Braised Monkfish in Red Pepper Almond Sauce

A quick Spanish recipe that presents beautifully. If I am pressed for time I use good quality roasted red peppers in a jar rather than roasting them myself. The result is quite similar. Monkfish flesh is covered with a gray membrane that needs to be removed as it shrinks when cooked and looks unpleasant in contrast to the whiteness of the fish.

Polpo (Octopus) alla Luciana Recipe

Polpo (Octopus) alla Luciana

Polpo alla Luciana is one of the simplest and most delicious ways to prepare this exotic seafood. A traditional recipe from Borgo di Santa Lucia, a picturesque district next to Naples’ port. Buying pre-cooked or frozen octopus really helps as it cuts down the preparation time considerably to about 45 minutes. Even in the US pre-cooked octopus is now more readily available in some supermarkets, like Costco.

Crispy Fish Balls with Sweet and Spicy Sauce Recipe

Crispy Fish Balls with Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Very popular throughout Southeast Asia, the perfect quick bite dunked into a piquant sauce. Serving fish balls on a bed of crispy bok choy elevates this humble street food into something special. Bok choy’s hint of spicy bitterness and its fast cooking properties is my stir-fry choice to go with.

Salt Cod and Potato Bake Recipe

Salt Cod and Potato Bake

A traditional salt cod recipe from Northern Portugal, Bacalhau a Moda do Minho. Each family has its own recipe passed down for generations, but I bet they all have a common denominator, namely potatoes. This recipe is from my 1930’s Portuguese cookbook.

Grilled Octopus with Roasted Peppers and Potatoes Recipe

Grilled Octopus with Roasted Peppers and Potatoes

This classic of the Spanish and Portuguese cuisine is still a culinary curiosity in the US. Long hours of low and slow cooking or hitting it on a stone until tender are things of the past. A good brand of precooked octopus offers the same quality as a fresh one with the added bonus of less time in the kitchen.

Shrimp and Feta Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

Shrimp and Feta Stuffed Zucchini Boats

The broiled feta cheese on top of the zucchini boats adds a tangy and slighly salty flavor to the mild shrimp-red pepper-onion filling. Most of the 45 minutes preparation time for this recipe is taken up by baking. You can serve it as a light lunch or as part of a more elaborated mezze summer dinner. Let it cool off a bit before serving this versatile dish.

Salt Codfish Salad Recipe

Salt Codfish Salad

Salt cod combines well with potatoes, onions, olives, and above all high-quality extra virgin olive oil. A great number of recipes reflect that. When buying salt cod, look for the so-called “loins”. They are cut from the thickest part of the fish. They will give you the best fish flakes for this salad.

Squid with Pea Avocado Purée Recipe

Squid with Pea Avocado Purée

An emerald green pea and avocado puree reminiscent of guacamole. So good, so easy.

Any leftover can be used as a sandwich spread. Great with shrimps or even a simple poached egg. Voilà, dinner in less than 20 minutes.

Creamy Polenta with Shrimps and Asparagus Recipe

Creamy Polenta with Shrimps and Asparagus

A dish of buttery yellow stone ground grits with shrimps and asparagus. A homely Southerrn recipe yet elegant. Much more than the simple ingredients imply. Use the traditional, coarse, yellow stone ground grits, which are available in most supermarkets here in the South or polenta.

Spicy Shrimp and Heart of Palm Moqueca Recipe

Spicy Shrimp and Heart of Palm Moqueca

Moqueca is a traditional salt water fish or prawn stew from Brazil. It’s strongly influenced by the African cuisine. The name moqueca comes from the term mukeka in Kimbundu, a widely spoken language in Angola. There are two recipes in Brazil , the Moqueca Baiana from Bahia state and the Moqueca Capixaba from Espirito Santo state. The first uses dendê oil, the latter annatto seed oil for flavor and color. Both are delicious!

Roasted Salmon with Speck and Leeks Recipe

Roasted Salmon with Speck and Leeks

Salmon is a versatile choice that works well for an impromptu dinner with guests. Quickly done yet with an aura of refinement. Here, I use crisp speck, the more rustic cousin of the Prosciutto di Parma. Serve with Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes.

Fish Polpette (Polpette di Pesce) Recipe

Fish Polpette (Polpette di Pesce)

This fish polpette recipe is comfort food from Italy. The preparation is not much different than meatballs, aside from the fact that they are not fried. Fishballs are “poached” in a rich tomato sauce and served on its own, not with pasta.

A slice of crusty bread is all you need to mop the delicious tomato sauce.

Mussels with Fennel, Peppers and Spanish Paprika Recipe

Mussels with Fennel, Peppers and Spanish Paprika

Hands down, one of my favorite recipes, a hearty mussels stew with Spanish flavors. I use frozen Green-Lipped Half Shell Mussels from New Zealand, available at Publix and other supermarkets in the US. They are plump, delicious, versatile and above all a great time saver. They come blanched and frozen in half shells ready to use.

Codfish with Portuguese Linguiça Recipe

Codfish with Portuguese Linguiça

Fish and potatoes are a recurring theme in the Iberian cuisine. The addition of “linguiça” (Portuguese soft spicy sausage in taste similar to Spanish chorizo) and leeks to the codfish brings the dish to another level. The result is earnest food at its best. A flexitarian recipe invented centuries before the word flexitarian ever was created.

Squids Provençal Recipe

Squids Provençal

Encornets à la Provençale, a very popular dish of the South of France. It is quite easy to prepare. Small squids, readily available frozen, are more tender. Serve the dish with a crusty white bread or rice pilaf.

Marinated Sardines Recipe

Marinated Sardines

Sardinas en Escabeche, a very popular recipe from Spain, which is often used for tapas or as an appetizer.

Escabeche is an age-old technique to preserve food. Fish, mussels, poultry or game are poached or fried in olive oil and then marinated for at least 24 hours in garlic, herbs, and vinegar and served at room temperature.

Greek Octopus Stew Recipe

Greek Octopus Stew

Oktapodi Krasato, a delicious octopus stew in red wine, is one of the traditional Greek dishes you find in most restaurants and tavernas. It is easy to prepare when the octopus is young and tender.

Salmon with Lentils, Bacon and Horseradish Sauce Recipe

Salmon with Lentils, Bacon and Horseradish Sauce

New Year’s lentil soup or lentil stew is no doubt a time-honored dish handed down for generations in many families often times with little change. I am not very fond of keeping the same way of doing things. Add a different touch all of your own, that’s what I call keeping traditions alive.

Catfish with Mojo Verde Recipe

Catfish with Mojo Verde

This dish from Spain combines the catfish with Mojo Verde, the cilantro and caper sauce originally from the Canary Islands. This dish goes well with small new potatoes, boiled or slightly roasted, and a green salad.

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