Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chicken and Bocconcini Caprese Salad

Where a leafy green salad just doesn’t do it for you, here is a recipe that I like to use for a flavorful alternative to greens. As a suggestion, I like to double the amount of cheese marinated as it makes a nice addition to and appetizer tray.

Bocconcini are 1 to 2-inch balls of fresh mozzarella packed in water. I have also seen them packaged as mozzarella “pearls.” They can be found in the refrigerated aisle of most grocery stores—look for them in the “fancy cheese” section.
16 oz. drained mozzarella pearls
½ c. extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 tbsp. capers, finely chopped
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 medium garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix ingredients together in bowl. Refrigerate for four hours, turning once an hour.

4 split boneless chicken breasts
I pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tbsp. course black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pound chicken breasts until ½ inch think. In a cast iron skillet, heat EVOO and char chicken until cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut into bite size pieces. In a bowl, combine chicken, tomatoes and bocconcini until well incorporated including marinate. Chill in fridge and then serve. Enjoy, JW

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


It’s hard to believe that the holidays are once again upon us. It seemed like only a few months ago I was making Holiday Ham Balls and Christmas cookies. As we get older we are left with the memories of those who have passed on before us. My mother was an exceptional cook and around the holidays we enjoyed many delectable dishes. Oft times these dishes would be made using left-overs from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. There is nothing quite as inviting as homemade turkey pot pie.  This dish is a simple yet a creative means of stretching a holiday meal into the next week.


1 box ready-made pie crust (two crusts) room temperature
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 3/4 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. milk
4 c. shredded left-over turkey, white/dark meat
29 oz. can mixed vegetables, drained


Pre-heat oven to 425°. Is a glass pie pan, lightly spray non-stick. Unroll one of the pie crusts and gently press into pie pan. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and then sauté onion until tender. Add turkey and warm thoroughly. Stir in flour, salt and pepper and stir until well incorporated. Slowly add chicken stock and milk stirring until filling begins to boil and thicken. Stir in turkey and vegetables then add mixture to the pie pan. Place second pie crust over filling and flute around the edges. Cut four slices into crust top for venting.  Bake on center rack for 20 minutes. Check pie and rotate in over and bake for another 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Happy Holidays, JW



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Silly Side of French Toast

Sometimes working outside the box brings great rewards. Take for instance, using a breakfast cereal as an ingredient for French toast?  This recipe is yacht owner tested and approved.

“It’s got corn for crunch, oats for punch and stays crispy even in milk.” According to a humorous 2013 Wall Street Journal article, the mascot of Cap’n Crunch cereal, whose full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch, captains a ship called the Guppy, and was born "on Crunch Island in the Sea of Milk – a magical place with talking trees, crazy creatures and a whole mountain (Mt. Crunchmore) made out of Cap’n Crunch cereal."

2 c. Cap’n Crunch cereal, crushed
5 eggs, scrambled
¼ c. milk
Sliced bread
2 tbsp. canola oil

In a gallon zip lock bag, coarsely crush cereal then place in a shallow bowl. Beat eggs with milk and place in a bowl. Soak both side of the bread in the egg/milk mixture then dredge slices in the cereal. Cook slices in heated, oiled skillet until golden brown on boat sides. Serve with butter and syrup or honey. Absolutely delicious!! Enjoy, JW

Kalua Pulled Pork Sliders

Early in my maritime career, I served as an engineer in the U.S. Coast Guard. One of my duty stations was aboard a 378’ Coast Guard cutter based in Honolulu, Hawaii. We would spend 3 months patrolling the fishing grounds in Alaska from Ketchikan to Kodiak along the Aleutian chain and north in the Bering Sea as far north as St. Lawrence Island. It was a shock to leave to warm clear waters of Hawaii to the frigid north.

Being homeported in Hawaii certainly had its’ advantages. Besides the beaches, excellent diving and surfing, I always enjoyed the Hawaiian culture; the music and oh the food!! I made it a point to attend as many a hukilau or luau as I could. This month I am slow roasting pork tenderloin with island flair.  Interesting factoid: There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet.

