Seared Scallops with Pinot Gris Butter Sauce

June 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Seafood | 49 Comments
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It’s not all buffalo burgers, elk steaks and Rocky Mountain oysters out here in the wild wild west..We can plate up an elegant dinner with the best of ’em and especially if beautiful sea scallops are available. Let’s take a look at this delicious recipe I found over at Food and Wine.

We thought this dish was spectacular. Restaurant quality, elegant and (shhhh)…pretty e-a-s-y. Serve this for a special dinner for two, or for a dinner party and your guests will think you’ve just graduated from culinary school.

Continue Reading Seared Scallops with Pinot Gris Butter Sauce…


No Recipe Required: Crab Cakes on Spring Greens

June 23, 2011 at 6:50 am | Posted in Seafood | 33 Comments
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Purchase pre-made crab cakes from your favorite market. I prefer crab cakes from Tony’s in Denver for their texture and flavor.

Sautee crab cakes in olive oil until cooked through and golden brown.

Place on a plate full of mixed spring greens.

Drizzle with your favorite dressing. For this I prefer a simple lime or lemon vinaigrette.

One Year Ago:  Tangy Flank Steak with Horseradish Cream

Two Years Ago: Mangoes Gone Wild

Crispy Baked Shrimp With Lemony Mayonnaise

May 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Seafood | 34 Comments
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Except for my Mother’s hallowed fried chicken recipe, I’m pretty much convinced that panko bread crumbs are the perfect breading for almost anything.  The end result of a light and crispy/crunchy coating just seems like such a no fail solution to frying and even baking. 

And except for my Mother’s hallowed fried chicken recipe which is accompanied by buttery mashed potatoes and creamy white chicken gravy, I’m thinking  peppery arugula may be the best little platform for about any type of meat.  I’ve been using it alot lately and feeling so springy about the whole thing.

Continue Reading Crispy Baked Shrimp With Lemony Mayonnaise…

Bob’s Spiced Rubbed Salmon with Cilantro-Lime Butter

February 23, 2011 at 5:41 am | Posted in Seafood | 57 Comments
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I love the results of grilled food, both from our gas and charcoal Webers and think the aroma of a steak or burger wafting from those hot grates is about the best smell ever, but have to admit I’m not a fan of the task of grilling. I’d much rather be in the kitchen chopping, dicing, fussing, sautéing, stirring, simmering, stewing, and braising, or sitting in the shade in my lawn chair with my glass of wine, watching someone grill.

So with all that said, I’m so very excited to announce that we now have a griller in the house. Bob received a certificate to a cooking class from Son Sean and Daughter-in-Law Stacey for Christmas. Sean suggested Bob enroll in the baking class because there would be more “chicks” there, (thanks Son) but after a long study of the lineup,  Bob chose the grilling class. So off he went to Kitchen Table Cooking School over at Landmark last week.  I was stunned with his first solo meal off our home grill, after his class to learn how to cook Spiced Rubbed Salmon With Cilantro-Lime Butter.  Let’s take a look.

First of all, take a look at this impressive and rich-colored blend of spices for the rub.  The aroma was intoxicating.

  • 2 T. Chili Powder
  • 2 T. Paprika
  • 1 T. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 t. Cayenne
  • 2 t. Garlic Powder
  • 1 T. Cumin
  • 2 t. Black Pepper

Place ingredients in a small bowl and blend together.

Pat salmon filets dry, slather in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, sprinkle on rub and rub into salmon.  Grill to desired doneness.

This is a photo after that wonderful Cilantro-Lime Butter oozed itself over and into the salmon. This salmon was perfectly cooked, juicy, tender and crazy with flavor. Hands down some of the best salmon I’ve ever had. An impressive outcome for Bob’s first grilling project, especially since the wind was blowing a gale and it was cold out there and fish can be tricky to start with. 

Let’s take a look at the Cilantro-Lime Butter recipe.

Look at this guy, one class and he’s a better chopper than I’ve ever been.

