Golden Poppies our State Wildflower

Friday, May 30, 2014


This recipe uses medium sized, unpeeled shrimp/prawns, and is an authentic recipe from the American South 1940's.
You may also use this recipe for prawns, scampi and lobster tails.
It calls for cracker crumbs these are Saltines. Cream Crackers, or Ritz, just place in a bag and smash with a rolling pin or use your hands to crush, also do the same with breakfast cereal corn or bran flakes.

serves 4-6

2 pounds medium sized shrimp, fresh shrimp

2 large eggs beaten
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cloves garlic smashed and minced
2tbsp minced parsley
2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

2 cups cracker crumbs
1 cup cornflake crumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal (fine ground polenta)

oil to deep fry in

serve with sauce of choice, sea salt  and lemon wedges

Deveining shrimp


Wash the shrimp well in clean cold water then remove shell, leaving the tails intact, and de-vein the shrimp.
Set the shrimp in large bowl, and chill.
Beat the next 7 ingredients together well and then pour over the shrimp and chill for a further 4 hours.

Meanwhile mix the crumbs and cornmeal together in a large plastic bag, set aside.

Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or fryer. to 375f

Remove the shrimp from the marinade and shake off excess, dip to coat the shrimp in the crumb mix, again shake of excess and carefully fry in small batches...until golden brown.
Discard the marinade.

Drain in wire racks  (draining on  paper towels can make the shrimp soggy) and serve with sauce of choice.

ideas for dipping sauces:

American "cocktail" sauce
2 parts tomato ketchup
1 part horseradish sauce (not creamed) 

Marie Rose sauce (named after Henry VIII's  flagship)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
juice 2 lemons
1/4 cup sweet sherry
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup whipped cream (optional)
hot sauce (optional)

Cucumber-yogurt dip

2 cups yogurt
1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
2 clove garlic smashed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup minced parsley

Fresh Tartare Sauce:
2 cups mayonnaise or strained yogurt
1/2 cup minced onion/scallion
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup minced pickled cucumbers/gherkins
hot sauce to taste (optional)
1/4 cup lemon juice


Friday, May 23, 2014



Simple and quick ideas for supper or lunches and not costing too much, in fact you might already have these ingredients on hand.

You may use any dried pasta shapes/types for these recipes:

Black Pasta serves 4

1 pound dried pasta

1-2 cups pitted olives roughly chopped

3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups minced onions 4 cloves garlic smashed and minced
4 slices bacon roughly chopped
5 anchovy fillets chopped OR 3tsp anchovy paste OR 5ozs can tuna in oil/water
1/4  cup minced parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook  the pasta to al dente according to packet instructions in boiling salted water.

Meanwhile saute on low heat the onion & garlic in olive oil to opaque..do not color.
Add the chopped olives, bacon and saute until the bacon is crisp.
Add the parsley and anchovy/tuna.
Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl, and top with the olives & fish mix.
Mix well to coat.
Serve in warm bowls and pass around the cheese.

Spaghetti alla Carbonnara serves 4

1 pound  dried spaghetti

10 slices bacon roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 large eggs beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4tbsp melted butter

1 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 cup defrosted green peas (optional)

Cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions in boiling salted water

Saute the bacon in olive oil until golden brown, add the red pepper flakes and herbs, set aside.
Over  very hot water..beat the eggs in the serving bowl until light and frothy.(this is to temper the eggs)
Add the cheese, salt and pepper and nutmeg, mix well then add the bacon and drippings and butter.
Add the drained hot spaghetti and mix well to combine, pour in the cream and peas, mix very well and serve in warm bowls with additional Parmesan for guests to add more as they wish

 SPICY Pasta alla Pompieri serves 4

1 pound dried pasta

1/2 cup chopped bacon

1/4 cup minced onion

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
hot sauce ..4 shakes or to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

