Aug 29 2012

Tuna Duet Platter: Tuna Lolli-Pops & Tartare






Prep time: 10 – 15 min     Cook time: 5 min

Serves 2 – 4

This dish is especially for tuna lovers, it’s super simple and very tasty.  Although Asian inspired, this dish playfully marries the French tartare method with American hand held food inginuity and some classic italian/asian seasonings.  Despite this dishes multiple infulences it is unified in its awesome flavor.


16 oz            Tuna steak
1 bag           Spinach (uncooked)
1/2 cup       Cherry tomatoes
1-2               Shallots
1/3 cup       Sugar peas
4 tbls           Ginger (pickeled)
1/2 tsp         Toasted sesame oil
1 tbls            Olive oil
1/2 cup        White vinegar
3  tbls           Soy sauce
2 tbls            Balsamic vinegar
1 tlbs            Lemon juice
1 tsp             Agave nectar
1 tbls           Black and white sesame seeds

Step 1

Prepare marinade for tuna lolli-pops: add soy sauce, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and agave nectar, mix in a bowl.

Step 2

Cut tuna steak into long cube peices and  and place into a shallow dish, pour marinade over the fish.

Step 3

Cut or mince the remainder of the tuna fish into small pieces.  Mix with salt and white pepper, agave nectar, toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds.  Set aside in the fridge until plating.

Step 4

Prepare salad by pre-washing everyting then in a large bowl toss spinach, cherry tomatoes, sugar peas and thinly sliced shallots with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Plate on a platter.

Step 5

Preheat grill or griddle to scortching high heat.  Remove tuna from marinade then skewer them and place the “lolli-pops” turning them once, one minute each side.  Once cooked set aside to rest.

Step 6

Remove tuna tartare from fridge and place in a mold and plate in the center of the salad and top with pickeled ginger.

Step 7

Plate the tuna lolli-pops over salad and serve.

Tuna Duet


Aug 11 2012

Peruvian Thai Ceviche


Prep time: 15 – 20 min     Cook time: 45 min

Serves 4

Ceviche’s make for great summer dishes!  They are served cold, zesty and fresh and preparded without any heat source.  This ceviche dish is a spin off of a traditional Peruvian classic with a little Thai influence.  Served as a starter or main course it promises to be hit with adventurous eaters.


8 oz            Tilapia fillet
4oz              Squid
6oz              Bay Scallops
1/2 cup       Tomato diced
1/2 cup       Orange/Red/Yellow Bell Pepper diced
¼ cup       Yellow Onion diced
¼ cup        Green Spring Onion
2                  Limes juiced
2 tbs           White Vinegar
1 tsp            Fish Sauce
1/2 cup       Coconut Milk
1 tsp            Agave Nectar


Step 1

Begin by sharpening your chefs knife, wipe clean and cut all of the fresh ingredients into equal size pieces (½” diced cubes).

Fresh Ingredients

Step 2

Mix all of the fresh ingredients into a large bowl then incorporate the lime juice, vinegar and fish sauce.  Place into the refrigerator and allow ingredients to marinate and cook in the liquids for 30-40 minutes.

Fresh limes

Step 3

Remove from refrigerator and mix ingredients with agave nectar and then mix again with coconut milk.  Marinate for another 10 minutes in the refrigerator.

Mixed Ingredients

Step 4

Scoop Ceviche into chilled martini glasses and serve with crostini or hearty cracker


Aug 10 2012

Grilled Grouper Swiss Chard and Potato

Prep time: 10 – 15 min     Cook time: 40 min

Serves 1

This dish was inspired by a trip to Gruyères Switzerland, where I truly tasted cheese at its best.  While there I was introduced to one of switzerland’s most popular comfort foods, Raclette.  Although raclette is  no more than potatoes and cheese, I felt this dish could be elevate by using the “raclette” as a base then adding grilled grouper and topping with saute Swiss chard, another nod to the Swiss.  Finish by drizzling white wine, lemon butter pan sauce over fish.

