Tag Archives: pescatarian recipes

Sesame Ginger Salmon With Honey Ginger Glaze

Karen's Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon

Brad and I love salmon, so when his sister Karen sent me this recipe, I knew I would have to give it a try. Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest and cooks a lot of salmon, and thought Brad and I would like the Asian flavors of this particular dish. She was right – we loved the mixture of the ginger, soy and sesame, both as components of the marinade and the accompanying Honey Sesame Ginger Glaze.

Karen’s recipe (which I’m sure she got off the Internet because I’ve seen several that match hers) calls for broiling this in the oven, but we cooked ours on the grill. I also tweaked some of the ingredients and used less brown sugar and more garlic. I added some fresh lemon juice because I think fish and citrus are meant for each other. I used dark soy sauce instead of regular since that’s all I had on hand. Also, her recipe did not specify the type of salmon, so I used my favorite, sockeye. I’m sure any type of salmon will work well.

Sockeye salmon

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Shrimp Salad Pitas

Years ago, Clawson’s Restaurant and Pub in beautiful Beaufort, N.C., served a delicious shrimp salad in a pita pocket. Beaufort is on North Carolina’s crystal coast, right outside of Atlantic Beach and Morehead City, and has a great collection of wonderful restaurants and bars for such a small area.

For some insane reason, this dish disappeared from Clawson’s  menu quite a while back. However, ever since the first time I had it, I’ve tried to replicate the recipe at home and love my latest low-calorie, low-fat version. I hope you will, too!

Ingredients (this will yield 4-6 servings, depending on the size of your pita bread)

  • 12 oz. bag of frozen, cooked small shrimp, 71-90 count (the smaller salad shrimp works well, too)
  • ¼ of a fresh lemon
  • ½ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small  (about ½ cup)
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced small (remove the fleshy membrane and seeds)
  • ½ cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced small
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons white wine (I used Hess Chardonnay this time)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed (double this amount if you have fresh dill)
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • Pita bread
  • Tomato and avocado, diced (optional)


Thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator, rinse, dry and add to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the fresh lemon juice. Add the onion, celery, red bell pepper and cucumber and mix well.

Make the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, white wine,  mustard, dill weed, salt and pepper.

Add the dressing to the shrimp mixture in small  batches – you don’t want to over-saturate the shrimp. Many times I have just a little bit of dressing left over. Refrigerate the shrimp salad for at least an hour so that the flavors meld together well.

Cut the pita bread in half to make two pockets. Lightly toast. Fill with the shrimp salad.

I usually add some diced tomato and avocado to the pockets at this point (rather than adding these ingredients to the salad itself, as they tend to get soggy.)

I especially love how the shrimp and avocado taste so good together. By the way, if you are watching your carbs and want to ditch the bread, just serve this salad on some lettuce or spring mix.

Pair this with some cut-up fruit and a glass of white wine for a light, refreshing and oooh, sooo good meal!

Bon appétit, and eat, drink and be merry!

Kel’s Crabilicious Crab Cakes

“You cannot teach a crab to walk straight” – Aristophanes

Aaaaah, crabs. I love the sweetness of the meat, whether it’s  Maryland blue, Dungeness, rock, Alaskan King or soft shell. I have to admit  that sometimes I’m lazy and just buy the fresh crabmeat that comes in the plastic containers. I usually buy it only when it goes on sale –it’s just too expensive otherwise. Then comes the hard decision – do I just sauté it in butter, or do I make crab cakes? Either way is fine with me because both are a treat!

I recently bought Casey’s backfin/blended lump crab to make cakes.  I do not like using a lot of filler in the mix, and this recipe is so easy, and oh, so tasty!


  • 16 oz. fresh crabmeat, picked over with any shells, etc.
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • ½ cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1/3 cup diced sweet onion (Vidalia is my favorite)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/8 cup mayo (I use Duke’s Light)
  • 2 tablespoons oil for sautéing (I use Canola oil)
  • Breadcrumbs or flour
  • Garlic salt (to taste)
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • Tabasco or other hot sauce (to taste)
  • Old Bay Seasoning (to taste)


In a large mixing bowl, flake the crab meat with a fork, and  sprinkle it with the fresh lemon juice. Add the red pepper, celery and onion. Mix together.

Add the egg and mayo to the crab mixture, and blend  thoroughly.  Season the mixture with the garlic salt, pepper, hot  sauce and Old Bay– start slowly because you can always add more. I usually add at least a teaspoon of each and then go from there.

Form into 4 large patties, or 8 smaller ones. Refrigerate for at least an hour. This step is so important because it makes the cakes hold together better, especially since I leave out filler such as breadcrumbs, crackers, etc. in the mix.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Dredge each cake in  flour or breadcrumbs (I used panko crumbs for this batch, and really loved the texture!)

Sauté over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side, until  golden brown. Take care when you flip them over so they don’t break apart.

