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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Category Archives: Dinner

Salmon with Zucchini Fettuccine

Serves 2


A CookTale

When the the 200 Calories and the 35 Carbs in 2 ounces of pasta  restrict you from the enjoyment, try Green or Yellow Zucchini Squash or both together, cut into ribbons with a Mandoline. I have a trick with this rather serious device, and it’s as easy as this. Cover the Vegetable with a potholder as you slice, that way your fingers will be protected from a nasty possible accident. It works every time!


12 ounces of Wild Salmon (in two equal pieces)

2 or 3, 8′” Zucchini’s

1 Small Onion thinly sliced

1 Clove of Garlic (smashed)

12 tsp of dried Aleppo Pepper (optional)

3 TB of Butter


Kosher Salt & Pepper



1. Heat a saute pan with the 2TB’s of Butter. When the sizzling stops add the Garlic, Onion & Aleppo Pepper.

After a very few minutes, add the Zucchini ribbons & saute until just tender, another few minutes, season with Salt & Pepper, & remove to a warm bowl.

2. In a second pan, non stick preferred, add another TB of Butter & a TB of EVOO. Saute for about 1-1/2 minutes a side & prepare to plate. With very fresh organic Salmon, the less cooking the better. Remember how great Salmon Sashimi tastes, & that in effect is what you’ll enjoy




RECIPE Grilled Radicchio and Italian SausageServes 2

A CookTale

In the New York Times, Food Editor Melissa Clark published this easy three ingredient recipe. It immediately captured my interest. Since we abandoned our gas grill this year, we find that a quality stovetop non-stick grill pan does a relatively good job, with much more control. (One man’s opinion.) The published recipe calls for a garnish of Basil Leaves in this version they’re optional.


1 large head of Radicchio
1 lb sweet Italian Sausages
2 to 3 TB EVOO, more to taste
Basil Leaves or Basil Pesto (optional)


1. On the stovetop or gas grill, halve Radicchio lengthwise through stem end, and toss with 1 TB EVOO and 1/4 tsp Salt.

2. Put Radicchio, cut side down, and Sausages in the pan or grill and cover. Let cook for 2 to 3 minutes until outer Radicchio Leaves are dark brown. Transfer to a cutting board and let cook while Sausages finish cooking, about 5 minutes.

3. Thinly slice the Radicchio. Outsides should be charred, and the insides should still be crisp and raw. Combine in a bowl with another TB of EVOO. Taste and correct seasonings, adding more Salt and EVOO to taste.

Swordfish On A Bed Of Balsamic Butter Sauce


Serves 2

A CookTale

This is a variation of a previous Swordfish recipe of a month ago. I added the Paprika Sauce as a savory topping to the Fillets. It made for a highly attractive plating for a very tasty dish. The accompaniment was Creamed Cucumbers, baked enough that each bite melted in your mouth.

INGREDIENTS For the Swordfish

2 Swordfish Fillets (6 oz each)2 TB of Butter softened (more if needed)
Balsamic Glaze for topping the Fish (available online from Roland


INGREDIENTS For the Paprika Sauce topping

1 TB of sweet Paprika + a sprinkle of hot Paprika
1/4 C EVOO
2 oz of Butter (softened)Sea or Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

INGREDIENTS For the Balsamic Butter Reduction Sauce

2 TB of Butter
1/3 C of Vermouth or White WINE
2 TB of Balsamic Vinegar
Lemon Juice


1. In a small bowl add the EVOO, Paprikas & Salt & Black Pepper.

Whisk to emulsify. Set aside until plating.

2. Heat the saute pan to high, add the 2 TB Butter & when the sizzling stops, add the Fillets. Saute weighed down with a grill press, about 1 minute per side. The internal temperature should register about
120 degrees F. Remember that we like our Fish on the rare to medium rare side. Cook yours according to your taste, but do not overcook.

4. Remove the Fish & drain on paper towels. Transfer to a holding plate & cover with tin foil to keep warm.

5.To make the Balsamic Butter Reduction Sauce, melt the remaining 2 TB of Butter over low heat, add the Balsamic Vinegar & Vermouth & simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

6. To plate, spoon a bed of the Balsamic Butter Reduction Sauce onto each plate & top with the Fillets. Add a tsp of the Paprika sauce & the Balsamic Glaze, & serve

Serves 4-5A CookTale

Cassoulet and a wintry weekend evening go together. The main ingredients blend well in this kind of provincial dish. Duck Confit, Slab Bacon, Kielbasa, Pork Butt, White Beans and Vegetables. The Demi Glace rounds out the Cassoulet and imparts a necessary depth of flavor. It is not indispensable, but if you can, add it.


1/2 lb Great Northern White Beans
4 oz slab Bacon, cut into Lardons & boiled gently for 10 minutes
8 oz Polish sausages (Kielbasa will work)
2 Duck Confit Legs & Thighs
8 oz of Pork Butt
3 Carrots, sliced
2 Onions, chunked
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled
28 oz can of San Marzano whole Tomatoes
2 Ounces of Demi Glace Gold (online from More than Gourmet)
1/2 Cup of Chicken Broth
Herb Bouquet of Bay Leaf


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Cover the Beans with cold water, bring to the boil and cook 5 minutes, then drain. Put the Beans into a large casserole and cover with fresh hot water.

