the perfect summer dinner of fried fish (tilapia or flounder) with homemade tartar sauce, cole slaw, sliced Jersey tomatoes, and Jersey farm corn on the cob, french fries or baked stuffed potatoes!

This is one of my favorite summer dinners to eat and make.  When my parents were alive, I loved to make this for them (with french fries, too) because they loved it to the nth degree.  And what I loved was how much they loved the meal and how they commented with almost every bite about how delicious everything was.  My mother Shirley Fried’s comment would be, “How do you make everything so perfect, dolly?”  My daughter Randi loved the meal too, and she recently asked me to make it.  I invited her father in law and his wife, because I really have fun with them- they are great people- and because they like my food.  As my daughter says, “They are good customers.”

I bought the fish at Whole Foods and it was super fresh. The only other place I’ve bought fish that’s been this fresh has been at the Keyport Fishery.  The corn I bought at an amazing farmstand in Pennington, NJ called Kerr’s Kornstand. The corn is brought right in  from the field while you are there- and it is perfect corn- there is none fresher or sweeter!  I also got my tomatoes there, and they were sweet, dark red, and juicy.

for the fish (tilapia, flounder, or other mild white fish):

My recipe for the fish harkens from the recipe used at Klein’s Fish Market in Belmar, NJ.  I once asked them for their recipe, and they readily gave it to me, I think because they sell the coating mix right there in the market. For the coating they use 1 part McCormick Golden Dipt Tempura Seafood Batter Mix  to 2 parts McCormick Golden Dipt Fry Easy All-Purpose Breading Mix. What a breeze to make.  Simply put the mix into a 9 by 13 baking pan and whisk together to get any lumps out.  Put some cold water in a separate mixing bowl.  Dip each fillet into the water on both sides of the fillet, then dredge the fillet through the coating mix on each side of the fillet, using your hand to sprinkle some extra coating over the fish to cover the fillet completely.  Then heat your oil (about 1/2 inch deep)  on a high flame in a nonstick frying pan till it’s really hot.  Fry about 2-3 minutes till underside is beautifully browned.  Flip with spatula and cook till underside is browned.  No need to drain- the fish doesn’t pick up excess oil if it’s hot enough to start.

For each pound of fresh fish fillets, use about 1 cup of the all purpose breading mix and 1/2 cup of the tempura mix.

Use canola or light olive oil  in a large non-stick fry pan, and get the oil nice and hot before putting the fish in.  Fry till underside is brown, flip and brown the other side. This should take about 5 min. altogether.  Serve immediately with tartar sauce and/or cocktail sauce and lots of fresh sliced lemon.

judy’s homemade tartar sauce:

  • 1 cup of Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or Minute Maid frozen lemon juice from concentrate 
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated onion
  • a few tablespoons of chopped dill pickle (I use Claussen dill sandwich slices)
  • a dash of kosher salt 

After you taste, adjust by adding a little more lemon juice or chopped pickle to your liking.

my simple cole slaw:

    • 2 bags dole cabbage for cole slaw
    • about 1 cup of Hellman’s mayo
    • 2 tablespoons whole milk (you could substitute plain Greek yogurt or sour cream)
    • about 4-5 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • about 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • about 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • about 1 tablespoon of the BEST herbs- Litehouse dill 

Mix together in large mixing bowl at least a few hours before serving.  Add more or less of any of the ingredients to your taste.

fresh corn on the cob:

Cover shucked corn in a large pot with water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer on low boil for 8 minutes.  Serve.

french fries (Be careful with this recipe- although it’s easy, only experienced cooks should make this!)

Heat a large pot of oil (corn or canola) till oil starts to shimmer, but is NOT yet boiling. You don’t want your oil to come to a boil before you put the fries in, because the oil could catch on fire!  Carefully place your fries in and stand back a bit so you don’t get burned if oil splatters a little- I use either Whole Foods Crinkle Cut Fries or Nathans Crinkle Cut Fries.  Leave the fries alone, do not mix them in the oil.  Fry on a rolling boil till fries are browned- the time may range from 15 min. to 25 min.  Drain in paper towels, sprinkle with kosher salt, and serve.

baked stuffed potatoes:

  • Idaho organic potatoes
  • salted or unsalted butter
  • paprika 

Pierce potatoes with a fork.  Bake at about 375 degrees to 400 degrees for at least 1 hour till a fork goes in easily and potatoes are soft inside. Slice the tippy top of potatoes off.  Scoop out the potato being careful not to break the skin and put in mixing bowl.  Add butter to taste, salt to taste, and a little pepper to taste.  Mash potatoes.  Scoop the mashed potatoes back into the potato shells.  Sprinkle tops with paprika.

