Sautéed Flounder

Let’s start out with a healthy version of sautéed flounder over brown rice with some sautéed broccoli. I am trying to make things tasty and maybe a little lower in calories just for good measure! So let’s get started with this new one.

As you can see in the picture, here is a 4 oz portion of flounder I sautéed in a non stick pan with a little butter. I seasoned it with some salt and pepper along with some paprika for flavor and color.

saute flounder

It was served over a half a cup of some brown rice that was hanging around in the fridge along with a serving of broccoli that was sautéed with some salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice.

So I hope you guys stick around to see what else comes about, and I am always open for suggestions for whatever you want me to cook for you with or without a healthy spin on things.

finished flounder


Baked Salmon

My wife does not like salmon so I thought I would serve her and her family some for dinner one night with the promise that she would like it. So here is how I did it.

Start with the freshest piece you can get. Next I cut the skin off just to make it easier to eat later.

First, I would rub the salmon with some soy sauce, this helps the spices stick to the salmon. Next would be the spices in this case it was white and black sesame seeds, granulated garlic, pepper and some powdered ginger. Push the spice mixture into the flesh of the fish.

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Now here is the kicker, pour maple syrup all over everything and let it sit in overnight. You don’t need a fancy or expensive maple syrup. I also use it on pork loins when I smoke them. This will marinate the fish and help take away that “fishy” taste that my wife and her family don’t like. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.


The next day let the fish come to room temperature, pour off the marinade and cook in a 300F degree oven until the flesh gently pulls apart.


Everyone said they liked it very much and it must have been true because there was none left!

Enjoy ~

Homemade Spring Rolls

On the way home from having lunch with my wife, I noticed that there was a new oriental market that opened up by her office, so I swung by to check it out. It was a nice little place and the owners were very helpful. I had been on a quest for rice paper for a while checking the local supermarkets without finding any. This place had a few to choose from so spring rolls were on the menu for dinner. So let’s roll on in on how to make them.

As you can see I picked up some crab meat from the store, along with some bean sprouts and Thai basil. I julienned some carrots and sliced some romaine lettuce somewhat thin to go inside the rolls.


With everything all laid out nicely the tricky part starts now, softening the rice paper sheets. There are two ways of going about this task. One way is the long soak in cold water; the other is the quick soak in hot water. This part is totally up to you, but remember, there is only a limited amount of time to make and roll it. I prefer warmish water for a medium soak. This leaves the sheet somewhat firm yet flexible while you are working with it. Practice with a few using one ingredient, like the carrot sticks, until you are comfortable wrapping them up in a tight roll.

I find it easiest to roll them on a wood cutting board; they tend to stick to the counter top. Plus, you can leave the leading edge hanging off the board to make it easier to pick up and roll. Dip the rice paper in the bowl of water for however long you choose.

Place the wrapper in front of you. Imagine a clock on the face of the rice paper. Place the ingredients in a line as if you were filling the face of a clock between 4 & 5 o’clock across to between 7 & 8 o’clock. Now bring the 6 o’clock flap, which was hanging off the board, up and over the ingredients and roll tightly a little bit towards 12 o’clock.

Now take the sides and fold them towards the center, making a tight package encasing the ingredients. Continue rolling to 12 o’clock position. Right before you totally roll it, stop and rewet the top of the roll so the flap really sticks to the roll. Hopefully you will end up with something like the picture below.

rolled spring role

I got the first one done and I realized I had no dipping sauce!!! You could go out and get some sweet chili sauce in a bottle, but that’s not for me. I want spicy peanut dipping sauce!

In another bowl combine 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter add 4 tablespoons of soy sauce & water and however much ground cayenne power and black pepper you can stand. We like it hot! If the sauce is still too thick, keep adding water to thin it out to your liking. Adjust the heat to your liking also.


Make the rest of the rolls and keep them in the refrigerator covered until you are ready to eat them.

That night we had the Spring Rolls along with the spicy peanut dipping sauce and a chilled bottle of Sake that was recommended by the owners of the shop. A very nice end to a great day.

springroll cut

Enjoy ~

Baked Hake Loins

We were at Costco and my wife was in the mood for white fish for dinner. Her being from the North East area I though some Hake fillets would be a good choice because they are like Cod.

