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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Braised Rib Pork Chop
RECIPEServes 2

A CookTale

Last evening, Davis conquered Goliath! Traditionally I’ve grilled Pork Chops and more often than not they have been tough.
This time I decided to try and oven braise
them in a simple flavored liquid…and it worked! After 25 minutes in a 300 oven, they were tender and flavorful. At plating I spooned each with a Demi Glace sauce.
That will be my new traditional method.


2 1″ rib Pork Chops.
Salt & Pepper liberally sprinkled
1 c of Vermouth
1/4 c of EVOO

For the sauce
1 c of Chicken Stock
2 oz of Demi Glace Gold
2 TB of Butter


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
2. Liberally season the chops. Add them to a casserole dish. Add the EVOO and Vermouth mixture half way up the dish.
3. Braise for 25 minutes or until medium rare.
4. For the sauce, In a small saucepan add the Chicken Stock, Demi Glace and Butter. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes to emulsify.


Serves 2

A CookTale

Every country has its version of this simple shrimp dish. This one is titled, Southern Shrimp Scampi
credited to Kim Severson of the NY Times. Looks tasty and was tasty.

2 large Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp finely ground Pepper
1 lb Shrimp, 16-20 count
1/2 C Wine or Vermouth
3 TB Butter
2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 TB chopped Italian Parsley
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes


1. In a bowl, toss Garlic, Salt and Pepper with the Shrimp, which may be refrigerated, well covered for a few hours.

2. When ready to cook, heat EVOO in a large sauté pan over high heat until it shimmers, then add Shrimp and move shrimp around in the pan for little over a minute, or until the color just begins to turn from translucent.

3. Remove Shrimp, reduce heat to medium-high and add Wine, scraping up any bits in the pan. Cook for a few minutes to reduce, then add Butter and swirl the pan to melt.

4. Put Shrimp back into pan, stir about at most a minute to finishing cooking and add Lemon Juice.

5. Remove to serving dish, sprinkle with Parsley and red Pepper Flakes, adding more Pepper if desired. Serve over Rice or Pasta or as is.

Salada Caprese over Melanzana


A CookTale

Is a detailed recipe required? I don’t believe so. But instructions for grilling the Eggplant follows.


2 Tablespoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 medium eggplants
About 1/3 cup olive oil

1.In a large bowl dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in 1 cup warm water. Add 2 quarts cold water. Set aside.

2.Trim the eggplant. Peel it, if you like, and cut it into 1-inch thick diagonal, crosswise, or lengthwise slices. Put the slices in the salt water, weigh them down with an upside-down plate, and let sit 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat (you can hold your hand about an inch above the grill for 3 to 4 seconds).

3. Drain the eggplant and pat it dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Lay the slices on a large baking sheet or tray. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay the slices oiled-side-down on the grill. Close the lid if using a gas grill and cook until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes.
Brush the top sides of the slices with oil and sprinkle them with salt. Turn the slices over, close the lid on a gas grill and cook until grill marks appear on the other side and the eggplant is very tender, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Sweetbreads with Vermouth Caper Sauce

Serves 2

A Cooktale

The week prior to July 14th, Cathie announced, “for my birthday week I want Sweetbreads”. Sweetbreads it shall be. and last evening they were! She was a happy person & I received kudos for a dinner well done, Not “well done”, she requires, her Sweetbreads “never well done”.


3/4 Pounds of Veal Sweetbreads
Milk to cover
4 cups Water
Kosher or Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
Juice of half a Lemon plus 1 TB of Lemon Juice
1/4 to 3/8 C of drained Capers
4 TB of Clarified Butter


1. The day before cooking, place the Sweetbreads in a bowl or small container, cover them with Milk, and allow them to soak in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the sweetbreads, discarding the Milk, and trim any veins or dark bits. Rinse them well and set aside.

2. Place the Sweetbreads in a small pot, cover with water, and add a big pinch of salt and the juice of half a Lemon. Add the Sweetbreads, bring the water to a boil, and blanch them for about 5 minutes. Remove the sweetbreads and plunge them into an ice bath.

3. Line a small sheet pan with a kitchen towel and place the Sweetbreads on the towel in a single layer. Fold the towel over them to cover, place another sheet pan on top, and weigh it down – a heavy pot or a few cans of tomatoes work well. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

4. If your Sweetbreads are large, slice them into medallions. season with lots of Salt and Pepper.

5. Melt the Clarified Butter in a heavy bottomed skillet and cook the Sweetbreads over medium heat until golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes to a side. Do not overcook them. Place the browned Sweetbreads on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside, tenting loosely with foil to keep warm. Add the Capers to the sauce.

6. Plate and serve. Our side dish was Butternut Squash lightly mashed and combined with Maple Syrup, Butter and Heavy Cream.

