Category Archives: Main Course /Entree

Fried shrimp and flounder

Recently, I went home to see my moms.  Whenever I go, there are always these great meals that we make that are just made from simple, southern and fresh items.  Saint SimoScreenshot 2016-01-14 10.01.07ns Island is the middle of a great shrimping and fishing area.  When mom asked me what I wanted to eat this time, I wanted to have Gramps’ fried shrimp and some fish.  Gramps always made the best fried shrimp!  They were simple, and delicious!  So, after cleaning tIMG_2892he shrimp, we placed them in a bag with flour, salt and pepper, and shaking the bag to coat the shrimp (which always makes me want to say “And I helped!”).

So, once the shrimp are prepped, melt IMG_2891some butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  When it is nice and bubbly, before the milk solids start to brown, add the shrimp, in a single layer.  Cook for a couple of minutes, then, with a fork, flip each shrimp over and continue to cook until the shrimp are nice and brown.  I like mine with ketchup!IMG_2893IMG_2894











The second part of this meal was a baked flounder.  We took some filets IMG_2887of flounder and mixed salt, pepper and dill.  Sprinkled the fish with lemon juice, and then sprinkled the mixture over that.


IMG_2885Then, the fillets were briefly cooked in a hot skillet and transferred to a baking dish, where we placed some bits of butter on them to finish cooking in the oven.



Finally, to round out the meal, we made some grits.  I could not think of a more southern, Golden Isles meal if I tried!


Tangerine Glazed Ham with Baby Carrots

Ham and oranges go well together, but replace the orange with tangerines and you’ll have something even better. This is a Tyler Florence recipe from that did not disappoint! The best part was the glazed carrots that cooked in the jus; two dishes in one made my day so much easier! The only drawback: I couldn’t find an unsliced ham so I tried my best and skewered the slices ham together while it baked. It actually allowed more flavor to bathe each slice of ham.  This recipe is great for any occasion and the best part is the leftover ham bone!


FYI, its ok if the tangerines are sour, all the brown sugar would make up for it.

1 (8 to 10-pound) smoked ham, bone-in, skin on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
2 tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed
2 cups tangerine juiceIMG_6872
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
11/2 pounds carrots, peeledIMG_6877

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Put the ham in a large roasting pan, fat-side up. Using a sharp knife, score the ham with cuts across the skin, about 2-inches apart and 1/2-inch deep. Cut diagonally down the slashes to form a diamond pattern; season the meat generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Chop about 8 of the sage leaves and put it in a bowl; mix with the oil to make a paste. Rub the sage-oil all over the ham, being sure to get the flavor into all the slits. Bake the ham for 2 hours. Now there is plenty of time to bang-out the tangerine glaze.IMG_6873 IMG_6875
  4.  For the glaze: Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chunks of butter, tangerines, tangerine juice, brown sugar, water, and spices. Slowly cook the liquid down to a syrupy glaze; this should take about 30 to 40 minutes. (serves 10-12 )

Chicken, Olive, and Lemon Tagine (Djaj Mqualli) over Sauteed Kale and Israeli Coucous

One night, Kevin invited some new friends over for dinner and I didn’t want to make anything complicated so I chose this gem.  It did come with some small challenges.  The first was that I didn’t know what “cracked olives” were!! I did some googling and found that they are as simple as putting the olives on a cutting board and smacking them with the flat side of the blade.  Also, I could not find preserved lemons!!! After going to 4 different stores and not finding preserved lemons, I decided to make up a quick preserve method and allow them to preserve  prior to making the dinner.  This actually made for a brighter lemon flavor as the stew cook down, which really made the dish!!  What better way to welcome new friends than with a dish that that is as bright as our budding friendship?
This entry is for a whole meal, not just the main course and it came together rather quickly, so don’t be daunted!!!


Optional: “Quick” Preserved lemons

4 lemons, washed, sliced into 1/4 inch slices and deseeded
1 C salt
4 C boiling water

3 tbsp. olive oil
6 whole chicken legs cut into thighs and legs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large yellow onions, sliced
2 tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground white pepper
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
12 tsp. crushed saffron threads
12 cups chicken stock
6 oz. green olives, cracked or 6oz pitted green olives
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 jarred preserved lemons, cut into slices (or use 4 “quick” preserve lemons from above)
Sauteed Kale and Israeli CousCous
2 C Israeli or Pearl CousCous
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced
1-10oz bag of baby kale or precut kale, larger stem pieces removed
1/2 C vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
2 tsp. finely chopped cilantro


**Optional**Make Quick Preserve Lemons: The morning you are going to cook, place all lemon slices into a wide mouth, 1 quart mason jar.  Add salt, and enough boiling water to reach the neck of the jar. Cap the jar with the lid and shake the jar until majority of the salt has dissolved, if there are still a few in the container then that’s ok.  Let the jar sit and shake it periodically.  When ready to make recipe, drain entire contents in a colander.

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in an 8–qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; add to pot and cook, turning, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add onions to pot; cook until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add spices; cook for 2 minutes. Return chicken to pot with stock; boil. Stir in olives, butter, and lemons into pot, bake  until chicken is tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  2. Make coucous according to package instructions, cover and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover, add parsley and cilantro, and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Combine couscous and sautéed kale, mix well.

To serve, spoon kale and couscous mixture into the center of plate, top with a piece of chicken. Spoon jus,  olives and several slices of cooked lemon over chicken.  Serve with reserved jus.