Cilantro-Lime Butter

  • 4 T. Butter, room temperature
  • 2 T. Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T. Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 T. Honey
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper

Place ingredients together in a small bowl and mix together.

A delicious meal!

Spiced Rubbed Salmon with Cilantro-Lime Butter…It’s What’s for Dinner.

Holy Jolokia! This Is a Great Shrimp Appetizer Recipe…..And a Give-Away

January 7, 2011 at 7:37 am | Posted in Appetizers, Seafood | 42 Comments
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No…no…no…Hub’s camera, I said I wanted the background blurred, not the foreground. I swear, these cameras have a mind of their own!

This is a delicious appetizer, a riff on a Buffalo Chicken Wing recipe. It comes together in a snap and I could have eaten about two dozen.

The shrimp are breaded in a cayenne and  flour breading, sautéed in a Buffalo-style butter and hot wing sauce combo, then stand tall in blue cheese dressing. Served alongside a battalion of cool crunchy celery… this dish equals a delicious bite after bite of cheesy delight. But first let’s talk about the Hot Wing Sauce I used in this recipe. A sauce that’s made from the Hottest Pepper In The World!

Sticky Brand Sauces is a local Colorado company that makes some very tasty Chicken Wing and BBQ Sauces.  And I mean TASTY. Curiosity got the best of me when, at a product demonstration at Tony’s Market, a company representative told me about their highly flavorful hot wing sauce made from the mysterious Jolokia pepper (also called the Ghost Pepper). From India, he added, “It’s the hottest pepper in the world”.

Of course I bought some. How could I resist the triple-dog-dare nuance. It’s interesting to taste this sauce straight from the bottle. When it first hit my tongue I went into survival mode. With watering eyes, short of breath and the kitchen sink in sight, I ran for the phone in case I needed to call 911,  but almost immediately, and to my pleasant surprise, the heat faded into a warm peppery tingle. A pleasant flavorful pepper flavor followed. I wanted to do it all over again. Like a fine wine, it had a long long finish…in a barbed-wire sort of way.

Am I glad I bought it? Yes! And going forward I knew I would use this sauce with delightful caution and would no longer be afraid of well-crafted hot pepper sauces.

So here’s the fun part. Rob over at Sticky Brand Sauces has agreed to give one lucky winner a bottle of this very special Ghost Pepper Sauce along with a bottle of the sauce of your choice. Simple rules. Just head over to the Sticky Brand Sauce website and take a look around. Choose  one other sauce besides the Jolokia Sauce that you’d like to receive.  Leave that selection in the comment section of my blog.  That’s right the winner will get two bottles…a bottle of  Holy Jolokia and the bottle of your choice.  Sticky Brand Sauces.  So head on over and Pick Your Sticky.

Winner will be selected randomly and deadline for this contest is January 16

Easy Enough?  Fair enough?  Any questions?  Thanks Rob over at Sticky Brand Sauces.  Now let’s take a look at this great recipe.

Holy Jolokia Buffalo Shrimp (adapted from

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 ounces Maytag blue cheese (about 1 cup crumbled)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 dozen large shrimp shelled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sticky Brand Sauce Holy Jolokia Wing Sauce (or your favorite wing sauce) 

In a bowl, combine first six ingredients to make blue cheese dip. Cover and refrigerate. 

In a shallow bowl, combine flour salt and cayenne pepper. Pat shrimp dry and toss in the flour mixture, coating well. In a large skillet heat oil, butter and 1 – 2 teaspoons hot sauce. Amount depends on how much heat and flavor you want. Add shrimp and cook about 4-5 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Pour a little of the sauce over the shrimp while browning.

Place dollops of the blue cheese dressing on a platter. Stand a piece of shrimp in each dollop and serve with celery sticks.

Adding a little bit at a time and tasting as I went, I used probably just over one teaspoon of this very hot sauce and it seemed to deliver the perfect flavor and heat. Showy and delicious with great flavors, I will make this appetizer over and over. 

Holy Jolokia! Buffalo Shrimp…It’s What’s for a Delicious Appetizer.

