Mussels with Chorizo in Garlic Sauce

Mussels in garlic sauce with the intriguing smoky flavor of chorizo sausage was one of the dishes I discovered while researching my new book, The Flavors of the Florida Keys.

I enjoyed this dish while sipping a cool glass of white wine and soaking in the glorious ocean view on the terrace of the Alma Restaurant at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key. What a treat!

You can bring home these Keys flavors with this simple recipe. Chorizo is a pork sausage made with smoked paprika. Any type of smoked sausage can be used.

The commercially raised mussels available today are easy to clean. Just wash them in cold water and scrape off the beard or thin hairs along the shell. (The mussel uses them to attach itself to rocks.)

Complete the meal with a green salad tossed with reduced-fat and -sodium vinaigrette. Each serving has 474 calories with 37 percent of calories from fat.

Interview with Cat Cora

She may be an Iron Chef, but I think she’s an iron woman.  In addition to her TV work, she’s a cookbook author, executive chef at Bon Appetite magazine, opened Kouzzina, a restaurant at Walt Disney World, AND has 4 sons under the age of 7.  That’s a full time job in itself.  Listen to the whole interview.  Click the On Air tab for a podcast.

Historic Northern Portugal

The historic center of this charming village was a religious and defensie center in the 10th century.  The Order of Santa Clara was housed in this stately building and were known for their Tortas de Guimaraes.  The secret recipe was passed down to one bakery in the village.  Be sure to stop for a taste when visiting.

Chef Jason Shelley’s Super Bowl Waygu Sliders

Best quality ground beef can be substituted.



½  tbs. STEAK DUST

1 tbs. OIL









1.)   Pat ground waygu into patty.  Lightly dust patty with steak dust and oil.

2.)   Grill to desired temperature, add cheese one minute before removing from grill.

3.)   Serve with 1000 island dressing, onion, lettuce, pickles, tomato and bun.

Baby greens top sauteed pork chops

Cooking the pork chops over high heat for just a few minutes keeps the meat juicy and tender. To speed the cooking, I buy boneless loin chops about 1/2-inch thick. If using thicker chops, cut them almost in half horizontally, open them like a book and flatten them to about 1/2-inch thick. Either works well with this recipe.

This entrée is accompanied by spicy potatoes “roasted” under a broiler. Be sure to heat the broiler before adding the potatoes. Cutting them into 1-inch cubes helps them to become crisp outside and cooked inside in this short time. If you like your food really spicy, sprinkle a little more cayenne on the potatoes after they are cooked.

To view this recipe

Balsamic Pork Scaloppini with Garlic Sweet Potatoes



3/4 pound pork tenderloin

Olive oil spray

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup diced onion

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Remove fat from tenderloin and cut into 2-inch slices.  Flatten the slices with a meat bat or the bottom of a heavy skillet.  Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.  Spray with olive oil spray. Sauté onion 3 minutes.  Move to sides of skillet. Add pork to the skillet and saute 2 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate; add salt and pepper to taste.  Raise heat to high, add vinegar. Reduce liquid by half, about 1 minute.  Add pine nuts and warm through, about 30 seconds. Divide pork between two dinner plates and spoon the sauce and pine nuts on top. Sprinkle parsley on top.  Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 309 calories (34 percent from fat), 11.8 g fat (2.9 g saturated, 4.3 g monounsaturated), 108 mg cholesterol, 38.6 g protein, 13.1 g carbohydrates, 1.6 g fiber, 88 mg sodium.



1/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed

1/2 pound sweet potatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash potatoes, do not peel.  Cut potatoes into strips about the same size as the sugar snap peas (about 2-inches by 1/2-inch).

Microwave method:

Place in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes. 

Stove top method:

Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Boil 3 minutes, add sugar snap peas and boil 2 more minutes. Drain.

When the pork is cooked and removed from skillet, add the oil and garlic to the same skillet used for the pork. Add the potatoes and snow peas. Toss for 2 to 3 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and cooked through.  Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 181 calories (23 percent from fat), 4.7 g fat (0.6 g saturated,3.3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol,  3.6 g protein, 31.8 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 14 mg sodium.

New Government Dietary Guidelines

It seems that the government is focusing on tackling the obesity crisis head on, as they started off with the staggering statistic that 2/3 of Americans are overweight and 75 cents of every health care dollar is spent on obesity related chronic diseases.

The two main focuses of the 2010 Guidelines are: maintaining calorie balance over time to achieve and sustain a healthy weight; and focusing on consuming nutrient dense foods and beverages.

No one should consume more thnt 2300 mg (1 teaspoon) salt per day. For those aged 51 and older, African Americans, and those who have hypertension, type-2 diabetes or chronic kidney disease, (which currently makes up about half the general population of adults), the new recommendation is a maximum daily intake of 1,500mg. (Less than 3/4 teaspoon) The average daily intake among US adults is about 3,400mg.

Stronger language appears for recommendations to increase consumption of plant foods (vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains and nuts and seeds). And seafood consumption of 8 oz (that is two servings) per week is encouraged.

The guidelines say to significantly reduce intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats, as these dietary components contribute excess calories and few, if any, nutrients. As well as to lower intake of refined grains coupled with added sugars, solid fat, and sodium.

Also a shout out for Vitamin B12; a substantial proportion of individuals ages 50 years and older may have a reduced ability to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12. The 50+ are encouraged to include foods that are fortified with vitamin B12, such as cereals, or to take dietary supplements.

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