Wednesday, June 19, 2019


Here is another shrimp & grits recipe for your recipe book.  This one includes delicious sea scallops. 

3 slices applewood smoked bacon, or your favorite, diced

2 cups chicken stock
½ cup stone ground yellow or white grits (I use Palmetto Farms grits)
2 T unsalted butter
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper

Shrimp & Scallops
6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
2 T unsalted butter
1 small shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

2 t Old Bay seasoning
1 cup clam broth
1 t lemon juice
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
Chives, for garnish
Hot sauce, preferably Louisiana or Crystal

For the Bacon
Cook bacon in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat until crispy.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a small bowl and set aside. 
Discard most of the bacon grease and save the skillet.

For the Grits
In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil.
Add grits in a stream while whisking.
Reduce to very low, cover and simmer, whisking often, until thick and creamy, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in butter and cheese.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and keep warm while making shrimp and scallops.

For the Shrimp & Scallops
Season shrimp and scallops on both sides with salt and pepper.
Cook the shrimp in the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until shrimp becomes pink, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to large bowl and set aside.
Add scallops and cook on each side for about 2 minutes, until golden brown.
Transfer scallops to the bowl with the shrimp.
Lower heat to medium-low and add the butter.
Sauté the shallot for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the Old Bay, clam broth, and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil.
Return the shrimp and scallops to the pan and heat through for a minute or two.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon grits into 2 warm bowls.  Spoon on the shrimp and scallop mixture and sprinkle with the bacon and a few chives.

Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

Serves 2

Monday, June 17, 2019


Shrimp tacos are a summer favorite in my house. You can find a Southwest Seasoning in your supermarket. 

12 large or jumbo wild caught shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T Southwest Seasoning
Juice of one lime
4 corn tortillas
½ cup shredded Napa or white cabbage
½ cup shredded red cabbage
Vera Cruz Salsa (recipe follows)
Adobo Cream Sauce (recipe follows)
Cilantro, for garnish
Lime slices, for garnish

Thread shrimp onto metal skewers and place in a shallow baking pan or a platter.
Sprinkle the Southwest Seasoning over the shrimp, on both sides.
Squeeze the lime juice on both sides.
Cover and refrigerate while making the Adobo Cream Sauce and Salsa

Adobo Cream Sauce
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T red onion, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 adobo chilies with some of the canned sauce, diced
1 T fresh lime juice

In a small bowl, mix together the above ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Vera Cruz Salsa
2 large ripe red tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
½ small red onion, minced
½ cup unstuffed manzanilla olives, diced
1 T capers, drained
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Zest of ½ lime
Juice of ½ lime
1 T extra-virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, mix together the above ingredients and set aside.

After you make the sauce and salsa, get the coals ready for the BBQ grill.
Grill shrimp over coals for about 2-3 minutes on each side. 
Remove to a clean platter or baking pan.
Brush the tortillas with oil on both sides and using tongs, grill until lightly brown, about 30 seconds on each side.

To Assemble
Add a little of each cabbage to the bottom of each tortilla.
Remove shrimp from the skewers and add on top of the cabbage.
Top each with a little Salsa and a little Adobo Cream Sauce.
Garnish with a couple of cilantro leaves and lime slices.

Makes 4 tacos with 3 shrimp per taco

Sunday, June 2, 2019


Biscuits with sausage gravy is a classic diner breakfast in the South and so easy to make at home. This is definitely a "stick to your ribs" breakfast that will last all day.  Sometimes I just have a craving for some of my Southern roots food.  Mama would be proud!  

1 recipe for my Southern Buttermilk Biscuits or store bought
1 lb of your favorite uncooked bulk breakfast sausage
2 T unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ to 3 cups whole milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large cast-iron skillet, over medium heat, cook sausage while breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
Cook until it is no longer pink.
Add the butter and let completely melt. 
Sprinkle in the flour and continue to cook while stirring for a couple of minutes.
Gradually stir in the milk and cook until the mixture has thickened. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.

To serve, add one or two biscuits to a plate and top with sausage gravy.