Note:  I usually make these in advance, so I refrigerate them, covered, and then I heat them up in a baking pan or sheet pan at 375 degrees for about 45 min. to an hour, till piping hot.

5 Ingredient Homemade Beefaroni

I’m always trying new recipes I think my grandkids might like.  I made this simple recipe yesterday.  I was skyping with my son Benji who’s in Vietnam right now.  We were discussing all the different recipes he wants me to make when he gets home in a few weeks. I was showing him pictures of the beefaroni I was cooking and he told me that on the night he gets home from Vietnam, he wants that dish waiting for him.

  • 1 lb. good chop meat from Whole Foods
  • 1 28 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium to large onion chopped (optional if making for children who don’t like onions)
  • about 6-7 garlic cloves chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried oregano (about 1 teaspoon)
  • about 3/4 lb. of macaroni
  • parmesan for serving

Saute onion for a few minutes in about 2 tablespoons olive oil till soft.  Add garlic and saute a few minutes. Add chop meat and brown over low flame.  Add salt and pepper and oregano.  Then add tomatoes and pure.  Break up the chunks of tomatoes with the spoon or spatula you are using to mix.  Cook over medium to low flame about 15-20 min. You don’t want to reduce or lose too much of liquid, cause you’ll need it.

Boil your water and cook pasta till al dente.  Drain, and add about 3/4 of the box or pound to the meat sauce.  You’re ready to serve.  If you are serving it later, just heat it up in the microwave, because baking it in oven will dry it out.

Easy Glazed Teriyake Salmon

I recently made salmon that was so delicious and so easy to make. From beginning to end, this dish will take you less than 1/2 hour to make.  Remember to look for wild salmon as it is much healthier than farmed, as has less mercury in it.

For two people:

  • 2 5-6 oz. portions of salmon or one 10-12 oz. piece of salmon (wild is healthier than farmed)
  • honey- about 1 tablespoon
  • about 1/2-3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki teriyake sauce (has incredible stuff in it like pineapple juice, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, etc.)

Preheat oven to broiler setting-low.  Then, cover a baking sheet with foil.  Place salmon on sheet (if skin is still on, make sure you put the salmon on the sheet skin side down.)  In a small bowl, put about 6 oz of the teriyaki sauce and about 1 tablespoon of honey, mix till blended.  Spoon some sauce on both sides of salmon, but spoon some extra on the top.  Glaze is thin, so try to make sure some of it pools on top of the salmon.  Place under broiler.  You want the glaze to start bubbling and browning, because that’s what will make it tasty.  If it is getting too brown or burning, change oven setting to bake at 350 degrees.  But you can cook it the entire time on broil if it isn’t burning.  It will take about 10 or so minutes.  But check it after 10 minutes by cutting into a piece.  I don’t like my salmon rare, I like it cooked through, so depending on how you like your salmon cooked, it will either be done or need a few more minutes.  And that’s it.  Oh, I did get my salmon at BJ’s in a bag- it was frozen, individually vacuum sealed packets.  You can defrost them in a bowl of cold water or in the refrigerator.

Note:  You may want to baste the salmon halfway through cooking it, but if you don’t make sure to drizzle the glaze that’s on the foil evenly over each piece of fish.  The glaze is soooo good.

Easiest Fried Flounder with Homemade Tartar Sauce

I have made this many times, and all my children love it, even though they don’t particularly like fish.  It is so easy to make, and relatively healthy.  The key is buying the freshest fish possible.

    • 1 pound flounder fillet
    • plain bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 egg mixed with a teaspoon of water
  • oil for frying (I usually use light olive oil)
  • lemon slices for serving
  • tartar sauce (see recipe below)

Place some breadcrumbs on a dinner plate, and sprinkle some salt and pepper in and mix.  Dip fillets in egg and water mixture on both sides, then dredge in breadcrumbs on both sides.  Pat breadcrumbs on so they stick to the fish.  Place breaded fillets on a sheet of aluminum foil to set or refrigerate until you are ready to fry.

