Shrimp and Swordfish Lemon Mustard Kabobs…Fish on Friday!!

Its time to fire up the grill!  When entertaining friends and family this summer try this recipe, it is easy, fast and  makes a great impression.  The shrimp and swordfish are skewered together after marinading in a mustard lemon thyme sauce.   What is great  about this dish it can be made ahead of time, it is as good  at room temperature as it is hot off the grill.  I am serving mine kabobs with  Cucumber Herb Crunch and  Russian Salad  (both on the blog).  Pour a crisp glass of white wine and your all set….Let’ cook!!

Shrimp Swordfish Kabobs with Lemon Mustard Thyme Marinade

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Once your shrimp are cleaned and deveined marinate for an hour, the kabobs will cook in 10-15 minutes



2 lbs of shrimp (medium size) peeled and deveined

1 lb of Swordfish cut into cubes

2 lemons

2 tbls Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves pressed

fresh thyme sprigs, at least 2 tbls

Salt seasoning i.e. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or Montreal Chicken Seasoning McCormick’s to taste

fresh ground pepper to taste


-Clean, peel and devein the shrimp, cut the swordfish into bite sized cubes and add both to a bowl.fullsizeoutput_3f.jpeg

-Add, the juice of 2 lemons, the dijon mustard, garlic, thyme, salt mixture and fresh ground pepper stir well and let sit for at least 1 hourfullsizeoutput_40.jpeg

-Skewer the shrimp and swordfish, retain the marinade


-Heat the grill,  when hot ,place the kabobs on the grate, on low direct heat grill until golden on each side.  The reserve marinade can be brushed on during cooking. Approximately 5 minutes per side.


-Place on a platter and serve

Buon Appetito!



Baked Whole Fish with Potatoes, Tomatoes and Capers

I know making a whole fish can be intimidating, but it is really easy and well worth the effort.  I grew up where we ate fish already filleted, we never really had to deal with the head, tail or skin.   It is completely the opposite here in Venice.  Rarely,  you’re  served fish filleted, restaurants take great pride presenting you your fish before and after it is baked or grilled.  The following is a basic recipe that can be adapted for salt water fish of any size.  Your fish monger will help you choose the right size fish for the quantity you need.

Red Fish (Scorfano) Baked with Potatoes, Tomatoes and Capers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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This recipe can be adjusted easily,  just add more tomatoes, capers and potatoes as you increase the serving size


Whole fish (mine was 3 1/2 lb Red Fish or Scorfano) Cleaned and Scaled by your fish monger

5 large potatoes  cut into pieces

3 Tbls capers

10-15 Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters

-Extra virgin olive oil

Sea Salt course grain and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 cup dry white wine


-Preheat oven to 375 F

-Line a large oven pan with either aluminum foil or parchment paper

-Peel and cube the potatoes, boil for 6-8 minutes to precook, drain (note time will depend on potato type, potatoes should be firm they will continue to cook with the fish again in the oven)

-Drizzle the prepared oven pan with olive oil and lay the fish in the pan, add tomatoes and capers


-Toss the potatoes on top, salt liberally, ground pepper and drizzle again with olive oil


-Pour the wine onto the fish

-Bake 45 minutes in 375 F oven


-Serve immediatly

Buon Appetito!!









Welcome Spring… with a Mango, Avocado Shrimp Layered Salad !!

I saw this beautiful ripe mango at the market and just had to buy it.  Since today is the first day of Spring , I thought it might be nice to make a sweet and savory salad with my mango.  Certain fruits go so well with seafood, mango being one of them so I decided to do a Shrimp Salad and Layer it with Guacamole and Mango…… Hope you try it!!!!!

Layered Shrimp Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: medium
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-10  (1/2lb) med/large shrimp shelled and deveined

-2 Stalks of Celery finely chopped

-1 scallion

-1 tbls mayonnaise

-1 tbls plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

-2 dashes of Tabasco

-1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard

-1/2 lemon

-dash of balsamic vinegar

-1 tsp lemon juice

-1/2 Mango chopped

-1/2 Hass Avocado chopped

-2 medium plum tomatoes chopped

-lime juice

-1small garlic clove pressed

-cilantro chopped

-1/4 chopped red hot pepper (optional)

-sea salt and pepper

-extra virgin olive oil


-Peel and devein the shrimp. In a pot large enough to hold the shrimp,  cut a lemon in half then cut of the end , add the lemon to a pot filled wth cold water, add sea salt and bring to boil.

-When the water boils add the shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes they will turn white when cooked. Drain

-Finely chop the celery and the scallions, cut the shrimp into bite size piecesimg_0815

-For the Shrimp dressing add the yogurt,mayonnaise,mustard,Tabasco, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, in a bowl mix with the shrimp

-peeel and chop the avocado, chop the tomatoes, add garlic, lime sea salt pepper cilantro and hot pepper (optional) mix well.

