Grilled Striped Bass

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
a few springs of thyme OR oregano
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 fillets striped bass, skin on (about 6-8 ounces each)
Coarse salt
Fresh chives, cut into ¾” lengths for garnish (optional)
Lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)

Combine oil, lemon juice, thyme OR oregano, garlic and black pepper in a large shallow bowl. Add fish to marinade, turn to coat; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Lightly oil grill grates to prevent sticking.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Remove fish from marinade, letting excess drip off. Place on grill, skin side down, and season with salt. Grill until skin is lightly browned and starting to crisp.
Carefully turn fillets, cook until well browned and cooked through (center will be opaque), 5 to 6 minutes.
Garnish with chives and lemon wedges (optional).
Serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 4
From prep to table including marinade time 1 hour+

Grilled Lemon-Basil Snapper & Roasted Peppers

3 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Four (6 oz) red snapper fillets or other firm white fish fillets
Cooking spray
fresh chives (optional)

Preheat broiler.  Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes.  Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand.  Broil 12 minutes or until blackened.  Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Peel and cut into ½ inch wide strips.
Combine the basil and water, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon rind, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk.  Add pepper strips; toss well.  Let stand 1 hour.  Drain peppers, reserving marinade.
Coat grill rack with cooking spray.  Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Brush both sides of fillets with the reserved marinade.  Place fish on rack and grill 5 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently with the remaining basil mixture.
Divide pepper mixture evenly among 4 plates.  Top each serving with a fillet.  Garnish with fresh chives if desired.
Serves 4
From prep to table (including marinade time) 90+ minutes

Basil Plants – How To Care for Them & Using The Leaves

We just recently got in some pots of fresh, organic basil! This is perfect timing, since Michigan tomatoes are not far behind and the two are perfect culinary partners. It has been brought to our attention that while most people enjoy fresh herbs, they can be a little intimidating to use. So we’re going to share some basic tips that may make basil ownership a bit less daunting, as well as a few common uses.

First we’ll cover how to care for a basil plant. They are sun loving and the soil should be kept damp, but not too wet. If the plant gets too much water, it may show distress by the bottom leaves turning yellow. If it’s getting too little water, the leaves will start to look wrinkled and limp. Just give it a good dose of water and it should return back to normal. If you purchase the plant from us, you can either leave it in the pot and place it in a sunny window, or plant it outside. Basil does not like cold weather, so avoid cold air vents and, if you plant it outside, know that it won’t last through the first frost. Your plant will start to grow some flowers, and you’ll want to pinch those off. Once the plant grows flowers it will stop growing leaves, so removing the flowers will encourage your plant to continue growing.

Now for the exciting part – including it in your dishes! When you’re ready to use them, just pick a few leaves, rinse them off, and pat them dry. Brandy likes to lay them on top of each other and cut them all at once. You can cut them into thin strips or small pieces, whichever you prefer. Don’t use the stem, just the leaves. If you are having pizza delivered, or opening up a can of tomato soup, chop some up and sprinkle it on top. If you’re making a tomato sauce, for something like spaghetti, add about 1 tablespoon. We’ll share with you Brandy’s favorite way to use fresh basil – she likes to cut it into smaller pieces and mix with chopped mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh cracked pepper, salt, and a little olive oil. She will then serve the dish as a side, as a topping for French bread (brushetta style), or will use it to fill portabella mushroom caps to go on the grill or in the oven.

The nice thing about the basil plant is that the more often you pick leaves the more the plant is encouraged to grow. So stop in and pick up a plant to take home and discover for yourself how great fresh basil is!

Garlic Butter Trout in Foil

1 pound trout fillet (optional – remove skin)
2 tablespoons butter
½ lemon, juice squeezed
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon parsley, minced (optional)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

This recipe can be made for the oven or for a grill.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees or preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and place the trout fillet in the center.  Fold up all 4 sides of the foil.  Season trout with salt and pepper and then squeeze juice from half a lemon over the fish until covered.
Melt butter, stir in fresh minced garlic, and drizzle over the trout until evenly coated.  Top with fresh minced parsley.
Fold the sides of the foil over the trout, covering completely, and seal into a closed packet.
Place directly on oven rack or grill grate and cook until cooked through and flesh flakes easily, about 15-20 minutes.
Optional step for the oven – open the foil exposing the top of the trout and broil for the last 4-5 minutes, for a browned top.
Serves 2
From prep to table 30 minutes

