Blackened Red Fish Recipe

blackened red fishThis recipe for blackened red fish is so quick and simple, and there's nothing better than the taste of New Orleans. Using a cast-iron skillet will let you heat the pan until it is smoking hot, and that's the key to the blackened spice crust.

Recommended Equipment:
cast-iron skillet

2 tspn paprika
1 tspn salt
1/4 tspn onion powder
1/4 tspn garlic powder
1/4 tspn cayenne
1/4 tspn freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tspn dried thyme
1/4 tspn dried oregano
4 4oz. fresh red snapper fillets
olive or grapeseed oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven.
  2. Combine the paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, and oregano in a small bowl. Mix together until well blended.
  3. When the pan is hot, place the fish on a cutting board, skin side down. Spray the fish lightly with oil and carefully dust the top of the fillets with the spice mixture.
  4. Place the fish in the hot pan, skin side up, and return the pan to the oven. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes and serve.
Note: It's important to not overcrowd the pan, or the moisture that comes from the food won't evaporate and your dish will steam instead. Overcrowding also lowers the temperature of the pan and you won't get that nice brown seared crust.

Recipe courtesy of Just Tell Me What To Eat by Timothy S. Harlan, MD.

Related Posts/Recipes
Fettuccini with Broccoli and Shrimp Recipe

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Fresh Squeezed 8 Lemon Lemonade Recipe

lemonadeAll natural 8 Lemon Lemonade is easy to make and good for you too. You can drink it straight up, on the rocks, or mix it 50/50 with this Iced Tea recipe to make a drink that tastes alot like an Arnold Palmer.

Recommended Equipment:

hand juicer

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (8 large lemons)
5-7 cups water

  1. Stir together sugar and 1/2 cup boiling water until sugar dissolves.
  2. Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice, and 5-7 cups water.
  3. Chill. Serve over ice.

Turkish Sesame and Fig Cake Recipe

Turkish Fig CakeTurkish Sesame and Fig Cake is a simple, mildly sweet cake that gets most of its flavor from a lime glaze that is applied right when the cake is taken out of the oven. Try it with this recipe for Turkish Coffee.

Recommended Equipment:
9 inch square cake pan

5 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup confection sugar
2/3 cup semolina
zest of 1 lime
1 cup ground almonds (optional)
1 1/3 cups dried figs, chopped
2 tbsp. sesame seeds

Ingredients - syrup:
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup confection sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a deep 9 inch square cake pan.
  3. Using a mixer, whisk the egg yolks, lime zest, and sugar together.
  4. Next, mix in the almonds and semolina.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks develop. Then slowly add the egg whites to the egg yolk and almond mixture.
  6. Pour the cake batter evenly into the cake pan.
  7. Sprinkle the chopped figs evenly across the top of the cake batter. Then sprinkle the sesame seeds evenly across the top of the cake.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  9. While the cake bakes you can make the syrup. In a saucepan, add the lime juice, confection sugar, and 5 tbsp. cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes or until syrupy and remove from heat.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and poke small holes into the top of the cake using a fork.
  11. Pour the hot syrup evenly over the top of the cake.
  12. Let cool and then cut the cake into squares and serve.
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Turkish Coffee

Turkish CoffeeTurkish coffee is prepared using an ibrik but if you don't have one of these sitting around the house, you can use a small sauce pan to achieve similar results. This is a simple recipe that requires you to raise and lower the temperature of the coffee a few times to produce a more concentrated brew that is both strong and sweet.

Recommended Equipment:

1 cup water
3/4 tbsp sugar
1/8 tspn ground cardamom
1 tbsp finely ground coffee

  1. In an ibrik or a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add the coffee and the cardamom.
  3. Return the ibrik to the heat and allow coffee to come to a boil once again.
  4. When the coffee begins to foam, remove from the heat.
  5. Repeat steps #3 and #4 again and then pour the coffee into cups and allow it to sit for a minute or two to allow the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom of the cup. This coffee is very strong and sweet so servings should be smaller than a regular cup of coffee.

Fettuccini with Broccoli and Shrimp Recipe

fettucciniThis recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and Broccoli comes from the book, Just Tell Me What To Eat by Timothy S. Harlan, MD - AKA Dr. Gourmet. The book provides an all inclusive 6 week plan for improving your overall health through exercise, meal planning, portion control, and cooking healthier dishes.

