Venetian Marinated Fish

Venice… what a wonderful city.  And what wonderful food!

This is a traditional dish that must be prepared a day in advance of serving for the flavors to come together.  It is served at room temperature.


  • 2 pounds sole or flounder fillets
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced white onions
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons chopped candied citron


Dredge the fish pieces in the flour, shake off the excess, and place on a plate.

In a skillet, heat the oil, then fry the fish on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the fish to a serving dish.

In the same oil (add more if necessary), slowly brown the onions about 5 to 7 minutes, until almost caramelized or deep brown in color. Add the vinegar, pine nuts, raisins, and citron. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then pour the mixture over the fish. Cover the fish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day before serving.

To serve, bring to dish to room temperature.


Lumpia… I first had lumpia as a little child at Sonny & JR’s house across the street from us on 46th Avenue in San Francisco.  Auntie Auring would have plates piled with it.  I ate plates of it when I was in The Philippines while with Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club. Later in life, when I worked at UCSF, one of my employees, Abundia, would make huge batches and give it to me for the cost of the ingredients.  It is by far the best little egg roll around.

There are as many lumpia recipes as there are families in The Philippines. If you have the good fortune to have a Filipino friend, ask where they get theirs.


  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ lb ground pork
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup diced turnip
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, pared and diced
  • ½ cup green beans, julienne
  • ¼ lb small shrimp
  • one egg, lightly beaten (optional)


Frozen Chinese spring roll wrappers or Lumpia wrappers (available at Asian groceries)

1. Saute garlic and onion in hot oil. Add pork, sauté until fat comes out, add water, cover and simmer10 to 15 minutes or until pork is tender. Season with salt, fish sauce and pepper.

2. Add rest of ingredients and sauté for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are done.

3. Let cool to room temperature.

To wrap:

Place the wrapper diagonally so that a corner is pointing at you. Place two tablespoonfuls of filling near the corner of the wrapper that is facing you. Shape filling like a mini log, making sure to leave at least 1.5 inches edge space all around. Fold corner facing you over the filling, then tuck the sides and roll neatly. Seal the roll by moistening edge with water or egg that is lightly beaten.

To cook:

Deep fry lumpia rolls until golden brown, around 5 minutes.

Serve with banana ketchup or sweet and sour sauce

Peanut Butter Eggs


  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk – maybe
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter and milk (if needed) until blended. Shape mixture into eggs. Freeze eggs for 1 hour.
  2. While the eggs are freezing, slowly melt chocolate with oil.   Dip it in melted chocolate to cover then drain on parchment paper. When chocolate has set, decorate!

Lucille's Cheese Cake

Lucille Brown was our neighbor on 46th Avenue in San Francisco.  She was a good cook and definitely made a good cheesecake.  I’ve been making a variation of her cheese cake for years, but just found her original recipe.

It’s literally been years and years since I had the original.

I shall have to make one this week!

Lucille’s Cheese Cake


  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 6 tbsp sugar

Mix all ingredients well.  Pack into 10″ spring form pan bringing it up on sides.  Place in refrigerator while preparing filling.


  • 3 8oz pkgs cream cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanuilla


  • 2 cups sour cream
  • sugar, to taste
  • vanilla

To make

Cream cheese with sugar.  Add unbeaten eggs.  Mix well.  Add unwhipped cream.  Stir in vanilla.

Pour into graham cracker crust.  Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool on rack for 5 minutes.  Then put on sour cream topping.

Return to oven for 5 minutes.


4 – Cheese Beer Soup

Jenni Sowizdrzal

  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped carrots
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 medium peeled and finely chopped potato
  • 5 T. butter
  • 4 – 5 T. flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 – 14 ½ oz can chicken broth (or homemade)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 – 12 oz good beer, dark, red or lager, like a Yuengling
  • ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup grated gruyere cheese

You can switch up the cheeses to what you like

Toss all the cheese together with a little flour 1T. or so

Croutons, popcorn and/or crumbled bacon for garnish


Heat the chicken broth

Melt the butter; add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, potato and sauté until soft. (5 -6 min)

Mix the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne together and sprinkle over the vegetables and still until smooth (will appear very thick).

Stir in the hot chicken broth and stir until smooth.

Simmer 5 min and pour in the 2 cups milk, continue to stir, let simmer 15 min, then stir in the beer, let simmer 15 min.

Do not let the soup boil at any time.

Taste for added seasonings, when nice and hot, still in all the cheeses, continue to cook to just under boiling, stir continuously, do not boil

For a little sweetness, stir in 1-teaspoon brown sugar!

Serve hot with croutons, popcorn and/or bacon garnish

Victor's Pasta Sauce

  • 2 – 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – Sm can tomato paste
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (or to taste if you like more) chopped fine
  • Olive oil
  • Dried Italian seasonings
  • Hot red pepper flakes (a tsp or more or less to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Red wine (always cook with a decent wine, never “cooking” wine) about a cup or cup and a half
  • Meat – such as Italian sausage or some nice beef or pork ribs or pork chops

Ok…I ALWAYS make my sauce with meat, so start with a deep, heavy pot and add about 3-4 TBS of olive oil. On high heat, once the oil is hot, start frying the sausage or pork, Let the meat get good and caramelized although you don’t have to cook it all the way through because you’ll add it back to the sauce to finish. Once the meat is browned take it out of the pot, put it on a plate and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium and sauté the tomato paste for a couple of minutes until it begins to “melt”. Add the chopped garlic and sauté with the tomato paste for just a minute (no longer or it will burn). Then add about a cup of the red wine and deglaze the pan with it, scrapping up all the good bits that stuck to the bottom when cooking the meat.