These are great without any sauce, but feel free to serve them with your favorite cocktail sauce or fresh lemon. My favorite pairings  include a tossed mixed green salad and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine.

Bon appétit

Eat, drink, and be merry!

Pampa’s Tuna Salad Recipe

As I mentioned in my post: Ten Tasty Tuna Salad Sandwiches, my grandfather, Kelton Virnelson, used to make the best tuna salad. He only used BumbleBee white albacore tuna, and would add diced celery and onion, white pepper (it was more aesthetically pleasing to the eye), fresh lemon juice and homemade (yes, homemade) mayonnaise. I’ve tried my best to replicate his recipe but use lowfat, store-bought mayo (usually Duke’s Light) instead of his homemade version.

Pampa’s Tuna Salad Recipe


  • 1 12-oz. can of albacore tuna, well-drained
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • ¼ cup onion, diced (I like sweet onions, such as Vidalias)
  • ¼ fresh large lemon
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • Freshly ground white pepper and seasoned salt to taste


Flake the tuna with a fork; squeeze the juice of a quarter of a large lemon on it (watch out for any errant seeds!) Add the rest of the ingredients; mix well. If I’m serving this on bread, sandwich roll or on a bed of lettuce, I let the tuna salad chill in the refrigerator for a little while. If I‘m making a tuna melt (recipe below), then I like for the salad to be room temperature as it heats faster.

Tuna melt recipe


  • Pampa’s tuna salad (see recipe above)
  • Bread (I like to use split English muffins or La Brea’s Three Cheese Semolina bread available from Harris Teeter. But any type of bread will work.)
  • Cheddar cheese slices (I like Cracker Barrel’s 2% sharp cheddar)
  • Tomato slices (optional)


Lightly toast the bread so the tuna won’t make it soggy. Spread some of the tuna on each slice. Top each with a slice of tomato (you can also add onion and/or avocado slices.) Top with cheese. Broil in the oven or toaster oven until the cheese melts.

Bon appétit!

Sockeye Salmon Two Ways

The great thing about wild Alaska sockeye salmon is not only is it delicious, but it is also full of natural minerals and vitamins that are good for you. High in protein, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, it contains no detectable mercury. Salmon are different from most fish, which either live in fresh or salt water. This is not the case for salmon. During the course of their life they will live in both salt and fresh water. Make sure you always buy the wild salmon – don’t even get me started about the farm raised stuff.

“The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater,” Obama said. “I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.”

Well Mr. President, I don’t know what kind of salmon you’re talking about, but here are two recipes just might cure the munchies – cedar plank grilled sockeye and sockeye salmon cakes. When the sockeye is on sale, I buy extra to grill to make the cakes a few days later.

Cedar Plank Grilled Sockeye Salmon (Serves 2)

Grilled salmon on cedar is sinfully good! Cedar planks can be found at any hardware store where they sell the grilling stuff. You must soak the plank in water before grilling, usually for at least an hour; preferably more if you have time – just follow the directions on the package. You need to weight the plank with a heavy can or a brick so it stays totally immersed. This is so easy to prepare – 2 ingredients not counting the cedar planks!



Marinate the salmon in enough Drew’s dressing to coat the fish completely for an hour or so. Place the cedar plank on the grill until it is hot, then put the fish on the plank. Grill about 10 minutes, depending on thickness of the salmon, until you can flake it with a fork.

Serve with a starch (baked potato as shown, roasted red potatoes or risotto are also great choices) and a vegetable such as steamed green beans, broccoli or asparagus.

Wine pairing: Pinot Noir or a nice white Burgundy

Sockeye salmon cakes

These things rock – the smokiness of the cedar plank salmon and the coolness of the dill sauce go great together!


  • 1 ½ cups of cooked cedar plank grilled salmon, flaked
  • 2 thick onion slices, diced small
  • 1 celery stalk, diced small
  • ½ fresh red pepper, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 ½ slices of fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 extra large egg, beaten
  • Tabasco/hot sauce to taste (I usually use several shakes)
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon slices to garnish


Mix together all of the ingredients except the olive oil and lemons (I usually do this with my hands.) Divide into 4 large patties, or 8 small ones. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to let the flavors meld and to firm up the cakes.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Sautee the cakes until golden brown on both sides, approximately 4-5 minutes per side. Serve with low-fat dill sauce (see recipe below), smoked mozzarella pasta salad from Whole Foods and a tossed salad with your choice of dressing (I like Good Seasons Italian with this.)

Wine pairing: Pinot Noir or a nice white Burgundy

Low-fat Dill Sauce


  • ¼ cup low-fat mayo (I use Duke’s)
  • ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (use both the green and white parts)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, finely chopped (use 1 teaspoon of dry dill if you don’t have fresh)
  • Few dashes of Tabasco/hot sauce, to taste
  • Seasoned salt and ground pepper, to taste


Combine all ingredients, and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors blend. Bring to room temperature before drizzling over the salmon patties.

Bon appétit!