Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Summer Fruit Salsa……. or Ceviche?…….REFRESHING! 

Summer fruit salsa

Beautiful to behold, this deliciously different fruit salsa is perfect for the warmer months. Fruit salsa goes well with grilled meats, sandwiches, burgers, pasta and vegetables.  But…it’s  most amazing asset is its nutritional value. This recipe serves four people yet it is almost CALORIE FREE!  25 calories, and .03 grams of fat per serving (if you don’t add the  raspberry vinaigrette)  Plus it is totally GLUTEN FREE, and can become a refreshing CEVICHE by just adding some chopped shrimp.

So many times during the warmer months, we get bored with the same old salads.  Why not add a different sweet and sour twist with watermelon, pineapple, plus a little jalapeno kick to boot.


                                                                               Calories            Fat       

½ cup pineapple (1/4 “ chop)                      33              .02

½ cup tomato (1/4 “ chop)                            10              .01

½ cup watermelon (1/4 “ chop)                10              .01

½ cup cucumber (1/4 “ chop)                    10              .02

¼  cup diced jalapeno pepper                    12              .02                 

½ cup  chopped green onion tops            5              .01

½  cup  red onions (diced)                           20              .01

½ cup chopped cilantro                                 0              .01

Pinch sea salt                                   Total         100            .11

Vinaigrette                                                       250-350      .00

Add 1 tsp lemon or lime juice, plus 1 TBS raspberry vinegar to bowl, whisk in 2-3 TBS olive oil until thickened.  (3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar)  Don’t add the vinaigrette yet.  Refrigerate for one hour. For the freshest flavor, toss the salsa with a pinch of salt and then the vinegar just before you serve it, or you can add the vinaigrette and let it marinate before serving.

(vinaigrette adds 200 – 300 calories)

 Special Note:  CEVICHE

Try adding chopped shrimp to this salsa and it becomes ceviche, the famous South American dish dating back to the Incas.

 Needless to say, preparing and eating delicious and nutritious foods is not only fun, but really good for your health.

 About the Author:  Wellness Chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years, plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try  


Super simple shrimp & cucumber appetizer

Super simple shrimp & cucumber appetizer

So, how many times have you been asked to bring a “small appetizer”  (antipasta/hors d’oeuvre) to a party?  You start to panic, trying to dream up something that is quick, unique, tasty and won’t cost your last pay check for the ingredients.  Well, here’s one that will make you the hit of the party……….plus (don’t tell anyone)  it’s really simple to prepare.

Shrimp and cucumber hors d’oeuvre

24 medium raw (shell on) shrimp (31-40 size)

1 English cucumber

Spread (acts like glue to hold shrimp on cuc slices)

3 oz cream cheese (4 -5 TBS)

2 TBS mayonnaise

2 TBS melted butter

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

Pinch sea salt

Blend together, refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up

Chopped chives for garnish

1. Cook shrimp in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, refresh in ice water

2. Remove shells, dry shrimp

3. Slice cucumber into 24 slices, dry top side

4. Arrange cucs on platter, spread scant tsp of spread on top

5. Place one shrimp on top of spread

6. Garnish with chopped chives

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook,  Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years.

For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try 


Calamari in Wine Sauce with peas and rice

My first encounter with calamari was in San Sebastian, Spain where calamari fritos are sold on the streets. Big rings of sweet squid are breaded and then deep fried in lard (pig fat rules)  until crispy.  It just doesn’t get any better than that! Over the years calamari has become my favorite treat. I love it fried, sautéed, broiled, grilled, marinated in salads, or in a seafood stew like the recipe below.

Calamari needs to be either cooked FAST or VERY SLOWLY and LOW or it will turn into rubber. Nutritionally, squid is a very good source of protein. 4 oz yields 16 grams of protein, 92 calories and only 1.5 grams of fat……….however, and this is a WARNING for some of you………4 oz of squid is loaded with LDL cholesterol (250 Mg bad cholesterol! ) The highest concentration appears to be in the tentacles.  So if you’re a calamari lover and watching your cholesterol limit your intake of this versatile seafood delight.  