1 (1 ¼ oz.) dry packet teriyaki marinade
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
3 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder
1⁄2 c. chicken broth
1⁄2 c. brown sugar
1⁄4 c. soy sauce
1 c. chili sauce
1 (6 oz.) can pineapple juice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 package Kings Hawaiian rolls

First, we are making a dry rub for the tenderloin. In small bowl, combine teriyaki mix, paprika and pepper. Coat the pork the with rub mixture, patting until all rub is used. Set aside.
In a bowl whisk together the chicken broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili sauce and pineapple juice. Set this aside. Put the chopped onions and carrots in the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker.
Place the pork on top of the carrots and onions and pour half of the pineapple juice mixture over pork.
Reserve the remainder for the Hawaiian sauce. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. When done, the meat will fall apart easily. Discard the liquid in the slow cooker.

Hawaiian Sauce
2 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
In a medium skillet, bring the oil to a medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining pineapple juice mixture, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.  


Remove the roast from the slow cooker to a cutting board. Using 2 forks carefully pull the meat into shreds. Serve the pork, with grilled pineapple garnish on rolls drizzled with the Hawaiian sauce or on the side for dipping. Enjoy, JW

Baked Lemon Squares

I cannot remember the last time I had the holidays off. November and December typically finds me happily in the warm Bahamas or Caribbean, instead of dreary Seattle, catering to the needs and whims of the owner and their guests. However, just because you’re tied to the dock in Samana or hanging on the hook in Marigot Bay doesn’t mean you can’t bring the flavors on home along with you. The crumbly nectareously sweet-tart goodness of these little beauties goes well with any holiday presentation.

4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. butter, softened (4 sticks)
1 c. powdered sugar
4 c. granulated sugar
4 lemons, zested then juiced
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. salt
8 large eggs


Pre-heat oven to 350° Mix flour, butter and powdered sugar until well blended. Line a 18” x 12” baking pan. Press dough evenly building up a ½ inch ridge around the edge. Bake crust for 20 minutes or until slightly browned.

Beat in an electric mixer at high speed granulated sugar, lemon zest/juice, baking powder, salt and eggs for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Pour over hot crust. Return to oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to cool before dusting with powdered sugar. Cut into 2” squares and arrange for presentation. Enjoy, JW

Thursday, July 28, 2016


The “Dog Days of Summer” have little to do with an old hound dog lazing in the shade of a cypress tree, or a song by Florence + The Machine. Where the phase does come from is Greek antiquity.

To the Ancients, the “dog days” occurred around the day in late July when the star Sirius, the nose in the constellation Canis Major, rises in the dawn just before the sun. In fact, the star Sirius is also known as the “Dog Star” and is the brightest star in the night sky.  And as we all know in the Northern Hemisphere, in late July, summer is at its’ hottest. Here’s a cool dish to serve as a side, or stand-alone vegetarian meal.
1 cucumber (peeled & chopped in 1/2-inch squares)
1 c. roma tomato (diced)
1⁄2 c. red onion (chopped)
3 tbsp. key lime juice
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. agave nectar
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. pepper
1 c. dry whole grain rotini pasta

Cook pasta, drain and allow it to cool. Combine key lime juice, cilantro, sugar, salt and pepper in small bowl and mix well. In a large bowl, combine pasta and vegetables. Toss gently with the lime dressing and serve chilled. Variations: Want protein? Add some cooked Northern Beans. Spice it up? Add minced jalapeño.
So simple, yet oh so good. Enjoy JW

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Key limes are a different variety of citrus to the Persian lime we normally find in the grocery store. Key limes have a complex citrusy, and slightly herbal flavor than the Persian variety.  This is why regular limes cannot be substituted to make a good key lime pie. Key lime harvest in the US is in November. However, the juice of the key lime may be purchased year around. Look for it in the juice aisle. Personally, I go to Bob Roth's grove stand west of the turnpike on Griffin Road to buy it by the gallon.
The first thing you will notice in this recipe is that I use a 9” spring form pan instead of a standard pie pan. The reason for this is because I will be adding a meringue as a topping instead of whipped cream and the spring form pan allows me more room to create. Besides, I’ve never heard anyone say that a piece of key lime pie was too big!




1 14 oz. box graham-crackers, crumbled by food processor
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted in microwave and cooled
5 tablespoons sugar


2 cans (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
6 large egg yolks
2 cups key lime juice
2 tablespoon grated lime zest, plus more for garnish (about 8 limes)


For the Crust: Heat oven to 375°. Combine graham-cracker crumbs, butter, and 5 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Press into a 9-inch spring-form  pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.

For the Filling: Lower oven to 325°. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, key lime juice, and zest. Pour into the prepared, cooled crust.

