Chef Alan Zox’s Hangover Cure Soup

We’re certain that none of our readers will “overly-imbibe” during the holidays but  there’s always that relative or house guest who may not be paying attention.  So you can save the day for some unfortunate soul who perhaps had a little too much eggnog or wassail.  We hear that this soup really works.  Thank you Chef Alan Zox!

Garlic Soup For Hangovers
Serves 4 to 6
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of finely diced white onion
5 tbsp mashed fresh garlic (1 head of garlic)                                                     
1 tsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
6 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper to taste
Croutons for garnish (optional)

1- Heat the oil and butter in a medium soup pan on low.
2- When the butter has melted, add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until soft.
3- Add the flour and stir. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock, vinegar and salt. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Nance’s Stuffed Mushrooms

About 20 years ago, my friend Nancy Tilton and I didn’t have a lot of money – but we loved parties and were happiest when our homes were filled with happy friends.  Nancy created this recipe that we tweaked here and there.  I entered it in a contest (sponsored by one of the sherry producers) and we won an honorable mention.  This recipe is easy to make, inexpensive, and always a hit.

Nance’s Stuffed Mushrooms                                                                                                   
24 medium mushrooms
1/2 stick butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth.  Remove stems and chop.  Combine chopped stems, onion, pepper, oregano, bread crumbs and garlic powder.  Saute in melted butter 5 minutes.  Add sherry and simmer 5/10 minutes more.  Butter mushroom caps.  Stuff mushrooms with chopped mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Yummy!
(You can make these well in advance of your party and just pop them in the oven when you are ready.)

Gus’s Stuffed Clams

Well, the holiday season is just about upon us and it’s time for lots of parties and entertaining.  How lucky we are to know Gus Frederick, the retired Director of Mashpee Recreation.  Gus is the person who helped create the Christmas parade and Octoberfest and the fabulous Fourth of July Gala with bands and fireworks and lots of exciting foodHe really knows how to make fun happen, in addition to creating the Triathlon and a terrific Kids Summer Camp.

Retirement for Gus has not meant catching up on his reading.  You’re lucky to find him at home as Gus and his lovely wife Linda are often off traveling to visit his 3 delightful daughters, their spouses and his 6 energetic grandchildren (including two sets of twins).  Gus is an avid gardner and shell fisherman and, if you’re lucky, you can sample his stuffed clams when you stop by.  Here, he shares his recipe with you.

Gus’s Stuffed Clams

8 Quahogs (minimum)   Save Shells (Quahogs are very large clams.)
1/4 cup reserved clam liquid from steaming                                                                  
6 tbls Butter
2 tbls minced or crushed garlic
Pinch of Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
2 Tbls Chopped Parsley
8 oz Linguicia sausage
1/2 cup minced onions
1/4 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced green & red peppers
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup crushed Ritz Crackers – more or less
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Following can be mixed together beforehand

1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper – more if wanted
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp dried thyme


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Steam clams in pot with about 1” water until shells open. Set aside to cool. Then remove clams and chop. Save clam shells and liquid.

In a frying pan, melt 1/2 of butter and saute Linquicia over medium/high heat and cook for two minutes. Add onions, celery, peppers and mushrooms and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and mixed seasonings and cook for 2 more minutes. Finally add chopped clams and Ritz Crackers then remove from heat. Stir in the reserved clam broth and parsley.


Pack the stuffing mixture into each shell. Top each with cheese. (Can be garnished with parsley and/or pinch of Paprika. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Note:  If you have some littleneck shells, you can stuff them and serve as a passed appetizer since these shells are much smaller than quahog shells.

Chef Morse’s Recipe for Puff Pastry Croustade with Pears, Candied Walnuts and Gorgonzola

 A recipe from Chef Kitty Morse’s “Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion with Recipes” (Chef’s Press 2015).  This cookbook is now available as well as Chef Morse’s other cookbooks “Mint Tea and Minarets” and “A Biblical Feast” – they are all available as GREAT Christmas presents.  If you would like to order a signed copy of Kitty’s new cookbook, go to her website:  Meanwhile, enjoy Kitty’s recipe for Puff Pastry Croustade with Pears, Candied Walnuts and Gorgonzola.


