Asian-Fusion Stir-Fry Sauce

3 bottles of sauce with finished mix in small bowl, dark brown in color
Asian-fusion stir-fry sauce

Wonderful for fish and seafood, this is good in a stir-fry or basted on grilled shrimp or fish. Use it to make buffalo chicken wings. You can even drizzled it on steamed white rice. There is nothing fancy or complicated here. Anyone can do this and it’s not necessary to stick with these actual brand names, only the general sauce type.

I start by mixing equal amounts (about 2 Tablespoons each) of soy sauce, Korean gochujang sauce and Thai sweet chili sauce. At this point, you should taste and see how you like it. Sometimes I add more sweet chili sauce. That’s it. Easy peasy!


Oyster Stew

blue bowl of oyster stew
Oyster Stew for New Year’s Eve Supper

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup minced celery
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pint half-and-half cream
1 can (8 ounce) whole oysters (fresh oysters even better)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the celery and onion until onion is tender. Pour half-and-half into a large pot over medium-high heat. Mix in the butter, celery, and shallot mixture. Stir continuously. When the mixture is almost boiling, pour the oysters and their liquid into the pot. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir continuously until the oysters curl at the ends. When the oysters curl the stew is finished cooking; turn off the heat and serve. Makes 4 cups


Smoked Salmon Mousse

salmon spread
Smoked Salmon Mousse


4 ounces smoked salmon
1 (8 oz.) block Neuchatel cheese
2 Tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste

Using a food processor mix the smoked salmon, Neuchatel cheese, green onions and cream until smooth. Add Worcestershire sauce, cumin, lemon juice, dill weed, and salt and pepper. Blend again, then transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with minced green onion. Serve with crackers or toast.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Cakes

shrimp cakes on a blue plate
Cilantro Lime Shrimp Cakes


A few years back, my nephew-in-law, chef Jason Wood, shared a recipe with Chuck and I that we loved. Eventually we lost the recipe. On this snowy April day, instead of doing yard work, I took to the kitchen armed with what I remembered about the recipe (not easy after about 8-9 years) and came up with this delicious knock-off.

3/4 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grated zest of 2 limes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-2/3 cups panko-style bread crumbs
1 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
Oil for frying
Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (optional)

In a bowl, combine the shrimp, eggs, cream cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and lime zest. Mix in the panko-style bread crumbs, green onions and cilantro.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form shrimp cakes by firmly packing some of the mixture into a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop (the kind that ejects the ice cream). Turn out the formed shrimp cakes onto the paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all mixture is used. Gently press each cake with a spatula to flatten slightly. Cook immediately, or make ahead and refrigerate for up to two hours until ready to use.

Heat a generous amount of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp cakes and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. This recipe can be cooked in two batches when using a large skillet (keeping the first batch warm in a 300 degree oven for up to 30 minutes).

Makes 12-14 shrimp cakes. Serve them as either an appetizer with a light drizzle of chili sauce or as a main course for 4. Terrific warmed in the microwave the next morning for breakfast or brunch.

Sun-Drenched Cod

Sun-Drenched Cod
Sun-Drenched Cod


This is one of Nadia’s favorites: Sun-Drenched Cod. It was submitted it to the Red Hat Society Cookbook a few years ago, and they published it along with photos of the group, the Merry Mad Hatters (now defunct). The recipe lives on:

4 cod fillets
1 Tablespoon minced fresh kale leaf
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 teaspoon grated orange (or lemon) zest
Orange or lemon slices and kale leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place fish in a 2×10-inch round baking dish (or a 11×7-inch oblong) coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper and salt.

In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter along with chopped kale leaf until tender; spoon over fish. Combine juices and orange zest; drizzle over fish. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Makes 4 servings, about 155 calories per serving.