Heat large saute pan under a medium high heat.  Then pour a few tablespoons of oil into pan:  the oil should be about 1/8 inch high.  Oil will heat up quickly, then add fillets.  When they are browned on the bottom, flip and brown on the other side.  Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of fish.

Serve immediately with tartar sauce, coctail sauce, and lemon wedges.

homemade tartar sauce (you may increase quantities of ingredients if you need more):

  • 1  cup of good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (I use either fresh lemon juice or Minute Maid frozen lemon juice from concentrate- which you keep in the refrigerator).
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated onion
  • a few tablespoons of chopped finely Kosher dill pickles

Mix all ingredients and keep refrigerated till used.

Roasted Halibut Or Haddock With Roasted Tomatoes And Shallots

I made this dish for my daughter Randi and her husband Dan. They loved it. You can turn this into a no-salt recipe by eliminating the salt.

for the fish:

    • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of halibut or haddock fillet
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • about 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves (if you have both fresh thyme and fresh oregano, use a combination of the two)
  • olive oil (I use light)

for the tomatoes and shallots:

  • 6-10 plum tomatoes, cut into chunks (each chunk should be about 1/2 the size of a cherry tomato)
  • 4-6 shallots, small dice
  • 3 – 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • about 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (May substitute about 1/4 teaspoon dry)
  • olive oil (extra virgin or light)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On half sheet pan, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then place tomato chunks on pan along with chopped shallots. Sprinkle with minced garlic, thyme leaves or dried thyme, kosher salt, and some cracked black pepper. Toss to coat with the olive oil. Cook for about 45 min. to 1 hour or until tomatoes start to shrink and shallots are beginning to caramelize.

When your tomatoes are about 25 minutes into cooking, prepare your fish. Place the fillets on a sheet pan which you have covered with foil and drizzled with olive oil. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cutlets with the minced garlic and the thyme (or the thyme and oregano). Put in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until cooked through. Place fish on serving platter, and spoon roasted tomatoes on top. Serve.

Note: If you buy fresh oregano or fresh thyme, you can store it in a ziploc bag covered with a damp paper towel, and it will keep for a few weeks.

Note: It is important to use a fish that is thick enough to withstand the roasting. If you use a thinner fish, such as flounder, then be careful to roast it for only 5-7 minutes.

Greek-Style Shrimp Scampi

This Dish Is A Treat For Your Tastebuds!

This is a wonderful dish that I concocted and cooked for my daughter Randi and her husband Dan last summer.  They are both huge aficionados of Greek food and they were getting ready to go on a trip to Greece.  They wanted to get into the spirit of things, so I cooked them a shrimp dish with a distinctive Greek flavor.  They both went crazy for this dish!

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved if you are using larger cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound of raw extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup of fresh Italian parsley, chopped and divided 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 pound of spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (use a little of the grated rind if you like a more intense lemony flavor)
  • a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the red pepper flakes and the minced garlic.  Saute 1 minute over low flame.  Add the tomatoes.  Sprinkle the tomatoes with the salt and 1/4 cup of the parsley.  Saute over medium flame until the tomatoes start to look soft or cracked- about 3-4 minutes.  Add the shrimp, and cook for about 3-4 minutes just until the shrimp are starting to not look raw.  Take off stove.  Put into casserole dish.  Sprinkle crumbled feta on top and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle shrimp with reserved 1/4 cup chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and a little freshly cracked black pepper.

Cook spaghetti while shrimp is in the oven.   When you are ready to serve, put a portion of spaghetti on each dinner plate, and then a portion of the shrimp on top of the spaghetti.


1.  You can serve over rice instead of over spaghetti.

2.  You can prepare the dish ahead up until the point where you put the shrimp in the casserole dish, cover it and then refrigerate it.  About a half hour before you put it in the 400 degree oven, take it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature.  Then bake in the 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Pan Roasted Fish With Carmelized Grape Tomatoes and Onions

My cousin Debbie e-mailed me a recipe for fish that her husband Philip made for her a few days ago that sounded really delicious to me.  I made it last night for my son Danny and me.  It was as good as Debbie said it would be.  When Danny ate it, he said it looked and tasted as good as food from a fancy restaurant in New York City!  The great thing was that because I bought the fish on sale, the whole dish cost less than $10.00, and if we ate this out in a nice restaurant in New York City, it would have cost about $27.00 per person, or $54.00 for the two of us!  I made 1 pound of fish, which really was too much for only two people, but of course we ate it all, because it was just so delicious!

