Posts from September 2015

Fish Amandine



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith the Super Blood Moon Eclipse on the horizon on Monday, word on the street was the fish were suppose to be biting over the weekend. And they were! Gary and I caught 6 sea-trout between the two of us. Full moons = high tides = biting fish is a nice reminder of the interconnectedness of everything.


Four 6-8 oz. sea-trout or other flaky fish fillets
3/4 c flour
4 T butter
1 c slivered raw almonds
Juice of one lemon
Parsley, chopped


Pat dry the fish fillets and set aside. Salt and pepper each side. In a bowl, put in the flour. Dredge each side of the fish with flour. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the butter. Saute the fish until browned and crispy, about 4 minutes each side. Remove from the skillet, and place the fish on a paper towel to drain. In the same pan with the butter, saute the almonds until lightly toasted, or for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lemon juice, and salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the almonds over the fish and garnish with parsley.

Redfish with Cajun Sauce



Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 4.09.29 PM

Gary and I went fishing at Cedar Key over the weekend, and along with other fun things like seeing a manatee, dolphins, and a six foot shark (!!!), I caught my first redfish! For those who want to know my fishing secret, here it is: set your hook with bait, cast line in water, then take out your phone and proceed to do all the iPhone checking that you shouldn’t be doing while out in nature. Then they’ll start to bite. My new fishing philosophy is: a watched line never catches a fish.


For the fish:
1-2 lbs redfish, or other firm white fish
1 T chili powder
1 T paprika
2 t cumin
1 t coriander
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 T olive oil

For the sauce:
1 T olive oil
1 T Old Bay
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c white wine
1 T hot sauce
1 T worchestershire sauce
1/4 c chopped parsley
2 hot peppers, chopped
1/4 c tomatoes, chopped


For the fish, combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Pat dry the fish. Coat the fish on both sides with the spice rub and set aside.

Next, make the sauce. In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, saute the garlic and the hot peppers for 2 minutes. Next, add the Old Bay seasoning and S&P. Saute for two minutes. Add the cream, hot sauce, wine, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, but then reduce to a simmer. Reduce by half, which should take about 15 minutes. Right before serving, add the parsley and tomatoes.

While the sauce is cooking, in a separate pan on medium-high, heat the olive oil. Once melted and hot, add the fish. Cook about 3-4 minutes for each side, or until it’s cooked through. Serve with potatoes or rice.

Gruyѐre Cheese



My DIY husband has recently been trying to make his own cheese, and dove head-first into the “advanced” cheese making recipes. For his first try, the Gruyѐre didn’t turn out too shabby! Cheese isn’t too hard to make; it just takes a few enzymes you can buy online, some milk, and a little time, and you’ve got yourself a delicious wheel of cheese!

Speaking of diving in head-first, in other news, Gary and I are starting a brewery along with our friends Pat and Sally. Called Rainstorm Brewing, we hope to open in a year or so. With the financial help of Pat’s family, and the DIY nature of the four of us, it’s been an adventure so far! Those in the North Florida area, stop on by when we’re up and running!

So, I do realize that neither beer nor cheese are good for the heart, but in small doses, both can be good for the soul.

This recipe was amended from the book, Artisan Cheese Making at Home.


2 gallons pasteurized whole cow’s milk
1/2 t Thermo C powdered thermophilic started culture
1/2 t calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 x cool non-chlorinated water
1/2 t liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 c cool non-chlorinated water
Kosher salt


This recipe is helpful if you have two large stockpots, a 10 gallon and a 15 gallon, in order to make a water bath to keep the temperature steady. (If you don’t have a large 15 gallon pot, I’d recommend halving the recipe and use a 5 gallon and 10 gallon pot.) To start, put the 10 gallon pot into the 15 gallon pot on the stove. Pour the milk into the smaller pot, and add hot water to the larger pot until the milk and water line are at the same level. Heat the pans so that the milk temperature reads 90 degrees. Heat for 20 minutes, and then turn off the heat.

Next, sprinkle the starter over the milk and let it rehydrate for five minutes. Stir. Cover the milk and maintain the 90 degree temperature for 30 minutes. Next, add the calcium chloride and whisk in for 1 minutes. Add the rennet next, and whisk for one minute. Cover, and keep at 90 degrees for another 30-40 minutes.

Once the curds have set, cut the curds into 1/4 inch pieces, and let sit for five minutes. Raise the temperature slowly to 122 degrees over the course of an hour. Once it reaches that point, remove from heat, and stir the curds for 15 minutes. The curds will slightly firm up during this time. Let the curds rest for 20 minutes. Next, ladle off enough of the whey to expose the curds.

Next, line an 8-inch tomme mold (with follower) with damp cheesecloth, and place on a draining rack. Let drain for 5 minutes. Then pull the cheesecloth tight, fold the cloth tails over the curds, place the follower on top, and press at 8 pounds for 1 hour. After an hour, flip the cheese, and press at 8 pounds for 12 hours. (I used a hand-held weight that was about 8 pounds. Nothing like using work-out equipment to make cheese, eh?)

After twelve hours, remove the cheese from the cheesecloth, and paint on a salty brine. To make the salt brine, add kosher salt to water to where it is very salty to the taste. Dip the cheese in the liquid, or paint on the wheel.

Ideally, you should put the cheese in a ripening box, cover loosely, and ripen at 54 degrees in a designated refrigerator or cellar with 90 percent humidity. If you have neither of these, put the cheese in a large tupperware container, and wet a paper towel to place next to it. Set the lid on the tupperware loosely, with a 1 inch gap, and put in your normal refrigerator. Flip daily for the first week, then twice a week for the next 3. Use the salt brine twice a week to prevent mold growth.

Serve with good wine and enjoy!

Shrimp with Dijon Dipping Sauce




Gary and I returned to Green Cove Springs this weekend to see if the shrimp were any larger. Still didn’t get as many as hoped, but got enough for dinner, which is good enough for me. The benefits to cooking shrimp shell-on is two-fold: 1) the juices stay inside the shell which makes them way tastier, and 2) it’s a cinch to make! After the water boils, you cook these guys for 3 minutes, and boom, you have dinner.

This recipe was amended from Epicurous.


1-2 lbs shell-on shrimp (heads on preferred)
1/4 c + 1 T Old Bay seasoning
1/4 c lemon juice
2 T olive oil
1 T parsley

4 T Dijon sauce
1 t lemon juice
1 t honey
1 T Worchestershire sauce
1 t hot sauce
1 T parsley


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, lemon juice, and the 1/4 c of Old Bay seasoning, and bring to a boil. While this is heating, make your dipping sauce. Combine all ingredients and mix well. When the water in the pot is boiling, put the shrimp in the water. Cook for 3 minutes. Take out of the water, and put the shrimp into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain. Mix the olive oil and chopped parsley in a bowl. Pour over the cooked shrimp.

To eat, take off the head, peel off the shell, dip, and enjoy.


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