Lobster and Corn Chowder


Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Note: I love this recipe, but I did not use the cooking liquid from lobsters, aroma of the liquid was very strong. When I made lobster stock I boiled shells in plain water.


For the stock:

  • 2 (1 1/2-pound) Maine lobsters (I've got them from Newtown Farmer's Market, at an amazing seafood store)
  • 4 ears corn, shucked and silk removed (I buy my vegetables and fruits from Styer Orchard Farm)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 rib celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
For the Chowder:
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound small new potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh chives, for garnish


Fill a large stockpot 3/4 full with salted water and bring to a boil. Plunge the lobsters headfirst into the boiling water and cook, covered, for 6 minutes. Transfer with tongs to a large bowl filled with ice water to cool. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, crack the shells over a bowl to reserve any juices, and remove the meat from the tail and claws. Reserve the shells. Coarsely chop the meat and set aside. Discard the sacs.

Cut the kernels from the corn and reserve. Reserve the corncobs for the stock.


To make the lobster stock: in a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shells and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the roughly chopped carrots, celery, and onions, smashed garlic, bay leaves, 2 sprigs of the thyme, the peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon of the salt, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add 2 quarts of water, the corncobs, and bring to a boil, skimming with a slotted spoon to remove any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until reduced to 4 cups, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the stock from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids and reserve the stock.


In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until golden brown and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat. Melt the butter with the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic, cayenne, remaining sprig of thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 4 minutes. Add the flour to make a roux. Cook for a few minutes, until the roux mixture bubbles. Add the strained stock, reserved corn, and potatoes and bring to a boil. (If the stock does not cover the potatoes, add enough water to cover.) Reduce the heat, replace the lid ajar, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the reserved lobster meat, cooked bacon, cream, and parsley. Return to the heat and cook at a bare simmer until the lobster is cooked through and the chowder is creamy. Finish with butter. Remove from the heat and discard the thyme sprig. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with the chopped chives. Serve hot.



Borscht with Turkey Meatballs

My kids dont like beef shanks in the soup, so cook meatballs instead, and kids are so happy! Here is a wonderfully satisfying beet borscht, perfect for
an any weather day.


Ingredients for Borscht:

  •  8 cups beef broth
  •  1 large onion, peeled, finely chopped
  •  3 large beets, peeled and shredded
  •  3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  •  1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into cubes
  •  2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  •  3/4 cup chopped fresh scallions for garnish
  •  3 Tbsp tomato paste
  •  3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  •  1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste
  •  1/2 cup sour cream, for topping
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  •  turkey meatballs


Ingredients for Turkey Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Direction for Turkey Meatballs:

Add the onion, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 inch-diameter meatballs.
Place on a large plate or baking sheet.


Direction for Borscht:

In large saucepan, simmer the beets, carrots, onion, tomato puree, vinegar, sugar and two cups of broth for 15 minutes. Stir frequently and cover when not stirring.
Add remaining 6 cups broth, cabbage, potato; bring to boil. Stir in meatballs, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender and meatballs are cooked, about 20 minutes.


Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with sour cream and fresh scallions.



Almond Poppy Seed Bread


Poppy seeds add a crunchy texture and slightly nutty taste to this sunny yellow quick bread.


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup almond  flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 1-lb. loaf pan.
In a small bowl, stir and toss together all-purpose flour, almond flour , baking powder, grated lemon zest , salt and poppy seeds. Set aside.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and light, 3 to 4 minutes. While the mixer is still running, slowly add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes; stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.


Reduce the speed to very low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour, beating each addition until just incorporated; stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl.


Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack and let cool completely.



Pasta with Shrimp and Garlic Cream Souce


  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh basil
  • 2 Tbs. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. any kind of pasta
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package instructions.


When the pasta is within about 3 minutes of being al dente, in a large fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic, shallot and sauté until fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and sauté until they are just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Add the warm cream and lemon juice to the pan and season the sauce with salt and pepper and minced basil.


Drain the pasta and add it to the fry pan. Toss the pasta to coat with the sauce and shrimp and serve immediately.



Candied Lemon Zest


Candied lemon zest makes a lovely garnish for summer desserts. It also makes a damn fine addition to summer cocktails.
The key to making candied citrus zest is extracting all of the bitter flavor imparted by the pith (the white, inner part of the peel). Since it's nearly impossible to remove the pith completely, the best way to get the bitter out is blanching the zest three times, by dropping it into boiling water to release the bitterness, then shocking it with ice water to stop the cooking (and repeat, and repeat).


  • 4 citrus fruits
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water


Set two pots of water (with 1 quart of water in each) to boil over high heat. By the time you’re ready to start blanching, the water will be ready.
Use a peeler and make long broad strokes from pole to pole of the fruit. Avoid digging into the pith, but don’t fret if you’ve taken a bit as you peel. Chop the zest into thin strips if desired.
Set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl three quarters of the way with ice cubes and cold water. Set the bowl near the stove, along with a slotted spoon, spider, or small strainer.


When the water comes to a boil, add the zest to Pot #1 and allow it to simmer for 20 seconds. Remove the zest from the water, either by fishing it out with the spider or pouring it through a strainer into the sink. Rinse and refill Pot #1 with another quart of water, and return the pot to a boil.
Plunge the zest into the bath of ice water. It’s helpful to keep the strands inside the strainer in the bath to avoid having to pick the zest out of the ice.
Repeat the procedure two more times.