Puff Pastry Croustade with Pears, Candied Walnuts and Gorgonzola         

Serves 6                                                    

                                                                                           Photo Michael Pawlenty

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to directions
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic  vinegar
1 large Bosc pear, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
Candied walnuts
Mixed blossoms, for garnish

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper lightly dusted with flour carefully unfold one puff pastry rectangle. Rewrap other sheet for future use.

Cut off ½ inch of dough along each edge. Dip your fingers in milk and dab some along each side. “Paste” trimmed pieces along edges. Prick base with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much during baking, line bottom with dried beans or pastry beads.

Bake 15 minutes until lightly puffed and golden. Set aside.

In a skillet, melt butter, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Saute pear slices until lightly caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

To bake: Line puff pastry with pears, and sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Slide pastry onto a serving platter, sprinkle with blossoms, cut in squares and serve warm.

Diane Brooke’s Chocolate Sherry Cream Bars

Meet the lovely Diane Brooke, gardner, baker, and community volunteer.  Di is a long time member of the Garden Club of Hyannis, having served as Treasurer, Membership Chairman, and always participating in their Christmas Showhouse at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, next in 2017.  Di loves gardening and has traveled widely, including to many well known gardens from England to China.


 Her youngest son, his beautiful wife and  two adorable granddaughters live nearby and the  whole family enjoys boating and the beaches of  Cape Cod.  Diane and her husband John live on a tidal river full of bird life, kayakers, and small boaters where there is always something to see.  Di loves her home and family but is always ready to take off on the next big adventure.  She shares her recipe for Chocolate Sherry Cream Bars that   she always makes when she has to bring a dessert.  This treat never fails to impress!


                                                  Chocolate Sherry Cream Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Base:
4 oz. baking chocolate
2 C. sugar                                                                                                                                        1 C.butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1C. flour

1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. cream
4 C. confectioners’ sugar (1 box)
3 tbsp. sherry

1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate bits
3 tbsp. water
4 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Melt chocolate & butter over boiling water, cool slightly.  Beat eggs until light, add sugar gradually.  Then add chocolate mixture, flour & vanilla.  Beat for 1 minute.  Pour into greased 10”x14” pan.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool.  You can stop here and save this in pan until the day you’re serving these.

Filling:  Beat butter and sugar together, add cream & sherry gradually.  When light & fluffy, spread over base.  Chill in refrigerator.

Topping:  Melt chocolate bits with water and butter over boiling water.  Mix well.  Drizzle over filling and brush to spread.  Let harden before cutting.

Cut into small pieces, these are very rich.

Nutty Granola Bars and Brussels Sprouts Snacks

Two treats this week as Chef Alan Zox gets ready for            Halloween.  If you really don’t want to treat the little (and big) goblins with tons of  sugar, try making some of these Granola Bars.  And the Brussels sprouts mix is healthy and great for snacking, whether you are big or small.


Peanut or any Nut Butter Granola Bars

Practically a Power Bar.  Mix 1/2 cup peanut or nut butter, 1/4 cup corn oil; 3 cups granola . Press into an 8 or 9 inch square pan and let cool in the fridge. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve. Keep in an air tight container for up to 4 days.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Crushed Toasty Walnuts & Golden Raisins

Cut 1 lb. Brussels sprouts into quarters and roast in the oven at 400F for 20 minutes until crispy. Separately toast chopped walnuts. Combine with the golden raisins and 1 tsp sea salt.

John Perry’s Yummy Yams

We have the incredible Cape Cod Baseball League that sends talented college players to the ‘Bigs’ year after year.  Then there is our beloved Red Sox who really didn’t cut it this year – but wait ’till next year!  But you may not know the Cape Cod Senior Softball League: – a group of 18 teams and 250 players who are some of the most competitive players around.  This group of over 55 guys (many in their 70′s and even 80′s) is really serious about the game.  Each September following the regular season games, they host the “Cape Cod Senior Classic”, a non-qualifier softball tournament that is a 6 day event attracting over 50 teams from the East Coast and Canada.

One of the “ace” Players from the J.C. Ricotta team is John Perry – what a catch!

                                        (Photo courtesy of The Cape Cod Chronicle)

John worked for the Cape Cod Times for 30 years in the advertising department and currently works part time at Oyster Harbors.  John and his wife (of 52 years) Ellen believe that you need to keep Father Time in its place.  They  both work out year round to keep in shape.  John firmly believes that the best recipe for remaining forever young is to keep active.  Here he shares his recipe for Yummy Yam Casserole.

