Salmon Mousse

I made this for Thanksgiving as an appetizer and it was a hit. It’s very easy and for something a little different. Recipe courtesy of The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook.

1/2 pound of smoked salmon

1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, ( 1 stick) brought to room temperature

1 cup of heavy cream

fresh dill for garnish

Blend the salmon in a food processor, adding each ingredient at a time till well combined and very smooth.

Store in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Garnish with a few sprigs of dill and with thinly sliced dark or whole grain bread.


Pork Chops with a Bourbon Sauce

I found this recipe in the Boston Globe Magazine. Since I had an opened bottle of bourbon, I figured I give it a try. The sauce was delicious.

6 boneless pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)

salt and pepper

2 teaspoon of neutral oil

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup minced shallots

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

2 teaspoon flour

1/2 cup bourbon, reserve 1 tablespoon

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

2 teaspoon light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh snipped chives for garnish

Dry the meat well with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the pork and cook undisturbed until browned for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.


Transfer to a plate and cover with foil loosely to keep warm.

Off heat add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet swirling as the butter melts in the pan. Return the skillet to medium low heat and add the shallot, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook and stir till the shallots are softened about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook , stirring for 1 minute longer. Off heat add the larger quantity of bourbon. Return to heat and adjust to medium. With a wooden spoon scrape the bottom.  Simmer stirring constantly, cooking off the alcohol, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and any juices from the pork, accumulated on the plate. Raise the heat to medium high and reduce the sauce to 1/2 cup whisking constantly. It should take 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low add the brown sugar, vanilla, vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of bourbon and pepper to taste. Whisk to incorporate and melt the sugar. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Season to taste.


Fricase de Pollo (Cuban Chicken Fricassee)

One of many Cuban dishes I grew up eating. This recipe is courtesy of Cuban Chicks can Cook by Ana Quincoces Rodriquez. It is quite easy and delicious. And as most Cuban dishes, served over white rice. Serves 6.

6 large bone-in skinless breast of chicken or 1 whole chicken cut up in pieces

2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

1 medium pepper, diced

1 large Spanish onion or yellow onion diced

4 garlic cloves minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 dry cooking sherry “vino seco” ( I used white wine)

4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into2 or 3 inch pieces

1/2 cup pimento stuffed olives (I used a cup of sweet peas)

In a large heavy pot with a lid, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken on the outside until they are a light golden color. Remove and set aside.


Add the rest of the oil to the pot. Saute the onions, garlic and pepper until slightly caramelized.


Add the tomato sauce, stock and wine and bring to a boil.


Add the chicken and the potatoes and reduce the temperature to low. Cook covered over low heat for 1 hour.


Add the olives and season to taste if necessary.

Ropa Vieja ( A Cuban Shredded Meat Dish)

The translation of it means “Old Clothes”, I know not a very appetizing name. But, I can assure you that it is one of the best Cuban dishes I have ever eaten. And I must admit it was better than my mom’s. She makes it in a pressure cooker which I preferred not to use. So I made it using a recipe from Cuban Chicks can Cook by Ana Quincoces Rodriquez.  Though easy to make it does take a few hours to cook so you have to plan accordingly.

2 pounds of flank steak ( I cut in 3 pieces to fit the pan)

1 1/2 quarts of water seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoons of whole black peppercorns

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 cups tomato sauce

1 cup of cooking sherry ” vino seco” ( I used a dry white wine)

1 medium onion thinly sliced ( I cut it in half and then sliced)

1 medium green pepper thinly sliced

1 medium red pepper thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 bay leaf

1 lime (optional)

1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

1/2 cup of baby peas for garnish (optional)

In a large pot, bring the water, salt and peppercorns to a boil. Add the steak and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook till the meat is tender for about 2 hours.


In separate pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, and pepper slices and cook for about 10 minutes.


Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add the wine and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer or another 20 minutes.


Once the flank steak is tender take it out of the water and let cool. Shred the beef by hand into long strips. It should come apart easily.


Season the meat with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime(optional) and add to the tomato sauce. Stir to coat the meat. Cook over low medium heat for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve over white rice.


Spice-Crusted Salmon with Orange-Honey Glaze

I’m always looking for new ways to cook salmon so when I came across this pamphlet for honey recipes I was inspired. The glaze was delicious but felt the fennel spice was too strong for my taste so I would either eliminate or the reduce the amount next time.

For the orange honey glaze:

3/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon of grated ginger

1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoon of water

salt and pepper

For the salmon:

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

2 tablespoon whole coriander

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 4oz wild Alaskan salmon or halibut filets with skin on

In a small saucepan whisk together orange juice, honey, lemon juice and ginger. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; whisk in the cornstarch mixture and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes whisking constantly, until the mixture  thickens. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.


In a shallow bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites until foamy.  In an electric spice grinder or blender, grind all the spices to a coarse powder and spread on a plate.


Dip the flesh side of the filet in the egg whites and then the spice mixture. Cook in a saute pan heated with the oil over medium heat with skin side up. Careful not to burn the spices. Serve on a plate and drizzle with the glaze.

Chicken Tagine with Dried Figs and Sweet Potatoes

I came across this recipe while scrolling other blogs, I’m always looking for inspiration. This was originally posted on Not only did it have a wonderful aroma, it was delicious. It’s very easy to make but, it does take some time in the oven.

1 whole chicken, cut into quarters

3 tablespoon olive oil

3 smashed garlic cloves ( I added more)

3 teaspoons ground cumin seed

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 large onion cut into large chunks

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

12 while dried figs

the juice and zest of one orange

3 cups  low sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 325 f degrees.

In a skillet brown the chicken pieces in olive oil over medium high heat. ( I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper)


Place the browned chicken pieces in the bottom of a large oven safe pot with a lid.


Evenly scatter over the chicken the smashed garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper and sea salt. ( I put on these ingredients in a bowl, mixed and spooned over the chicken)

Nestle the onion and sweet potato chunks, figs, and orange zest around and under the chicken.


Gently pour the orange juice and chicken broth over it. Cover and bake for approximately 2 hours or until the chicken is falling off the bone.

Raise the temperature to 375. Uncover and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve in bowls with thick crusty bread.

Creme Brulee

A few years ago a friend of mine gave me a Creme Brulee kit, I finally opened the box and decided to make this dessert. Unfortunately I could not get the torch to work so I put it back in the stove under broiler to carmelize the sugar. As I mentioned before I’m not much of a baker but it looked easy enough. I already had a recipe from Ina Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot in Paris.

1 extra large egg

4 extra large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving

3 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Preheat oven to 300F degrees.

In  a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks and sugar together on low speed.


Meanwhile scald the cream until it’s hot but not boiling. Add to the egg mixture very slowly and on low speed. Add the Grand Marnier and vanilla. Pour into 6 8 ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come up halfway up the sides of the ramekins.


Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till the custard has set when gently shaken. Remove from the pan and let cool to room temperature and refrigerate till firm.

To serve pour 1 tablespoon of sugar on the top evenly and heat with a kitchen blowtorch to carmelize. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 minute. so the sugar hardens.