    • 1 pound of fish fillet (I used pollack which is similar to cod, but Philip used mahi mahi, so I recommend any mild fish that is a little thicker than flounder)
    • 1 box of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
    • 1 medium onion, cut into a small to medium dice
    • about 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • kosher salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • a few tablespoons of olive oil (I used light olive oil, but you could use extra virgin)
    • 1 tablespoon of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
  • fresh lemon slices for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a cast iron or other oven proof skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium flame.  Put the diced onions in, and sprinkle with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook for a minute or two, and then add all the tomatoes and the garlic.  Continue to cook over a medium flame.  Mix every so often.  Cook for about 10 minutes or so, just until the onions and tomatoes start to get a little carmelized.  When that happens, transfer the vegetable mixture to a bowl and set aside (You may mix in the chopped parsley at this point if you happen to have it).

In the same skillet,  add about 1 tablespoon of oil, and put the heat on medium.  Sprinkle the fish on one side with kosher salt and about 10 grinds of black pepper.  Put the fish in the skillet seasoned side down.  Then season the tops of the fish with some more grinds of pepper.  Cook no more than 1 minute on each side.  The fish cooks really fast, especially in a cast iron skillet.  Then spoon the tomatoes, onions, and garlic over the fish, and place the skillet in the preheated oven to finish the cooking.  The cooking time at this point will depend on the thickness of the fish.  I kept the fish in the oven for about 5 minutes.  Bring to the table and serve right from the cast iron skillet.

Note:  You could substitute shallots or red onion for the onion, and you could add a few fresh sliced mushrooms too, when you saute the vegetables.  You could also eliminate the salt, and just use the pepper.

Aunt Francine’s Amazing But Easy To Make Maryland Crab Cakes

If You Want A Recipe For Easy To Make, Authentic Maryland Style Crab Cakes, This Recipe Is A Winner!

When I got married, I loved going with my husband, Joe to visit his Aunt Francine and Uncle Richard Shure and their two children, Andi and Kenny in their home in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland.  Aunt Frannie and Uncle Richard were the warmest, most loving, and most fun people to be with.  But on top of that, Francine was an incredible cook, so of course I loved being invited over to their house, because I knew there would be some sort of delicious food there to eat!  Everybody in that family loved crabs and they especially loved Aunt Frannie’s  crab cakes.  Her recipe for crab cakes is so easy to make and so delicious, even a beginner cook can make them!

    • 1 pound of lump crabmeat (picked over to remove any bits of shell)
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 extra large or jumbo egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon  dry mustard or 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup seasoned or plain bread crumbs

Preheat oven to broil.  Cover a half sheet pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, and spray it with Pam or grease it with butter, margarine, or oil.

In large mixing bowl, mix bread crumbs, egg, mayonnaise, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, mustard, and Old Bay.  Add the crabmeat.  Gently fold the crabmeat in with a rubber spatula to avoid breaking the nice, big pieces of lump crabmeat. If the mixture seems too dry, add another tablespoon of mayonnaise.  Shape the mixture into 6 cakes, the way you would would make hamburger patties.  You want the crabcakes to be about 1 inch thick and about 3 inches in diameter.

Place the crabcakes on the prepared pan.  Broil about 5 minutes on each side.

Note:  Francine’s original recipe calls for using Italian seasoned bread crumbs, but if you want to cut down on salt, I suggest using plain bread crumbs because there are plenty of tasty spices already going on in this recipe.

Amazing Citrus Shrimp Scampi With Cilantro

The Orange Juice And The Cilantro In This Shrimp Scampi Recipe Make It Unique!

I developed this recipe because I wanted to make an easy but delicious shrimp dish for Thanksgiving a few years ago.  Basically I wanted to spice up my regular shrimp scampi recipe. Since my daughter and her husband are vegetarians, I always like to prepare something really special for them for a holiday meal.  They really loved this shrimp, and so did everyone else at the table.  I have made this recipe a few times since, and I am never disappointed.  You will be very happy when you see your guests’ reactions to this gorgeous and delicious shrimp dish!