While the pasta is cooking to al dente in boiling salted water

Saute the bacon in the olive oil  until almost golden brown then add the peppers, onion and garlic and saute to 2 mins.
Add the herbs and seasonings and remove from heat
Drain pasta into a serving bowl and add the bacon and vegetables and drippings
Toss well with the cheese and serve in warmed bowls....also pass round extra cheese and hot sauce. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cantonese Style Chicken with "Plum" Sauce OR Lemon sauce..actually less expensive than using chicken wings and no bones

For some strange reason chicken wings are more expensive to buy in California, than chicken breasts..I expect it is because of the popularity of hot chicken wings.
But this recipe is far better using boneless, skinless, chicken breasts anyway.
I am also offering this a a Globally Adjustable recipe and please feel free to use any preserve that you have on hand rather than looking for a plum one.
I have had this sauce made with orange and lemon marmalade and even raspberry jam...and it all works.

So here goes, serves 4-5

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (remove any visible fat from the thighs)

2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp each cornstarch and water
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
dash white, ground pepper

2 tbsp safflower or grape seed oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cold water

1 cup raw sesame seeds or raw finely minced nuts of choice (optional)

grape seed or peanut oil for frying 

Cut breasts of chicken into 2 inch pieces , and pound with back of knife so each piece is uniform thickness.
In a bowl combine:
soy sauce & water, sesame oil,  and white pepper.
Add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat.
Then stir in 1 tbsp safflower oil and let marinate for 25 mins.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder , add the remaining 1 tbsp safflower oil and the cold water and blend until smooth.
Let this batter stand for 20 mins.
Then add the chopped nuts/sesame seeds.

In a deep saucepan/fryer add 2 inches peanut or grape seed oil and bring to high heat (350F).
This is a MUST..do each piece one at a time, do not mix everything in the batter at once:

Lift the chicken piece out of the marinade, shaking off excess and dip into batter.
Shake off excess and carefully place in hot oil  (be careful not to drop in)..fry in batches of 4 or 5  for 3-4 mins until golden brown, and meat is no longer pink.
Remove with slotted spoon and drain in wire rack over cookie sheet in a 200f oven.

Serve on warm plates and pass the sauces round for people to add their own choices.

Dipping sauces:

Plum sauce:
In a bowl combine:
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 cup plum or any other fruit preserves (jam)

Mix very well to combine. Set aside

In a sauce pan, heat 1tbsp safflower oil and 2 tbsp minced ginger root, and 1 tsp vinegar..stir fry for 30 seconds, then add the jam mix, and cook until it begins to thicken (about 2 mins).
Serve at room temp.
makes 1 cup

Lemon sauce
cut 1 large lemon into thin slices discarding and seeds and end slices, set aside on a large plate.
Ina saucepan heat 1 tbsp safflower oil, over medium high heat and add the lemon slices stir fry for 30 seconds then add:
1 cup chicken broth

4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
Simmer for 2 mins
Blend 1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp cold water and add to sauce and cook until sauce thickens..serve hot with chicken pieces


THIS IS ALSO KNOWN AS CHAR SIU and is served in many ways.
as an appetizer, as a garnish with soups to add extra flavor also with fried rice, won ton soup or stir fried vegetables.

This makes approx 2 1/2 pounds barbecued pork

1/4 cup dark soy sauce
2 tbsp each of honey, brown sugar and dry sherry or saki
1 tsp each sea salt & Chinese 5 spice powder
3 quarter-sized slices fresh ginger root flattened with the side of a cleaver

3 pounds lean boneless pork 

In a saucepan combine the soy sauce, salt, sherry. sugar, 5spice, honey and ginger and cook for 1 min, to dissolve the sugar.
remove from heat and allow to cool.

Cut the pork into 1 inch thick slices and place in a seal able plastic bag.
Pour the cold marinade over the meat and seal bag, then marinate 8 hours or overnight, in the fridge..every few hours turning the bag to distribute the marinade.

to Cook

Preheat oven 350f middle shelf

Remove the pork from the marinade..reheat  the marinade and boil for 1 min*, then keep warm.

