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Ann Meekins Real Estate with two office to serve you in Irvington and Urbanna Virginia

Recipes and Wines

Welcome to the Mystery Diners recipe site!

This collection of recipes, known as “Barnes Creek favorites” by family and friends, evolved over the past thirty years.  It is our pleasure to share them with you.  We plan to add a new recipe every month, more or less, so check back often.  The most recent recipe will be highlighted in red.

Let us know how you like them.  Contact us at



Alaskan King Crab with Pasta and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce  Grilled Beef Tenderloin  Chicken Maison
Steve's Famous Crab Cakes Virginia Pan Fried Oysters   with Smithfield Ham  Pork Scaloppini with Gorgonzola, Wine, and Rosemary Cream Sauce
 Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Shallots Crispy Chicken with Orange Peel   ...the all time Barnes Creek favorite! Crispy Fried Soft Shell Crabs   ...and Crispy Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp
 Vietnamese Fried Rice  Penne with Shrimp and Morel Mushrooms Tagliarelle with Oyster Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, and Radicchio

Shrimp Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce   ...different, easy, wonderful! Linguini with Basil, Roasted Pine Nuts and a crunchy Topping    ...easy and a great summer meal! Barnes Creek "Crabby" Egg Rolls   ...unlike any other, fun to make with kids!
NY Deli-Style Potato Salad   ...This is the real thing and worth the effort! Eggplant Stacks baked with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Fresh Mozzarella  ...Totally new taste for an old favorite.  A must Try! Chicken Saltimbocca  ...a wonderful and simple Roman dish! 
Ham Biscuits   ...Great for holiday parties!

Sauted Rockfish with Beurre Blanc Sauce




                         Beurre Blanc Sauce

1/4  cup             dry white wine

1/4  cup             white-wine vinegar

2     tablespoon   finely chopped shallot

1/3  cup             heavy cream

1/4  teaspoon     salt

1/8  teaspoon     white pepper, or to taste

1     cup             unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled (2 sticks)

1     tablespoon  small capers

                         For the Fish

3     pounds       fresh rockfish cut into 1/2 pound portions - see tips

6                        eggs,  beaten

1     cup             flour for dusting + or -

12   ounces        Shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced  - optional

3     tablespoon  olive oil for sauteing - divided


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. (only if the fish is 1 inch or more thick)

1   If the fish is less than 1 inch thick, finishing in the oven is not necessary.

Prepare the Sauce

2   Boil wine, vinegar, and shallot in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until liquid is syrupy and reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add cream, salt, and white pepper and boil 1 minute. Reduce heat to moderately low and add a few tablespoons butter, whisking constantly. Add remaining butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly and adding new pieces before previous ones have completely liquefied (the sauce should maintain consistency of hollandaise), lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture.

3   Remove from heat, add capers, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to assemble the dish.


Prepare the Mushrooms

4   Remove the stems and thinly slice the mushrooms (into 1/4 inch slices).  Sauté in a medium sauté pan with 1/3 of the olive oil over medium heat until just tender.  Keep warm until assembling the dish.


Prepare the fish

5   Dust each piece of fish in flour and shake off the excess.  Lightly beat the eggs and dip each piece of fish into the egg wash until completely covered.  Heat 2/3rds of the olive oil in large sauté or frying pan over medium high heat. Sauté the fish on each side until golden brown adding additional olive oil if the pan becomes too dry.  Work in batches to avoid over crowding the pan.  When the fish is golden brown on each side, remove from heat and check the center to be certain it is just opaque.  If the fish is thick (more than 1 inch), it may be necessary to finish cooking in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for a few minutes.    Simply place the frying pan in the oven.  Do not over cook!  Three to five minutes in the oven should be sufficient!


Assemble the dish

6   Arrange the fish on a serving platter.  Divide the mushrooms placing equal portions on each serving.  Spoon the Beurre Blanc sauce over the fish.  Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired, and serve.

Servings: 6


Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (15.4 ounces).

Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.


Recipe Tips

This dish works equally well with Flounder, Sole, Grouper, or Halibut.

The mushrooms are totally optional!


Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click HERE

24  rolls

1/2 pounds Swiss cheese

1/2 pound Genuine Smithfield ham,  thinly sliced

1 1/2 sticks butter

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 small onion, grated


Mix softened butter with poppy seeds, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and grated onion.

Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.


Butter both sided of the rolls.  Arrange ham and grated cheese on the buttered rolls.  Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 400 deg. F for 10 minutes.  Rolls can be prepared ahead of time and frozen before baking.  Just thaw later and follow baking directions above.

