Brazen Broccoli Bites

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Table Food: Brazen Broccoli Bites! Do you roast vegetables in your oven? Of course, you do. Who doesn’t? It’s simple, appealing, tasty, and healthy. It also makes the kitchen smell wonderful, like a woodsmoke fire on a pleasant afternoon in autumn. Herbs and spices enhance the flavor. Olive oil makes them sizzle, while giving veggies visibly charred edges. After a few minutes, fresh produce becomes fork-tender and ready-to-serve. But wait, this is only supposed to be a side dish.



3/4 pound broccoli crowns

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, shaved

Lemon slices, for garnish


Preheat oven to 425°. Wash the broccoli; dry thoroughly. Cut the broccoli florets from the stalks, slicing some lengthwise. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, minced garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. Add broccoli; toss to coat. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer; avoid crowding. Roast broccoli for 10-12 minutes. Flip and bake 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle almond slices over all. Roast 10 minutes longer until broccoli is evenly caramelized. The almonds will be toasted and golden. Transfer to a platter. Gently toss with lemon juice. Top with shaved parmesan cheese. Garnish with lemon slices. Serve immediately.

Kumquat Pineapple Chutney

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Graze or Gobble: Kumquat Pineapple Chutney! Nowadays there’s always a use for something as unique as chutney. Don’t believe me? Check out charcuterie boards filled with meats, cheeses, breads, nuts, and pickles. There always seems to be a nice little bowl of spreadable chunky fruit to balance out the briny flavors. I also added a dollop to roasted pork loin and grilled chicken breasts. Someone even told me they slathered it on a grilled cheese sandwich. Who knew chutney would be your new best friend?!



5 ounces kumquats

1 cup crushed pineapple

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons orange liqueur


In a small saucepan of boiling water, blanch the kumquats for one minute. Drain and repeat three more times. Halve each kumquat. Squeeze the juice into a bowl. Discard the pulp and seeds before finely dicing the skin. In the same saucepan, combine the diced kumquats, crushed pineapple, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange juice, kumquat juice, and orange liqueur. Bring to a boil. Simmer the chutney over medium heat, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken in approximately eight minutes. Allow mixture to cool before transferring to a jar. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Grapeful Roast Turkey

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Graze or Gobble: Grapeful Roast Turkey! Get set for a moist and flavorful crispy-golden brown roasted turkey. It’s so simple, you might find yourself buying an extra bird around the holidays to freeze for satisfying meals down the road. Seriously. Fresh herbs are easy to come by year round at the grocery or, even better, at Farmers Markets. By switching out the cranberry sauce for a combination of Muscat grape jelly and pure maple syrup, you elevate the meal to a whole new level. Someone once described Muscat grapes as “the taste of pleasant wine before it gets inside a bottle.” I like that. You may, too.



8-10 pound turkey

3 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 lemon, halved

1 bunch thyme

1 bunch rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 head garlic, halved

1/3 cup Muscat grape jelly

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup butter

Bunch of Grapes, for garnish


Preheat oven to 325°. Line a roasting pan with foil, overlapping enough to enclose turkey. Place a wire rack in the bottom. Set aside. Rinse and pat turkey dry using a paper towel to remove excess liquid. Sprinkle turkey with kosher salt and black pepper. Place the lemon, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and garlic into the cavity. Transfer turkey to the wire rack in roasting pan. In a small saucepan, warm Muscat grape jelly, pure maple syrup, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until combined, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool for 5 minutes. Brush one-fourth of the grape jelly sauce over turkey. Tent with foil and bake for 2 hours. Increase oven temperature to 425°. Brush another fourth of grape jelly sauce over turkey. Roast, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165°. Brush remaining grape jelly sauce over turkey. Allow turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Garnish with fresh grapes.

Crisp Asparagus Radish Salad

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Graze or Gobble: Crisp Asparagus Radish Salad! If you can justify the high cost of asparagus, savor every bite. My husband absolutely loves asparagus. When a restaurant offers it as a vegetable option over zucchini, he’ll swallow the up-charge every time and forge ahead like a mighty warrior. So, when I buy a pound of asparagus at the farmer’s market or nearby grocers, I usually have more than one meal planned for it. This time it’s in the form of a side salad.



1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add asparagus. Cover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain; immediately place asparagus in ice water. Drain and pat dry. Transfer asparagus to a bowl. Add thinly sliced radishes and green onions. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Buttery Stuffed Haddock

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Graze or Gobble: Buttery Stuffed Haddock! If you’re looking for a break from red meat, look no further than fish. I used to think I only had only two choices when it came time for a homemade fish dinner: either bake it or fry it. Now that I have easier access to fresh fish, I’ve expanded my thought process beyond the ordinary. While I’m having fun with the outdoor kitchen, sometimes I want a little more than that as well. I’m here to say that stuffing is no longer just for turkey. Fish offers options like mixing in shrimp, crab, vegetables, herbs, or rice. How crazy is that? Stick around; I’ll show you how it’s done.


