Toasted Pumpkin Seed Guacamole with Peach Wood Smoked Salmon


Several years ago I went to a plastic manufacturing company and had them cut some molds out of plexi-glass for me so I could create “stacks” like the one above. The were cut from a 2 inch diameter plexi-glass tube in about 4 inch lengths.  They were really inexpensive and I have used them over and over. All I do is pop them in the dish washer and they are ready to be used for the next crazy idea I have!

Visually I love the look of “stacked” food and have used this idea a lot in my career.

I thought that the smoked salmon would look great on top of the guacamole so I got the molds out of storage, dusted them off and went to work on this recipe.

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Watermelon Gazpacho with Shrimp

This recipe was one of the dishes that we served at my daughter Nicole’s wedding a couple of weeks ago.  It is a recipe that Nicole has played around with for a few years that Cat Cora originally created without the shrimp and V8 juice.

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The Summer of 2’s

This is the summer of 2’s.  Two eye surgeries scheduled next month, two hand surgeries and 2 kids with 2 wedding scheduled 60 days apart.

I have to tell you I am whipped and need to go on a vacation!

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Butternut Squash Crab Cakes

Even Chefs screw up on occasion!  I was going to do a Southwest version of crab cakes today.  A few days ago I shucked some great Colorado Peaches and Cream Corn and put it in a deli container so it would be ready for this recipe.  I even par-boiled the corn.

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Pan Fried Rock Fish With Tri-Flavored Sauce



I love this fish since it has a very light taste to it that allows me to play with the sauce.  Rock fish has a sweet mild flavor with a medium texture.  It is great for sauteing and poaching, not so much for grilling.  The sauce is the king in this dish.  The flavors burst beautifully on your palate.  Make sure you have extras when you make it. Continue reading


Salmon is one of my favorite fish especially smoked salmon.  It is a great ingredient to start a meal, and equally as great as an entreé.  There are so many ways to prepare it from poaching, smoking, grilling, baking, to eating it raw!

For this month’s 4-course paired wine dinner I decided to make a smoked salmon amuse-bouche.  This little amuse-bouche is light, yet has a fantastic taste to tantalize your palate. Continue reading

Open face smoked Salmon and Mascarpone sandwich on Ciabatta bread


I can not tell you how delicious and tasty this elegant yet simple sandwich is.

My daughter went to LA and had this sandwich.  She fell in love with the taste, and sent me the picture.

As soon as I received it I in turn wanted to recreate the sandwich, with a special twist of course. When she got back home I went to work in the kitchen to try to get the Mascarpone spread right with the exact taste.

After a few additions to the cheese I got it as close as the taste she had (probably even better if I may add) 🙂 Continue reading

Smoked Fish Mousse with Citrus & Chives

This is one of my staff’s favorite fish dishes.  There is never a drop left.  It is a great year-round dish, but I especially like it in the summer when I don’t want to stand over a hot stove.

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Salmon Salad with Can-Can Orange Vinaigrette

This is one of the salads we served our students in a recent class.  We had a request to publish this recipe for the May Dare to Pair contest!  What wine would you serve with this great warm weather salad?

Salmon Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4 main-course salads
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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1 package of mixed greens

1 lb wild caught salmon or farmed salmon

1 cup of strawberries, washed

1/2 cup of blueberries, washed

2 tbsp Absinthe Orange Marmalade from Deliciousness  (you can substitute 2 tbsp of any orange marmalade and add 1 – 2 tsp of  Absinthe)

The salad greens I used were kale, shaved brussel sprouts and shaved broccoli stems. Any mixed greens would work for this salad.


Wash all greens well, drain and lay out on paper towels to slightly dry. 

Cut Salmon into 4 portions, remove skin if it is still on the fish, and coat the top with the Marmalade.

Bake the fish in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes until firm to the touch.  The rule of thumb for cooking fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness.  Don’t overcook the fish.  It should still be slightly springy in texture in the center of the fish when you touch it.

Cut the strawberries into quarters.

Remove fish and cool.

Place greens on a plate, sprinkle on the strawberries and blueberries. Place the fish on top of the salad.

Can-Can Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette


1/4 cup of Can-Can Orange Balsamic Vinegar from EVVO Marketplace in Denver (substitution: 2 tbsp each of olive oil and orange juice, optionally add 2 tsp absinthe)

1/8 cup of light olive oil

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried thyme


In medium bowl, combine ingredients until consistent.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads.

Salmon Salad #1

Fra Diavolo with Shrimp and Scallops

Be prepared to use many pots and pans. Sorry but there are many steps to this dish.  They are easy, however you can not just mix all the ingredients together until the end when you are assembling the dish. Continue reading