8 oz            Grouper fillet
2                  Purple Potato
2                  Neu Potato
1                  Swiss Chard Leaf
1/4 tsp       Dry Dill
1/4 cup      White Wine
1/2 cup      Gruier Cheese
1                  Lemon/lime
1 tbls          Butter
3 tbls          Olive oil


Step 1

Begin by seasoning the grouper fillet with salt, pepper and dill.  Using a mandolin slice the potatoes into 1/8” slices.  Rough chop Swiss chard, grate Gruyère cheese and set all of the ingredients aside.


Step 2

Pre-heat a saute pan on medium-low heat and melt equal parts olive oil and butter.  Assemble potato slices alternating colors in a radial fashion, being careful not burn your self.  Sprinkle the grieur cheese over the scalloped potatoes and cover for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.  Carefully transfer the potatoes from the sauté pan to a baking sheet and into a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Step 3

Prepare your griddle by preheating to high heat and adding equal parts olive oil and butter.  Place grouper fillet at a 45 degree angle for 1 ½ – 2 minutes then reverse and then flip, cover and reduce heat to medium for 5 minutes.  Uncover, squeeze lime juice over the fillet, remove and set aside to rest. Increase heat and deg laze pan with white wine, add butter to finish a deliciously simple pan sauce.

Grilled fish and pan sauce

 Step 4

In a preheated sauté pan melt butter and add white wine over medium high heat.  Toss in chopped Swiss chard and quickly wilt, season with salt and pepper.  Don’t over cook!  1 – 2 minutes maximum.

saute swiss chard

Step 5

Remove scalloped potatoes from the oven and plate.  Place grouper fillet over the potatoes and top with wilted Swill chard, spoon pan sauce over the fish and serve.

May 2 2012

Frutti di mare

"Fruits from the sea"

Prep time: 10 – 15 min     Cook time: 15 min         ready in:35min

Mussels, bay scallops, shrimp and clams cooked in white wine coconut bouillabaisse sauce infused with lemon grass and fresh herbs.  This dish was a culinary revisit to some of my favorite places and one of my favorite hand to mouth comfort foods.  From Brussels comes the white wine and mussels, from Italy all of the other seafood and the aromatics and the coconut milk base bull abase I borrowed from Thailand minus the curry and spice (I have tried a variation of this dish with yellow curry; I highly recommend it).


1 lb              mussels
1/2 cup       coconut milk
1/2 lb          clams
1/2 cup       white wine
6                  shrimps
2                  stocks lemon grass
1/2 cup      scallops
1                  lemon
3                 shallots
1/2             bunch cilantro
1/2             bunch green onion
1/4             bunch basil
4                 cloves garlic


Step 1 – Ok, we are going on the assumption that you are working with pre-thawed (not frozen) seafood, if not please put this meal off until the next day.  Place your frozen seafood in the refrigerator for 24 hours allowing it to gently thaw.

As always lets get all of the prep work out of the way. First peel the garlic and shallot wrappers off, next crush the garlic with the broad side of the knife and set aside in your side-prep dish, add to that shallots and green onion sliced into thin strips, next pound the lemon grass with a mallet or the back of your chefs knife until the inner layers are soft, discard outer leaves lastly rough chop basil and cilantro setting all fresh herbs aside for the moment.

Raw ingredients

Step 2 – In a wok bring a drizzle of olive oil to a medium heat, don’t bring the oil to the smoking point.  Add the garlic, shallots and lemon grass to the hot wok stirring quickly in stir fry fashion for about a minute.

Step 3 –  add the mussels and clams mixing with the aromatics.  Cook for a couple of minutes allowing some of the closed shells to steam open.


Step 4 – add a generous cup of dry white wine. Allow to cook for another minute before adding a half cup of coconut milk.  Cover and cook for 6 minutes

bull abase

Step 5 – Lastly add shrimp, scallops and a table spoon of unsalted butter.  Stir and cook uncovered for 2 more minutes.  Be careful not to overcook, remove from heat when all or most shells have opened.


May 1 2012

New Zealand Rack of Lamb

New Zealand Rack of Lamb














Prep Time:
25 Min     Cook Time:
20 Min      Ready In:
30 Min


Marinated, grilled lamb chops with honey and agave glaze served with Moroccan spiced couscous and papaya mint compote.  The preparation of this dish begins a couple of days in advance, but makes for quick and easy cooking and plating come dinner time; well worth the wait.    Influenced by New Zealand, Morocco and the Caribbean, an unlikely mix for an uncommonly delicious meal.  Once you have tried it you might just find this to be your favorite dinner date dish; it never fails to impress.


