Tomales Bay Oysters on the Half-Shell Mignonette Sauce (Serves 2)

12 ea. fresh oysters (we used local Tomales Bay)

Mignonette Sauce:

1 shallot, minced
2 Tbs. virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
fresh ground pepper to taste

Rock salt


1. Combine shallots, olive oil, vinegar, and season with pepper. Set aside.

2. Place a kitchen towel over your hand, place an oyster on top of the towel, tightly gripping the oyster in the palm of your hand. USING AN OYSTER KNIFE ONLY, wedge the tip of the blade into the narrow point at the end of the oyster, working the blade back and forth. Gradually you will feel the muscle release. Run the the blade along the length of the oyster and pry it open. Loosen the meat from the muscle so you can "slide" it out of its shell. Repeat with all 12 oysters. Discard the top shell.

3. Place a bed of rock salt on your serving plate. Place 6 oysters in a circle pattern. Drizzle the mignonette sauce over top of the oysters using a spoon.

4. Serve immediately.

Butter Lettuce with Blood Orange, Fennel, and Cilantro Cumin Vinaigrette
(Serves 2)

1 head butter lettuce
1 blood orange, peeled and sliced in thin slices
1/2 bulb fresh fennel, diced

Cilantro Cumin Vinaigrette:

1/2 cp. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. grainy Dijon mustard
1.5 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
1.5 cps. virgin olive oil
several sprigs minced cilantro
salt & pepper to taste


1. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor.

2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil to form dressing. Season to taste.

3. Using dinner plate, place washed greens onto plate, arrange blood orange slices and diced fennel in a pleasing pattern. Gently dress salad with vinaigrette.

Hint: Don't "overdress" the greens- use a light hand.

Thyme and Citrus Baked Salmon Filets (Serves 2)

1/2 tsp. olive oil
2 (4 oz.) fresh salmon filets
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. minced fresh grated orange ring
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Put oil on bottom of baking dish and rub salmon in oil.

3. Combine thyme and orange rind and rub over fish. Season to taste w/salt and pepper.

4. Bake approximately 15-18 min. until gently firm to the touch. DO NOT OVERBAKE. The fish should be rare to medium rare inside.

Whole Wheat Couscous with Kalamata Olives & Sundried Tomatoes (Serves 2)

1 cp. whole wheat couscous
1 cp. water
1/2 cp. Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cp. sundried tomatoes, rehydrated if dried, and sliced in thin strips


1. Boil the water in a sauce pan. Add cous cous, remove from heat, cover with lid and let sit 5 minutes.

2. Fluff couscous with a fork. Add olives and sundried tomates and mix gently.


Fresh artichokes
1/2 lemon (juice)
1 tsp mayonaisse (or butter)
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp dijon mustard


1. Remove course outer leaves of the artichoke. Steam artichokes until tender (5-7 min).

2. Mix together lemon juice, mayonaisse (or butter), dill, and dijon mustard to use for dipping.

3. Remind your guests that the best part of the artichoke is the tender bottom heart.

4. Make sure you have a little bowl for the leaves.

Sorbet in Phyllo with Fresh Raspberries (Serves 2)

1 small tub good quality raspberry sorbet
3-17 by 12 inch phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen, stacked between 2 sheets waxed paper and
covered with a towel
1/2 cp. fresh raspberries
mint sprigs for garnish

Cooking spray in "butter" flavor

4 small porcelain ramekins


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Take the first sheet of phyllo, spray with cooking spray, and repeat until all sheets are stacked on top of each other. Cut until a 6 in. long square is produced. Stack all sheets of dough, spraying between layers.

3. Invert the 4 ramekins, place on top of a cookie sheet. Gently drape the phyllo squares over top of the ramekin bottoms, very gently pressing down. You want the shape of the ramekin to be produced during the baking process.

4. Place the ramekins/phyllo into the oven and bake approximately 15 min. until lightly golden.

5. Allow the pastry to cool to room temperature and GENTLY remove the ramekins.

6. Scoop out the sorbet and artfully place into the phyllo cups. Decorate with raspberries & mint garnish.

Recipes from "Picnic in a Vineyard" (August 1996):
Orange, Fennel & Garlic Marinated Olives
Cannelli Bean & Red Onion Salad
Sliced Tomato, Basil & Buffalo Mozzarella Salad
Grilled Tri Color Peppers with Rosemary & Thyme
Caponata & Fontina Sandwiches on Sliced Ciabatta Char-Roasted Tomato, Eggplant & Pepper Soup

Recipes from "Tailgate Party" (October 1996):
Spicy Curried Crab Bisque
Cold Herbed Turkey Meatloaf
Balsamic, Olive Oil & Garlic Potato Salad
French Lentil Salad
Baby Greens with a Cumin Vinaigrette
Classic Creme Brulee w/Fresh Fruit Garnish

Recipes from "Fall in Brown County, Indiana" (November-December 1996):
Traditional Holiday Turkey Dinner-with dressing, yams, cranberries etc.

Look for recipes submitted by other readers in the community cookbook.