Tag Archives: fish

Plate Fun for a Valentine Catering Dinner for Eight


IMG_3241 IMG_3238Flower forward, flower back, I love to see multiple colors on a white plate. The salmon flew in (not literally of course) today–fresh and not frozen–and it was delicious.  The asparagus, not pencil thin but delicious non-the- less, roasted along with sliced Meyers lemons was excellent and so was the couscous with dried apricots. A very Indian raita like flavorful sauce finished it off perfectly.  A  colorful dish for a fun Valentine’s dinner for 8 is fun to create.

From Margot’s Table to Yours

Menu for the February 9th dinner for Pat Wilson and Milt Adam


Caesar Salad Spears

Jumbo Shrimp Accompanied with Marmalade/Horseradish sauce


Oven Baked Cashew Pacific King Salmon

 Apricot Couscous

Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Lemon Lovers Asparagus

Red and Green Salad with Pears, Cheese and a Cranberry Vinaigrette

Big Wood Bread’s Crusty Sliced Baguette


Linzer Torte

Bon Appétit

Catered by Margot Van Horn

“From My Table to Yours”

Offering Special B&B Styled Menus

From Pat in regards to my catering a future dinner and the one I did for her:


“..  Good luck on another successful dinner.  Ours was certainly wonderful” Pat

From one of the guests present at her dinner:


“Darling Pat,

Such a lovely evening with eight compatible people.  Dinner was marvelous, you and Margo created a splendid meal”

Shari and Randy

(in regards to the picture I sent her for the plating design)

“Beautiful!!!  What a masterpiece you have created, Margot…cannot wait.”


Janet’s Crab Mold Appetizer (an appetizer made the night before serving)


Janet’s Crab Mold Appetizer- (an appetizer made the night before serving)

My friend is a twin.  She lives here in Sun Valley but her sister lives in Alaska.  This is the sister’s recipe.  Her sister says that at her parties her guests can’t get enough of this and I can see why.  It’s delicious!! and like potato chips, hard to stop once you start. Even though I don’t favor cream cheese that much, Miracle Whip at all or processed foods like canned mushroom soup, however, with this particular recipe, II totally concede.  If you think like me, I believe that once you taste this, you will too.


1-      1-8oz. package of cream cheese

2-      1 small grated or finely chopped onion

3-      1/2 C. finely chopped celery

4-      1/2 C. cream of mushroom soup-undiluted

5-      1 package unflavored gelatin—(you only use 1 dissolved Tblsp. for this recipe)

6-      1/2 C. Miracle Whip

7-      1 ½ C. crab meat (fresh is the best however good canned , drained, will do)


  1. Heat soup in a medium sized pan and add the dissolved gelatin. (Dissolve the gelatin according to package directions.) Stir well.
  2. Add the cream cheese and the Miracle Whip.  Mix until melted.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients and put in a pretty greased mold.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Before serving, set mold in warm water to help release.
  6. Serve on a pretty plate surrounded by thinly sliced baguette bread, good crackers, and celery.

Lox Salad Spears Topped with Dill Sauce


lox spears

Lox Salad Spears Topped with Dill Sauce

Up to you as to how many you want to make

I love good lox.  Having lived in Beverly Hills, CA, I frequented Nate ‘n Als (established in 1945) a lot and they had the best lox ever.  Oh well, that was awhile ago and now I’m in a place where we do not, so far, have a  Nate ‘n Als. I wish we did so that I could revisit my childhood delights more frequently. I don’t travel much to Beverly Hills anymore and even though Nate ‘n Als supposedly delivers most everywhere in the US, that’s pretty pricey.  In any case, if you also like lox and some good unpackaged lox is available here in the valley, here’s a simple appetizer dish that is always a hit.

Ingredients needed:

  • Buy as much of good lox (preferably not pre-packaged) you wish to use.
  • Buy a combination of Belgium Endives and fresh Romaine Lettuce (as much as you visualize that you’ll need.  Left over’s always makes for a great salad.
  •  Also you’ll need the ingredients listed below for the Dill Sauce.