1                 rack (6 chops) lamb
4                cloves garlic
1/2 tbls    coarse black pepper
1/2 tbls    coarse sea salt
2 tbls        clover honey
1 tbls        raw agave nectar
1 cup        diced ripe papaya
1/4 cup    minced fresh mint
1 tbls        aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup    pinenuts
1/2 cup    dry couscous (plain)
1/2 tsp      turmeric powder
1/2 tsp      ground cumin
1 tbls         olive oil
salt and pepper

Step 1 (2-days prior to cooking) french your rack of lamb by trimming away all of the unnecessary fat from around the rib bones.  Season the lamb with coarse salt and pepper, then lay thinly sliced garlic clove over all of the meat.  wrap tightly in tinfoil or plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for at least two days.

Lamb marinade

Lamb marinade














Sealed marinade














Step 2 (2-days in advance) dice ripe papaya into small cubes and incorporate with freshly minced mint, add balsamic vinegar and agave nectar, salt and pepper.  Store in an air tight Tupperware container in the refrigerator until ready to plate.  This can be done just prior to plating however the added time it takes to marinate will cut down on the sharpness of the fresh mint allowing the flavors to marry and mellow.

Step 3 Dinner day! Remove the lamb from the refrigerator, unwrap the lamb and remove all of the garlic from the meat.  Allow the meat to warm to room temperature before placing on the grill.

Step 4 Preheat your oven to 220 degrees and preheat your griddle on high in order to sear your lamb in order to create a crust on the outside.  This will sear the outside, sealing in all of the juices.  Cook time should only be a couple of minutes on each side.  Once seared remove from griddle and brush the entire rack of lamb with honey and agave glaze then place the rack into the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness of lamb).  This will give you a medium to medium rare finished product (the desired temperature for lamb).  You should allow the lamb to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Step 6 While the lamb is resting, prepare the couscous.  This recipe calls for instant couscous, so simply add 1 and /3 cups of water to a pot with ground cumin and turmeric and 1 tbls of olive oil and bring to a boil.  Add couscous to the mixture, stir for a few seconds and then remove from heat and set aside covered for five minutes.  Fluff with fork and serve.

Step 7 Plating: Begin by packing the couscous into a mold and then set onto the center of your plate.  Next, set the lamb chops in a radial pattern around the couscous mold and lastly plate the papaya mint compote opposite the lamb.

Radial Plating




Apr 22 2012

Asian tofu vegetable stir fry

Asian Tofu Vegetable Stir fry

Prep Time:
25 Min           Cook Time:
15 Min               Ready In:
40 Min


Stir frys are one of my “go-to” favorites, the recipes vary greatly depending on whatever ingredients I have on hand in my fridge and pantry; however that is the beauty of stir frys.  In this respect they are the Asian equivelent to rice pilaf.

The influences of this dish albeit Asian come from different places throughout Asia, primarily China, Thailand and Vietnam however the “twist” is the use of linguini pasta (it’s what I had on hand and it worked well with this dish).  You can also use clear Thai noodles, udon noodles or whatever pasta you have on hand that is similar.


8 oz              linguini pasta
1 tbls            peanut oil
1/2 tsp         toasted sesame oil
1/2               medium onion, sliced
2 cloves       garlic, finely chopped
1 tbls           fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1 (16 oz)     package tofu, drained and cut into cubed
4 tbls           rice wine vinegar
2 tbls           agave nectar
2 tbls           soy sauce
1/2  tsp       fish sauce
1                   carrot, peeled and julianed
1 cup           baby corn, drained
1 1/4           cups bean sprouts
1 cup           bamboo shoots, drained and chopped
1/2              teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 med         green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
1/2 cup      crushed peanuts
1/2 cup      chopped cilantro



Step 1 cut, slice, chop and crush all ingredients in advance and set into separate bowls.  Once you begin the stir fry process the cooking goes fairly quickly.

Step 2 In a saute pan pan sear the cubed tofu cooking until golden brown.  Remove and set aside.