When the wine reduces by about ½ start adding the canned tomatoes.  Add one can of hot water for every can of tomatoes you use.

Now start adding the dried Italian seasonings.  I eyeball it but I would guess a good 2 TBS is fine.  Add about another ½ cup of red wine, with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir everything into the sauce. It will be very thin at this point.

Add back the cooked meat. Now this is important….at the bottom of the plate you let the meat rest on will be some of the oil and juices that seeped out. Pour that back into the pot. It has a lot of flavor in it.

Bring the sauce back to a boil then turn the heat down low and let it simmer for at least 1 and a half hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes to keep it from burning. It should reduce by about a third or a little less and get thicker. The meat will absorb the sauce and get very tender.

When I make meatballs, I don’t fry them, I bake them on a sheet pan. When I do, I add them to the simmering sauce when they’re done so they also absorb the flavor.

I usually make the sauce early in the day and after it’s done, just let it sit on the stove until dinner then I re-heat it. This should make enough sauce for a couple of dinners or good sized lasagna.

Victor's Pasta Sauce

Chocolate Pecan Pie

  • 4 ounce Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 unbaked piecrust

Heat oven to 325F. In double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate and butter. In large bowl with electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla and salt until blended; beat in chocolate mixture. Stir in pecans; pour into piecrust. Place pie on baking sheet on middle rack of oven; bake about 55 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely at room temperature. Cut pie into 8 wedges; serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

For homemade piecrust, in large bowl, stir together 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces. With 2 knives or pastry cutter, cut butter into flour until it is the size of small peas. Add 2 tablespoons very cold water; stir quickly with fork until dough comes together, adding up to 2 more tablespoons water if dough looks too dry. (Be careful not to add too much water, or dough will be tough.) Form into ball, flatten slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 14-inch circle. Line 9-inch pie pan with dough, cut away excess dough and crimp edge of piecrust. Prick bottom of piecrust all over with fork. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day or freeze up to 1 month before using.

Tim's No-Brainer Pie Crust

This may be the easiest pie crust in the world!  Try it with 2/3 butter and 1/3 lard (not shortening) if you have it available.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup pastry/cake flour
  • 2 sticks butter, frozen
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Using a food processor, add flours, salt, and sugar. Pulse to mix.

Chop up frozen butter and add. Pulse until butter is incorporated and mixture looks grainy.

Slowly add ice water and pulse until mixed.

Turn out onto counter. Press and form mixture into two disks . Wrap in plastic and refrigerate about an hour to allow the flour to properly absorb the water and to relax the gluten.

Roll out crust and place in pie plate. Crimp edges and fill.

Spicy Mexican Peanut Soup

This comes from one of my favorite customers at work.

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves agrlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) peeled diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1/4 cup chjopped peanuts

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion and garlic; saute until onion is transparent.

Add chicken, tomatoes, peanut butter, salt, and red pepper flakes.

Heat, stirring occasionally, until peanut better is melted.

Blend in buttermilk and cook until heated through.

Stir in cilantro or parsley.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro or peanuts.

Lemon Loaf

For the lemon cake

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the lemon syrup

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar

For the lemon glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted, or more if needed
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Make the lemon cakes

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9-by-5- by-3-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.

2) Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

3) Put the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizzle the butter in through the feed tube. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

4) Sprinkle in the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.

5) Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F., and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

6) Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup

1) In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2) Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and invert the loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.

3) Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

Note: the soaked but unglazed loaves will keep, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.

Make the lemon glaze

1) In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. If the mixture is too stiff, add up to another 2 tablespoons lemon juice and whisk again, adding small amounts of lemon juice and/or confectioners’ sugar until you get the right consistency. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

Note: the glazed loaves will keep for up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Chicken Chimichangas

  • 2 1/2 cup chicken, cooked, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion,chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 −10 inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • Olive oil
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole

In large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in chili powder, salsa, cumin and cinnamon. Stir in shredded chicken. Let cool.

Heat oven to 450°. Grease rimmed 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon a heaping tablespoon of beans down center of each tortilla.

Top with a scant 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture. Fold up the bottom, top and sides of tortilla; secure with wooden toothpicks if necessary.

Place chimichangas in greased baking pan, seam side down. Brush all sides with the oil.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning every 5 minutes.

Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

Bread Bowls

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (105°−115°)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 6 1/2 − 7 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. milk

Measure warm water into large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved.

Add salt, sugar, oil and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 to 12 minutes. Place dough in bowl that has been lightly coated with nonstick spray, turning to grease top.

Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Grease outside of 12, 10−ounce custard cups or oven−proof bowls of similar size.

Punch dough down; divide into 12 pieces. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Roll each piece into a circle about 6 inches in diameter. Place over outside of bowl, working dough with hands until it fits. Set bowls, dough side up, on baking sheet that has been coated with nonstick spray. Cover with kitchen towel; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Combine egg and milk; gently brush mixture on dough. Bake at 400°  for 15 minutes until golden brown. Using potholders, carefully remove the bowls. Set bread bowls open side up on baking pan; bake 5 minutes.