Serve with tilapia.

Recipe Source:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Garden Pasta Salad

Honestly, I have been in the kitchen and I have been cooking.  Just nothing post-worthy.  And, I made the cardinal sin of cooking:  if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

On my ever-going quest to clean out my freezer, I did a search on to find a home for some turkey kielbasa, chicken, and shrimp.  Up popped a gumbo recipe.  Now, thanks to Jim's friends Cabbage and Diane Simpson, I was able to procure the absolute world's best gumbo recipe known to man (see 9-30-12 post: Diane's Seafood Gumbo).  Better than anything we'd ever had in any restaurant on the Gulf Coast.

Now if my head had been put on straight, I would have compared the two recipes and simply have used Diane's recipe, just substituting the sausage and chicken for some of the seafood she uses (still wouldn't have come close, though).  Needless to say, The Girls got lots of leftover sausage and chicken, sans roux.  And needless to say, no way was I going to post that disaster.

But back to today.  We're not even to Memorial Day and we're already in the upper 80s so I pulled out some old (old meaning type on a typewriter many years ago) salad recipes to have around as either a light lunch or a mid-day snack.  This came from an old friend of mine who used to make this for potlucks at the law firm she worked at in Chicago.

This is perfect for summer, especially if you get farmer's market fresh vegetables.  It's also great for picnics because it doesn't need to be kept refrigerated (although I prefer it cold).

Since I usually make just a portion of the recipe below and will get multiple servings that I'll keep around for a couple of days, I kept the dressing on the side and just pour a bit on each portion at serving time so the pasta doesn't absorb all the dressing before you get to it.  The amounts are a guideline......shift them up or down depending on your taste.  I do prefer halved grape tomatoes unless you can get your hands on some garden-fresh tomatoes.  Use any kind of Italian salad dressing: Classic, Zesty, fat-free, or even that wonderful Garden Expressions Simple Vinaigrette Salad Dressing.


1 lb angel hair or vermicelli
2 medium chopped tomatoes
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 medium chopped green pepper
1 chopped cucumber
1/3 bottle of McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning
Prepared Italian Dressing

Cook pasta.  Drain and cool.  Add chopped vegetables and sprinkle with seasoning.  Dress at time of serving.

Recipe Source:  Cherie Bishop, Schereville, IN

Monday, May 4, 2015

Grilled Tilapia with Mango Salsa

Well, with temps climbing into the 80's this week, we are definitely creeping into summertime.  Later sundowns and yard work to do means later dinner times. 

I don't like eating a big meal late at night, so this time of year means much lighter meals like lots of fish, grilling, and salads.  And this one is just about as basic and simple, not to mention a delicious light meal. 

Serve with with some rice or quinoa and a simple garden salad or a green vegetable like asparagus or green beans.  Make the salsa ahead of time and you can get everything on the table lickity-split.


1/4 cup EVOO
1 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp dried basil
S&P, to taste
2 (4-6 oz) tilapia (or Swai) fillets

1 large ripe mano, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp minced red onion
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (depends on your heat-tolerance and size of the pepper)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
S&P to taste

For the fish and marinade:
Put together the olive oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, parsley, garlic, basil, S&P in a resealable plastic bag.  Squish around until combined.  Add the fish fillets, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag  Marinate in the refrigerate at least 1 hour.

For the salsa:
Prepare the mango salsa by combining the mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper in a bowl.  Add the lime juice and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, and toss well.  Season to taste with S&P, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the entire dish:
Preheat a grill for medium-high heat.  Lightly oil or use "Grill" cooking spray to grill grate.

Remove the fillets from the marinade and shake off excess.  Discard the remaining marinade.  Grill the fillets until the fish is no longer translucent in the center and flakes easily with a fork, 3-4 minutes per side (use 10 minutes total for each 1" of thickness as a guide).

Serve fillet topped with mango salsa.

Recipe Source:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Savory Scallop Stir-Fry

This is (another) easy and tasty Publix recipe. It calls for Patagonian scallops which are very small (100-150 per pound).  I hadn't heard of them and tried to find the difference between Patagonians and bay scallops (sea scallops being much larger, about 1 1/2" in diameter), but couldn't find what I was looking for.  So I would absolutely use the bay scallops which are just a bit larger (than the Patagonians).

The recipe calls for cilantro herb paste.  I've seen this is many markets in different states.  It comes in a tube and is found in the produce section.  You could certainly chop up fresh cilantro (to taste) and throw that in.  It also calls for roasted garlic.  I usually roast mine in the microwave (do an internet search for easy instructions) unless I'm going to be using the oven at a high temp for about 45 minutes.  You should be able to find the marinade in the grocery store, but I just did a search and made my own (1/4 cup low-sodium soy, 1 Tbsp minced or grated fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 thinly-sliced scallions, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper).

Serve it over rice.  Corn-on-the-cob or steamed broccoli would be a nice side dish.


2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp roasted garlic 
1 lb steak-topper vegetables (fresh sliced mushrooms, chopped onions and green bell peppers)
1 1/2 lb Patagonian or bay scallops (thawed/drained if frozen)
1/2 cup sesame/ginger marinade
1 Tbsp cilantro herb paste
Cooked rice

Preheat wok or large saute pan 2-3 on medium-high.

Place oil and garlic in pan (pan should sizzle).  Add vegetables, stir-fry 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Move vegetables to outer edge of pan.  Add scallops to center of pan and stir-fry 2-3 minutes.  Stir vegetables, marinade, and herb paste into scallops, cook 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until hot.  Serve over rice.

Recipe Source:

It's a Princess!!!

I have to admit....I am a complete Anglophile and have been watching the Royals for a long, long time, mainly since the early days of Charles and Diana (but have devoured books of the whole Edward/Wallis scandal and watched every program ever produced about Henry VIII and his six wives.)  The Granthams of Downton Abbey have nothing on the real royals!  Nothing better than a real-life soap opera.

But I think this new generation is truly turning the monarchy back into a proper and respectable family thanks to bringing in non-royal blood with the class that Kate possesses and Diana's hands-on parenting which molded the man William appears to be.

OK...enough already.  I'm in the majority here being thrilled that the new little one is a girl!  I'll be watching all day to find out her name (and of course what Kate will be wearing when she steps out of the hospital!)  With my help, Jim has been able to keep on top of all the odds (birth date, gender, weight) and I will continue to keep him posted on all the latest developments (or he'll keep bugging me all day if I don't!)