Serves 4 to 6

Sunday, May 26, 2019


The Belmont Stakes is held every June. It is the final race of the Triple Crown, held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. I'm not fond of watching the horses races, but I like to know who won and that no horse was injured. I saw the recipe for the latest official drink of the Belmont, named Belmont Jewel, but I like my version better. It is not made with bottled lemonade; it's made with fresh squeezed lemon juice (or pure organic lemon juice in a jar), a few dashes of lemon bitters, and contains a lot less sugar. 

Here is a little trivia about the three races:

The name "furlong" dates back to early Anglo-Saxon times, it originally referred to the length of the furrow in one acre of ploughed (plowed USA) open field.

Kentucky Derby: 1 1/4 miles = 10 furlongs

The Preakness Stakes: 1 3/16 miles = 9 1/2 furlongs
The Belmont Stakes: 1 1/2 miles = 12 furlongs

One furlong = 1/8 mile

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice or pure organic lemon juice, room temperature
1 T cane sugar or granulated sugar (you can also use Stevia Extract)
½ cup pomegranate juice
4 dashes lemon bitters or unflavored bitters
1 cup Maker’s Mark bourbon or your favorite bourbon

In a pitcher, stir together the lemon juice with the sugar, until sugar is dissolved.
Add the pomegranate juice, bitters, and bourbon.
Fill four glasses ¾ full with pounded or crushed ice.
Divide mixture between the four glasses.
Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Makes 4 drinks

Sunday, May 19, 2019


This is an easy weeknight meal to prepare.  Add a green vegetable or salad and "Voilà"... you have dinner.

2 boneless chicken breasts
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 T avocado oil
1 shallot, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 t Herbes de Provence
1 t fresh thyme leaves
1 cup chicken broth
2 T Dijon mustard
½ cup red wine, such as Merlot
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Season flour with salt and pepper.
Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off the excess.
Heat the oil in a skillet fitted with a top.
Brown the chicken on each side for about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add shallots to skillet and sauté 2 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Stir in the herbs, chicken broth, Dijon mustard, wine, and balsamic vinegar.
Return chicken breasts to skillet.

Cover and slowly simmer about 15 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a warm platter.
Bring liquid in skillet to a low boil until sauce is thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Whisk in butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour over chicken and serve with wide egg noodles.

Monday, May 13, 2019


The Black-Eyed Susan cocktail got its name from the blanket of Black-Eyed Susan flowers that is draped over the winning horse at the Preakness Stakes. The 2000 flowers that make up the blanket are not Black-Eyed Susans but actually mums. Black-eyed Susans do not bloom until summer. This Maryland horse race is held the third Saturday in May at Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore. There are several recipes for this cocktail but I think this is closer to the official drink. I tweaked it a bit by giving it another ounce of St-Germain (elderflower liqueur) and a little more lime juice. Some recipes call for vodka and bourbon, as well as a sour mix, but I think this is delicious and refreshing and you can actually taste the St-Germain.

1 cup (8 oz) vodka
3 oz St Germain Liqueur (elderflower liqueur)
1 cup pineapple juice
2 oz lime juice
3 oz orange juice
8 orange wedges
4 Maraschino cherries, with stems

In a pitcher mix together the vodka, St Germain, pineapple juice, lime juice, and orange juice. 

Fill four glasses three-quarters full with crushed ice
Divide mixture between the four glasses.
Put two orange wedges on a cocktail pick and top with a cherry.

Makes 4 drinks


There are endless variations for making margaritas. Spring and summer are perfect times for margaritas of all kinds. Blood oranges are available in my grocery store now, so why not celebrate spring a little early. This is a delicious twist on the original margarita. 

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
Buy 5 blood oranges and you will have one left over for slicing.

6 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice 
Juice of 2 limes
4 oz silver tequila
2 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 slices blood orange, for garnish

Rub the rim of two old fashioned glasses with a wedge of blood orange or lime.
Swirl the rims into a small bowl of coarse sea salt.
Combine the ingredients into a small pitcher and stir to combine.
Fill the salted glasses with some ice cubes and pour in the cocktail.
Garnish each with a slice of blood orange.

Makes 2 drinks