Ingredients for Haddock:

2 – 6 ounce haddock fillets

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon parsley, minced

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Ingredients for Stuffing:

6 tablespoons butter, cubed

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup celery, finely chopped

1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped

1 pound precooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped

1/4 cup beef broth

1 teaspoon diced pimentos

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon chives, minced

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a baking dish with nonstick oil. Set aside. In a large skillet, warm butter over medium heat. Add chopped onion, chopped celery, and chopped green pepper. Sauté until tender. Add shrimp; stir 1-2 minutes. Add beef broth, diced pimentos, Worcestershire sauce, dill weed, minced chives, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Heat through. Remove from heat and gently fold in bread crumbs. Divide the stuffing between the haddock fillets. Roll up; transfer stuffed fillets to the prepared baking dish, placing seam side down. Drizzle with melted butter and lemon juice. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve immediately.

Alex’s Porgy Fish Favorite

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Graze or Gobble: Alex’s Porgy Fish Favorite! Just because a fish species is plentiful and easy to catch by local fishermen is no reason to ignore its flaky sweet flavor when cooked. In fact, you can herald porgy’s role in sustainable seafood. The more porgy that is caught, the better chance other wild-caught fish can multiply. Porgy is smaller, too, so one person can often eat an entire serving. Leave the fillet method to the skilled cutters. They can clean, skin, and fillet porgy to eliminate all those tiny bones. Alex is a member of a crew of local fishermen who work together to make each their fresh catch affordable and ready-to-cook when purchased. What more could anyone ask?



2-6 ounce porgy fillets, skinned and deboned

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Melted butter, for garnish

Fresh Lemon, for garnish


Spray an enameled cast iron grill pan with nonstick oil. Warm olive oil and butter in the grill pan over medium high heat. Add porgy fillets to prepared cookware. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Cook two minutes; flip over and cook two minutes longer. Transfer to a platter. Serve with grilled asparagus and fresh tomatoes. Drizzle melted butter over all. Garnish with lemon slices.

Wasabi Shrimp Cocktail

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Clean Eating: Wasabi Cocktail Shrimp! Everyone loves shrimp, we know that already. But does everyone like wasabi? You may have tasted it before in the snack form of wasabi peas. You’re probably thinking, “easily tolerable”. Wasabi, though, really can’t be compared to the heat of a jalapeño or habanero pepper. It’s a different kind of animal. Wasabi is from the horseradish family giving it a strong pungency that can be felt more in the nasal passages than on the tongue. You might take a swipe and then sit back thinking all is well…until, like a viper, it strikes with such intensity you find your eyes tearing up, followed by a cough or sneeze. Once the rush has passed, don’t be surprised if your brain says, “I’ve gotta have more of this stuff!”



1 pound precooked shrimp, tail on and thawed

1/2 cup prepared cocktail sauce

1/8 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste


Rinse shrimp in cold water. Drain. Dab with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp on a platter. In a small bowl, combine cocktail sauce, lemon juice, and wasabi paste. Stir well. Serve chilled.

Nutty Fish Fillets

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Clean Eating: Nutty Fish Fillets! Eating freshwater fish may seem humdrum, especially if you make it the same way every time. But I don’t wanna try something new, you say. What if I don’t like it? That’s what I thought until I discovered another way to keep fish part of a healthy diet. Butter. And almonds. The wonderful natural flavor of butter is milky and creamy. Pair that with the crunch and depth of flavor in toasted almonds for a heavenly combination.



1/2 cup almonds, sliced

2 tilapia fillets

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon crushed parsley

Celery leaves, for garnish


Warm an iron skillet over medium heat. Add almonds. Stir continuously until they are tinged with color. Do not burn. Transfer to a platter to cool. Season both sides of tilapia fillets with sea salt and black pepper. Using the same iron skillet, warm the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When it begins to bubble, add tilapia fillets. Brown fish, until opaque, for 4 minutes per side. Transfer fish to a serving platter. Turn heat setting to low. Reserving the drippings, add lemon juice to iron skillet. Stir to blend. Pour sauce over fish fillets. Sprinkle with crushed parsley and scatter toasted almonds over all. Serve with celery leaves.

Orange Sesame Asparagus

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Talking Points: Orange Sesame Asparagus! Produce can be a problem keeping fresh in the vegetable crisper. Especially if you buy it in season when it’s plentiful. Oftentimes that means serving the same thing several days in a row, so the trick is to jazz it up with sidekick options and seasoning. Color keeps food interesting the same way dressings and sauces do. You can either make an orange glaze sauce from scratch or open a bottle of Asian vinaigrette. You choose. I feel blessed to have sufficient ingredients in my kitchen that transform ordinary dishes into extraordinary cravings.



1/2 bunch fresh asparagus, bottom ends trimmed

15-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

2 tablespoons brown sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


Bring salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Place asparagus spears in water to blanch, about 3-4 minutes until tender. Remove asparagus with tongs; drain. Transfer asparagus to a platter. Arrange mandarin oranges around asparagus spears. In a skillet, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Add orange juice and lemon juice. Stir to blend. Cook over medium heat, stirring until glaze boils, about 2 minutes. Pour orange glaze over asparagus spears. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.