So a simple preparation was called for, so here we go!

Simply rinsed off the loins, brushed them with melted butter, dusted them with plenty of Old Bay seasoning and then covered them with some Italian bread crumbs.

old bay hake

Popped them in our convection oven set at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes or just until the fish flakes apart when poked with a fork.

Served them with some black rice and sautéed broccoli.

baked hake w/ black rice

A little taste of New England really easy and really good. . . Enjoy ~

Shrimp Bruschetta

We were having some people over and I was grilling dinner by the pool so I thought some shrimp bruschetta would be a light start to the meal that goes very well with some white wine.
Before the guests came I had already cooked the shrimp in some water, flavored with lemon juice, peppercorns and white wine,  shocked them in some ice water and cut them in half the log way.
I had some pesto and some roasted red peppers left over from making dinner a few nights ago so I used them also.
I had picked up a nice baguette from the bakery sliced it, brushed on a little olive oil and toasted them on the grill. Spread a little pesto on the bread, laid some of the roasted peppers on top, topped that with the shrimp halves laid out nicely. Then topped the shrimp with a piece of the roasted red pepper again and some chopped basil for garnish. Finished everything with a light sprinkle of good extra virgin olive oil and some coarse salt & pepper.
I have to admit they didn’t last long and they were really good.
shrimp bruscetta
~ Enjoy ~

Herb Crusted Scallops

Rinse under cold water and pick the muscles off the scallops, season with salt and pepper

Take bread crumbs and add to them some Italian seasoning, fresh chopped basil, marjoram, parsley. Dip the scallops into the mixture covering just the tops and bottoms and set aside.

seasoning for scallops

seasoned scallops

In a large sauté pan heated to medium high add some good oil and cook a few of the scallops a few at a time for maybe a minute or two then carefully flip them over. You are looking for a nice sear and good color; however you don’t want to cook them all the way through.

scallops cooking

When done transfer to a plate and slide them into the fridge for about ten minutes, to stop the cooking process, while you make the sauce.

As for the sauce, wipe out the pan, add a tablespoon of oil and add 1/4 of a diced sweet onion. Sauté for about 7-8 minutes. While the pan is on medium-high heat deglaze with about 1/2 cup of your favorite white wine, let it reduce for another minute or two. Add the juice of a fresh lemon. Finish the sauce by adding 1/4 cup of heavy cream, bring to a boil then lower the heat to low.

Take the scallops out of the fridge and place into the hot sauce just until they heat through; be careful not to cook them too much, you don’t want to overcook them, they will get hard and rubbery.

scallops in sauce cooking

To be fancy, plate some rice down the center of a plate, place the scallops on top and then spoon some sauce over the rice. Serve right away and enjoy.

scallops on rice

fancy pic finished plat


Spicy Shrimp and Polenta

My wife and I were discussing how much she likes grits for breakfast and I asked her if she ever has had polenta.  She said no, so I suggested that I make her some for dinner.  Dinner? As she looked at me funny, I said I bet you will like it, it would be my take on Southern shrimp and grits.  So this is what I did.

Start out with good polenta.  Make it to the directions on the package substituting one cup of water for one cup of heavy cream, add one stick of butter. Stir together. Add salt and pepper to taste.


cooking polenta

Pour off about half of the mixture into a buttered shallow pan if you have one. We are going to save that for another day. We will use this over the weekend for breakfast. Let it cool completely then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. Back to dinner now.

polenta in a pan

Take the shrimp you are having for dinner and marinate them in some olive oil, and whatever spices you like to make them spicy say some crushed red peppers, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.

seasoned shrimp

With the rest of the polenta in the pot add about 2 cups of cheddar cheese and mix in until its smooth, if necessary loosen the mixture a little with some more heavy cream. You are looking for a consistency of very thick applesauce. Put the bowl off to the side over very low heat and cook the shrimp.

cooked shrimp

Heat a non stick pan to medium high, add the shrimp, and cook a few minutes a side just until done. Scoop some of the hot cheesy polenta into a bowl and top with the spicy shrimp. Serve with a nice cool glass of your favorite white wine. As for my wife she now likes polenta just as much as grits.

plated shrimp


Blackened Scallops with Ginger & Garlic over Black Rice

My wife and I were shopping at Costco one evening and I noticed this new product- Black Rice. I have never seen it before and I thought it would be good to show off light colored foods. As we were driving home I told her that we will be having scallops for dinner with the new rice.

