Tag Archives: fresh

In celebration of Top Chef: A crab-avocado salad

crab-avocadoI am super excited about Top Chef season premier tonight. While the Masters series was great, the original features more chefs which means more recipes, particularly recipes I can reasonably attempt.

In honor of the start of the season, I prepared a Top Chef throw-back to start my dinner. The crab-avocado salad is inspired from season 3’s Trey. You can see the original here.

I made several changes, some for reasons like champagne vinegar is difficult to find, and others because lump crab meat can be difficult to find.

Here’s my take:

  • 2-3 ripe avocados
  • package of artificial crab meat
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (a whole teaspoon if you like it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cilantro paste
  • the juice of half a lime

Dice crab and avocado, taking care to keep avocado in cubes and keeping the gooey green portion from the outside. Place in bowl.

In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients. Carefully fold mayo dressing into avocado and crab.

Chill and serve cold.


The Crab Cruise

crabsThursday night I took the Riverboat Queen in Wilmington for their Thursdy night crab cruise. It was a lot of fun and the crabs were delicious. On top of good food, they also have a great view as you cruise down the Christiana River at sunset.

They serve all you can eat boiled crabs plus corn and chicken wings. My fellow diners raved about the chicken wings but I was too occupied with the crab to try any. The corn was super buttery and tasty.

Eating crabs in the Northeast is much different than eating them in the South, where they clean them before they cook them and make life a little easier for the diner. But it takes me back to crawfish boils, so I wasn’t complaining.

They’re booked for the next several weeks, but I’m told there are opennings at the end of the month and they’ll keep running until November. This is their web site for more information.

Me digging into the crabs. This photo caught me mid-bite.

Me digging into the crabs. This photo caught me mid-bite.

Wilmington at sunset.

Wilmington at sunset.

My first tomato

I planted a couple of tomato plants and last week they started really producing. Here’s a picture of my first ripe tomato. There will be salsa recipes to come.


It didn’t last very long. Esteban ate it the way a fresh tomato should be eaten, with a little salt.


Coq Au Vin

This weekend I got brave and decided to try something new. I had never made coq au vin (chicken and wine) myself before. But I figured what the heck and gave it try. Sorry there are no photos for this entry. But I will definitely be making this again and will remember the camera next time.

Since I had never made coq au vin before I researched several recipes. My recipe was inspired by a Emeril Lagasse recipe I found on the Food Network’s recipe.

The biggest concern I had when looking at the various recipes was that the portions were huge. Most called for a whole chicken or 8 legs with thighs and legs intact. That was just too much for me. So I reduced the recipe down in some respects but not in others. I also changed a few other items. It took me less than two hours to prepare.


  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1/2 cup plus 1.5 tablespoons flour
  • 5 chicken thighs, skin on
  • Black pepper
  • A medium size vidallia onion thinly sliced
  • 2 8oz containers of sliced portabello mushrooms
  • A bunch of green onions sliced
  • 3 carrots thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups red wine (I used cooking wine because I had some on hand)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup butter
  • 6 red potatoes

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Calabaza (squash) with pork chops and noodles

CalabazaI finally had to turn my car’s AC on the other day, the temperature finally broke 80. And with summer, comes one of my favorite seasonal foods — summer squash. While the squash at the grocery store wasn’t the prettiest, by the time I made it there my heart was set and I had to have some.

I’m not really sure what this dish is called.

It’s one of the foods I learned by watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother all prepare. But like how the Spanish language was lost between generations, the name of this dish was as well. I remember my grandmother calling is calabaza, but I don’t think the word for squash does the taste of the dish justice.

I’ve made a few alterations, mainly to make it more single-dish friendly. Omit browning the noodles if you want to speed it up even more, but the flavor the noodles get from being fried first make all the difference. I use yellow squash and zucchini. My cousin and I disagree on this point, she thinks adding the zucchini makes it a different dish. But I think its tasty and adds a nice element of color.


  • Squash and zucchini (I used 6 small pieces, but three large pieces are perfect)
  • Package of vermicelli
  • 1 lb Pork chops
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • vegetable oil

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— Three ripe avocados



— A medium size tomato
— A small, or half a large sweet onion
— A lime or Fruit Fresh
— Garlic Powder

Cut the avocados in half and remove pit. Use a spoon to get the edible part of the avocado out, be sure to scrape all the way to the skin since the dark green part on the edges is the tastiest in my opinion.

Dice the tomato and onion in the small pieces and add to avocado.

Add garlic powder to your taste.

Add the juice or a lime or fruit fresh, this keeps it from browning.

Stir it all together, mashing the avocado junks as you go.