Crab Cake Lite

Crab Cake Light pushes the crab meat front and center.  Supporting flavors include just a touch of light sour cream, flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced yellow bell pepper and salt to suit your taste.  Remember, salt brings out the flavor of the crab meat.  Panko breadcrumbs and an egg keeps the crab meat together.  Patties are formed and then chilled in the refrigerator.  Finally a pat of butter sits on each pattie and baked in the oven.

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Fresh Seafood Salad With Pineapple Vinaigrette

This wonderfully light seafood salad with shrimp, scallop and pineapple can be served as entree or a side salad.  The ingredients are charred on a grill pan, laid on a bed of arugula and then highlighted with a pineapple vinaigrette and blue cheese.  

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Steamed Herb Mussels In Tomatoes

Steamed herb mussels in a tomato sauce is a classic French dish, known as Mussels au Provençal. There are many variations on this theme.  Here I offer a basic recipe infused with lots of herbs. 


The Recipe

Ingredients for steamed mussels:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3/4 onions, chopped (yellow or red)

  • 1/4 cup shallots, chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 pieces of fresh thyme

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced

  • 1 16-ounce can peeled tomatoes, drained (use whole or diced, not pette diced!)

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • 4 or 5 pounds mussels, cleaned


Melt butter in a large deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and shallots.  Cook for about 1 minute, then add garlic.  When onions are translucent, add remaining herbs and tomatoes.  Bring to a low boil.  Add wine.  Making sure steam is being produced from the mixture, add mussels and cover with a lid.  Shake the pan gently a few times while mussels cook 2-3 minutes or until they are open.  Caution:  Do not over cook mussels or they will be tough and unpleasant to eat!)

Serve with crusty bread or, as I do, with rice.

A note on mussels:

Always buy live fresh mussels.  Fresh mussels will have tightly closed shells or will snap shut when tapped.  Avoid mussels with broken shells or feel heavy (meaning they're full of sand) or those that feel light and loose when shaken (indicating the mussel is dead).  Smaller mussels will be tender.  

Fresh mussels should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 1-2 days from purchase.  Mussels that are open prior to and after cooking should be discarded!

The sauce can be cooked ahead a day or two ahead of time.  Re-heated and then add mussels.      



Twice Baked Potato Stuffed With Shrimp And Blue Cheese

I use to cook this twice baked potato stuffed with shrimp and blue cheese as a side dish only during the Christmas holidays.  But it became such a favorite with guests--and myself, that I now make it any time of the year and as a main coarse served with a side salad.


NOTES:  For this recipe, the potato is 1.6 pounds because it is intended to be the main coarse.  If you want to make it as a side dish, try a 9 oz baking potato.  Just be sure to adjust the ingredient quantities for a smaller baking potato.  You can also freeze the stuffed potato halves.  

The Recipe
Preheat oven 375 degrees


  • 1.6 pound baking potato

  • 9 oz of cleaned, pre-cooked frozen shrimp, thawed and roughly chopped.

  • 31-40 size shrimp per pound. Set aside 6 whole shrimps for garnish.

  • 1/2 stick of butter

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 tsp of garlic infused olive oil

  • optional: chopped chives


Wash and carefully scrub the potato skin.  Prick the potato with a fork in several places.  This will release steam during baking.  Place potato on a cookie sheet and bake 1 to 1-1/2 hours.  Turn the potato over about mid way during baking.  To test for doneness, gently squeeze the sides and press down on the top.  There should be about 1/8 inch of give.

Cut the potato lengthwise into two halves. With a small spoon, scoop out and place the flesh of the potato in a medium size bowl.  (When you scoop, leave about 1/8" flesh attached to the skin.)  Smash 1/4 of a stick of butter into the potato filling and mix well.  Add 1/2 cup of sour cream. Stir until smooth.  (If you like your mashed potatoes light and fluffy, you may want to use a food processor or just use a hand mixer.)  

Gently fold in the blue cheese.  Then gently fold in the chopped shrimp.  Divide mixture evenly into two parts.  Scoop one part into one half of the potato.  Be careful not to press too hard on the mixture to avoid breaking the skin.  Repeat this step for the second half potato. 

Return stuffed potato halves to the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.  For nice brown peaks on your potato halves, change the oven setting from baking to broiling.  Broil the potato halves for approximately 3 minutes.  On this step, watch very carefully not to burn the stuffing.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Garnish with more Shrimps and Blue Cheese:

On the stove top, turn the burner to a medium high heat.  In a skillet, melt the remaining butter and add the garlic infused olive oil. When this is very hot, add remaining whole shrimps.  Brown on one side,  turn over and brown the other side.  (Remember, these are pre-cooked shrimp, so don't over due the cooking.)  Casually place 3 shrimps over each of the two stuffed potato halves.  Pour any remaining oil and butter over the shrimps and potato halves.  Sprinkle additional blue cheese on top of the potatoes.  


For a little more color, sprinkle chopped chives on top of the stuffed potatoes. 


Tried it?  please, come back and let me know what you think.  really. 

Shrimp And Papaya Salad With Greek Yogurt Dressing

This is such a simple and refreshing salad.  The Greek yogurt salad dressing includes the wonderful flavors of lemon and honey and a touch of poppy seeds, a perfect marriage with the sweetness of the red papaya and subtle taste of the steamed shrimp.  Serves 2 


Of course, start with the freshest ingredients.  I just love the colors and aromas of the fresh papaya and strawberries.  
That red onion was definitely on the attack, so I only diced a little of it.


Plate it!


Pile the papaya, strawberries and red onions on a bed of lettuce of your choice.  
Add the steamed shrimp.  Then drip the delicately tangy dressing over all of it.


The Recipe:

Salad Ingredients:

  • Shrimps, cleaned and precooked, preferably wild caught shrimps or 31-40 ct, about 12 shrimps

  • Red papaya, 1 cup cubed

  • Red onion, 1/4 cup diced

  • Strawberries, 8 large ones cut into quarters

Pile salad ingredients on a bed of lettuce and add a lemon wedge.

Salad dressing

  • Greek yogurt, 1 cup

  • Honey (wildflower), 2 Tablespoons

  • Orange juice, 1 Tablespoon, fresh or natural

  • Fresh lemon juice, 3-1/2 Tablespoons

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)

For salad dressing, combine ingredients.  Gently stir until well mixed.  Yields 1 cup of dressing.  


Would you like a bite?


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