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Seafood Sunday

Yesterday the weather was spring-like. It must have almost hit 70 F, unusual for mid-November. Strangely though, my culinary thoughts were on something hearty and warm. I had also planned to spend time at home, my oasis of peace, and make the girls real happy through their tummies. So I decided to follow that little voice inside that leads me to the island. The end result was two dishes , seafood based, a combination that would work well for those of you with vegetarian tendencies: a light chowder and braised salmon steak. Why chowder ? Let's explore.

Last July, I toured the northeastern region of the US, and spent some time along the coast in Maine and Massachusetts. We enjoyed all sorts of recipes made with lobsters and clams, really good lobsters I might add. We also got to sample several varieties of claim chowder. They were good, but , truthfully , I was not impressed Most were made with haste, and I could tell they did not come out of small batches. Cooking produces its best results when love and passion are used as seasoning. This is the secret ingredient that you taste, and even perceive, when that really special meal is presented in front of you . Yes, good veggies, great herbs and spices count, but passion and love is what makes the difference.

The following variation of chowder was made from the heart and was prepared specifically for a loving island. Emulate it on your own. Your own fans will approve.

Scallop Chowder
New England and Manhattan variations of this classic are probably the best known. This variation replaces clams with scallops that are marinated in light cream, seasoned with salt and pepper.

There is only one key rule to remember here.. Simmer , not boil.

1 lb of medium sized scallops (avoid bay scallops)
4 large RIPE carrots, cut into thin 1/3 inch disks
1 yellow bell pepper
1 medium onion, coarsely diced
1/2 small fresh green chili (optional)
4 garlic cloves, not minced , chopped diagonally , 4-5 ways per clove
3 - 4 large Yukon potatoes, diced in 1 inch cubes
1 cup light cream
Salt, Pepper, EVOO ,
1/2 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio works well)
1 cup of light mushroom stock , seasoned with fresh herbs
1 qt of water, maybe less
5-7 large basil leaves

Rating: The fan club went crazy. I hand to protect the island from a stampede for seconds. Luckily, there was enough, even for thirds.

Scallop Chowder


Coming soon , I promise :-)

Braised Salmon with Pepper sauceI always wonder why many people prefer salmon medium-well. Perhaps there is a fear that this rich fish will inevitably dry up, and loose natural flavor and texture. When using a quick braising technique , salmon will retain its moistness , flavor and surely pass the USFDA safety guidelines.

Braised Salmon in Pepper Sauce

1 1/2 lb Salmon Steak
1 yellow pepper
1 tablespoon of minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup water
2-3 cloves of garlic , not minced
Salt, Pepper, EVOO
Small bunch of fresh cilantro

Rating: You can tell that the fan club approved when serving plate becomes the dinner plate.


Coming soon , once again , I promise.

Lesson of the day:


  1. Michele!! Your scallop chowder looks delicious; great combination of ingredients nad textures... I am going to try this recipe ASAP. I smell the aroma from Chicago. Look forward to receiving a goody bag from New York!


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