I’ve always been intrigued by authentic poke, however, sushi-grade tuna in St. Louis, Missouri can be a roll of the dice unless you’re a sushi restaurant. So for this light yet filling dish, I elected to first poach the tuna in olive oil until it was just pink in the center, then I finished the ‘cooking’ ceviche-style using rice wine vinegar and lemon juice along with aromatic and bold flavors like shallots, jalapeno, pickled ginger, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. The delicate rice paper was the perfect vehicle to pull all of those wonderful flavors together.
This recipe is inspired by a dish served at one of my favorite local St. Louis restaurants and is the only item on the menu I order when I go there. The combination of the wonderfully briny and beautifully black squid ink pasta, delicate scallops, tender lobster meat, and sweet, succulent prawns immediately draw you in, then you’re surprised with the perfect finish of an added layer of acidity using lemon-infused olive oil, lemon juice, fresh parsley, and just a bit of heat from the chili flakes. Sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy!
I was never a huge fan of the vegetables I found in my pot pie when I was a kid, mainly the peas and carrots. However, I absolutely loved, loved, loved the flaky crust, the tender chunks of chicken and the rich, flavorful gravy.
This recipe is a more adult version of my childhood favorite, instead, I used sweet, tender lobster, delicate shrimp and briny crawfish as the proteins, and replaced the chicken broth with clam juice. The clam juice adds another layer of that great briny seafood flavor without it tasting too fishy. And much to my mother’s delight, I now have no qualms eating peas and carrots, in fact, they’re an absolute must for that nostalgic look and flavor.
I was first drawn to forbidden rice due to its health benefits and beautiful deep purple hue, but after one bite, I quickly fell in love with its flavor. For those of you who haven’t discovered forbidden rice yet, keep reading!
I had a lot of fun creating this recipe because I had never cooked with fresh coconut before but had always wanted to. I had no idea what to expect as far as the availability of fresh coconuts in St. Louis, so, fortunately, my local grocer sells whole coconuts which have been previously scored. After only a few firm taps with a hammer on the score lines, the shells broke open, and the room was filled with the wonderful aroma of fresh coconut. When I saw the gorgeous interior of the shells, I knew that was going to be the vessel for serving.
The flavors in this dish are classic Thai with an intricate blend of texture, color, strong aromatic components, delicate seafood, and a spicy edge at the finish.
To answer the obvious question, yes, I like to play with my food. I especially enjoy putting my own twist on recipes like turning a dirty vodka martini into a vodka martini relish. It has the wonderfully boozy, briny, olive flavors you expect, along with some added sweetness from the red onion and piquillo peppers.
Shrimp is one of my favorite seafood proteins. It has a sweet, unique flavor, a gorgeous color when cooked, and is the most versatile seafood ingredient available.
For this recipe, I kept the flavors on the shrimp simple with a touch of salt, and garlic powder, plus a bit more black pepper to pull in the spicy flavors from the pad thai dressing. So what you taste is a perfect ratio of sweet, spicy, crunchy and salty.
Sandwiches are insanely versatile and are a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For me, a sandwich is first and foremost about the bread, especially ciabatta. It has a wonderfully soft chewy center and crunchy outer crust that can hold up to anything you serve it with. The next qualifier would be the ingredients to put in between the bread, and they have to have lots of flavor and texture. Let’s be honest and admit deli lunchmeat just doesn’t do it.
This hearty sandwich is an ideal choice for your next winery picnic. Pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy the delicious flavors of the fresh, delicate, grilled fish, the deep richness of the sun-dried tomatoes, the briny capers, and the bright hits from the fresh basil, parsley, and arugula.
My family loves grilled salmon, so it’s a frequent item on our weekly menu. To add a little variety to our dinner one night, I decided to serve the salmon gyro-style. I knew the sweet, tender salmon would pair well with the creamy yogurt, fresh dill, and cucumber, but I have to admit, it was the first time I had ever attempted making my own flatbread.
Having now made them and experienced the freshly cooked, warm, tender, chewy flavor of a home-made flatbread, I’ll think twice before buying the store bought, preservative filled flatbread again.
It took a couple of tries with the first two dough balls, but I came up with my own process hack that made making them super easy. So, of course, I had to share my new-found hack with you!
My favorite cocktail during the summer is a generous pour of silver tequila, fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt and a few ice cubes. It’s a tart drink, but it’s very refreshing. In fact, I just happened to be sipping on one of those delicious drinks while preparing this dish.
I had already planned to use the lime zest and cilantro to mix in with the panko coating but I hadn’t yet decided what to serve with the shrimp. Then I saw the bottle of tequila and the fresh limes and I had an epiphany. I was going to turn my drink into an aioli!