-Peel and chop the Mango into  small even size pieces

-Assemble, on a serving plate, using a large pastry ring layer half of the shrimp salad, pressing it into the form, next your guacamole and last the Mango.  Carefully lift the ring exposing your 3 layers.  You can carefully dribble on some olive oil. E’ Voila!!


Thyme lemon simply grilled shrimp

Here is another great alternative for a meatless meal.   This thyme, lemon  grilled shrimp , is easy to make, healthy and light.   Great for appetizer, lunch or dinner , on top of a big mixed green salad or as a stand alone main course this dish takes no time at all and is well worth it.  If you don’t have a grill use a grill pan on your stove, you will get the same results.

Thyme lemon simply grilled Shrimp

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
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Easy, healthy appetizer or entree, light and fresh


-3 dozen fresh or frozen whole shrimp (note-I prefer the medium size for their tenderness)

-the juice of 2 fresh lemons

-3 tbls extra virgin olive oil

-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

-3 garlic cloves crushed

-sea salt and fresh ground pepper


-Devein the shrimp, rinse and place in a colanderIMG_0772

-Heat the grill

-In a bowl add the juice of 2 lemons, the crushed garlic, sea salt, pepper add the olive oil stir with a small whisk add the thyme.IMG_0774

-place the shrimp one by one on metal or wood skewers 7 or 8 per (note-if using wood skewers, soak them in water so they don’t burn while grilling)IMG_0773

-In a shallow dish long enough to hold the skewers, add the marinade, let sit at least 20 minutes

-on a medium/low direct heat grill, place the skewers and grill  3-5 minutes per side…when the shrimp turn white they are cooked. Save the marinade in the dish to brush on the shrimp while  cooking.IMG_0776

Serve along side or on top of a mixed green saladIMG_0779

Buon Appetito!!

Freshly Fried Calamari

A staple in Italy and now is so many American restaurants is fried Calamari.   The  biggest difference is in Italy we are using fresh Calamari and in America you may only find frozen.  Freshly fried, both  are still delicious!!  Calamari are so versatile, they can be dipped, but they really shine served alongside or on top of a big mixed baby green salad with just a squeeze of lemon.  So, however you  serve them…..this is the basic recipe for a favorite of many!!

Freshly Fried Calamari


-2 pound of fresh or frozen calamari (defrosted) and cleaned, cut into 1/4″ ringsimg_0754

-flour as needed

-vegetable oil

-sea salt fine grain


-Clean the calamari, take off the tentacles save and cut them into pieces, pull out the spine cartilage and rinse the insides well….cut into 1/4 in rings. Dry the calamari as best you can

-With a colander place a plate underneath, put a handful of calamari in and pour flour liberally on the calamari.  Use your fingers to mix the flour and calamari… the goal is to coat the inside and outside of the rings and tentacles well.  Reuse the flour the passes  the onto the plate.img_0762img_0757

-Place the floured calamari on a plate.

-In a deep bottom pot or a deep wok style pot…heat enough vegetable oil (about 5 or 6 inches of oil)  you can test the oil by dropping a tiny piece of calamari inside (note-if it does not deep fry the tiny piece the oil is not ready)

-When the oil is hot, drop the pieces in separating then as you drop them and not over filling….give the calamari space to fry freely


-with a large draining spoon, turn them lightly in the oil , then wait until the calamari become a golden brown, remove from oil carefully and place the calamari on a plate lined with a paper towel.  Repeat process until all calamari is fried

-Salt generously

-Serve hot


Buon Appetito

Catch of the day, Gilt head Sea Bream (Orata) Simply Grilled

In Venice we love fish, there is nothing to say.   Growing up in Pittsburgh my fish knowledge was limited, we ate fish, but it was not the mainstay of our diet.  When I moved to Venice,  this was an area in my culinary knowledge that really needed ramping up.  So, to do that,  I ate lots of fish, tried lots of recipes, and then went to cooking school to learn about fish preparation ….(can’t wait to share all the great recipes with you!!)

This is a really simple, easy, healthy  way to grill any fish.  I know cooking a whole fish can be scary, but leaving the body intact is worth it, it ensures a more  flavorful fish….believe me!!


Simply Grilled Sea Bream

  • Servings: 1 per person (small)
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This is so easy, have your fish vendor clean and scale a whole fish for you it can elevate the backyard bbq!!


-Sea Bream or any whole small to medium sized fish cleaned and scaled

-sea salt gross grain

-extra virgin olive oil


-Heat the grill on high heat indirect

-generously sprinkle sea salt on the fish

-turn the grill down to medium low direct heat

-place the fish on the grates

-with grill lid down, cook  the fish for 8-12 minutes per side, noting the cooking time will  depend on the size of each fish (note- the fish will release easily from the grill grate when they are ready to turn, wait, or you will destroy the outer skin,  start checking around the 8 minute mark, if the skin is still sticking the fish is not ready to turn)IMG_0698

-place the fish on a large platter and dribble with  olive oil

-the fish will be easy to clean  remove the top outer skin and make incisions along the two sides and pull back the top.

Buon Appetito !!