First off I had to defrost the scallops in some cold water. After that I had to pat them dry with some paper towels so the blackening seasoning sticks to the scallops, as you can see here.

dryed scallops

seasoned scallops

Before you heat the pan, sprinkle a few drops of oil and spread them around with your fingers so there is almost non-detectable layer of oil on the pan. Then heat the non stick pan to medium high and place the scallops in the pan. Important don’t touch the scallops while they are cooking or you won’t get that good blackening crust on them.  Let them cook on the first side for a minute or so, then carefully with a non stick spatula turn over and cook for another minute. Remove them from the pan for a moment. Wipe out the left over seasoning left in the pan and pour about 1/3 cup of good olive oil in and let that heat almost to a simmer.

Cut a good thumb sized piece of fresh ginger into super fine dice and the same with about two tablespoonfuls of fresh garlic.  Place them in the oil and let them cook together for about two minutes. You can see the little bubbles coming from the garlic and ginger in the picture.  Then squirt 3 or 4 shakes of soy sauce into the pan. Stir together and turn off the heat.

ginger fried

Cook the black rice how the package directs, lucky for us, we have a rice cooker and lay a strip of the rice on the plate, top the rice with the scallops and then carefully spoon the garlic ginger mixture over the scallops.  Sit back and enjoy something new and delicious.

plated scallops

Orange Scallops

My wife and I spend the last two weeks of December with my family in Sarasota at my father’s place. We had a wonderful time with family. I always enjoy time with my father, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew. Unfortunately, my wife and I ended very sick after our trip. To infuse our bodies with some much-needed vitamin C, I came up with this easy dinner.

First cut the skins off of 4 oranges like you see here then here comes the tricky part.

peeled oranges

Carefully supreme the oranges and place them in a bowl. To supreme is to cut the orange segments from the membrane. I recommend you do this over another bowl to catch all the juice that will be running down your hand, you will need the juice for the sauce.

supremed oranges

In a large sauté pan set over medium high heat put 2 tablespoons of butter in and cook the salt and pepper seasoned scallops for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once, until almost done. Take them out of the pan and set aside for few moments. Deglaze the pan with about a 1/3 of a cup of extra dry vermouth and reduce a little. Add the juice from the oranges, the segments, and the juice that has collected on the scallop plate to the pan. Add another 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan and remove from the heat. Carefully swirl the pan to not break the segments until all the butter has melted and thickened the sauce. Then toss in the scallops in at the last moment just to heat through.



This evening I served the scallops over some brown rice and some steamed broccoli. It was an easy meal to eat with our sore throats and a healthy meal to make us healthy again!  Enjoy!

orange scallop plate

Blackened Corvina with Pineapple Relish

My dad came down to Florida to visit for a few days and I know he likes fish so I whipped this one up for him after getting him from the airport while he enjoyed the warm weather and the sunset.

Lightly oil a sheet pan and heavily season both sides of the fish with blackening seasoning.

blackened fish

Peel a nice ripe pineapple and cut into small pieces, toss into a mixing bowl add 1 of each finely diced red & green peppers and ½ of a red onion, 1 jalapeño finely diced, ½ cup of good quality olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, a bunch or so of cilantro (some people love it and others hate it, it is up to you) and some salt and pepper. Mix well and set in the fridge of about an hour.

pineapple relish

I had some zucchini in the fridge so I cut it up, rubbed it with some olive oil and dusted them with some seasoned salt. Headed out to the grill and fired it up on high.

seasoned salt zucchini

Put the fish on a pan onto the grill and close the lid.  Cook for about 10 minutes then flip over while you cook the zucchini on the other side of the grill maybe for another 10 minutes. You will know the fish is cooked when it flakes apart.

Take the pineapple relish out of the fridge before you head out to the grill so it comes to room temperature.

Today for dinner as you can see I served the blackened fish over some sweet potato mash with the pineapple relish and the grilled vegetables.

plated fish with pineapple relish