Seafood Salad


Serves 2

A CookTale

Please excuse the erroneous title, it’s me being clever. Actually this delicious salad was Cathie’s handwork from concept to plating. My contribution was the lip smacking approval and the provocative title.


Zest of a Lemon and 1 TB Lemon Juice
1 TB Sea Salt
4 large Sea Scallops, each sliced into 4 pieces
1/3 lb. Calamari (optional)
3/4 lb. extra large Shrimp, shelled and deveined
(you can also use large cooked Shrimp)
1/4 cup EVOO
2 large Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 TB White Wine Vinegar
1 really small Red Onion, cut into fine dice
1/4 cup flat leaf Parsley, minced
1/4 cup Mint leaves, minced
1 tp Red Pepper Flakes
Freshly ground Black Pepper to finish


1. Heat 4 quarts of water. Add 1/2 of the Lemon Zest and 1 TB Sea Salt.
2. If using Calamari, add to simmering water and cook for 5 minutes.. Remove with slotted spoon,
drain and set aside in large mixing bowl. When cool enough to handle, thinly slice.
3. Add Scallops to simmering water and cook for 1 minute. Drain, add to mixing bowl.
4. Cook Shrimp for 2 minutes, remove, drain, cut in half lengthwise and add to bowl.
5. In a small skillet, gently heat 2 TB of the EVOO. Add Garlic and cook until softened but now browned.
6. Pour contents of the skillet over the cooked seafood. Add remaining EVOO,
Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, Onion, Parsley, Mint, and Red Pepper Flakes.
Thoroughly combine, cover with tinfoil and let set at least an hour at room temperature.
7. When you’re ready to serve, toss the ingredients and add Salt and Pepper to taste.



Black Cod with Miso Sauce



Serves 2

A CookTale

In the U.S.A. we call it Black Cod! Common names worldwide for this Pacific Ocean fish include Sablefish, Blue Cod, Bluefish, Candlefish, Coal Cod, Coalfish, Beshow, and Skilfish. Call it what you will. it’s a wonderful tasty fish made even tastier, when marinated in an Asian White Miso Sauce for a few days.

2- 6 oz Black Cod fillets, about 2″ thick, skin on
3/8 cup of Mirin
3/8 cup of Sake
3/8 cup of white Miso paste
3 TB of Sugar
2- 6 oz Black Cod fillets, about 2″ thick, skin on
1TB of Peanut Oil for the pan
Pickled Ginger, for serving (optional)


1. In a small saucepan, bring the Mirin & Sake to a boil. Whisk in the Miso until dissolved. Add the Sugar & cook over moderate heat, whisking, just until dissolved. Transfer the marinade to a large baking dish & let cool. Add the fish skin side up. Cover and refrigerate overnight or vacuum marinate.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat a grill pan & oil it. Scrape the marinade off the fish. Add the fish skin side down & cook over high heat until crisp. Flip the fish onto a heavy rimmed baking sheet & roast for 10 minutes, or until flaky.

3. Transfer to plates & serve with pickled Ginger & additional Miso sauce.

Slow roasted fish


By Florence Fabricant of the New York Times

Serves 2

A CookTale

A splendid dish which deserved a better photo.
Having said that, I hope the recipe will whet your appetite. And when it reached the table, it was well worth the effort.

1 Lemon
1 2-inch piece fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
2 TB minced fresh Dill
3/4 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
Salt and ground Black Pepper
1 2 lb Black Sea Bass, Ocean Perch, Porgy or similar fish, gutted and scaled
1 Shallot, chopped
1/2 C dry White Wine or Vermouth
1 TB Dijon Mustard
2 TB Crème Fraîche


1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Cut Lemon in half, juice half and set aside. Chop remaining half and mix in a bowl with half the Ginger, half the Dill and 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds. Season with Salt and Pepper. Rub outside of Fish with 1 tablespoon oil. Fill cavity with Ginger, Lemon and Dill mixture.

2. Cut 2 large sheets parchment (or non-stick tinfoil) a good 3 inches bigger, all around, than the Fish. Place the Fish on 1 sheet, cover with second and crimp the sheets together to enclose the fish tightly. Place package, crimped side down, on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, heat remaining EVOO in a small skillet, add rest of Ginger and the Shallot and sauté on low until Shallot is translucent. Add remaining Mustard Seeds. Stir in reserved Lemon Juice and the Wine. Cook on low 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly reduced. Stir in Mustard and Crème Fraîche and cook another few minutes until sauce has thickened a bit. Season with Salt and Pepper and remove from heat.

4. When Fish is cooked, remove it to a large platter or cutting board, turning the package crimped side up. Remove top sheet of parchment. Use a spatula to lift off top layer of Fish; place on a serving dish. Lift out bones. Place bottom layer of Fish on dish. Gently reheat sauce, fold in remaining Dill, spoon sauce down the center of each Fillet and serve.