Dill Sauce Recipe 😦 makes about 2/3 Cup)

  1. 1/3 C. mayonnaise
  2. 1/3 C. sour cream
  3. 1 Tblsp. finely chopped onion
  4. 1 Tsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 Tsp. prepared horseradish
  6. 3/4 Tsp. dill weed
  7. 1/4 Tsp. garlic salt
  8. Pepper to taste


  • Mix the above Dill Sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  You can make this at the last moment however if you refrigerate this sauce for several hours it’ll make it taste even better.
  • On individual Belgium Endive and Romaine leaves, place a bit of lox and top it with the dill sauce and finalized with some capers.
  • Place on a pretty dish surrounded by some lemon slices.

Shrimp with 3 Different Sauces: Orange Marmalade/Horse Radish & Dill & Red


Shrimp with 3 Different Sauces

Orange Marmalade and Horse-Radish Sauce

 Dill Sauce

Red Sauce

I do love shrimp and really, they are light on the belly and perfect to serve as an appetizer before a big meal.  I like to serve these three sauces along with them to give a person a choice of tastes.  Additionally, the easiest jumbo shrimp to get are those that are frozen and precooked but honestly, if you buy the deveined but uncooked frozen jumbo shrimp, they are FAR superior in texture and taste.  It’s really so easy to follow the directions on the uncooked package if you get it that way and if not, it’s still easy to do.  If frozen, defrost the shrimp in a colander with cold water running over them—for about 10 minutes.  Then, bring a large pot of water to a boiling point and add about 3 Tblsp. of salt per quart of water, dump the shrimp in the boiling water, bring back to a boil and then simmer uncovered for about 3 minutes—or till the shrimp are red and you can’t see their translucency.  Don’t let them boil too long though because then they’ll be tough.  I taste one at the 3 minute point and usually it’s just perfect then.  Drain them in a colander and plunge them in ice water so that they will stop cooking immediately.

Main  Ingredients:

  1. 2 ½ lbs large shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked and chilled.

Marmalade/Horse Radish Sauce: (makes 1 C)

  1. 3/4  C. Orange Marmalade
  2. 1/4 C. Orange Juice
  3. 2 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice
  4. 1/2 Tsp powdered ginger
  5. 1 Tsp. Prepared white horseradish
  6. 2 Tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  7. 1/2 Tsp salt

Instructions for the Marmalade/Horse-Radish Sauce:

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Serve at room temperature.

Dill Sauce: (makes about 1 C)

  1. 3/4 C. olive oil
  2. 3 Tblsp. lemon juice
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1/2 Tsp. dry mustard
  5. 1 Tblsp. fresh chopped dill or 2 tsp. dried dill weed
  6. 1/2 Clove garlic (optional)


  1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Let stand overnight in the refrigerator.  Discard the garlic and serve the sauce chilled.

Red Sauce

Ingredients: (makes about 1 C)

  1. 1 C. ketchup
  2. 2 Tblsp. cider or wine vinegar or lemon juice
  3. 4-6 drops of Tobacco sauce
  4. 1 Tblsp. horseradish
  5. 1 Tblsp. minced chives or grated onion
  6. 1/4 C. finely chopped celery
  7. 1 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  8. 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  9. 1 Tblsp minced parsley

Combine above ingredients well and use for shrimp dipping.  Chill before serving.  (Makes about 1 ¼ C.)

