Apple and Toasted Almond Pillsbury Crescent Waffle Bites with Cardamom Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and holiday planning is in overdrive. I was commissioned by Pillsbury to come up with some food ideas for the classic Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. I remember loving these as child. They are a great medium as short cut if you are really not  baking inclined.

Continue reading “Apple and Toasted Almond Pillsbury Crescent Waffle Bites with Cardamom Whipped Cream”


Miso Glazed Sea Bass Wrapped in Seaweed and Rice Paper & Fillet with Wasabi Butter from Certified Steak and Seafood

I think this meal of Miso Glazed Sea Bass Wrapped in Seaweed and Rice Paper & Filet with Wasabi Butter from Certified Steak and Seafood, would be awesome for a special New Years Eve Dinner or Réveillon. Certified Steak and Seafood, via my partnership with Foodie Blogroll, were kind enough to send me two Prime Certified Angus Beef Fillets and two Chilean Sea Bass pieces, to create with. Knowing me, I decided to get creative. For a few weeks in the Restaurant Depot, while shopping for clients, I’ve been seeing these curious sea vegetables from Asia called Salty Fingers. They are crunchy, salty, and slightly bitter. I knew they would pair well with my sea bass.

Taking even further cues from the diversity of Asia, I started piecing together more ingredients that are staples in my pantry. Miso , Seaweed, Sesame Oil, etc. I know it’s a cliche, but who doesn’t like some sort of surf and turf? I pan roasted my Sea Bass with a Miso Glaze, and then wrapped in super thin rice paper with a strip of Seaweed. The Fillet I just seared for a few minutes on each side and topped with salted butter blended with wasabi powder.Fresh grated Wasabi would be even better if you can find it. The salad is lightly sauteed oyster mushrooms tossed with Pea Shots, salty fingers, diced pickled garlic, shaved shallots, and dressing of Sesame Oil, Rice Vinegar, Ponzu Soy Sauce ,minced garlic ,salt and pepper. This served as a nice medium with steamed white rice between the fish and beef. This meal may seem complicated , but it’s not . If you set it all up, it should be ready in approximately  thirty minutes cooking/ grilling time.


Certified Steak and Seafood is offering you a coupon code (FBR125D) to get a $25 discount off their order.

Miso Glazed Sea Bass Wrapped in Seaweed and Rice Paper & Fillet with Wasabi Butter and Pea Shot and Salty Finger Salad
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 Chilean Sea Bass Steaks
  • 2 Angus Beef Filet Mignon
  • Miso Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons White Miso
  • 2 Tablespoons Ponzu Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 Tablespoons vegetable oil ( any light neutral tasting oil)
  • Super Thin Rice Paper
  • 1 sheet seaweed
  • Wasabi Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Wasabi Powder
  • 2 tablespoons softened Salted Butter
  • Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Pea Shot Salad
  • 3 cups Washed Pea Shots
  • ½ cup Salty Fingers ( Specialty Produce Stores)
  • Several Cloves Pickled garlic ( Available in Korean Stores)
  • 1 shallot shaved thin
  • ⅓ cup sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive or pomace oil
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Ponzu Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Oyster Mushrooms
  • Oil
  1. In a small bowl whisk together, Miso,brown sugar, Ponzu soy, oil, and Mirin.
  2. Add Sea Bass to Miso Glaze and let marinate.
  3. Line a roasting pan with parchment and preheat oven to 525.
  4. In a skillet lightly saute the oyster mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Wash and Prep your pea shots and salty fingers.Add pickled garlic and shallots to mix.
  6. Mix your dressing of sesame oil, ponzu soy, rice vinegar, oil, , garlic,etc and whisk until emulsified.
  7. Mix Wasabi powder and softened butter and keep cool.
  8. Heat your grill pan or indoor grilling device to searing temp ( over 425 F).
  9. Place Sea Bass on pan lined with parchment with Miso Glaze and roast for 10 -15 minutes until glaze starts to caramelize. Check temp and lower if necessary so glaze doesn't burn.
  10. Once done, carefully remove sea bass and place on a sheet of dampened rice paper with a seaweed strip. Roll sea bass and tuck in ends of paper so fish is encased.
  11. Season Beef Fillets with salt and pepper and grill for a minutes on each side to desired doneness. Approximately 5 minuted each side for rare to med rare.
  12. Remove from grill and top with a pat of Wasbi Butter.
  13. Toss Pea Shot Salad with dressing and sauteed warm mushrooms and serve with steamed white rice and the sea bass and fillet.

After a rough week for Certain Someone and I , this was a great dinner for the end of the work week. He was both impressed with the quality of meat and fish , in addition to my creative spin. I wont mention where he orders his frozen fillets from, but I definitely think this was a more superior product  from Certified Steak and Seafood.




I wish all of you safe , happy , and warm holidays filled with warmth and cheer. Thanks for following me on my journey with Coco Cooks.


This is a sponsored  post , but the opinions remain my own. This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.

