Grilled basil -marinated swordfish

This dish is equally delicious with salmon or halibut. The simple marinade is so flavorful that no sauce is required to emellish the seafood.

Serves 8

Bon Appetit

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 tbs Dijon Mustard

3 tbs fresh lemon juice

3 large garlic cloves , minced

1 1/2 cups sliced fresh basil leaves

 8    8 oz swordfish steaks (1 inch thick )

 Lemon wedges and fresh basil sprigs for garnish

Whisk olive oil , vegetable oil , Dijon mustard , fresh lemon juice and minced garlic in a large bowl . Stir in sliced basil . Arrange swordfish in single layer in shallow glass baking dish . Pour marinade over . Cover and refridgerate 3 hours turning occasionally.

Prepare barbecue  (medium -high heat ) . Remove fish from marinade . Grill fish until cooked through, about 7 minutes per side . Transfer fish to plates . Garnish with lemon wedges and basil sprigs.


Sam’s spicy grilled shrimp

It is always such a treat to cook shrimp on the barbecue. Quick to prepare and so easy to purchase already peeled and deveined. This recipe has Asian and western influences, the only thing I changede was the hot sauce, I prefer Sriracha , hot sauce for this , but Tobasco works well too.

Serves 8

Sam Warriner

1/2 cup soy sauce ( Pearl River is my pick )

1/2 cup light soy sauce

5 tbs Cajun seasoning mix

1/4 cup oriental sesame oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbs minced fresh ginger

2 tsp dry mustard

2 tsp hot pepper sauce , see note

32 uncooked large shrimp , peeled ,deveined , tails intact

Whisk together first 8 ingredients in a large bowl . Add shrimp ; stir to coat . Let stand 30 minutes.

Prepare barbecue (medium -high heat ) . Remove shrimp  from marinade and grill until pink and cooked through, about  2 minutes per side. Transfer to platter.

Eggless warm upside -Down Mocha cake

For coffee lovers this warm coffee flavored cake is heaven sent. It really is more moist and fudgey than cake reminding me of coffee flavored brownies.

Jennifer Honeycutt

Serves 8

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup sifted cake flour

2 tbs baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 oz baking  chocolate

2 tbs butter

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 tbs cocoa

1 cup cold coffee

3 tbs powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350*F and grease an 8 by 8 by 2 inch pan.

Mix and sift together the sugar , flour ,salt and baking powder. In a small saucepan over water , melt together the butter and chocolate . Blend in milk and vanilla . Mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients and pour into the baking pan.

Mix the brown sugar , granulated sugar and cocoa in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the cake. Pour the coffee evenly over the top . Bake for 40 minutes.

Turn warm cake out of pan , sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Grilled Portabello Mushroom Salad

La Fiammetta restaurant in San Franscisco , California serves this delightful mushroom salad that will not allow you to miss the meat. Portablla mushrooms are so hearty and filling , besides being delicious.

Serves 2


1 lb portabello mushrooms  (about 4 ) stems removed and halved lengthwise and caps cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

1/4 cup extra virgin oil

1 bunch arugula , washed , dried and cut into bite sized pieces ( about 3 cups)

1 small head frisee , torn into bite sized pieces

1 small head radicchio , torn into bite sized pieces


2 garlic cloves , minced

6 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbs finely chopped fresh sage

2 tbs finely chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

Brush mushroom stems and slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a well seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat until hot and grill mushrooms in batches until tender, 2 minutes each side. Transfer mushrooms with tongs to a plate.

In a large serving bowl combine greens.


In a large heavy skillet cook garlic in 2 tbs of oil over moderate heat until softened. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining dressing ingredients.

Add mushrooms to dressing and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange mushrooms on greens and drizzle with hot dressing.

Caramel Shrimp Saigon Palace

Saigon Palace in Annapolis Maryland serves superb Vietnamese food .The spicy caramel shrimp has always been a winner with my friends and family.

1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1 garlic clove , minced

1/2 cup plus 2 tbs water

2 tsp asian fish sauce

3 tsp sugar

12 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 scallions , cut diagonally into 2 inch pieces

1/4 onion, cut into wedges

1 tbs cornstarch

Fresh coriander sprigs for garnish

Serves 2

In a 10 inch heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saute garlic, stirring until golden. Add 1/2 cup water , fish sauce and 2 tsp sugar and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove skillet from heat.

In a small heavy skillet cook remaing 1 tsp sugar over moderately high heat until sugar melts and turns golden carmel and remove skillet from heat. Add some of water mixture to carmel, stirring until carmel is dissolved and transfer mixture back to larger skillet. Add shrimp and cook over moderately high heat, stirring 2 minutes. Add scallions and onion and cook, stirring occassionally until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl stir together cornstarch and remaing 2 tbs water and stir into shrimp mixture. Cook shrimp mixture stirring until sauce is thickened and season with salt and pepper.

Garnish shrimp with coriander.

Eggless chocolate cake Shaugnessy

For years I have been baking this delightfully sinful cake from gourmet magazine. Mrs. Shaunessy is aparently credited for the recipe which is frosted with a simple mocha buttercream . This is a cake for serious chocolate lovers.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup milk

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1 stick (1/2 cup ) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup hot strong coffee

2 tsp vanilla


1 stick (1/2 cup ) unsalted butter , softened

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup hot strong coffee

a 1 lb box confectioners’ sugar

2 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans, knocking out excess flour.

Into a bowl sift together flour ,salt and baking powder. In a small bowl stir together milk and vinegar.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy . Gradually beat in cocoa powder , coffee, vanilla and milk mixture until smooth.Gradually beat in flour mixture and blend batter until smooth.

Divide batter between pans and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool cake on racks completely before frosting.


Beat all ingredients until smooth . Spread cake with frosting.

Bayona New Orleans Eggplant Caviar

I was thrilled when I came across this recipe from owner and chef Susan Spicer of Bayona New Orleans , located in the French Quarter. The food is always top notch and fresh. I love this unique eggplant appetizer , try it …I am sure you will too !

Bayona New Orleans

Serves 4 to 6

The restaurant serves this smoky salad with tapanade and toasted French bread.

1 large eggplant (1 1/2 lbs)

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1 plum tomato , peeled , seeded , and chopped

1/4 tsp minced garlic

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs fresh lemon juice

2 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley

1 tbs chopped fresh basil

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

Prick eggplant several times with a fork . Roast eggplant in a dry cast – iron skillet over moderately high heat, turning frequently, until skin is blackened and pulp is completely softened, 40 to 50 minutes.

Transfer eggplant to a cutting board and cool 10 minutes , then peel off skin and coarsely chop pulp ( it’s fine if a few specks of charred skin remain . )

Combine eggplant with remaining ingredients.


You can roast and chop the eggplant 1 day ahead and chill , covered . Bring to room temperature before combining with remaing ingredients.