Crab Cake Croquettes and Creamed Corn Appetizer

September 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Seafood, Vegetables | 26 Comments
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Next time I have a dinner party I’ll most certainly be serving up this great little appetizer idea.  Mini crab cakes floating on top of some sinfully delicious creamed corn. 

First of all, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Tony’s Flat chickens.  Several of you asked about the terminology and what made them “flat”.  Thanks to Chef Mick for responding with this explanation. “I didn’t give Lea Ann all the details, here goes…the chicken is properly butterflied – the backbone and sternum ‘keel bone’ are removed, leaving the two halves attached at the breast and allowing it to lay flat (aka spatchcocked) but we take it further, we also remove the breast and thigh bones for even quicker cooking and ease of eating. The bird is then packaged in a variety of marinades. It’s ideal for grilling or roasting in quick order. A lot of folks sear first to brown and slow down the cooking – this assures browning but makes burning less likely. I hope this gets all the questions…thanks for supporting local shop owners and cheers!”

On to the crab cakes and creamed corn. What you see pictured above is a larger variation of the mini crab cakes that Chef Mick Rosacci turned out in the video below.  He takes one full-sized crab cake, cuts it in into 6 pieces, forms them into croquettes, fries them and places them in little bowls nestled on the creamed corn.  Add a sprinkle of fresh diced tomato and green onion and it’s divine.  I had taken two bites of out of my dish and realized I had forgotten that part…so no photo with the color.  :-/

I let Tony’s do the work and bought pre-made crab cakes from their seafood counter.  I used a super sweet variety of Colorado grown corn from the Farmer’s Market for the corn recipe. It was out of this world. And with a  little kick from the cayenne…great recipe. Take a look:

Crab Croquettes and Creamed Corn

8 large ears Colorado Sweet Corn
1 cup half and half – separated
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp cayenne
white pepper and sea salt to taste

2-3 Tony’s prepared Crab Cakes – or crab cake recipe follows
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
butter, olive oil or a combination – for sautéing

Garnish: 1/2 bunch green onions, minced; one tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

Creamed Corn:
Cut kernels from corn. Using the back of a knife, scrape the cob to extract the milk and add to the corn. Divide corn into two batches. Puree two cups of the corn with 1/2 cup half and half. Melt butter in a saute pan, add pureed corn, remaining corn kernels, cream, remaining half and half, cayenne, and salt to taste. Simmer until thickened.

Crab Croquettes:
Reshape Tony’s Crab Cakes into 6-8 small croquettes or patties and roll in panko crumbs – or make crab cake recipe and shape into small croquettes, rolling in panko breadcrumbs. Saute in a heavy skillet with butter, olive oil or a combination – cooking until nicely browned on each side.

Separate creamed corn into 6-8 attractive bowls, topping each with a browned Crab Croquette. Garnish with chopped green onion and tomatoes.
Serve with a brisk, fruity to off-dry white wine. Also delicious with seared scallops, salmon, or halibut. – Chef Mick (Michaelangelo) Rosacci, http://www.TonysMarket.com

Crab Cake Recipe
2 slices dried bread, crusts removed
2 TBS milk
1 TBS mayonnaise
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Parsley Flakes
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp Old Bay brand seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 pound fresh lump crab meat

Break bread into small pieces and moisten with milk. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.

Tony’s Crab Cakes And Homemade Creamed Corn

It’s What’s For Dinner (and my next dinner party appetizer)

Noodles with Sauteed Shrimp and Cilantro

July 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Pasta, Seafood | 15 Comments
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I swear, I should never be allowed to go to any grocery story, farmer’s market or specialty market unsupervised. You might as well throw in convenience stores. I’m sure I could find some gourmet fake orange cheese product that I couldn’t live without.

Still trying to work out of the pantry to use up some of my “stock-pile” here’s what I came up with.

