Mediterranean Grilled Octopus Salad

Posted by    |  June 28, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Nothing this delicious has ever before emerged from my kitchen. You should understand that before you read on.

This also happens to be the most kid-unfriendly dinner I have ever made. It is a tragic reality.  The chasm is as impossible as the obviously ill-fated passions of Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett. Read more

Conch Fajitas

Posted by    |  March 3, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

For the full story on Conch Fajitas, go to this link. The snorkel boat captain suggested that I grill the conch steaks by pounding them very thin, wrapping them in foil with peppers and onions and cooking them quickly. That sounded like a fajita to me, so I improvised a marinade from what was in the fridge and the spices I’d packed. Read more

Grilled Summer Vegetable Ciabatta Sandwiches

Posted by    |  July 29, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

A few weeks ago, I took a look at the amount of food I had for dinner and decided I needed some guests. I walked over to my neighbor’s house and asked if Kerry, her sister, Chris, and their kids would like to join us for dinner. “Wonderful! What’s for dinner?” Kerry asked.

“Roasted Summer Vegetable Ciabatta Sandwiches with hummus and basil,” I replied cheerily, spinning on my heel and racing for the door. “See ya in a few.”

You see, I know Kerry well enough to know that menu was going to make her nervous. She’s the Midwestern sort who likes predictable food. I knew this meal would sound a little exotic to her. Read more

Vadouvan Grilled Shrimp with Fava Bean Succotash

Posted by    |  May 25, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

It’s time for more fun with favas!  This dish is throw-your-head-back-and-moan good.  You’ll be bewitched by the way that the complex spice blend, smoky grilled flavors and sweet succotash come together so perfectly.  Best of all, you will love that this dish is so simple to prepare and execute. Read more

Spice-rubbed Grilled Chicken

Posted by    |  May 24, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

This is the summertime version of Classic Roast Chicken.  This recipe is just as much about lifestyle as it is about flavor.  It’s about sitting out on the front porch with the other moms watching the kids play.  Suddenly, I look at the time and realize, ohmigosh, it’s five o’clock.  I run to the grill and light the coals with my beloved propane starter.  I pour a glass of wine, spatchcock a chicken, cleave the breast, rub it with spices, and before you know it I’ve got my bird on the grill and I’m back out with my girlfriends- breaking up squabbles about who spilled the bubbles and finding out the real reason why the folks on the next block put their house on the market. Read more

Spatchcock This!

Posted by    |  May 11, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Technique

Okay, I admit it.  I do kinda like to say “spatchcock.”  It sounds naughty.  I’m like a little kid with a bubblegum cigarette, aren’t I?

I actually used this as the password for a website where I’d posted my book proposal.  I’m always forgetting passwords, so I wanted to make this one memorable.  “Spatchcockthis” was pretty unforgettable.  It felt like a dirty little secret of mine.  It was fun until I decided to show the proposal to some people I didn’t know so well.  This included my friend’s father, who is an Evangelical pastor with an interest in cooking.  I explained what “spatchcocking” actually meant, but the secret was out: Jill Shepherd has a trashy, trouble-making side.  Fair enough. Read more

Produce Primer: Asparagus

Posted by    |  May 3, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Ingredients

Asparagus is the culinary sentinel of spring.  The fresh asparagus available during April and May is the best argument for eating seasonally.  If you’ve been eating asparagus from South America in February and get a taste of the fresh local stuff from the farmer’s market, they hardly seem like the same vegetable.

Because of its versatility, you can eat it every night of the week, prepared a little differently, so that you never get sick of it.  By the time you start to get a little weary of it, the season will be over.  Below are four different very basic methods for preparing asparagus.  Play with these ideas to suit your own tastes. Read more

Pan-fried Red Snapper with Chipotle Butter

Posted by    |  January 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Recipes

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl

Aside from the fact that this is an impossibly easy and tasty dish, I’m offering this recipe to you to introduce you to the world of compound butters.  Sounds fancy, eh?  Nah. Read more