Return pie to oven, and bake until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.


4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 c sugar Domino Pure Cane Granulated Sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
½  tsp. pure vanilla extract
½  tsp. key lime juice


Fill medium saucepan one quarter full with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer. Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of electric mixer, and place over saucepan. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch,

3 to 3 ½  minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers. If it’s gritty, continue whisking until smooth. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla and key lime juice, and mix until combined.  Spread or pipe meringue immediately. With a kitchen torch, slight brown the meringue peaks and then serve. Bonus: You will have extra meringue. Pipe it onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 275° for 30 minutes for meringue cookies.  Enjoy, JW



Friday, June 3, 2016

Ensalada de Jicama con Naranja y Sandia

One of the terrific things about working out of South Florida is the cultural influences from around the world; Paella from Spain, Cuban style Picadillo, Empanadas from Venezuela and the list goes on. This month, I offer a cool refreshing salad made from jicama (pronounced Hee-Kuh-Maw). Jicama grows throughout Latin America as well as having been introduced in Asia and is a member of the legume family. The vines, roots and bean pods are poisonous, but the tuber, the shape of a turnip with the color of a rutabaga, being edible. Often julienned and eaten raw with a squeeze of lime and a dusting of chili powder, jicama has been described as having a slight taste of green apple or pear.  Jicama can also be grated into a slaw. Jicama is loaded with Vitamin C and is a good source of dietary fiber.

1 pound jicama
½ pound of watermelon sliced into ½ inch straws
1 medium lime
2 medium oranges
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium jalapeño, stemmed and finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Peel the jicama and cut into sticks about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick; place in a large bowl.
Finely grate the zest of the lime and add to the bowl of jicama. Cut the lime in half and squeeze one lime half over the jicama; set the second half aside. Finely zest one of the oranges (you should have about 1 tablespoon) and add to the bowl of jicama. Slice 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of the zested orange and set it flat on a cutting board.  Using a sharp paring knife, follow the curve of the orange and slice off any remaining peel and white pith.

Over the bowl of jicama, slice between the membranes to release the segments or what’s called supremes. Discard the membrane and peels. Repeat with segmenting the second orange (you do not need to zest this orange). Add the watermelon, bell pepper and cilantro and stir to combine. Important: Add the jalapeño to taste last and season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more lime juice as needed. Serve chilled with a cold cerveza. Enjoy, J.W

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken with Black Bean and Corn Salad

The past three months found me as captain on a 98’ Destiny cruising for in the Bahamas. There are some terrific grocers in Nassau and Port Lucaya.  The third best place to provision is in Marsh Harbour. I was pleased to find a supermarket on par with anything stateside and relatively close to the marina we were moored at. However, for specialty dishes, it is wise to bring anything exotic like jicama and chipotle peppers. Point in fact; Cinco de Mayo was this month and I wanted to treat the owners and guests to a feast. With plenty of planning, I was able to pull off a meal so muy delicioso, that the owners and guests gave four thumbs up. Do not wait a year to prepare this meal.


Chicken Ingredients:
4 boneless chicken breasts
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. tequila
1 tbsp. lime zest, from
2 limes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ¼ tsp. ancho chili powder
½ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. dried oregano
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp. honey
1 lime, sliced into wedges


Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a 1 gallon zip lock bag. Kneed the bag thoroughly to mix the ingredients. Pound the chicken breast until ½ inch thick. Add chicken to marinate bag and massage the meat until evenly coated. Refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight.

On a BBQ grill set to high heat, wipe the grill with vegetable oil on a paper towel with tongs. Place chicken on the grill and baste with remaining marinate. Grill, covered, for 3 minutes a side, turning only once. Plate and serve with guacamole, margaritas and  lime wedges.

