Category Archives: seafood

parchment-baked salmon with blood orange and fennel


When I can’t grill fish outside because of the weather, the only two methods of indoor cooking I employ are poaching and baking in parchment.  Both ways seal juices and flavors in to insure a moist fish, thus avoiding that fine line of overcooking it to dry with broiling or baking.

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shrimp and corn chowder with homemade corn stock

Are you throwing out the corn cobs from your summer corn?

Stop it.  Stop it right now.  This stock is so easy to make…and it absolutely makes this chowder shine (not to mention it smells pretty darn good while it’s simmering).

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The Maryland crab cake

One of the first times my husband and I visited Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we passed by a small restaurant with a sign boasting “Maryland Fried Chicken”.

We both looked at each other. “Is Maryland known for fried chicken?” we asked each other in unison. We’ve both lived in Maryland all of our lives, so it was more of a rhetorical question.

Maryland might be know for this. Or maybe this. But it is not famous for fried chicken.

Maryland, and the Chesapeake Bay region, is known for blue crabs.

Steamed with plenty of Old Bay seasoning, picking crabs at a picnic table with cold beer is synonymous with summer around these parts.

While it’s easy to find a decent crab cake in Maryland, this is (in my opinion) the best recipe I have come across. The perfect crab cake is flavorful, moist, and slightly crispy on the outside.

Maryland crab cakes

8 ounces jumbo lump crab meat

Mix together to make a sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise (I use light olive oil based mayo)

1 Tbsp yellow mustard

5 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup Old Bay seasoning

one egg

2-3 dashes Tabasco

1/2 tsp dry yellow mustard, such as Colemans

Fresh bread crumbs from 2-3 slices of day old bread. This is important to produce moist crab cakes.

Add bread crumbs to crab meat in a large bowl and mix well. You may not use them all. The purpose is to bind the crab meat, but not dry it out or add too much filling. The crab meat is the star. Next add the sauce-enough to coat the crab meat and allow it to stay together. Form and shape your patties. I make them about 1/2 inch thick and about 3-4 inches wide.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake patties until golden on top, approximately 12-15 minutes. You can also broil them, if preferred.

grilled Maryland Rockfish with peach habanero salsa

This recipe is dedicated to a good friend of mine.  Her husband underwent an emergency triple bypass a few months back and their family has been attempting to modify their diet.  This means that she has been trying new, health-conscious recipes (yay!).

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best. salmon. ever.

How many times does a recipe have to be adapted before it’s officially your own creation?

This is based on a recipe I read in another blog at some point.  I didn’t bookmark that recipe, but the combination of ingredients was tucked away in a corner of my brain.  The person who first “blogged” it had adapted it from a cookbook and I, in turn, have made tweaks to make it my own.

This is one of the two best ways I have ever prepared salmon (the other being grilled on cedar with a simple chili glaze).  I am wholeheartedly in favor of any meal that can be prepared simply by tossing a few ingredients together in one pan and letting it cook over the stove top or in the oven with little fuss.

stovetop salmon

4 -6 coho salmon fillets (or other best choice salmon)

14.5 ounce can organic petite diced tomatoes

2 shallots, thinly sliced

4 Tbsp white wine or vodka

1 tsp horseradish

1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

juice of half of a lemon

1 tsp olive oil

1 stalk celery, diced

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

leaves from 4 sprigs of  fresh thyme, plus more for garnishing

In a large skillet or saute pan (that has a matching, tight fitting lid) over medium heat, combine all ingredients except for salmon.  Bring to a simmer while whisking occasionally to combine.

Once simmering, lay the salmon fillets over the top of the sauce and place one sprig of thyme on top of each fillet.  Cover with lid and let the salmon poach in the sauce until cooked through and opaque, about 10-12 minutes depending on thickness of fillets.

roasted fish with magic sauce

Do you know where your fish comes from?

Is it a sustainable choice?

I’m trying to get better at answering these questions before I decide to purchase a piece of fish of seafood.  There’s even an app for that, developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium,  so that you can check while perusing your local fish monger or seafood counter.

The fish I used in this dish is Atlantic Cod, which is categorized as a “Best Choice”.  My husband likes it because it is a flaky, thick white fish.  It handles strong flavors such as the one in this sauce extremely well.

roasted fish with magic sauce

2-4 fish fillets (depending on size.  Cod is large, so 2 fillets was plenty for our family of four plus leftovers)

organic plum cherry tomatoes

magic sauce (from Heidi Swanon’s blog “101 Cookbooks”)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 medium cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste
1 well-crumbled bay leaf
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon + fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

warm the olive oil over medium-low heat in a skillet or pan, until it is just hot. When hot remove from heat.

While the oil is heating, lightly pulse the rosemary, thyme, and oregano in a small food processor, herb mill, or you can use a mortar and pestle as Heidi suggests.

Stir the paprika, garlic, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and salt into the oil. Then add the herbs and lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place fish in a large dish with sides (I used a 9 x 13 Pyrex).  Season fish with sea salt and black pepper.  Brush fish with magic sauce. Scatter tomatoes in dish alongside fish. Roast in oven until fish is done and visibly flaking, about 20 minutes.  It will all depend on the type and thickness of your fish.

Serve with extra sauce for drizzling.

*This is the first time I’ve turned on my camera to take photos of a dish, and the battery was dead!  Since dinner waits for no Canon, two of these photos were taken with my Iphone and one was taken by my husband with his Ipad.