Place the pork slices on a rack set over a baking pan and bake for 30 mins, then baste with the marinade, and turn slices and continue baking for 45 mins.
Brushing with marinade every 10 mins or so.

Remove from oven and when cool enough cut into thin slices and serve hot or cold, with the heated reserve marinade

*it is important to boil the marinade to kill off any bacteria from the raw meat.

I know it is baked pork, but it IS called Barbecued.

Too delicious to argue over, and perfect for Memorial Day weekend

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lentil and Vegetable soup; Zucchini-Yam soup; Spring Vegetable soup; Chicken a la King with asparagus; Kasha with chickpeas. Roasted lemon-thyme chicken; Roasted vegetables.prep photos

Spring vegetable soup in a good vegetable broth

Lentil and Vegetable soup

Blended Zucchini-Yam soup

Base for the Chicken a la King

The poaching liquor from cooking the breasts for this dish added along with fresh asparagus

Toasted kasha ( buckwheat) with zucchini & onions for pilaf with chickpeas

After sauteing the kasha with the vegetables top with boiling vegetable stock and simmer tightly covered until all water absorbed
Cooked kasha with chickpeas and parsley and am going to add caraway seeds and fresh mint
Whole roast chicken stuffed with fresh thyme and lemon
Roasted Vegetables..yams, zucchini, onions, bell peppers, fresh rosemary, carrots

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fresh Salmon & Caper Rillettes .... A Recipe to Impress

Rillettes refers to a dish prepared similar to pate, but the meat or fish is flaked/shredded rather than minced, so it keeps it's integrity.
This is a wonderful spread for either toasted breads or crackers, and packaged in small pots makes a great gift.

This recipe serves 4

3 cups water

1/2cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice or wine vinegar
1tbsp black peppercorns
2 sticks celery chopped
1 medium carrot sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped parsley stalks
Bring to boil in a skillet or wide saucepan, and simmer for 3 mins.
bring back to boil and add

1 pound salmon either 2 inch steaks or fillets 3 inches wide
immediately tightly cover, remove from heat and leave  for 30 mins.

Remove salmon from cooking liquid (discard the liquid)
 and gently remove  the skin and any bones, and flake the fish, with fork in a bowl.

2tsp lemon zest  (zest the lemon first then use the juice for the cooking liquor)
1tbsp rinsed, drained and chopped capers
2 ozs softened butter
1 tbsp minced parsley (I  love parsley in this dish as it makes it taste so much fresher and '"alive")

Either divide the rillettes into 4 x 1/2 cup pots or one canning jar
Seal each pot  with clarified butter  ( approx 1 stick - 4 ozs)
Store in fridge until use.

you may add fresh dill to the rillettes when flaking, or even to the clarified butter, when sealing the pot.

In place of capers use green or pink peppercorns, with the brine rinsed off them and also finely chopped

Friday, May 9, 2014

Smooth Chicken Liver Pate Recipe

This is the smoothest and "creamiest" pate you can find..perfect for spreading on hot buttered toast or for crackers.

2 pounds cleaned chicken livers, (sinews and lobes removed from each liver)
8 ozs clarified butter (ghee)
4 slices bacon
1 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup single cream
2tsp fresh chopped thyme or rosemary (or if you can find them, juniper berries)
2 bay leaves
pinch grated nutmeg

Saute half the chicken livers in 1/4 ghee and remove to one side when lightly browned and halfway cooked.
repeat the process with the other half  of the livers, then when all the livers are partially cooked and set aside, add 1 tbsp ghee to the skillet and saute the onion, chopped bacon, and cook until the bacon releases it's fat and onion is cooked (opaque).
Add the brandy and cook 1 min more.
In a blender...add the livers, cream, seasonings, herbs, onion mix, nutmeg and 2tbsp more of ghee..blend until really smooth.
Pour into dishes/dishes and cover with remaining ghee.
Refrigerate overnight..serve in the pots.

CHICKEN WINGS WITH HERB-CREAM DIP...served along the Pacific Shoreline

It is cheaper to buy your chicken wings whole and then cut them into "drumettes" and "wingettes" use the tips for stock.