Serves 24


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 250.1 calories; 60% calories from fat; 17.1g total fat; 60.0mg cholesterol; 458.7mg sodium; 105.1mg potassium; 16.0g carbohydrates; 1.2g fiber; 1.7g sugar; 8.2g protein.

Recipe Source

Author: Anne Payne


For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE


Chicken Saltimbocca

3 pounds chicken breasts, boneless, skinless     

6 ounces Prosciutto, thinly sliced

1/2 ounce fresh sage leaves - large

1 cup flour - for dusting the chicken

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

Cream Sherry wine

3 cups sweet Marsala wine, reduced by 50%

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2  shallots, thinly sliced

1/2  lemon, sliced, optional


Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.


Pound the chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch or slightly less.  Cut the pounded chicken into 4 to 5 inch square pieces.  Salt and pepper to taste.


Place each piece of pounded chicken on a sheet of plastic wrap.  Place fresh sage leaves on the chicken covering about 30 to 50% of each piece.  Place a slice of very thin Prosciutto over the sage and cover with another sheet of plastic wrap.  Press the Prosciutto into the chicken and sage with a rolling pin being careful not to tear the chicken.  Repeat for all the chicken and set aside.


Add half of the olive oil and the butter to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil is very hot add the shallot and mushrooms, give them a quick stir.  Cook until the mushrooms are caramelized (golden brown) on one side - don't sir again until the mushrooms are caramelized.  Turn once more and brown on the other side.  Just before the mushrooms are finished, add the cream sherry.  When the sherry evaporates, remove the mushrooms and shallots from the sauté pan and wrap in aluminum foil, place in the oven to keep warm.


Add the remainder of the olive oil to the sauté pan.  Fry the remaining sage leaves until crisp remove and set aside.  Dredge each piece of chicken in flour; shake off the excess and sauté Prosciutto side down until golden brown - a minute or two.  Turn and brown the other side repeat until all the chicken has been cooked adding more olive oil if the pan becomes dries.  Place the chicken on an oven proof dish and keep warm in the oven.


Add the Marsala wine to the sauté pan and reduce by 50% stirring to release the food bits from the bottom of the pan.

Assemble the dish:


Arrange the chicken on a serving platter and top with the mushroom mixture and the reduced wine.  Garnish with the crispy sage and lemon slices if desired.  Serve immediately!


Serves 6


Cooking Tips

Cream sherry can be substituted for the Marsala may even be better.


Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


Wine Pairing


The sage and Prosciutto give this chicken dish a hardiness that will stand up to most wines …well, maybe not a “big” Cab or Zin.  Try a Pinot Noir.  I like a full “bodied” creamy white like Conundrum.  This is an excellent, fruity, well balanced and slightly sweet Napa (Rutherford) Valley blended wine.  A littlie pricey, but, I think, worth it.  A good substitute would be your favorite Riesling.



For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE.





Eggplant Stacks baked with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Fresh Mozzarella


3     pounds       eggplant, sliced

3     cups           Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (see recipe below)

22   ounces        fresh mozzarella cheese,  sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick

6     ounces        French Comte or Gruyere cheese  (optional)

1.5  cups           flour

6                       eggs,  beaten

1.5  cups           bread crumbs, unflavored

                         salt for soaking

2     tablespoons           olive oil


1   Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2   Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.  Generously salt each slice and arrange in several stacks.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Place the slices in a large bowl and cover with cold water.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Drain the eggplant slices and thoroughly rinse with fresh water.  Dry each slice between lawyers of paper towels.

3   Prepare the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.  See recipe below.

4   Coat the bottom of one or more sheet pans with olive oil, about 1 tablespoon.  Dredge each slice of eggplant in flour shaking off the excess, then dip in egg wash and finally coat with bread crumbs.  Arrange the eggplant slices on the sheet pans and spray with olive oil.  Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown (about 12 minutes).  Remove from the oven and let cool.

5   Slice the fresh Mozzarella into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices.  Set aside.  Coarsely grate the Comte or Gruyere and set aside.  Coat a 10 to 12 inch baking dish, or sheet pan with olive oil.  About 1 tablespoon.

6   Build the stacks (3 slices each) in the baking dish by alternating layers of eggplant, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, fresh Mozzarella and French Comte.  Top each stack with fresh Mozzarella.  Adjust the amount of sauce and cheese so that it is all used in building the stacks.

7   Reduce oven temperature to 350 Degrees F and bake until the cheese and sauce bubble and the eggplant is heated throughout.  About 25 minutes.