Blackened Mackerel

3 pounds boneless, skin-on mackerel fillets (about 4 fillets)
1 tablespoon blackened seasoning
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Vegetable cooking spray
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges

Season fish with blackened seasoning, pepper and drizzle with lemon juice.
Heat oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Place fillets, skin side down in the skillet, and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until lightly charred.  Serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 4
From prep to table 20 minutes

Flank Steak Sandwiches

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup dry red wine or beef broth
¾ cup soy sauce
½ cup olive oil, divided
4 ½ teaspoon minced garlic, divided
1 ½ teaspoon ground mustard
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ to 2 pounds flank steak
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1 inch strips
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, cut into 1 inch strips
1 medium red onion, thickly sliced
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
6 French rolls or other sub sandwich size rolls

In a small bowl, combine the onion, wine, soy sauce, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 ½ teaspoon garlic, mustard and ginger.  Pour 1 ¾ cups into a large resealable plastic bag; add the steak.
Pour remaining marinade into another bag; add the peppers and onion.  Seal bags and turn to coat; refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
Drain and discard marinade from steak. Lightly oil grill grate.  Preheat grill to medium heat.  Grill steak, covered, for 6-7 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (medium rare is 145 degrees F.)
Drain and discard marinade from the vegetables.  Place in a grill basket.  Grill, uncovered, over medium-hot heat for 9-11 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, combine the pepper, and remaining oil and garlic; brush over cut sides of rolls.  Place, cut side down, on grill for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
Thinly slice steak across the grain; place on bun bottoms.  Top with vegetables and bun tops.  Serve immediately.
Serves 6
Prep time 25 minutes
Marinating minimum 3 hours
Grill time 25 minutes

Pan Fried Yellow Perch

1 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
4 lake perch fillets
Mix flour, paprika and salt together and set aside.
In a small bowl, blend the egg and the milk. Heat butter in a large frying pan. Dip perch fillets in egg wash first and then into the flour mixture.
Carefully place them into the hot butter in the frying pan and brown on both sides until fish flakes with a fork (until done).
Remove from the butter and drain on a paper towel to absorb excess butter. Serve immediately.
Serves 2


Butterflying a Whole Chicken (Spatchcock)

A whole chicken grills so much quicker and the meat cooks evenly if it is butterflied and lies flat on the grill.  Following are instructions on how to do this.  Or you can have one of Mert’s meat cutters butterfly it before you leave the store.

Step 1: Remove neck and giblets from the cavity of the whole chicken.

Step 2: Place the chicken on a cutting board breast-side-down.  Working from the cavity opening up to the neck, cut down each side of the back bone with a pair of kitchen shears. Discard the backbone.  Grab the chicken with one breast in each hand and open it like a book, exposing the cavity of the bird. The breast bones should crack a bit – that’s totally normal.

Step 3: Running from the middle of the bird down between the two legs is a soft bone – this is the breast bone.  It’s a triangular shape that is firm towards the middle of the bird and becomes softer cartilage as it tapers down between the legs.  To remove it, use a paring knife to cut down either side of it.

Step 4: Once you’ve cut it free, use your fingers to simply pull out the breast bone.  Discard the bone.

Pacific Rim Salmon

½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice (or orange-pineapple juice or orange juice)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
5 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoons ground black pepper
8 salmon fillets (6 to 8 oz each)
5 green onions, coarsely chopped

In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice (or alternative juice), soy sauce, horseradish, parsley, 3 teaspoons of the sesame oil, honey and ground black pepper. Pour 2/3 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add salmon and green onions.  Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1 to 1 ½ hours, turning occasionally.  Add remaining sesame oil to remaining marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for basting.
Drain fish and discard marinade.  Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Lightly oil the grill rack to prevent sticking.  Grill salmon, skin side down, covered, over medium heat for 8 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting frequently with reserved marinade.
Serves 8
Prep 15 minutes
Marinade 1 to 1 ½ hours
Grill 15 minutes


Simple Grilled Tuna Steak

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 tuna steaks (6-8 oz each)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic and thyme.  Add the tuna; seal bag and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Remove tuna from bag; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Drain and discard marinade.
Lightly oil grill great with cooking oil to prevent sticking.
Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Grill tuna, covered, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare or until slightly pink in the center.
Serves 4
From prep to table 1 hour

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