Step 3 In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onions and cook for one minute. Stir in garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds.

Step 4 Stir in carrots, bell pepper and baby corn, cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in bok choy, mushrooms, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and crushed red pepper, and heat through. Remove from heat.

Step 4 once all of the vegetables have sweated encorporate the rice wine vinegar, agave nectar, and soy sauce, and reduce the heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for two minutes, then stir in the tofu. Simmer until sauce thickens.  Garnish with scallions, cilantro and peanuts.

Apr 17 2012

Jamaican escoviche of snapper

Snapper escovitche

Prep Time:
15 Min        Cook Time:
15 Min         Ready In:
25 Min

Servings  2

Snapper escovitche is one of Jamaica’s most ubiquitous dishes and has been adopted throughout the Caribbean.  This dish is often eaten for breakfast on the weekends as a hangover remedy usually served with buttered grits or Johnny cake.  This dish is slightly elevated by the substitution of grits for couscous.  It is typically fiery hot due to the scotch bonnet peppers, but can be mellowed by simply “dialing” back on the amount of peppers used and or eliminating them altogether.

All in all this escovitch will leave you feeling energized and with lingering flavors bouncing around your mouth well after digestion.

(2) 8oz                  snapper fillets
1                             vine ripe tomato
1/2                         red/green/orange pepper
1/2                         yellow onion
2                             garlic cloves
4                             sprig cilantro
1/2                         scotch bonnet pepper (no seeds)
1 tbls                     white vinegar
2 tbls                     lemon juice
2 tbls                     butter
1 tbls                     olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup                      couscous (box preparation)

Step 1 season snapper fillet with salt and pepper on both sides (skin can be removed).  Place snapper fillet into a preheated pan with olive oil over medium high heat and place skin side down.  Cook for a couple of minutes until brown.  Turn fillet over and reduce heat to medium.

Step 2 add butter, crushed garlic, diced tomato, sliced peppers, cilantro, scotch bonnet (use sparingly) and all of the liquid ingredients allowing to sweat and saute simultaneously with the fish.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and allow everything to simmer for about 5 – 7 minutes.

Snapper escovitche

Step 3 while fish is simmering prepare couscous by combining couscous, spices, oil and butter to 1 3/4 boiling water.  Cover, remove from heat and allow to cook off heat for 5 minutes.

Step 4 pack couscous into a mold (any mold will do, a glass, cup or ring mold) and place onto a plate just off center.

Step 5 Place the snapper fillet onto the plate and top with all of the cooked ingredients, then gently pour the sauce over it.  Garnish with sprig of cilantro and lemon wedge.


Apr 17 2012

Tuna: Seared and Tartare


Seared Tuna and Tuna Taretare


Prep Time:
15 Min        Cook Time:
3 Min         Ready In:
20 Min

Servings  2

Yellowfin tuna prepared two ways with one beautiful plating; tartar and herb rubbed and seared served tuna with avocado, crostini, basil leaf and lemon wedge drizzled with balsamic glaze and olive oil.

This dish is more like a gourmet spa diet dish but is actually fairly quick and simple to make.  Fresh thick tuna fillet is the key and some knife skills and artful plating is all you need to complete the finished product.

16oz          tuna fillet
2                ripe avocado wedges
4                basil leaf
1                lemon wedge
2                slices of country bread
1                sprig of cilantro (garnish)
1/2 tsp      sesame seeds (blk/wht)
1/4 tsp      sesame oil
1/2 tbs      olive oil
1/2 tbs      agave nectar
1/2 tsp      balsamic glaze
salt and pepper

Step 1 Sharpen your chef knife because so much depends on your cuts.  Next cut half of the tuna steak or fillet away trimming any undesirable edges from the portion that will be used for searing.

Step 2 Cut the tuna dedicated for the tartar into small 1/4 inch size pieces maintaining a uniform size.  place the tartar (uncooked diced tuna) into a mixing bowl and blend with salt and pepper, sesame oil, agave nectar and sesame seeds, mix lightly then place in the refrigerator to set.

Step 3 Prepare the remainder of the tuna by seasoning with slat and pepper then applying minced basil and  and sprinkle with sesame seeds, set aside until the tuna come to room temperature.