3. Add the Bacon, all the rest of the Meat, Vegetables, Garlic, Tomatoes and Herbs. Adjust seasonings. Heat to the simmer on the top of the stove. Then set in the preheated oven to simmer slowly for 2 hours. (After 1 hour, stir.).

4. Dissolve the Demi Glace Gold in the heated Chicken Broth & add to the Cassoulet while it’s still hot. Mix together & serve.

Rolletini of Chicken Thighs layered with  Prosciutto Plated
RECIPEServes 2

A CookTale

It was the evening for a Chicken dinner. Instead of our usual method of pan sauteing, these were deboned, pounded thin, well seasoned, layered with slices of Prosciutto and wrapped as small bundles. Served with roasted-to-a-char slices of Cauliflower. A first time but certainly not the last time.


2 8 oz Chicken Thighs (skin on & bone in)
4 Thin slices of Prosciutto
Kosher Salt & Pepper
1 C of Marinara Sauce (homemade or Rao’s)
1 TB of EVOO


1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Debone the Thighs. Pound them, skin side up, as thinly as possible without tearing them.

3. Season with Salt & Pepper. Layer each with 2 slices of Prosciutto. Roll them into bundles & secure with toothpicks. Place in a small casserole dish & coat with the TB of EVOO.

4. Roast for 20 about minutes. Then turn on the broiler for a few minutes more to achieve an appealing color Remove, keep warm & set aside.

5. Heat the Marinara sauce in a saucepan.

6. To each plate, spoon a bed of Marinara sauce & top with a Rollatini bundle.


RECIPE Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf with Brown
Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

Serves Many

A CookTale

Rather than going into poetic raptures about how I discovered this wonderful recipe, I’m simply going to transfer it directly from the Cook’s Illustrated recipe originally published years ago. It has served us well for as long as I can recall. Try it, you’ll like it!

INGREDIENTS Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

1/2 C Ketchup or Chili Sauce
4 TB Brown Sugar
4 tsp Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar


2 tsp Vegetable Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped medium dice
2 medium Garlic Cloves, minced
2 large Eggs
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce
1/2 C whole Milk or plain Yogurt
1 lb ground Beef Chuck
1/2 lb ground Pork
1/2 lb ground Veal
2/3 C Saltine crackers, crushed (about 16), or quick oatmeal, or 1-1/3 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/3 C minced fresh Parsley Leaves
6-8 ounces bacon, thin sliced (8 to 12 slices, depending on loaf shape)

1. For the glaze: mix all ingredients in small saucepan, set aside.

2. For the Meat Loaf: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add Onion and Garlic; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.

3. Mix Eggs with Thyme, Salt, Pepper, Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Pepper Sauce, and Milk or Yogurt. Add Egg mixture to Meat in large bowl along with Crackers, Parsley, and cooked Onion and Garlic; mix with fork until evenly blended and Meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add additional Milk or Yogurt, a couple tablespoons at a time until mix no longer sticks.)

4. Turn Meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture into approximately 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on foil-lined (for easy cleanup) shallow baking pan. Brush with half the Glaze, then arrange Bacon slices, crosswise, over the Loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only Bacon tip ends under loaf.

5. Bake Loaf until Bacon is crisp and Loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes. Simmer remaining Glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly. Slice Meat Loaf and serve, passing extra Glaze separately.

Chicken Sausage & PeppersRECIPE Chicken, Sausage & Peppers
Adapted from The Tucci Cookbook
Serves 2 Generously
A CookTale
This is a new and a very good family Italian cookbook written by Stanley Tucci, best known as a Hollywood and Broadway actor. His co-writer is Gianni Scappin, co-owner and head chef of Woodstock’s now famous Cucina Restaurant. Simple yet full of tasty ingredients and most satisfying on a cold Winter evening.INGREDIENTS1/3 C of Peanut Oil
3 Chicken Thighs (cut in half)
2 Sweet or hot Sausages (cut into 1/2″ slices)
1 large Onion (cut into quarters)
5 Garlic Cloves (cut in half)
1 or 2 Idaho Potatoes (cut into 1″ dice)
1 large Red Bell Pepper (cut into 1″ dice)
3 Rosemary sprigs
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes


1 Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat a large skillet & add the Peanut Oil. Add the Chicken, skin side down, season with Salt & Pepper & brown well on one side for about 5 minutes; turn & brown lightly on the other side for 3 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.

2. Add the Sausage, Onion, Bell Pepper & Garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the Sausage is lightly browned. Transfer to the bowl.

3. Add the Potatoes, Rosemary & Red Pepper Flakes. Cook for a few minutes to begin to brown the Potatoes. Return the contents of the bowl to the skillet & toss together.

4. Transfer to a baking pan & oven bake for about 20
minutes. Do not overcook the Thighs, remove them after 10 minutes if necessary. Cover them with foil to keep warm.

5. Remove the pan from the oven, return the Thighs to the pan & gently toss it all together.

6. Ready to plate and serve.