Angel Hair with Herbed Shrimp


herbed shrimp on red pasta with herbed shrimp

Angel Hair with Herbed Shrimp

Serves 4

Fresh shrimp bought from your fish monger is really superior, however, often when I want a last minute meal and don’t have anything much in the refrigerator I dig out my shrimp bags from the freezer.  Shrimp are not very high in calories and I enjoy them—even if they do come from a foreign country.  I know that there is controversy about this. No matter, for my taste, this is an easy dish to fix and I think that it’s good for just you and yourself (the way I often am) or for your family or even for a company dish—accompanied by a delicious green salad.   I like to use the two varieties of shrimp listed below just for the fun of it.  As well, for sure you can use fresh uncooked shrimp purchased from your fish monger and then it’ll be even better.  You have a bit more work to do, but there’s nothing like fresh uncooked shrimp.


8 oz. angel hair pasta

6 oz. frozen cooked tail on shrimp (about 1 ½ Cups)

6 oz. frozen cooked tail off shrimp (about 1 ½ Cups)

1 – 1 ½ C. sliced fresh mushrooms

1/4 to 1/2 C. chopped fresh tomatoes or drained canned tomatoes (depends how much you want the tomatoes to influence your dish)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 Tblsp. olive oil

1/4 C. white wine

1/8 C. lemon juice

3/4 to 1 C. chicken stock(and more if you feel that the sauce needs it)

1 Tblsp. snipped fresh basil or 1 Tsp. dried basil, crushed

1 ½ Tsp. snipped fresh oregano or 1/2 Tsp. dried oregano, crushed

2 Tbsp. flour

S&P to taste

1/4-1/2 C. shredded Parmesan for garnish

1/4- 1/2 C. snipped parsley for garnish


  1. If necessary, thaw shrimp according to package directions.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions and keep warm.
  3. Mix the wine, chicken stock, lemon juice and herbs in a cup or small bowl.
  4. In a large sauce pan, warm the olive oil and place the flour in it along with the garlic and onion. Sauté gently over medium heat till they are translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Then add the mushrooms and keep stirring till they moisten. (another 3-5 minutes).
  5. Add the liquid ingredients mentioned in #3 to the pan and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly.
  6. Add shrimp to the mixture; cover and simmer about 2 minutes or if need be, till shrimp turns pink.
  7. Stir in tomatoes.
  8.  Add S&P to taste.
  9. Place the pasta on a pretty dish, top with the shrimp sauce and then a final sprinkling of the Parmesan and parsley.
  10. PS–if you want to make the sauce a bit creamier and richer, add some half-and-half to it at the end.  Be careful to not boil it.

Ceviche and Margaritas To Enjoy On The Pavillion Lawn


Ceviche 004

Ceviche ( a perfect appetizer) and Margaritas To Enjoy On The Pavillion Lawn

Serves about 4 -1 ½ Cups Each

Yes indeed the Sun Valley Summer Symphony is in full swing and I am loving it.  What fun to see everyone on the lawn relaxing, munching, imbibing and listening to the wonderful notes floating through the air! It’s a perfect time for family, loved ones and friends to gather together along with a sumptuous something on which to dine.  So, here are two easy something’s (which I borrowed) for you to make and treat your group.



1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces (I used the $1 frozen packaged variety from Albertsons)

1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, minced

1/2 C. lime juice

1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tsp. chopped fresh oregano

1/4 Tsp. salt

1 bell pepper green, red, or yellow or mixed, halved crosswise and thinly sliced

1 large tomato, chopped (make sure it’s tasty)

1/2 C. very thinly SLICED white onion

1/4 C. quartered green olives (yes, even if you don’t like olives)

1 avocado, chopped


Place tilapia in a medium skillet.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. (I slightly unfroze my Albertsons packaged tilapia first.)

In a medium sized bowl, place jalapeno, lime juice, 2 Tblsp. cilantro, oregano and salt. Whisk the mixture. Gently fold in the bell pepper, tomato, sliced onion, and olives. Finally, gently fold in the tilapia which has now cooled a bit and been cut into pieces into the mixture. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes—several hours is even better, so make this in the morning of your picnic.