Servings: 8


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 524 calories, 254 calories from fat, 28.5g total fat, 218.4mg cholesterol, 534.7mg sodium, 610.5mg potassium, 49.9g carbohydrates, 8.1g fiber, 7.3g sugar, 16.2g protein.  Nutrition Facts include the sauce!

Recipe Tips

This recipe will serve 8 to 10 people.  It easily scales for fewer servings but we find it convenient to make the full recipe and freeze the extra stacks before baking.  It makes a future meal easy with minimal clean-up.  To bake the frozen stacks, thaw and then follow the baking instructions for the assembled stacks, step 7.  You may have to adjust the number of eggs and/or the amount flour and bread crumbs based upon your technique.  No problem.

Wine Pairing

We recommend a light red such as Bricco Dei Tati 2006 Barbera from the Piedmont region of Italy …and it’s a real bargain at about $9.  If your local wine merchant can’t get it for you, it is readily available over the internet.  Your favorite Pinot Noir, Montepulciano or Sangiovese are also excellent choices.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

16   ounces    Roasted red peppers, drained

8     ounces    mascarpone cheese

1     cup         cream sherry

1     teaspoon honey

1/8  teaspoon ground white pepper

       Dash       ground red pepper

1/4  teaspoon pimenton de la Vera (optional, but good)



1   Reduce the cream sherry by 50% over medium high heat.  Set aside to cool.  Drain the roasted red peppers and add to the bowl of a food processor.    When cool, add the reduced sherry, honey, mascarpone cheese, white pepper, ground red pepper and pimenton de la Vera to the peppers in the food processor and puree.    Heat the sauce for use or refrigerate for later use.


Yield: 3 cups


Author: HGB Jr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE.



NY deli style potato salad

4 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes                              

4  hard boiled egg whites, sliced

4 ounces pimentos

1 cups green onion, thinly sliced - including tops



2 cups white vinegar

2 2/3 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1  sweet onion, very large and finely chopped



1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise

1 1/2 cups sour cream

5 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed





Boil the potatoes until "al dente".  Do not over cook.  Quench in ice water to stop the cooking and then refrigerate until cold.  When cold, remove the skin, thinly slice and set aside.



Add all  the brine ingredients to a sauce pan and boil for about 6 minutes.  Pour the hot brine over the sliced potatoes.  Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for 24 hours.



Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and blend well.



 Drain the marinated potatoes in a  colander.  Transfer the drained potatoes to a large mixing bowl.  Add the green onions, pimentos, and chopped egg whites.  Gently fold in the dressing.  Season  with ground black pepper to taste.  Refrigerate.  Serve cold.  Enjoy!


Serves 24

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 201.1 calories; 27% calories from fat; 6.4g total fat; 8.9mg cholesterol; 375.3mg sodium; 589.5mg potassium; 35.6g carbohydrates; 1.4g fiber; 13.2g sugar; 2.6g protein.


Cooking Tips

This recipe makes a very creamy potato salad.  Use less dressing if desirable.  I don't like the yellow of hard-boiled eggs.  If you do, include them as well!


Recipe Source

Author: Unknown - modified by HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


Click HERE for a printer friendly version of recipe.


1/2 cup white wine

2/3 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon black pepper, coarse ground

3  carrot, shredded

1  onion, chopped

3 pounds back fin crab meat

1 pounds ground pork

8 ounces water chestnuts, slivered

3  cloves garlic, chopped

2  egg, beaten

4 tablespoons sugar

2 ounces dried wood ears, soak in hot water

1 1/2 oz bean threads, soak in hot water

60  Philippine egg roll wrappers

6  green onions including tops, sliced



Soak wood ears and bean thread in hot water until soft. Drain wood ears and bean threads and combine with all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Separate egg roll wrappers carefully and set aside. Mix about 1 cup of flour with enough water to make a thick paste. Place about 2 1/2 heaping table spoons of filling mixture on each wrapper, roll using flour paste to seal. Deep fry in peanut oil until golden brown. Egg rolls can be partially cooked and frozen. Lean ground pork should be used. Pork can be substituted for the crab   ...any ratio of pork to crab works well.  Use all pork if you prefer.


Serves 60


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 142.5 calories; 8% calories from fat; 1.3g total fat; 37.9mg cholesterol; 361.4mg sodium; 187.9mg potassium; 21.7g carbohydrates; 1.0g fiber; 1.5g sugar; 10.1g protein.


Cooking Tips

You can scale the recipe down if you prefer.  I've found it more convenient to make a large quantity and freeze them.