My wife and I have tried a few recipes from this book and they have all turned out to be really good. I’ll be posting a review of the book in July after we have completed this 6 week program. I’ll also post a few of the recipes along the way. More to come.

3 cups broccoli florets
1 tspn extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tspn. All-purpose flour
¾ cup chilled 2% milk
1 oz. semisoft goat cheese or light cream cheese
1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
4 oz. whole wheat fettuccine

  1. Place 3 quarts of water in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and lower the heat until the water is simmering.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove the florets and place them on a paper towel to drain. Leave the water in the saucepan.
  3. While the broccoli is cooking, heat the olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side and transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the minced garlic to the pan. Cook very slowly and stir frequently. Do not allow the garlic to brown or it will become bitter. Add the flour slowly and cook for about 1 minute. Stir continuously to blend the oil and flour. The mixture will be like coarse cornmeal. Cook gently so the mixture doesn’t brown.
  5. Slowly add the cold milk, whisking to keep the sauce from forming clumps. Blend in all of the milk until the sauce is smooth and begins to thicken. Add the goat cheese and whisk as it melts. When the sauce is smooth, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and whisk as it melts until the sauce is creamy. Lower the heat to very low.
  6. Add a couple of cups of water to the saucepan you cooked the broccoli in and heat the water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until just tender (12 to 15 minutes for dried pasta).
  7. When the pasta is almost done, add the shrimp and broccoli to the Alfredo sauce and toss to coat well. Increase the heat to medium.
  8. Drain the pasta well and then add it to the sauce, tossing to coat thoroughly.
Recipe courtesy of Just Tell Me What To Eat by Timothy S. Harlan, MD.

Related Posts/Recipes:
Blackened Red Fish

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All-Natural Whole Grain Breakfast Recipe

power breakfastThis power breakfast is based on a dish that my grandfather used to eat every day. He lived to be 98 years old despite almost losing his life during the First World War (see photos below).

Although longevity has a genetic component, it is also a function of diet and exercise. So I wanted to develop a similar ultra-healthy breakfast dish that was easy and fast to make (10 minutes or less) that could be eaten quickly, before leaving for work.

WW1 photo 1

WW1 photo 2

WW1 photo3

My grandfather always used Cheerios as the base for his dish. In fact, Cheerios is still considered one of the healthiest cereals that you can choose according to this article on the “A Calorie Counter” website (although it seems to have fallen out of favor with American consumers - Cereals Americans no longer love). The same cereal everyday can be a bit monotonous so we like to rotate the base cereal each day. We use Cheerios, Kashi GoLean (4 types to choose from), Wheat Chex, Total Raisin Bran, and Wheaties. All of these cereals are extremely healthy. They contain no trans fat, no saturated fat, little or no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, and they provide a good portion of fiber and whole grain (instead of refined grain). The specific comparison data for each of these cereals is listed below courtesy of the “A Calorie Counter” website.

Total fat Sat. Fat Carbs. Fiber Sugar Protein Contains Contains
cereal cups calories (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) Trans fat HFCS
Cheerios 1 100 2 0 20 3 1 3 No No
Total 0.75 100 0.5 0 23 3 5 2 No No
GoLEAN 1 140 1 0 30 10 6 13 No No
Wheat Chex 0.75 160 1 0 38 5 5 5 No No
Wheaties 0.75 100 0.5 0 22 3 4 3 No No

From this healthy base, we add either 10 grain or 8 grain cereal and wheat germ. We prefer the Bob’s Red Mill brand grain cereals. For the wheat germ, we use Hodgson Mill brand. You can read about the health benefits of these two key ingredients in more detail below:

Health benefits of eating wheat germ
Health benefits of eating multi-grain cereals

Finally, we add the all-natural sweeteners of honey and fruit (preferably blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries). The health benefits of eating honey and these types of berries are described in more detail here:

Health benefits of eating honey
Health benefits of eating honey and cinnamon
Health benefits of eating blueberries
Health benefits of eating raspberries
Health benefits of eating blackberries
Additional information on all of these types of berries can be found on Oregon State's Berry Benefits Network website.