When taking to the picnic put the ceviche in a pretty dish topped with the remaining cilantro and avocado that has been sprinkled with some lemon to keep it from turning brown, and put a good spill proof cover on the dish. Serve this with warm corn tortillas. Warm the tortillas in some paper towels which have been moistened in your micro—just a minute (mas o menos), and then put them in aluminum foil to keep warm for later.  To serve, let everyone scoop a generous portion of ceviche in their corn tortilla. Or if you wish, you can make your own fat free tortilla chips (350 oven-place tortillas on rack-after 3 minutes or so see if crisp enough to break into chips) or buy some. Make sure you have some sturdy plates and good napkins as well.


Buy some Lime or Lemon Sorbet, put in a freezer bag along with a baggie of ice cubes from your freezer; take a bottle of gold tequila; a bottle of club soda; some fun glasses; 3 plastic containers (large enough that your glass rim can fit in it), one filled with some lemon or lime juice, and the second with salt and the third with sugar for glass rimming,; straws and spoons for sipping, stirring, and perhaps just eating; and a small baggie with thinly sliced limes. (Hint: For glass rimming, dip your glass in the lime or lemon juice container first and then dip into the sugar or salt containers.)When you are ready for your Margarita, place a generous scoop of the sorbet in the glass and pour a jigger or so of tequila over it.  Stir just a bit with your straw————-and there you are. Add some ice cubes and club soda if it’s too vigorous for your palate. YUM but of course as always, remember, have a designated driver if you are driving.  For the DD, try the sorbet and a bit of sparkling water with some sprits/slices of lemon or lime or just let the DD enjoy spooning the sorbet directly in the mouth.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Salmon and Corn Chowder with Fava Beans


Salmon and Corn Chowder with Fava Beans

Serves 4 generous servings.

Have you noticed?  Our wonderful Hagerman Corn is back.  It’s plentiful and priced right.  YUM!! I say.  Salmon has also been well priced lately and the weather is sort of cool so that makes me think of a good chowder.  Here’s one I like a lot and darn it, when I make it, it’s like potato chips—I can’t stop eating when I should.


1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips

1 onion, chopped

4 boiling potatoes—I used the white kind, I didn’t peel, cut into ½ inch dice

3 C. chicken broth

1 3/4 Tsp. salt

1/4- 1/2 Tsp. dill

1/4 to 1/2 Tsp. thyme or several sprigs

1/4 Tsp. fennel seeds

1 or 2 bay leaves

1/4 Tsp. coarse style pepper

4 ears corn kernels (you can use frozen, but why?)

1 lb. salmon filets—with skin taken off

1 Cup fava beans (you can substitute lima beans or even green peas)

3/4 C. half and half (I do use this and don’t use milk)

for a topping, you can use chopped chives or scallion tops


In a LARGE pot, cook the bacon till crisp.  Remove it with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  If necessary, pour off all but 1 Tblsp. of the fat (my bacon was so lean, I had to add a little olive oil) and add the onion.  Cook over moderate/low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent (about 5 min.)

Add the potatoes, broth, drained bacon, and the S&P and the other herbs to the pot and simmer, covered for 10 min.  Put the corn kernels in the pot and cook, covered, until the potatoes and corn are just done (about 5 minutes more).

Add the salmon, fava beans and bring back to a simmer.  Don’t overcook the fish! At this point, stir in the half-and-half and serve the chowder topped with the chives and with a crusty baguette.

Note: It’s even better the next day.




Another Bouillabaisse–the 15 minute version-And It Features Fish


15- Minute Bouillabaisse

(Thanks to Sam Gugino in his Cooking to Beat The Clock cook book.)

Serves 4


8 Tblsp. olive oil

1 medium onion—peeled and quartered

4 cloves garlic—-peeled (save one for the Rouille.)