Our commitment to our customers is simple: Offer the highest quality products at the best price and back it with a 100% guarantee. We source directly with no ‘middle man’ making our supply chain the shortest in the industry. This allows us to maintain the highest quality standards all the way to your plate. On top of this, we sample all products at the moment of final packaging and have a world-renowned laboratory test for various types of adulteration or contamination. This ensures that the food you purchase from us is pure and safe.

Certified Steak and Seafood Company was formed by the three Frisch boys, Mark, Adam, and Steven; all of whom thought that everyone should be able to buy the highest quality steaks and seafood direct. The brothers experience comes from a three generation family owned wholesale company that is one of the largest seafood importers in America.

They have vast experience in sourcing and selling high quality seafood and meat products to the commercial trade — and bring you the same grade of products fine restaurants, resorts, hotels, and high-end retail stores demand – and at a direct price that gives you tremendous value for every purchase.


Cellar Soup,Thanksgiving Mishaps,and a $50 Wal-Mart Giveaway

It’s hard to believe our national day of thanks is next week. I chuckle when hear people stressing about, what to me is , a day of cooking for pure love and joy. And truth be told,  I prefer a cozy lazy holiday with just Certain Someone and I to indulge in good food, with no drama or timeline pressures. Not everyone has that luxury. This post is about mishaps on the big day. I can’t say I’ve had a serious mishap on Thanksgiving , but I’ve had them when entertaining for large crowds.The most recent ones have occurred over this past summer with the new  gas grill. We had two dinners planned for very important clients and colleagues of Certain Someone’s.  No one except the repair man on the adjacent property will ever know how my special juniper  cured pork belly were burnt to a crisp black ash.  I mistakenly left the temp on high on one direct burner as I rushed downstairs several floors below, to prep the other courses. The poor repairman kept knocking on the terrace door believing it was an one level apartment and I couldn’t hear him. By the time I came up to check on my supposedly slow grilled bellies, they were a lump of black coal and the man was smoked out while trying to do bis job on the  terrace next door. He didn’t even turn the knob to cut it off. I panicked for a second, and went to plan B, taking a frozen belly out , cleaning the grill, and starting over. The party and the food went well. Lesson to this is font sweat the small stuff and just carry on. It wasn’t the first time it happened. Imagine a similar scenario a month before with my hand made sausages.No matter how much you plan and stress, mistakes happen.
We chefs and cooks  take our successes and failures personally, because we put so much into what we do. But the key is to learn from the mistakes and move forward. Also, to be open to learning and  receiving tips from others. One Thanksgiving I roasted a gorgeous  crispy goose. I like to change it up from traditional turkey. Everyone was curious about my offering and how it would turn out. An older aunt called me the next day and asked me for the goose fat. I was perplexed as to why she would.want all that fat. This was years ago, and while I was  a good cook, not where I am now.She was quite upset that I discarded all that precious golden goose fat. Seems old southern folk lore  has uses such things as remedies, and not to mention cooking other great dishes . Goose or duck fat potatoes anyone? I learned a few things  from that incident . So listen to the wisdom.of your older elders, don’t stress, pay attention to details, pour a glass of wine and relax.Remember that scene from the movie Eat Pray Love when she prepares  a Thanksgiving for her Italian  friends . They cut into the eagerly awaited turkey and it’s frozen inside? No worries. They all chilled, put the bird back into the oven,drank, talked, and woke up to a marvelous turkey breakfast. That’s the spirit.

Tell me about your mishaps or approaches to holiday cooking. I will draw a winner for a $50 giftcard from Wal-Mart to help you with your holiday preparations. You have until the 21st of November to enter. Help spread the word. Who couldn’t use $50 with these high food costs?

If you want to read about some more Thanksgiving mishaps, check here. Wal- Mart has put together a great page of mishaps, interesting tidbits, and tips.

So now on to the cooking…
Here is a lovely restorative soup to serve at the big celebration. I call it Cellar soup, as it uses all sorts of root vegetables and apple’s to create a creamy rich soup.  I made this , froze it and gave quarts away to friends and family.They looovvvved it. Even Certain Someone who resisted because it sounded too healthy for him, gave it a thumbs up.

Cellar Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A rich creamy soup made from root vegetables.
  • 1 Acorn Squash peeled ,seeded, and chopped
  • 3 small apples peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
  • 3 parsnips peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery root peeled and sliced
  • 6 leaves fresh sage
  • 1 branch of rosemary
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons Grape seed oil or olive oil
  • 12 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, toss all the prepped ingredients and spiced with the oil.
  3. Roast until caramelized for approximately 45 minutes or more. Check frequently and adjust heat if necessary.
  4. Remove from oven and set atop stove .
  5. Turn heat to high.
  6. Add the water. Bring to boil.
  7. Reduce heat to simmer.
  8. Remove cinnamon stick.Set aside.
  9. Take an immersion blender and pulse until smooth and pureed.
  10. Add cinnamon stick back to to soup.
  11. Add chicken stock.
  12. Simmer for another 40 minutes until flavors merge, and soup is a nice creamy consistency.