Top this off with 1% or skim milk and you have already satisfied most of the recommended daily intake of fiber and many other nutrients required for the entire day. You will also have a steady supply of energy to last you well through the afternoon without any cravings for snacks. Try this breakfast every morning for a week and let us know what you think.

1 cup of cereal
1/4 cup wheat germ
wheat germ
1/4 cup 8 or 10 grain cereal
Bobs Red Mill grain cereal
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
1/4 tspn cinnamon (optional)
1% or skim milk

  1. In a bowl, add the cereal, wheat germ, and the 8 or 10 grain cereal. Stir the contents so that the wheat germ and grain cereal mix well with the base cereal.
    cereal, wheat germ mix
  2. Next, pour about 2 tablespoons of honey over the cereal mixture. You can also add 1/4 tspn of ground cinnamon to this if you prefer.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of the fruit of your choice over the honey and cereal. If I use raspberries or blackberries, I've found that these taste better fresh versus frozen. However, blueberries taste great either way.
  4. Add milk and enjoy!
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Bagel Burger with Cipollini Onions Recipe

bagel burgerI made up this burger recipe for a contest currently being held by Philly-Gourmet. If you are interested in submitting your own favorite burger, the deadline is July 15th. So fire up the Weber this weekend and start inventing!

This bagel burger is easy to make. The combination of sweet sauteed cipollini onions, the tangy taste of barbeque sauce, and the savory taste of bacon make this burger unbeatable in terms of flavor. Give it a try.

4 bagels - your favorite style(I used Parmesan garlic), toasted
4 Philly-Gourmet beef patties
12 - 15 cipollini onions, thinly sliced and sauteed
cipollini onions
4 slices of cheddar cheese
4 tbsp. of your favorite barbeque sauce (I used Montgomery Inn)
Montgomery Inn BBQ
8 slices of crispy bacon

  1. Light the grill that you will be using and allow it to get hot.
  2. Cook 8 slices of bacon until crispy.
  3. Lightly toast 4 sliced bagels in a toaster
  4. Sautee 12 to 15 thinly sliced cipollini onions.
  5. Cook the beef patties to your preferred level. (I like mine Medium).
  6. Just before it is time to remove the patties from the grill, place a slice of cheddar cheese on each patty so that the cheese will be fully melted over the meat when the burger is done cooking.
  7. Place each patty on the bottom pieces of the toasted bagels.
  8. Next, place two pieces of bacon on top of each of the burger patties.
  9. Next, place a generous mound of cipollini onions on top of each of the burgers.
  10. Top them each with a tablespoon of barbeque sauce and the tops of the toasted bagels.
Makes 4 bagel burgers.

United States

Natilla (Cuban custard) Recipe

Natilla custardNatilla is a simple type of creamy egg custard. You can serve it as a stand alone dessert or use it in this recipe for Cuban Rum Cake.

1 3/4 cups milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tspn vanilla extract
Dash of salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten - save the egg whites for the Meringue Icing recipe if you are going to make the Cuban Rum Cake.

  1. In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the cornstarch into the 3 tbsp of water.
  2. In a large saucepan, mix the milk, salt, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, egg yolks, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil, constantly stirring the mixture, until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a thin strainer into a bowl. You may need to push the mixture through the strainer using a spoon.
  5. Refrigerate the natilla for at least an hour.
Cuba [ print this recipe for Natilla (Cuban custard) ]

Banh Mi Recipe

Banh MiBahn Mi literally means biscuit or cake flour in Vietnamese. I first learned about it at a great new restaurant called Pho Lang Thang. It is a sandwich that has both Vietnamese and French influences that can be traced back to the French colonial period in South East Asia. The elements of French Cuisine - baguette, mayonnaise, and pâté meld perfectly with the Vietnamese ingredients of pickled carrots and daikon, along with cucumbers, chilies and cilantro. Banh Mi also usually includes pork, chicken, or even tofu.