When you’ve finished blanching, you can immediately set up for the final step: candying. Using the ratio of 1 cup fresh water to one cup sugar for every four fruits you’ve zested, combine sugar, and water and bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
Once all of the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is bubbling, reduce the heat to a simmer (just a few steady bubbles, as opposed to a rolling boil) and add the blanched zest. Simmer for about twenty minutes, until the zest is completely translucent and curling along the edges. The syrup will become thicker and take on some color from the peel. Store the zest in the syrup and allow it to cool before using. Refrigerate in a sealed container.



Fried Basa Fish Fingers with Country Rémoulade


Adapted from: Bon Appetit, Y'all by Virginia Willis

Ingredients for Fried Basa Fish Fingers :

  • 1 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 1 pound basa fish fillets, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups peanut oil, for frying
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Country Rémoulade (below), for accompaniment

Ingredients for Country Rémoulade:
Makes about 1-3/4 cups
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 stalk celery, very finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


Instructions for Fried Basa Fish Fingers:
Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels and set by the cooktop.
In a large bowl, stir together the mustard, egg white, and hot sauce. Add the fish and toss to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal and flour and season with salt and pepper. Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, deep fryer, or Dutch oven. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches to 350°F on deep-fat thermometer.
Remove the fish from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in the cornmeal mixture to coat both sides and shake off the excess. Carefully add the fish to the oil, a few pieces at a time. Cook until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared plate. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with rémoulade.


Instructions for Country Rémoulade:
Rémoulade is a cold French sauce made with mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, capers, and various herbs, and is very similar to American-style tartar sauce. It's important the onions and celery are very finely chopped. It is a dip, not a salad.
To cut the celery, first cut the stalk into even, manageable lengths. Then cut into very thin matchsticks, line them up like little soldiers and slice across in thin cuts to make small perfect dice.
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, celery, onion, mint, garlic, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve chilled.



Cherry Clafoutis in Ramekins


Adapted from Helene Dujardin

Baked in individual ramekins, this French dessert is easy to prepare and makes for an elegant presentation.



  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup all purpose or any gluten free flour of your choice
  • powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle. Butter six 1-cup ramekins or ceramic baking dishes.
Spread the cherries evenly in the prepared ramekins.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and honey until well combined. Add the milk, cream and flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour over the cherries, trying not to disturb them too much so to speak.


Bake until the clafoutis are puffed, the edges are browned and the centers are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature with some powdered sugar dusted on top if desired.
Serves 6.



Pan-fried Yellow Tomatoes with Pistachio Relish


This recipe is incredibly easy and really tasty!
Pistachio Relish adapted from James Syhabout recipe.


  • 1/3 cup salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup very finely chopped shallots
  • 2 Tbs small capers, rinsed
  • 2 Tbs white vine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Sea salt
  • 2 ripe yellow heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • Small basil leaves and alfalfa sprouts, for garnish

In a jar, combine the pistachios with the shallots, capers, vinegar, sugar, pink peppercorns and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with sea salt. Refrigerate the relish overnight.
The relish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Cut tomatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and sprinkle tomato slices evenly with salt and pepper.
Heat two Tbsp olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Place tomato slices in the skillet, and cook 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.


Arrange the cooked tomato slices on plates. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Stir the relish and spoon it over the tomatoes. Garnish with basil leaves, alfalfa sprouts and serve.



Cucumber and Radish Carpaccio Salad

A perfect elegant summer salad !
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh Mint
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh Dill or Fennel
  • 5 Radishes, sliced paper thin
  • 2 Cucumbers, sliced paper thin
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbs crumbled Feta Cheese
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint, dill or fennel, and garlic in a medium bowl and whisk together to combine. Set aside.
Arrange sliced cucumbers and radishes on a large platter, alternating radishes slices with the cucumber slices.
Sprinkle slices lightly with kosher salt. Drizzle 3 Tbs of dressing over the slices. Sprinkle with crumbled feta, and fresh cracked black pepper.
Serve immediately. If you are not going to serve right away, do not dress slices with vinaigrette yet. Wait until you are about to set then add dressing at last moment.


Apricot Bread with Walnuts and Peaches in Vanilla Sauce


Ingredients for Apricot Bread with Walnuts:

  • 6-7 apricots, cut the fruits in half lengthwise, and remove and discard the pits
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts
  • 2 tbs. honey or apricot jam for brushing (optional)


Ingredients for Peaches in Vanilla Sauce:
  • 5 lb. firm but ripe peaches, peeled and halved
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (optional)


Directions for Apricot Bread with Walnuts:
Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 1-lb.( or two smaller pans) loaf pan.
In a bowl, stir and toss together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture along with the milk and lemon zest. Beat until blended and smooth, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the walnuts.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apricots halves, slightly overlapping. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and transfer the pan to a wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, before serving.
Just before serving, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the honey. Brush the apricots with the honey. Accompany each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.


Directions for Peaches in Vanilla Sauce:
In a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven, combine the peaches, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan, add the bean and stir to combine.
Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is just beginning to bubble and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


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