  • 2 pounds of extra large frozen or fresh unpeeled uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined -in the 20 to 30 shrimp per pound range
  • 6 large or 8 medium cloves fresh garlic, 4 minced and 2 crushed, or 5 minced and 3 crushed)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (I use a mixture of extra virgin and light)
  • 3 naval oranges,  (zest and juice)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • about 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro (1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley)

Use a microplane to zest the oranges.  You want to zest only the orange part, not the white part.  Set aside the zest, and then juice the oranges and set aside.  Juice the one lemon and set aside (get rid of the seeds).  Mince 4 garlic cloves into fine slivers and crush the remaining 2 garlic cloves; set aside.

I recommend that you do your peeling and deveining of your shrimp a little earlier.  The peeled and deveined shrimp can sit in the fridge covered for a few hours.

Take the ready to cook shrimp out of the refrigerator.  Sprinkle it with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Pour the oil into a large skillet or frying pan.  Sprinkle the crushed red pepper flakes in the oil.  Put the flame on medium, and stir the flakes in the oil for a minute or two after the oil heats up.  Then dump all the garlic in and cook over low-medium flame for about 30 seconds.  Add the grated orange zest and cook for 1 minute more.  Do not let the garlic burn!  Your garlic will be cooking longer after you add the rest of the ingredients so you don’t want to cook it too long at this point.  Add the shrimp.  You can raise the temperature a little.  Let the shrimp sit for about 30 seconds, and then start to turn the shrimp.  After about 2 minutes add the orange juice and the lemon juice.  Toss until the shrimp have turned pink; they are done.  Taste one shrimp.  You want it to be firm, but not raw.  When the shrimp are done, take them out with a slotted spoon and place them on your serving platter, leaving the juice or sauce in the pan.  Then put the flame on medium and let the sauce reduce just a minute or two to concentrate the flavors. If you simmer the sauce too long, it will reduce down to nothing.  So don’t cook it too long.  You want to make sure you have enough sauce to nicely coat the shrimp.  Throw the chopped cilantro or parsley in when the sauce is reduced and stir for less than a minute. Pour sauce over the shrimp on the serving platter.

Note:  Even though I’m not crazy about cilantro,  I think it really does add something to this dish.  But if you really don’t like cilantro, use parsley instead.  

Grandma Bernice’s Famous Passover or Anytime Oven-Fried Fish

Try This Delicious Recipe For Oven-Fried Fish! 

This recipe was my mother in law, Bernice Kahn’s original recipe.  Bernice was an excellent cook, and this recipe for her oven fried fish was one of her specialties and a huge family favorite.  When I came into the family and everyone found out how much I liked to cook and eat really good food, they told me about Bernice’s wonderful oven fried fish.  After I got married, I started to make it and it was as delicious as everyone claimed!  My mother, father, and ex-husband Joe really loved it when I made this dish.  This fish is so easy to make, and it is delicious!

  • 1 1/2 pounds thicker mild fish fillets such as scrod or halibut
  • 1 to 1 1/2  sticks of melted margarine or butter (I use Fleischmann’s margarine)
  • 1 jumbo or 2 small eggs mixed with 1 teaspoon of water and a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • matzoh meal (which you pour onto a plate and then mix with some kosher salt and pepper)
  • fresh lemon slices, tartar sauce, and coctail sauce for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a half sheet pan with heavy duty aluminum foil.  Melt 1 1/2 sticks of margarine right in the oven on the sheet pan for 5 minutes or so.  Pour the melted margarine into a shallow bowl.   Dip the fish fillets first in seasoned egg mixture on both sides.  Then place on plate with matzoh meal which you have already seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Turn the fish fillets to make sure they are coated with the matzoh meal on both sides.  Then take the coated fish fillets and dip them on both sides into the  melted margarine, making sure that all surface areas of the fish are coated.  Then place on prepared baking pan.  Cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Then change the setting on the oven to broil.  Broil fish (not too close to the flame) for another 10 minutes.  Serve with fresh lemon wedges, tartar sauce, or coctail sauce.

Note:  Thinner fish fillets such as flounder or sole do not work out well for this dish because of the longer cooking time involved.