1  15-oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained or 1  15-oz. can whole tomatoes drained and coarsely chopped

2   8- oz. bottles clam juice

2 tsp. ground fennel (or seeds is OK too)


1/2 tsp. saffron threads or ground saffron

3   4-oz. pieces monkfish or swordfish (Tillapia works OK too)—cut fish pieces in half

3   4-oz. pieces halibut, snapper, or sea bass—but fish pieces in half

8  oz. cleaned squid bodies cut into rings (since I don’t live near the ocean, I use shrimp that has been mostly defrosted if frozen.)

For the Rouille:

1 small French baguette

¼ C. roasted bell peppers from a jar

1 egg yolk


1.Put the onion and 3 cloves of the garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse till chopped.

2. Put 1 tblsp. oil in large deep heavy skilled over medium-high heat and when oil is hot, raise temperature to high and cook onion and garlic in it.

3. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, fennel, and S&P to taste to the skillet.

4. Over the skillet, crush ¼ tsp saffron between your fingers or use ¼ tsp ground saffron.

Stir well, cover and bring to boil.

5. Then reduce heat to medium, add the fish, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the squid or shrimp for the final minute.

6. While the seafood cooks, turn the broiler on to high in preparation to toast the bread. If you wish to turn the broiler on at the beginning of cooking the bouillabaisse, do that. Cut the baguette on the diagonal into 9 half-inch slices.  Put eight of them on a baking sheet and toast both sides in the broiler, about 1 minute on each side.

To make the accompanying rouille:

1. Drop the remaining garlic clove in the chute of the food processor with the motor running.

2.Stop the motor, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatulas.

3.Add the roasted peppers, egg yolk (or ¼ C. egg substitute), reserved bread slice and the remaining ¼ tsp. saffron.

4. Puree, then, with the motor running, gradually add the remaining 7 tblsp. olive oil through the chute until the mixture has the consistency of mayonnaise.

5. Season with salt.

(I do the whole rouille in a blender and it turns out just fine.)

How To Serve:

Divide the seafood and broth among 4 pretty soup plates.  Spread the rouille on the toasted bread slices and put 2 slices on top of each soup plate.  Serve the remaining rouille in a bowl at the table.

Margot’s Easy Fish Stew


Margot’s Easy Fish Stew

Serves 4

Have you found those wonderful 4 oz packets of frozen salmon, tilapia, sole, etc. at Albertsons—just $1 apiece? They are such an easy thing to keep in your freezer for a fast meal for one or more and they are healthy as well.  You can bake them as I often do: frozen and sprayed with a little olive oil and topped with a bit of lemon/pepper seasoning; placed within an oven proof dish lined with aluminum foil which I fold slightly over the fish; and baked at 350 for 25-30 minutes—-delicious, nutritious and good on the tummy as well. I like it that way better than the microwave way—but a lot of people disagree with me about that.  However, here’s a dish that’s different and delicious as well.  I like it summer or winter:


Ingredients needed:

½ C. Minced Bacon

2 Large onions, roughly chopped

About 1 Lb. of Baking Potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes


1 Tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves or 1/2 Tsp. Dried Thyme (I am ultra generous with the thyme.)

6 Cups Warmed Fish or Chicken Stock

12 Oz. of Tilapia (3 packets) cut into chunks

8 Oz. of Salmon (2 packets) cut into chunks and skin removed

(I leave both packets out for a bit before I cut the frozen fish)

10 Oz. Frozen Shrimp-slightly thawed

Juice of 1 Lemon

Minced Fresh Parsley for Garnish



  1. Cook the bacon in a deep saucepan on a medium high heat.  Cook until it’s crisp and remove with a slotted spoon onto a dish with a paper towel to drain.
  2. Keep heat on medium and cook onions in bacon fat, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are well mixed with the onions and covered with the fat.  Season with the S&P and thyme, stir and then add the stock and the bacon.
  3. Cook over medium heat without a cover until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add the fish (until opaque but not falling apart) and the shrimp and cook without a cover for another 5-10 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Add the lemon juice and ladle into bowls.  Garnish with chopped parsley, serve, and bon appetite.

  Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.