Yummy Yam Casserole                                                                                                              

4 pounds of yams
2 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of allspice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
6 ounces of pecans

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Poke yams in several places with a fork, then cook on high power in microwave oven until heated through and soft, about 20 minutes.  When cooled, remove skins and place yams in a large bowl.

Beat yams until smooth.  Then beat in one egg at a time, blending after each addition.  Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons melted butter, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg; beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
Transfer mixture to an ungreased 3 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with pecans.

Optional:  Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and pour melted butter over.

Bake for 25 minutes.

This is a delicious fall treat.



Richard Picardi’s Red Wine Lentil Soup

   Meet Richard Picardi, the former owner of the Brooklyn Dodger Sports Bars and  Restaurants that won a landmark trademark in a case brought by Major League Baseball and The Los Angeles Dodgers.  Richard is currently Director of Business Writing at St. John’s University Center for Teaching and Learning.  Dividing his time, Richard is a resident of both Yarmouth Port and Manhattan.  Richard is a terrific cook as evidenced by his recipe for Red Wine Lentil Soup (that you can also make into an entree).  You’ll love his recipe on a cool fall day.


Red Wine Lentil Soup – or Entree

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery (or more onions)                     
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup red split lentils (Trader Joe’s red split lentils plastic bag – no need to  pre-soak)
Chopped parsley (2-4 Tbl.)
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch of dried powdered clove
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wilt  onions and celery in the olive oil.
Add crushed tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in lentils, parsley, wine, garlic, salt and pepper and powdered clove. Simmer 25 minutes longer.
As entrée: To make into a meal, brown 2 links of turkey sausage and cut into thin slices. Remove and set aside before wilting the onions. Add turkey sausage slices and 1/2 cup (dry before cooking) of orzo when soup is cooked.

Chef Kitty Morse’s Recipe for Naranjada: Orangeade with Orange Blossom Water

Our dear friend and cookbook author Kitty Morse (Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion ,Chefs Press 2015) always has something unique to share.  On Cape Cod, in September and October, we can unexpectedly get some very warm days.  There is nothing more refreshing than a citrus drink (non-alcoholic if you have to work all afternoon) to perk up your day.  This one is even better than a screwdriver.

Naranjada: Orangeade with Orange Blossom Water

In North Africa and the Middle East, fragrant waters such as rose water, geranium water or mint water, are often added to fruit salads or fresh fruit drinks. In Morocco, orange blossom water is the favorite.                          Photo by Michael Pawlenty              

makes 1 quart


3/4 cup sugar
3 cups water
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons orange blossom water
Orange slices or orange blossoms, for garnish


For the simple syrup, combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and stir to dissolve. Cool. Set aside 1/4 cup, and reserve the rest, in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

In a pitcher, combine the juice, remaining water, ¼ cup simple syrup and orange blossom water. Stir to blend. Chill. To serve, pour into a tall glass over ice cubes, garnish with an orange slice or a blossom or two.

Mary Jane’s Zucchini Bread

Dave and Mary Jane Parsekian are residents of Florida now but each summer, they make the trek north.  For many years, Dave worked for a tour company on Cape Cod, bringing thousands of tourists from all over the world to visit our beloved Cape Cod.  Each time the Parsekian’s join us for dinner, Mary Jane brings some little goodie, that have become some of our favorite recipes.  With an abundance of zucchini in our garden, I’m always looking for recipes that will freeze well.

The freezer loves this recipe.  I bake the ‘bread’ in small pans (3 x 5 1/2″) and get 5 or 6 breads from this recipe.  We enjoy one and I wrap the rest tightly in plastic wrap, pop them in a freezer bag and into the freezer they go.  When a friend has a birthday or when we’re invited out to dinner, I take out a bread and add a lovely ribbon and it’s ready to go.  You will love this one!



Makes 2- 8 1/4 x 4 1/4 breads or 5 small ones.                                                   


Beat until thick:
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup canola oil – or use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 8 1/4 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 mashed banana – optional

Combine and add:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1  1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup walnuts – optional


Pour into 2 large or 5- 6 small greased and floured pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour for large pans and about 45 minutes for small pans.  Cool for 10 minutes and turn out.  These are really yummy for breakfast or for a tea time treat!