Saffron Risotto with Shrimp


Some people hear the word risotto and they think that’s it’s just too complicated to cook. Well it really isn’t that complicated, but time consuming maybe. In the end you will not be disappointed. Risotto pairs beautifully with shrimp, fresh herbs and seasonal veggies. This dish will be perfect for your next gathering.

1 small shallot, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups arborio
1 cup white wine, (Preferably Sauvignon Blanc)
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons evoo
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb large to extra shrimp, peeled and deveined
Pinch of saffron
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped


In a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shrimp seasoned with, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from pan and set aside.

Add the butter to the pan. Add shallots. Cook until translucent about 3 minutes. Next add the garlic cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice. Stir until well coated and translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the wine. Cook and stir often, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 15 minutes until creamy.

Finally add the peas cook for 1 minute next add the shrimp back to the pan. Stir and add fresh parsley. Serve.



Featured on Today food club


I wanted to share this exciting news with all of you. My asparagus crostini has been featured on the Today Show Food club website 

I would love if you guys could head over and VOTE for my recipe.  Just takes one click. Thank you again to all of you for the continued support.

NOTE FROM The TODAY Communities Team:

Congrats! Your recently published post Asparagus Crostini has been featured as one of the top posts. You’ll find it at the top of the challenge page for the next few days.

Share it with your fans and followers – you deserve to be recognized! The more views, votes and comments your posts get, the better!

Thanks for being amazing!

– The TODAY Communities Team


Food!! · Travel

Key West Largo

Key West

A favorite destination for Ernest Hemingway, Jimmy Buffett, and many more, Key West

is known for its palm lined streets and fish that is fresh enough to draw any committed

culinary traveler. With a distinct mixture of cultures, the island is not only home to a

strong seafood scene, but a tantalizing fusion of cuisines. At night, the street a lit up

with vibrant sidewalk cafes that lure in passersby with delicious scents of their

specialties. Live music and hopping bars are the perfect pairings to watch the sunset

into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Florida Keys is home to five districts, each with their own personality and

attractions that make visitors feel like they are a world away. The southernmost

paradise, Key West, is just miles from Cuba and is home to an enviably temperate

climate and a delicious array of fresh seafood set to a beautiful backdrop. Bringing

together a multitude of cultures that have made Key West home during its history, Key

West’s food scene has delicious flavors, like African and Cuban, that are difficult to find

anywhere else in the US.

As a guide to the restaurant and seafood landscape, Paul Menta of Three Hands Fish

gave us the lowdown. A professional chef and community advocate, with long locks and

a chill attitude that makes him seem more like a pro kite surfer, which he also is, Paul is

the perfect person to talk to to find out the secret dining spots of Key West. The Philly

native began his culinary career in Spain and France and eventually came to Key West

to continue his love for competitive kite surfing. An athlete, distiller, chef, and

entrepreneur, Paul has made it his mission to tap into all Key West has to offer.

His most recent venture, Three Hands Fish is a community supported fish market in Key

West. Its members, chefs and homecooks,

have access to the freshest fish, shrimp,

stone crabs, and lobster that come in on the docks. As Paul describes it, the first hand

is the hand of the fisherman, the second the market, and the third is when the fish

makes it into the hands of the individual or restaurant. Paul is proud of his market as it

brings local, traceable seafood to the people with plenty of variety to avoid over fishing a

specific species.


Key West has seafood unlike anywhere in the world and the crucial ingredient is the

water. The Gulf of Mexico mixes with the Atlantic ocean making a perfect nursery for a

plethora of fish, crab, and lobster. Not to mention, the fishermen of the region have

come together to create a sustainable plan for the future of their industry, naturally

controlling overproducing

populations that threaten to take over the ecosystem.

“Not only are visitors able to jump on the boat for themselves and go fishing in some of

the clearest waters, but they are able to sit back and relax, knowing they can find the

same fresh fish in local restaurants,” says Paul.

