Spicy, Roasted Seabass on a Bed of Chilis




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This fish cooks fast and is mouth watering, fork tender and explodes with flavor. The mayonnaise keeps the fish moist and the crushed cashews give it a wonderful earthy and buttery flavor.


* 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
* 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2 cloves peeled garlic, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
* 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzleing
* 2-7oz cans medium green chili peppers, like Hatch
* 1 pound sea bass, skinned and cut in half
* ½ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
* 1/3 cup whole, raw cashews, ground
* 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped for garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 475°

1. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic, and cayenne pepper until combined.
2. Spread the olive oil on the bottom of a rimmed, baking dish large enough to hold the fish.
3. Spoon the peppers onto the baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom of the baking dish.
4. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with kosher salt and place on top of the peppers.
5. Coarsely grate or grind the cashews in a food processor until It’s resembles bread crumbs.
6. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the top and sides of the fish. Be sure there is a thicker layer on the topside of the fish.
7. Evenly sprinkle the ground cashews onto the fish and gently pat down.

8. Bake for 14–16 minutes or until the fish is flaky and browned in spots and reaches an internal temperature of 135 to 140°
9. Garnish with chopped parsley, optional, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately


What is the Difference Between Puff, Shortcrust & Filo Doughs


It is just about baking season and I thought I would take the opportunity this Tuesday Tip Day to explain the differences between puff, shortcrust & filo doughs.

What is the Difference between Puff, Shortcrust & Filo Doughs?

Puff Pastry

Puff pastry is best for pastries, sausage rolls, sweet or savory pies.
It is usually made with canola or a vegetable oil.

Butter Puff Pastry
Is pastry made with butter instead of the vegetable oil and no sugar. Whether you use normal puff pastry or butter puff pastry is entirely a matter of personal preference.

Sweet Puff Pastry
Is made using sugar. It is used in sweet recipes that require a flaky, buttery pastry such as a sweet pie.

Shortcrust Pastry
Has a slightly biscuity, crumbly texture that doesn’t easily soak up fluids and is perfect for quiches, tarts, and other savories with wet fillings or those not served immediately. It is surprisingly sturdy when removed from its tin.

Plain Shortcrust 
Although it is typically used for savory fillings it can be a good flavor balance to very sweet fillings as well.

Pate sablee 
Is a sweetened shortcrust pastry, but is more like a biscuit dough because the butter and sugar are beaten together before the flour and liquid are added. The word sablee means sandy or grainy and tat times ground almonds are added to it to add even more texture.

Filo is wafer thin, crunchy and brown when cooked.
Filo is used when a light, crunchy pastry is required, like for a spinach pie or baklava.

Honey Roasted Duck




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Not only does this version of roast duck taste incredible, it’s also a great recipe to make if you want to impress guests. The sticky, savory-sweet glaze gives the duck amazing color and crispness and keeps the dark moist and succulent. As usual I remove several steps and kept the ingredient list semi-short to take away some of the stress of making an entire duck. Serve with Wild rice stuffing and a crisp, green salad.


* 3 tsp salt
* 1-1/2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 (5 pound) whole duck


1. Completely defrost the duck in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if using a frozen duck, then remove giblets and neck. Rinse well, inside and out, with cold water and pat completely dry using paper towels. Let the duck sit out on the counter for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

2. Use a sharp knife to score the skin on the duck’s breast in a diamond pattern, trying to cut only the skin without reaching the breast meat below. If there are other fatty areas like where the duck legs connect to the body, give those a slash too.

3. Stuff the cavity of the duck with garlic cloves, a quartered onion, and a couple sprigs of rosemary. You could also use lemon slices or a quartered apple/ orange.

4. Fold the loose skin on both ends of the duck to hold everything inside and tie the duck legs with butcher’s twine or string to truss it by tying a loop around one duck leg, then crossing it over the other leg and wrapping the twine around both legs a time or two, then tying it off.

5. In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, and rub over all over the duck.

6. Place the duck with the scored breast side up on a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet or on the rack of a large roasting pan.

7. Start the duck by roasting it at a higher temperature of 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then decrease the oven or smoker temp to 350 degrees and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At the 60 minute mark, brush half of the honey over the duck, then cook for 10 minutes before brushing the duck with the remaining honey.

8. If the juices are still running pink after 1-1/2 hours, let it roast another 15 minutes before pulling it out of the oven or smoker and then tent with foil for 15 minutes to let the juices redistribute before carving.

The duck will be done when the juice is barely a rosy pink, after poking the bird, thigh area is best.


I like the skin on the crispier side so when necessary, I put the bird under the broiler for a few minutes until it reaches the degree of crisp I like. Be careful not to get too close to the broiler because the skin can easily burn.

Happy Eating!

Easy RIbeye Roast




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Want a beautiful and EASY centerpiece meal for a holiday dinner or an easy to cook meal for a Sunday crowd? The ribeye roast is one of those cuts of meat that seems daunting to cook but rest assured it is one of the easiest cuts of meat to prepare. It tastes best roasted and is more of a set and forget main course. The SECRET is to prep the roast the night before. See Notes below for a perfect roast. A little preparation goes a long way!


* 5 to 10 lb ribeye roast
* 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
* 2 Tsp ground cumin
* 1 Tsp crushed black pepper corns
* 1-2 Tsp garlic powder


1. Remove roast from the refrigerator 2 hours before roasting
2. Preheat an oven to 500 degrees.
3. Roast in a large roasting pan, in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue cooking until roast is reddish-pink and juicy in the center.
4. Use an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast, through the side of the meet, parallel. Roast about 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until it reaches 135-140 for rare, 145-150 medium rare or 160-170 for well-done. Let rest for a minimum of 15-20 minutes.


1. Important: Be sure to rinse off the roast, sprinkle with a generous amount of kosher salt and put it on a rimmed baking sheet in the refrigerator, unwrapped. Let sit for 24 hours before cooking
2. The cooked roast will have a some blood rise to the top but let it sit on the cutting board before slicing it.
3. Slice cold leftovers to add to a salad, or dice and throw into chili or reheat in a skillet with a couple of fried eggs for a weekend breakfast treat.

Gigi’s Vodka Sauce




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When the alcohol from the vodka burns-off, it adds a dimension to the sauce that cannot be replicated. I like to serve this vegetarian sauce over Rigatoni but Fettuccini and Spaghetti work nicely too. Serve with crusty bread and a crisp green salad. This sauce will not disappoint.


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 oz vodka
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Lb Rigatoni
1/2 teaspoon died oregano
1/2 cup parmesan, finely grated plus more for serving
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped for garnish, optional
Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente per instructions. Using a heatproof measuring glass, scoop out about 1⁄4 cup boiling water from pot, drain pasta set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring constantly, just until onion is starting to brown around the edges, 5–7 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes and stir to coat onion. Cook, stirring often, until paste is deep red and starting to brown and stick to the bottom of the pot, 5–7 minutes. Add vodka, scraping up brown bits and reduce heat to simmer.
4. Add in crushed tomatoes and bring back to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add heavy cream gradually while stirring it into the onion mixture and stir until a smooth sauce forms and cook for 10 more minutes.
5. Transfer drained pasta to Dutch oven with vodka sauce and stir in 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, then gradually add the Parmesan, stirring constantly to melt. Pasta should be coated with the smooth, shiny sauce. Add more pasta water if sauce is too thick.

Sprinkle with Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and additional grated cheese. Garnish with Basil leaves.


This sauce freezes well. I like to make extra and use during the week for pizza or flatbreads.