Step 4 Preheat a saute pan on high heat and pour in olive oil into it in preparation for the tuna steak.  Place the tuna steak into the saute pan and allow to sear quickly for no more than 1  minute on all four sides.  Remove from heat and set aside, allowing it to cool and set up.  This will make cutting easier.

Step 5 Place the refrigerated tartar into a mold (this can be a coffee mug, glass, empty tuna can, ring mold) and set onto the center of the plate.  Leave it in the mold until all of the other elements are plated around the tartar.

Step 6 Toast country loaf slices and then rub with raw garlic and then drizzle with olive oil, cut on a bias then plate.

Step 7 Plate all of the remaining elements avocado, lemon, basil leaf and cilantro onto the plate in a radial fashion around the tartar leaving room for the tuna.

Step 8 Slice the seared tuna that was left to rest into 1/2 thick pieces and complete dish by plating in a radial fashion and viola.

Final Plating



Apr 9 2012

Sun-dried tomato risotto

Sun-dried tomato risotto stuffed portobello

Sun-dried tomato risotto stuffed portobello

Prep Time:
10 Min        Cook Time:
35 Min         Ready In:
45 Min

Servings  4

Pairing woodsy portobello mushroom cap with savory, tangy sun-dried tomato risotto and goat cheese may sound strange but somehow it works.  The common thread is the savory notes of the main ingredients.  The result is a deliciously sophisticated comfort food favorite. This dish can also be made by using mushroom risotto.


5 1/2                cups chicken stock
1/3 cup            oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1                        onion, chopped
1                        garlic clove minced
2 cups              arborio rice
1/2 cup           dry white wine
1 cup                grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs                 white truffle infused olive oil
2 tbs                 chev soft goat cheese (garnish)


Step 1 – In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer.

Chicken stock

Chicken stock

Step 2 – While the stock is heating, drain the sun-dried tomatoes and reserve the oil. Chop the tomatoes coarsely and set them aside.

Step 3 – Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over a portobello mushroom cap and season with fresh ground sea salt and coarse black pepper.  Place into a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, remove and set aside for plating.

Roasted portobello mushroom

Roasted portobello mushroom

Step 4 – In a large frying pan, warm 2 tablespoons of oil from the tomatoes, add onion and saute until translucent; about 6 minutes.

Step 5 – Add rice to the frying pan and stir until white spots appear in the center of the grains; about 1 minute. Spoon a ladleful of vegetable stock into the frying pan and cook the mixture on low until all the stock is absorbed; about 2 minutes. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

Sun-dried tomato risotto

Sun-dried tomato risotto, cooking

Step 6 – After the rice is fully cooked or a bit al dente add parmesan cheese,  1 tablespoons of truffle infused olive oil, mix and serve.

Apr 9 2012

Cuban Caprese Salad

Cuban caprese salad

Cuban caprese salad family style

Yield: 3 servings        Prep time: 20 min        Ready in: 25 min

A Latin twist on an Italian classic.  Mojo marinated shrimp grilled to perfection, paired with vine ripe tomatoes, basil and bufalo mozzerella cheese topped with sweet aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, garished with lime and cilantro.


12                 jumbo Gulf shrimp
1/4 cup       olive oil
2                   large red or yellow tomatoes, sliced
1/4               cucumber sliced
1/2 lb          fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, drained, sliced
1 bunch      fresh basil leaves
4                   lime wedges
2                   cilantro sprigs
1/4 tsp        dried dill
3 tbs            olive oil
2 tbs            balsamic vinega
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1 – Peel shrimp, leaving tails on; devein.  Season shrimp with salt, pepper and dried dill, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over shrimp;tossing to coat well. Set aside until ready to cook.

Step 2 – Pour 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick griddle or grill over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; grilling 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from heat.

Step 4 – Arrange tomato, cheese slices and basil alternately overlapping, place cucumber, lime wedges and cilantro thoughtfully on a platter.

Cuban Caprese Salad

Cuban Caprese Salad Plating

Step 5 – Drizzle oil and vinegar over the top of the plated ingredients.  Season to taste with salt and pepper then symmetrically plate the grilled shrimp

Cuban Caprese Salad with white wine