Love the combination of flavors here. The salty citrus combined with the cilantro and the sweet shrimp work well here. And the addition of red pepper flakes really BAM it up.  Take a look:

Noodles with sautéed Shrimp and Cilantro:

  • 1/2 pound noodles of your choice, (I used flat egg noodles)
  • 1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T. tamari soy sauce
  • 3 T. teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 T. agave syrup (or honey)
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 t. lime zest plus the juice from one lime
  • A sprinkle of crushed red pepper
  • Lime wedges for serving

Cook the noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine 2 T. of the oil with the soy, teriaki and agave syrup. When noodles are cooked and drained, toss them in the sauce, cover and let marinate while you:

Heat 1 T. of the oil in a skillet. Add shallots and cook over moderate heat stirring until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes  Transfer shallots to a paper towel and in same oil add the garlic and cook over low heat until fragrant and just turning gold (about 2 minutes). Transfer garlic to the paper towel.

Meanwhile combine the lime juice with zest and remaining oil and toss with the de-tailed, de-veined shrimp. Season with a little salt and then saute the shrimp in the same oil until done. 

Arrange noodles in large pasta bowls.  Sprinkle with the scallions, garlic, cilantro and some crushed red pepper to taste.  Arrange the shrimp on top, lime wedges along side.

Good to the last drop.

Noodles with sautéed Shrimp and Cilantro…

It’s What’s for Dinner.

Avocado and Shrimp Salad with Mango Dressing

June 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Salads, Seafood | 34 Comments
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This is just flat-out  moan and groan, roll your eyes delicious. I found this recipe last summer over at Food and Wine, wrote rave reviews in my database and can’t believe I didn’t blog it back then. 

This is a Jamaican roadside stand inspired dish with sweet shrimp simmered in a peppery broth. A great Summer crowd-pleaser that could be served as a first course if placed on a bed of greens. Or as your main course when served with a wedge of watermelon and a side of rosemary flatbread like we did Saturday night. Pair it with your favorite frosty glass of Sauvignon Blanc and you’re in heavenly business. But first let’s take a look at my flatbread.

The Bread: I bought a package of Naan, sprinkled on some fresh chopped rosemary, covered with halved grapes then topped with crumbled blue cheese. A few minutes in the oven until warm and toasty and the cheese just starting to melt, sprinkle on some fresh chopped chives from the made a great side for the shrimp. Red grapes would have been better, but the market had none. 

The Wine:  We paired this with a wonderful glass (or two) of Merry Edwards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc. The highest rated wine ever to come out of California, we decided to order a couple of bottles directly from the winery. Here’s their tasting notes:  This compelling blend allures the senses with hints of citrus blossoms, lychee fruit and mango. Soft honey weaves its way through the sumptuous palate. Time in the cellar will allow even more richness and complexity to unfold. Pair this delightful wine with elegant raw oysters, a salad of blood oranges with yellow and red baby beets or giant prawns in Thai green curry sauce over rice noodles.  I mean c’mon, who can resist that lovely description.

The Salad:  Fresh and delicious, I urge you to take the time to give this a try. The Mango dressing is easy to whip up with the hardest part being dragging the food processor out of the cabinet. And shrimp is so easy. I really can think of no excuses not to enjoy this Summery offering.

1 lemon, halved
6 cups water
1 small onion, sliced
2 Tbs kosher salt
1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, halved (I wimped out and used a jalapeno)
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
One 12-ounce bottle of lager
2 lbs large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 mango, peeled and finely diced (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest
1/4 tsp minced Scotch bonnet or habanero chile (I wimped out and used a jalapeno)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (Vidalia onions are here, hence a substitution)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Hass avocados, sliced
Lime wedges, for serving

1. Prepare the shrimp: Squeeze the lemon halves into a large saucepan then add them to the pan. Add the water, onion, salt, Scotch bonnet, ginger and beer and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, just until pink. Drain the shrimp and spread on a platter. Refrigerate until chilled. Halve the shrimp horizontally.

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a food processor, combine 1/3 cup of the diced mango with the vinegar, lime juice and mustard and puree until smooth. With the machine on, add the oil in a thin stream and blend until very smooth. Add the cilantro, lime zest and minced Scotch bonnet and pulse just to combine.