Ingredients - marinade:
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tspn red chili flakes
2 tbspn fresh ginger, diced
4 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp five spices
2 tbsp sugar
Juice of 1 lime
4 green onions, diced

Ingredients – sandwich
pork shoulder – sliced into 1 to 2 inch pieces
1 or 2 baquette of French bread
sea salt
braunschweiger (or liver pâté)
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
Jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced thin
Soy sauce

Ingredients – pickled vegetables
1 ½ cups daikon, julienned
1 ½ cups carrots, julienned
¾ cup vinegar
¾ cup sugar

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl along with the pieces of pork. Refrigerate overnight.
    bahn mi - marinade
  2. Combine all of the pickled vegetable ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
    bahn mi - pickled vegetables
  3. In a oiled skillet, cook the pieces of pork and some of the marinade over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes.
    bahn mi cooking

  4. Cut baguette of French bread in half lengthwise. Spread butter and braunschweiger on the bottom piece and mayonnaise on the top piece.
  5. On the bottom piece, layer the slices of cucumber and jalapeno pepper.
  6. Top this with the pieces of pork, pickled vegetables, salt and soy sauce to taste, and cilantro.

Mayonnaise Recipe

mayonnaiseMayonnaise is an emulsion of egg yolk, oil, and an acidic substance (usually lemon juice or vinegar). Although it is categorized as a French recipe here, it may actually be based on an earlier recipe for salsa mahonesa that originated in Spain.

2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tspn. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
dash of salt
dash of pepper
1 cup olive oil
1 cup canola oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the olive oil and canola oil.
  2. Add the olive and canola oil slowly while whisking the mixture.

Book Review: The Old Farmer's Almanac Garden-Fresh Cookbook

Old Farmers Almanac Garden Fresh CookbookThe Old Farmer's Almanac Garden-Fresh Cookbook contains over 340 recipes. These include both new and classic recipes that are well organized by course from breakfast and brunch to entrees, desserts, and beverages. This book also includes extensive selections on specialized gardening techniques including how to grow kitchen herb gardens, vegetable gardens, edible flower gardens, and berry gardens. Finally, in the tradition of the Old Farmer's Almanac, the Garden-Fresh Cookbook also includes a valuable reference section complete with growing season information, nutritional reference material, substitution techniques for common ingredients, and other reference material helpful in the kitchen.

So far, I have tried two recipes from this book. Both were complete, easy to prepare, healthy, and most importantly - delicious. The two recipes that I chose were the German Potato Casserole and the Portuguese Skillet Haddock. I really liked the German Potato Casserole recipe and the combination of potatoes and rutabaga. This was the first time that I had ever used rutabaga and it tasted great with the potatoes. I also liked the Portuguese dish because it is a good base recipe that can be used with many varieties of white fish.

In addition to the recipes, the Garden Fresh Cookbook also provides many helpful hints that you can use in the kitchen. For example, next to the Portuguese Haddock recipe there is a tip for ridding the kitchen of odor after cooking fish by adding whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, or lemon slices to a pan of water and simmering it.

It is no wonder that the people at the Old Farmer's Almanac have put together such a useful, well organized, collection of recipes and reference materials. They have been publishing almanacs packed with similar, valuable information since 1792!! If you enjoy cooking with natural, healthy ingredients and if you like gardening, this is THE book for you.

German Potato Casserole Recipe

German Potato CasseroleThis recipe for German Potato Casserole comes from the Old Farmer's Almanac Garden Fresh Cookbook. It is a tasty and healthy side dish that goes with most entrees. We paired it up with Portuguese Skillet Haddock, (also from the Old Farmer's Almanac Garden Fresh Cookbook) and it turned out to be a great combination. I really liked the potatoes and the rutabaga together and I'm thinking about trying this combo in scalloped potatoes. Overall, this is a very healthy recipe.

5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 small rutabagas, peeled and diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
1/8 tspn white pepper
1/4 tspn salt
1/8 tspn nutmeg
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 2-quart casserole.
  3. In a stockpot of boiling, salted water, cook the potatoes and rutabagas until tender, but not mushy (they should hold their shape).
  4. Drain well and set the vegetables aside in the pot to keep warm.
  5. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir constantly until bubbly and well blended. Add the warm milk slowly and continue stirring until the sauce comes to a boil. Add the pepper, salt, and nutmeg and stir to blend.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the potatoes and rutabagas.
  7. Transfer the mixture into the prepared casserole.
  8. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top and cover.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 15 minutes more, or until golden.
Makes 8 servings.

Recipe courtesy of The Old Farmer's Almanac Garden-Fresh Cookbook.

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