If you are looking for a taste of the freshest seafood right on the dock, Paul suggests

visiting The Stoned Crab restaurant. This restaurant serves up some of the best of what

Key West is known for, the stone crab, but they also do it in a stunning setting with an

unbeatable view of the water. The moment you set foot in the restaurant you will feel as

if you have traveled back in time to the 1950s. Housed in a resort built in 1956, the

restaurant keeps alive the tradition of the fishermen bringing their catches straight to

their dock, something that is no longer happening in other areas. And if you are looking

for a place to stay, Paul recommends Ibis Bay Resort, which is home to The Stoned

Crab and also has a retro feel. Stop in for fun cocktails and great seafood the restaurant

catches themselves. Head here for stone crab, lobster, Key West shrimp, and more

local fish. Be ready for a good time at The Stoned Crab!

For the diehard

cooks, go for a ride on a private charter to catch the freshest fish for

yourself. Paul recommends Lucky Fleet, chartered by Captain Moe, to take you on this

adventure and help guide you in hooking the best seasonable seafood. Moe has been

fishing the waters around Key West for over 30 years and knows his way around.

Whether you are an avid deep sea fisher or this is your first time, Captain Moe will take

you on a great adventure not just a boat ride. From sailfish to tuna or grouper, they will

lead you to the right spot.

To learn how to prepare the seafood you just caught, take a class at Isle Cook where

Paul himself will teach you how to cook local recipes and healthy meals with seafood.

“Being a chef and commercial fisherman I can tell you there is no better teacher of how

to use, care for, store, cook and eat a product than a fishermen. They have ideas and

techniques that most chefs would die for….but they have to ask… we spread the

word to them,” says Paul.

When visiting Key West, be sure to try fish you wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

Considered local to Key West are the Hogfish, Mangrove Snapper, and as of late the

Lion Fish. Paul’s favorite? The Hogfish. This fish is caught by spear fishing, which is a

fun challenge to try. Speared yourself or not, Paul suggests serving the fish whole and

affectionately calls it the Key West Turkey, stuffed with lobster, onions, and herbs.

While you may have heard of Key West’s conch fritters, which is fried conch meat that

actually native to the Caribbean, Paul prefers to make grouper fritters. Fisherman of Key

West are able to catch the grouper right off the coast, so this is a true local specialty.

Similar to the conch fritter, the grouper is mixed with onions carrots and a traditional Key

West seafood seasoning by Key West Spice Company that is made of celery seed, salt,

paprika, and red pepper. It is simple, but fresh grouper doesn’t need an overpowering of

flavors. Once the batter is made, Paul fries the fish balls until golden and enjoys them

inside of a sandwich or as an appetizer by the water.


Grouper Fritters

Author: Paul Menta


● 1 pound Grouper

● ½cup Onions

● ½cup Carrots

● 1½Tablespoons Key West seafood seasoning

● 1 Egg yolk

● 2 Tablespoons Key lime juice

● ½cup Flour

● Coconut oil, for frying


1. Chop up, or use food processor, grouper.

2. Fine dice, onions, carrots and mix with grouper.

3. Add key west seafood seasoning, about 1½ tablespoon

4. Mix all together with 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of key lime juice.

5. Add ½ cup of flour until mixture starts to form a batter.

6. Use a spoon to make balls, fry in coconut oil till brown or bake in the oven

on sheet tray.

7. As a sandwich filling instead of an appetizer, make the rounds larger.



Jalapeño and peach slaw

unnamed (1)

This slaw gives you that sweet, spicy and creamy taste.  It’s simple to prepare and goes great with any meat or poultry dish.  I served it with my pulled pork sandwich which was a huge hit at a BBQ.  You can also substitute mangoes in place of the peaches.



 1/3 cup mayonnaise
 1/4 cup sour cream
 1 peach, diced
 1 jalapeño, diced
 1 bag of coleslaw
 Salt & pepper, to taste
 Zest of 1 lime
 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

 In a large bowl add mayo, sour cream, s&p, vinegar and lime zest. Whisk until creamy. Next add the slaw, jalapeños and peaches. Toss everything together until well incorporated.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SummerSoiree below:

Feed Me Phoebe: Asian Braised Cabbage Slaw with Black Rice and Arugula
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Red and Green Slaw
Creative Culinary: Coleslaw with Warm Bacon Dressing
Healthy Eats: 7 Healthy Slaws for Every Palate
Virtually Homemade: Easy Asian Slaw with Roasted Chicken
Napa Farmhouse 1885: The Best Slaw Recipes
Taste with the Eyes: Fancy Fennel and Cabbage Slaw with Bacon, Egg, Peas
The Cultural Dish: Mac Nut Slaw (Hawaiian Cole Slaw)
Weelicious: Asian Slaw
Homemade Delish: Jalapeno and Peach Slaw
Daisy at Home: Fresh Vegetable Slaw
The Mom 100: Creamy Blue Cheese and Bacon Coleslaw
FN Dish: It’s Slaw Good: 6 Must-Make Summertime Slaws