3. Transfer the dressing to a large bowl. Add the shrimp, red onion and the remaining mango and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange the avocado slices around a large platter. Mound the shrimp salad in the center and garnish with lime wedges. Serve right away.

Servings: 6

Avocado and Shrimp Salad With Mango Dressing…

It’s What’s For A Summery Evening Dinner.

1 year ago today Breckenridge Brewery

Roasted Asparagus and Baby Artichokes

June 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Light Meals, Seafood, Vegetables | 29 Comments
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As you can imagine after my Memorial Day fat-stravaganza I’ve been preparing on the light side this week and spending a lot of time browsing the vegetable isles. 

I can’t tell you how many times I passed this beautiful and mysterious display of  “baby artichokes” wanting to bring them home and swaddle them in some sort of sauce, but honestly I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to prepare them.

By luck, I ran across an article and recipe for them in Bon Appetit Magazine and b-lined it up to Whole Foods to grab the next to last package of these adorable little veggies. 

Bon Appetit tells me that baby artichokes aren’t babies at all but are full-grown veggies that are found on the lower part of the plant.  They are more tender and easier to clean than their big brothers.

So let’s get started.

Bring large saucepan of salted water to boil. Fill large bowl with cold water and squeeze juice from one lemon into water. 

Working with one artichoke at a time, pull off all dark green outer leaves until only tender inner yellow leaves remain.

Cut off top tip of artichoke.

Cut off stem and trim around stem base of artichoke.

Cut artichoke lengthwise in half and immediately drop into lemon water to prevent discoloration. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

In the meantime, cut the tough ends off a one pound bunch of asparagus.

Drain artichokes then add to saucepan of boiling water.  Blanch 3 minutes.  Drain again.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.  Place artichokes on one and asparagus on the other. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast asparagus for about 8 minutes and artichokes for about 15.

Aioli For Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • Whisk mayonnaise, oil, oregano, garlic, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Season aioli to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

With the aioli in the middle I arranged the artichokes, asparagus some sliced yellow bell pepper and some cold boiled shrimp.  This is a great aioli recipe and a fresh and delicious start to the week.

Roasted and Fresh Vegetables, Cold Boiled Shrimp with Aioli Sauce…

It’s Just What The Doctor Ordered After Memorial Day.

1 year ago:  Flank Steak with Onion Marmalade

Fired Up

May 31, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Seafood | 30 Comments

My two Webers are definitely front and center stage this weekend. I plan to grill, then I’m going to grill and then I think I’ll grill some more. Let’s take a look.

First out of the chutes is Glazed Shrimp. I wanted to keep it light on Friday evening, as  lunch that day was a big old heavy ham and pumpernickel sandwich. So serving up a side of my leftover Pasta Salad and skewers of Glazed Shrimp sounded PERfect. 

I found a beautiful package of jumbo shrimp which were labeled “Gulf Shrimp”. I was surprised to see these available with this oil tragedy, but the seafood counter was just too busy to inquire about their origin. Perhaps from Texas?

Simple please! I find that when grilling shrimp, size and simplicity matter.  We love the delicate and sweet flavor of shrimp and don’t like to overwhelm them with complicated sauces. Sometimes just a slather of melted butter lightly flavored with garlic is nice. Or a quick baste with some olive oil in which some of fresh herbs have been added.  We also like a light brush of Caesar salad dressing adding a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese at the end. Always love a squeeze of fresh lemon. Obviously the larger shrimp are more practical. The recipe below is about as complicated as I get.

This is a quick and easy recipe, had it for years, it’s my go to “dinner in 10 minutes” entrée. Sweet and tangy and I love the shiny finish that seals in the tender texture of the meat.

Shrimp Glaze

3 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic — minced
1 1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned and de-veined

1. Skewered, brush one side of shrimp with mixture, grill two minutes. Turn and brush, cook 2 more min.

I mean really, can anything be simpler and did I mention tasty?

Simple Glazed Shrimp…

It’s What’s For Dinner.

1 year ago  Sauteed Scallops in Orange Cream Sauce

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