I’ve been counting my enormous blessings this season, and want you readers to know how thankful I am for your support and encouragement, especially during these years of  change.

Thank You.
Disclosure. Wal-Mart is sponsoring this post with $50 gift card provision’s for myself and the selected winner. My opinions are my own.

Classic Stracciatella for a Beautiful Spring Day

Certain Someone is a simple man in his dessert tastes. So naturally the divine duo of a rich vanilla based custard , with a semi sweet chocolate  ribbon stream  stracciato ( torn apart) while churning, is bound to be a favorite.  I decided to serve this up for the Easter holiday following a simple fresh slow grilled ham , pan fried leeks and potatoes, and a pea and carrot medley. Even stuffed , Certain Someone made room for two servings of ice cream.

I used to think Certain Someone would be a bit pretentious asking for Stracciatella in American Ice Cream parlors.It’s the European in him of course. But it’s more than differentiating between the naive assumption of  thinking this is something akin to the chunky American Chocolate Chip ice cream. Stracciatella was invented not to long ago, in 1962 by Enrico Panattoni at La Marianna, in the picturesque city of Bergamo in Northern Italy, not far from Milano.It’s based on the Italian egg drop soup of the same name, where beaten eggs are added to a hot broth. The chocolate is more interspersed into the ice cream and broken up into little bits, creating a alternating smooth and creamy yet crunchy sensation on the tongue. Stracciatella definitely has more finesse than the good ole chocolate chip from the USA.

You can find the recipe here. This was adapted from the renown David Lebovitz, who most definitely knows a thing or two about ice cream.


Cotechino and Lentils from Creminelli for the New Year and a Giveaway

I remember a  few years ago I entered a Twitter discussion with Divina Cucina on various ethnic culinary New Years traditions. Its interesting the similarities  and differences that can be found between a African American soul food and Italian fare. I grew up eating the mandatory southern influenced   black eye peas and greens to bring in wealth for the new year. The Italians celebrate with a gelatinous  fatty salami that is slow cooked and lentils, which represent coins.

So boy was I happy when a representative from Creminelli asked me if I was interested in sampling some of their products. A little back story here, earlier in the year I had the fortune to actually meet the owner Cristiano Creminelli at a intimate tasting of his products in a  local wine bar. It was very personal and the table got to hear his story of how his family , produced cured meats since the 1600’s in Italy. Cristiano ended up in Utah  to spread the wealth of his family’s knowledge and artistry to the American consumer. I  felt bad I didn’t write up a post that evening. I was late , my pictures were  bad, and the daily grind just overwhelmed me. Now I have a chance to do the brand justice ! I received some wild boar Mortadella and the Cotechiono in the mail to try.

So for the New Year I want to share a recipe and give you a chance to sample the amazing artisan products from Creminelli for the US market.  Now normally Cotechino is slow cooked for hours, but the Creminelli brand only requires 20 minutes of poaching in its plastic pouch.

Cotechino and Lentils from Creminelli for the New Year
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
An Italian New Year's dish of a boiled salami and lentils
  • 1 8 oz bag of lentils
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon duck or chicken fat
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • Bay Leaf
  • 2 cups or water or stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Creminelli Cotechino
  1. Cook the Cotechino according to the instructions. It should be boiled for 30 minutes in its plastic pouch and set aside until ready to plate.
  2. In a skillet heat the duck fat.
  3. Add the diced onion, garlic, bay leaf . Saute until softened.
  4. Add the dry lentils and stir to coat with the fat and minced onion, garlic.
  5. Add the liquid and bring to a simmer. Cover.
  6. Cook until tender about 30 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary.
  7. Remove the Cotechino from it's plastic pouch and remove the casing.
  8. Slice and place on the platter of lentils.
  9. Serve warm with mustard.
I did not pre soak my lentils as there is no need to. Many recipes call for the lentils to be soaked for 24 hours. Lentils really don't require soaking and cook very fast.


I will be giving away a Gourmet Artisan Salami Mix from Creminelli. Just leave a comment  sharing your culinary  New Years traditions and spread the word  and follow me via twitter as well. If you already follow me that’s great too! Just  Tweet  ” I just entered to win a Salami Mix from @glamah & @creminelli ”  and post the link for a chance at a second entry and leave a separate comment below. Each comment counts as one separate entry( the New Years tradition and the tweet).

  • This giveaway is only open to US residents.
  • The winner will be chosen randomly .
  • The salami mix will be shipped by Creminelli and will consist of  Barolo, Tartufo and Wild Boar salami (1.5 lbs) a $45 value. One basket per giveaway.
  • No shipping to PO Boxes or overseas due to the sensitive nature of the products.

To all my readers Certain Someone and I would like to wish you a  blessed New Year full of light and peace. Thank you for reading Coco Cooks throughout the years.