Zucchini Fries

unnamed (6)

Zucchini has become one of my favorite vegetables to play with in the kitchen.  My kids love it too, which makes it easy to add to any dish.  Making these zucchini fries was super easy.  Don’t get me wrong I’m all about having some delicious fries or sweet potato fries, but I like to switch it up.


2 large zucchinis, cut into wedges
Black pepper, to taste
2 cups Panko crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive, for coating pan


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Oil baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl add Panko, cheese and pepper.  Dip wedges into Panko mixture and set on to baking dish.  Repeat.  Set in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  Enjoy with your favorite dip.

unnamed (3)


Peas that Please

unnamed (6)

Peas are not in a lot of people’s forte.  It just seems very plain with nothing too crazy about it;  So people tend to keep passing it on at the table.  I think with this recipe you will want to give it a try; not once, but twice.  These peas are perfect for any special occasion especially a BBQ.


1 large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
3 cups frozen peas
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup crushed almonds, optional
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 teaspoon thyme


In a large skillet on medium to medium low heat add butter and olive oil.  Next add sliced onions.  Stir until well coated with butter and oil.  Add salt, pepper and thyme.  Spread the onions out nice and evenly, and cook.  Stir occasionally.  After about 5 minutes add the pinch of sugar.  Cook for another 10 minutes or so until nicely caramelized.

Now add the peas to the skillet with the caramelized onions.  Stir until everything is well incorporated.  Cook for about 3 minutes.  Next add 1/4 cup of the goat cheese.  Stir until melted.  Place on to a serving dish and top with scallions, almonds and remaining goat cheese. Enjoy!

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SensationalSides below

Creative Culinary: Peas with Bacon and Crispy Leeks
Daisy at Home: No-Cook Spring Succotash
Weelicious: Summer Pea Salad
Virtually Homemade: Green Pea Hummus
Homemade Delish: Peas That Please
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Marinated Peas & Peppers Salad
Red or Green: English Pea Mash on Garlic Rubbed Bruschetta
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Cauliflower and Peas Stir-Fry
Taste with the Eyes: Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta
The Mom 100: Spring Ramp and Pea Risotto
Dishin & Dishes: Sesame Sugar Snap Peas
FN Dish: The Freshest Ways to Pass the Peas, Please


Pasta Frittata

photo 4

Do you have leftover pasta and don’t know what to do with it? This recipe is perfect for that extra pasta you have in the refrigerator.  Making this dish is super easy and doesn’t make too much of a mess. You can pretty much put anything in a pasta frittata; herbs, veggies and more.  This is also great for the next day for lunch.  I hope you enjoy.


5 Large eggs

1/4 cup of heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon of dried basil

1/4 of fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

4 Cups of cooked and cooled, whole wheat spaghetti

Salt & Pepper, to taste

3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, herbs, cheese, salt & pepper. Next take the pasta and incorporate everything together.

In a medium nonstick skillet, over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of oil. Pour mixture into the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges begin to brow. Next run a spatula all around the skillet. Take a dinner plate and flip the frittata over on the plate.  Then add the last tablespoon of oil on to the skillet. Carefully slide the frittata back on to the skillet. Cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.

Place on a cutting board or plate and garnish with more fresh parsley and cheese. Cut into wedges and enjoy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Red Wine Short Ribs

photo 4

Let’s talk about some tender, delicious meat… “Short Ribs”.  A lot of people get intimated by this cut of meat. It’s actually pretty easy to cook.  Most importantly is to season it well with salt, pepper and make sure it’s at room temp.  I like to braise short ribs and cook them for about 4 hours. When all is said and done you will be in meat heaven.  The meat literally falls off the bone, where you don’t even need a knife.   I hope you enjoy.  I will also post a great side for short ribs, homemade butternut squash gnocchi.