Black Bean and Corn with Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients for Salad:
2 ears fresh corn
1 c. chopped red onion
1 (14 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. diced red bell pepper
½ c. loosely packed chopped cilantro
1 avocado

Ingredients for Dressing:
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 large clove garlic coarsely chopped
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¾ tsp. cumin
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (peppers, not the whole can)


Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add corn, cover and turn heat to low. Simmer corn for no more than 10 minutes. Remove from pot and let cool. In the meantime, place chopped onion in a bowl and cover with water for about 10 minutes, then drain is thru a sieve and set aside. Hold the corn upright in a large bowl and cut the kernels into strips. Add beans, red bell pepper, red onion and cilantro. In a blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour dressing on salad and toss well. Cover salad and refrigerate for at least an hour. Before serving, dice up an avocado and toss it in the salad. Serve with cilantro and lime garnish. Buen provecho, JW

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sugar Dipped Butter Cookies

I am sitting at Valentine’s Resort at Harbour Island, Bahamas with owner and guests aboard a 98 foot motor yacht, when the boss asks me to make something sweet. This sugar butter cookie recipe takes only about 20 minutes to prepare and makes for a nice bar snack. Simple yet satisfying spells success.
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ tsp. salt substitute


Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Combine 1 cup sugar with ¾ cup butter (=1 ½ sticks) in large bowl. Beat at medium speed (I use a stand mixer), scraping bowl until creamy. Add egg; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to slow; add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until well mixed. Please remain cup of sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and dip the top of the balls in the sugar. Place sugar-dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Enjoy, JW

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rump Roast with Dark Rum Sauce

Back in my salad days of sailboats in the Caribbean, I did a stint at an all-inclusive resort on Martinique as a sailing instructor. Working in the French West Indies was a gas! The sailing was terrific. The island is steeped in history of colonial plantations, thick rainforests, quaint villages and pirate lore. And while the six month contract entailed 18 hour days (including putting on shows at night), the best reward was the French cuisine. Pain au chocolat, fresh tropical fruits and imported cheese was a typical breakfast. But when the sun went down, that’s what made my mouth water. This dish will make for a happy crew and is good enough for the owners.

1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black paper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
3 pound rump roast, trimmed
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 cup dark rum, divided
½ cup beef broth
2 cloves garlic crushed and minced
2 whole bay leaves
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup lime juice


Combine allspice, salt, pepper and cloves and rub spices into the roast. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet to medium heat and brown all sides of the roast. Transfer roast to a 6 quart slow cooker and add ½ of the rum, broth, garlic and bay leaves. Cook covered on low for 1 hour.

Combine the remaining rum, brown sugar and lime juice and whisk until blended. Pour over roast and continue cooking on low for 5-6 hours.

Remove roast to cutting board and cover with tin foil. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Pass remaining liquid thru a sieve to remove bay leaves and garlic. Over medium heat, reduce for 10-15 minutes. Once it has thicken, spoon sauce over meat. Serve with Old Bay red roasted potatoes and roasted asparagus.  Enjoy JW

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


During the past holidays we served up a couple of glazed and smoked hams. After carving the ham, I wrap up the ham hocks and put them in the freezer. When I have saved four hocks, it’s time to make a favorite mid-western dish, Ham Hocks and Beans. This hearty meal, served with honey corn bread, it just the thing on a cold winter’s day. A little labor intensive, but well worth the effort.

4 ham hocks
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small minced sweet onion
¼ cup chopped bell pepper
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup dried thyme
3 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 pound Great Northern beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped green onions

In a large cast iron stockpot, bring olive oil up to a medium-high heat. Score the ham hocks and sauté them along with onion, celery, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and bay leaves for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté one minute more. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ hours stirring every 20 minutes. Carefully stir in the pre-soaked beans so as to not break the skin and simmer for another hour, until the ham hocks are tender and beans are cooked. Add salt and simmer another 30 minutes or until the meat on the ham hocks falls apart. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and green onion and corn bread. Enjoy, JW

Sunday, January 3, 2016


 St Patrick's Day, while not a legal holiday in the United States, is nonetheless widely recognized and observed throughout the country as a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, eating and drinking, religious observances, and parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the late eighteenth century. The largest celebration in the United States is of course in New York City, but what is little known is that the second largest celebration is in Savannah, Georgia.  Observed on March 17th, it commemorates the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the celebrated patron saint of Ireland. Enjoy this holiday inspired dessert after your Saint Patty’s dinner.


9” pie crust from the frozen food section of your grocer
¼ pound butter (1 stick)
1 cup powdered sugar
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

In a 400 over, bake the pie crust 10-12 minutes or until it just begins to brown. While crust is cooling, cream butter and sugar until well mixed. Add chocolate, eggs, mint extract and beat until smooth. Fill pie shell with filling and refrigerate overnight.

Beat heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and mint extract until stiff peaks form. With a pastry bag, pipe whipped cream around the edge of pie and center of pie. Garnish with your choice of crushed walnuts or mint sprig.  Enjoy, JW