This is a new and superb way to serve these little titbits...they are sauteed with garlic and white wine and served with a fresh herb and cream cheese dip.

I have had them in Malibu recently and they are a delicious change for the usual hot wings...you will find the recipe on my new website on the entrees page of the RecipesPhotos/Food Info heading, under new and improved Southern California Entrees...just scroll down the list.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dutch Style Seafood or Chicken-Spinach Crepes..RECIPES

 I first had this in Rotterdam in Holland in the late 1970's and the sherry and tomato makes all the difference in this sauce; and this also goes with  the other crepe recipes (lemon-cream cheese and chocolate fudge) on my other blog
This serves 6-8 depending on size of crepes

Spinach Crepe Batter makes   8-12 crepes depending on size of skillet

3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup cooked, pureed spinach
1  1/4 cups all purpose flour ( or wholewheat ..if using whole wheat then add another 1/4 cup milk)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4tsp ground black pepper

pinch grated nutmeg
2 tbsp safflower or grape seed oil

Beat the eggs and milk together and whisk in the spinach, then gradually beat in the flour, salt  and pepper.
Beat for 1 min then add the nutmeg and chill for 2 hours.

Heat the skillets to smoking hot with 2tbsp oil
Drain the oil &  then pour in 2-4 tbsp batter, swirl to cover the base of pan and cook until top begins to dry out, flip over & cook 15 seconds more then turn onto cloth kitchen towels and keep warm.
 Variation  you may add some minced onion to the batter or any fresh herb of choice.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped scallions
4 cups cooked seafood ( shrimps, mussels, flaked salmon, flaked white fish, tuna, crab, lobster, even squid works) OR cooked chopped chicken
1 cup minced parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper

heat the butter in a skillet and saute the scallions for 3 mins just to sweat down not to color.add the seafood/chicken, seasoning and parsley &  remove from heat into a bowl.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour (DO NOT USE WHOLEWHEAT)
1 1/2 Cups chicken stock
1 cup single cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup sweet sherry
1/4 cup  tomato ketchup

Melt the butter and add the flour, cook to blond roux.
Add the warmed chicken stock, gradually, stirring to make a thick sauce, slowly beat in the cream, seasonings and ketchup,  cook on low heat for 4 mins.
Add the sherry.


Add 2/3 sauce to the filling and mix well.

Fill each crepe with some of the filling and fold over  INTO  half circles.
Place each crepe in a buttered oven proof dish, seam side down.
Stack the crepes side by side, overlapping.
Pour over the remaining sauce and bake for 20-25 mins covered until heated through.

These are great with a green chopped salad or avocado salad

 The crepes for this dish can be made ahead and frozen, wrapped in wax paper and rolled in foil.
The filling is best made fresh.

Monday, May 5, 2014

5/5/14..Happy Cinco De Mayo Day A menu fit for Celebration..PHOTOS

This day commemorates the Mexican Army of 4,500  soldiers, defeat of the attacking forces of the French (8000 soldiers..then considered the premier army in the world) in 1862.
The French, in 1861 invaded Mexico, at Veracruz and over threw the then president, Juarez marched their forces towards Mexico City, but encountered heavy resistance at the forts of Loreto and Guadalupe.
On May 5th 1862 they attacked, the nearby town of Puebla and were defeated.
This does not commemorate Mexican Independence day which is celebrated in September, It commemorates The Battle of Puebla as seen in the above painting.

The menu:

Bean and avocado Vegan "Quesadillas"..toast the corn tortillas and top with beans and avocado, then top with another tortilla and heat in a dry skillet

Avocado and chicken soup

Watermelon and beet salsa with avocado and baked corn tortilla chips

Chicken & Vegetable enchiladas

Chickpea and vegetable "epanadas"

  Roasted whole chicken with oregano and garlic with sauteed green squash

Wholewheat sourdough chocolate & red flame raisin breads

Corn breads with agave syrup