Calamari in wine sauce

Squid in classic wine & tomato sauce

1  2 LB package of frozen squid (thawed)

3 toes garlic minced

2 TBS oyster sauce (optional)

3 TBS tomato paste

1 cup finely chopped red onions

2 TBS flour

1 small can tomato sauce

1 ½ cup dry red wine

2 TBS chopped thyme leaves

1 cup parsley leaves

Fresh ground pepper

Pinch sea salt

2 TBS olive oil for frying

Finishing olive oil and parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

  1. Thaw calamari in frig, drain, pat dry
  2.  Add olive oil to heavy pan, fry squid for two minutes, add onions & garlic
  3. Sauté onions, garlic, add paste, oyster sauce, flour, thyme, salt & pepper
  4. Add wine, cook 2-3 minutes to reduce
  5. Cover and cook for 50 minutes in 285 oven
  6. Anoint with finishing olive oil & sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional)
  7. Serve with rice, peas, light salad & crusty bread.

Yields 4-5

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try                 

Recipe and photo copyright 2010 , Cooking with Cordier, All Rights Reserved

Swai (frozen package)

Package of frozen SWAI at Kroger

There’s a new fish in town (at least at Kroger) , and it’s called SWAI and I love it!  Have you noticed the price of fish lately?  What used to be a reasonable price per pound has now ballooned to $10 to $15 !  Affording a nice healthy low cost seafood meal for your family has become almost impossible.  

Well, now there’s a solution, and it’s called SWAI.  SWAI,  or pangasius hypophthalmus  (also know as BASA, PANGA, or iridescent shark)  is a product of South Asia. It’s actually not a shark at all. It is farm raised in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam.  The fillets are all frozen in seperate individual packets, about 10 ” long  by 3″ wide  3/8″ thick.  The firm mild flesh is white and sweet………perfect for grilling, baking, broiling, or frying.  Swai cost from $3 to $4 per pound, which is an amazing price for such a versatile seafood component.  I have personally, grilled it, fried it , sauced it, and used it chopped with crab or shrimp to make cakes (but that’s another recipe).   All this and at only 90 calories and 3 grams of fat it makes a VERY HEALTHY meal!  I recently served this fish to a couple of my buddies from our Sportsmen’s Club.  These guys are true fish aficionados, and they said it was the best they ever had!  So, here’s the recipe:

Pan Fried Basa/Swai with lemon butter Sauce

2 thin swai/basa/panga fillets

2 TBS minced red onion

2 toes minced fresh garlic

¼ cup white wine

¼ cup brodo (chicken stock…optional)

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

3 TBS capers

2 TBS olive oil for frying

2 TBS butter for sautéing onions & garlic

2-3 TBS  butter for sauce

3 TBS chopped parsley

  • In a medium sauce pan, lightly sauté fish, both sides
  • Remove semi cooked fish to warm platter
  •  Add onions in 2 TBS butter, add garlic, cook two minutes
  • Add wine, stock,  heat and reduce   
  • Add cream,  capers, thicken a little more
  • Add fish back into pan……cook 2 minutes
  • Whisk in rest of the butter to reduced wine mixture, very low heat
  • Add ½ of the parsley, pour thickened sauce under then over fish
  • Serve on warmed plates
  • Garnish with parsley

Oh, and by the way….it’s FILLET  (fill- it) of fish, and FILET (fill-aye) of beef.


              DIM SUM TROLLEY


  Octopus, Spring rolls and Scallop/shrimp rolls

Dim Sum originated in Southern China hundreds of years ago as part of the YUM CHA “drinking tea” tradition.  Dim Sum means “to touch the heart”. The best way to describe these delicious treats is to address them as Chineese antipasti, tapas, or hors d’ouvres. They are usually steamed or deep fried and can be savory or sweet.  I first encountered them decades ago in San  Francisco.  Back then you could only find them in Chineese bakeries…..but today they can be found in most large cities.  They are absolutly addictive! My all time favorite place is Jing Fong in New York’s China Town (#20 Elizabeth St)  There on the second floor you will find 120 beautiful fucia tables with hundreds of Dim Sum fans……..enjoying a continuous stream of ladies pushing trolleys loaded with stange and inticing little plates and steamers of Shiu Mai, Crispy Taro Kor, Steamed Chicken Feet, Spring Rolls, Shark Fin Dumplings, Spicy Garlic Squid  etc.   Here in Michigan, we enjoy the selection at the Golden Harvest ( 6880 12 Mile Rd, Warren, MI )  The best time to find a good selection of Dim Sum is on a Sat or Sunday, between 11 am and 2 pm.  Be sure to pick only the hot dishes on top of the trolley, and not the ones on the bottom shelves.   Once you take the first plunge, you will be hooked forever!