4 cuts of Short Ribs

Salt & Cracked Peppercorn medley

3 Large Garlic Cloves, smashed

1/2 Bottle of Cabinet Sauvignon

3 cups of Beef Stock (you can also use vegetable)

2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 sprigs of Rosemary 2 springs of thyme tie with kitchen twine


Make sure meat is at room temp.  Start by seasoning the meat.  Then in a braiser  pot add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and butter on medium to high heat.  Then place the cuts of meat in braiser for some browning.  Once all sides have a nice golden crust to them, place them on a plate and to the side. Next in the same braiser add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic and stir. After 1 minute add wine.  Reduce down to about about 1 cup of wine; about 5 minutes. Next add stock.  Cook this and herbs for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Then finally add the meat back to it. Place lid on top and lower heat to low.  Cook for 3 1/2 hours to 4 hours.

To thicken the sauce at the end, remove meat and herbs out of braiser and then take 1/2 cup of the sauce and a tablespoon of cornstarch and whisk.  Then pour that back into the braiser and whisk it to thicken it up.  This is optional. You can leave the sauce a little runny if you would like.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Platter of Thoughts

A Piece of History


As a chef, home cook and foodie,  I am honored that I had the opportunity to research Martha Washington, Hannah Penn and Ellen Emlen (19th century housewife) Cookbooks and notes.  Being at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania I felt like I could have stayed for hours researching all these treasures.  The staff there was super helpful, which made my visit a pleasure.  Okay let’s get to the fun part. 

imagesCAV9H008IMG_20130117_173613Hannah Penn: Second wife of William Penn, she was 24 and he a 52-year-old man.  They had 8 children together.  When searching for Hannah Penn’s cookbook I came across recipe pages instead and all these were with William Penn’s notes and paperwork.  I couldn’t hold back and looked through some of his notes to paperwork from 1605 highlights of Act of Taxes year, and so much more.  I then reached Hannah Penn’s recipe pages.  It was interesting to see how many Homemade Medicines she had in those pages from how to clear blood-shot eyes to stomach medicines.  Her handwriting was a little harder to read, so some of the recipes were difficult to understand.  But amazing pieces for sure.


Martha Washington’s Cookbook: This book was actually given to Martha from her first mother in law Mrs. Custis (the book was actually passed down in the Custis family.)  She became a widow at the age of 25, and was a mother of 4.  Lady Washington brought a lot of wealth into her 2nd marriage to George Washington.  Mr. and Mrs. Washington did not have any children together.  So the cookbook that she kept in her possession for 50 years, she gave to her granddaughter Nelly Parke Custis (from her first marriage.)

The recipes in this cookbook are interesting.  I think a lot of this stuff we would probably not enjoy today, but they made do with what they had back then.  It’s truly amazing what they made from boiled roaches (yes I said roaches) to Tarts, Stews and  Mead.  The cookbook was written in the 17th Century, the recipes and language point out to England of where mostly likely this book was written in.  The reason being; because it did not contain any ingredients of the Colonies in the Americas.  You can see that the influence here was heavily from French cookery.  The book half way through stops, and you have to turn it around.  That is where you can find the cakes and desserts.  In the middle of the book were numbers and calculations of some sort, which makes you wonder what that might have been.  This cookbook was purchased By Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1892.  A piece of history which I was truly honored to have held and looked through.


Ellen Emlen’s Cookbook:  Ellen was married to George Emlen in 1840.  She was a 19th Century housewife.  Not many really knew who she was, but what I can tell you is her cookbook was so well categorised, with well over 200 recipes.  She was very precise on her recipes.  Important notes in them would be underlined.   These underlined parts were sort of like notes or reminders.  Rosewater was actually very much used in those days before Vanilla came into play.  There was a lot of preserving recipes as well.  The great thing with this cookbook is that The Historcial Society of Pennsylvania has made a replica of it for purchase.  It’s such a great piece to own.  Here is where you can purchase a copy

I hope you enjoy this post and the photos.  I thought how wonderful this would be to share with all of you.  For more information on The Historical Society of Pennsylvania  please visit

I also wanted to thank The Historical Society of Pennsylvania for having me, letting me take photos, and giving Homemade Delish a chance to have this wonderful experience that will never be forgotten.  All pictures are courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

I’m also going to be recreating something from here for President’s day in February, so stay tuned.