This is a great "project" to do with kids.  They love to help roll the egg rolls   ...even though they may be a bit "ugly"!  Have fun with them.


Always use thin egg roll wrappers.  You'll have to get them at an Oriental grocery store.  Ask for Philippine wrappers or other thin wrappers.  They will also have the bean thread and wood ears.


To reheat frozen egg rolls, preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake until crispy.




Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook



For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE

Linguini with Basil, Roasted Pine Nuts and a Crunchy Topping


1 pound linguine

3/4 cup olive oil

5  large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

3 ounces bunch fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn

1/2 cup pine nuts

4 ounces Parmesan, coarsely grated  (or Pecorino Romano)

4 ounces Parmesan, shaved

2.5 ounces Parmesan, finely grated for topping

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup bread crumbs, unflavored

3 ounces Procsciutto, thinly sliced and chopped into 3/8 inch squares




Prepare the toppings:


Dice the Prosciutto into 3/8 inch squares.  Fry in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat until crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.


Using the same sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  When the butter is melted and hot, add the bread crumbs stirring continuously to combine well with the butter.  Cook the bread crumbs until browned stirring continuously to avoid scorching.  Reduce heat to low.  Add the finely grated Parmesan.  Stir until completely incorporated and melted.  Remove from pan and set aside.


In a second dry sauté pan, roast the pine nuts over medium-high heat stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Set aside.


Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan and set aside.


Prepare the linguini:


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then add the linguine. While the pasta is cooking, pour the olive oil into a large frying pan and add the garlic. Cook over medium heat until the garlic starts to turn light brown and fragrant. Remove the cloves from the pan and take the pan off the heat. Roughly chop or shred the basil leaves, set aside. When the pasta is al dente, drain it well, and toss it in the garlic-infused olive oil and then transfer to a warm bowl and sprinkle with the coarsely grated Parmesan (or Pecorino).  Mix well.  Add all but a few leaves of basil and toss.


Plate the pasta:


Divide the linguini into individual portions and plate.  Over each plate, divide and sprinkle the toppings in this order: pine nuts, shaved cheese, one or two tablespoons of the bread crumb topping, and the crispy Prosciutto.  Garnish each portion with the remaining basil.  Serve immediately.


Serves 6


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 701.7 calories; 44% calories from fat; 35.5g total fat; 55.1mg cholesterol; 912.4mg sodium; 319.7mg potassium; 65.0g carbohydrates; 3.5g fiber; 1.6g sugar; 30.2g protein.


Cooking Tips

Always use the best Parmesan Reggiano and Prosciutto available. 


Plate the linguini in the sequence suggested for the best presentation and to maintain the "crunch" from the toppings.  Place remaining bread crumb topping in a bowl and pass at the table for those desiring some additional "crunch".


Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook



For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE


Shrimp Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1/2 pound roasted red peppers, drained

1/4 pound mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup cream sherry

1 teaspoon honey

1/16 teaspoon ground white pepper

dash ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon Pimenton de la Vera (smoked sweet Paprika) - optional, but good

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and sliced in half lengthwise

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon dried lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Original Essence

12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese,  sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick

2  Mama Mary's Thin and Crispy Pizza Crusts

freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the Sauce:

Reduce the cream sherry by 50% over medium high heat.  Set aside to cool.


Drain the roasted red peppers and add to the bowl of a food processor. When cool, add the reduced sherry, honey, mascarpone cheese, white pepper, 1/2 of the Pimenton de la Vera, and ground red pepper to the food processor and puree.  Transfer to a container and refrigerate until needed.



Prepare the Shrimp:

Peel, devein, and slice each shrimp lengthwise.  Spread sliced shrimp on a paper towel and pat dry.  Mix olive oil, finely chopped garlic, lemon peel, Emeril's Essence, and 1/2 of the Pimenton de la Vera in a medium bowl.  Add the shrimp, season with freshly ground black pepper to taste, mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.


Preheat the oven:

Place a pizza stone on the center oven rack and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F for 30 minutes.


Assemble the pizza:

Brush the edge of each pizza crust with extra virgin olive oil.  Over each crust, spoon 1/2 of the roasted red pepper sauce, 1/2 on the fresh mozzarella evenly over the sauce, and top with 1/2 of the shrimp slices.  Top each pizza with freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Bake the pizzas:

Reduce the oven temperature to 425 Degrees F.  With a pizza peel, transfer one pizza to the pizza stone.  Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or to the desired appearance.  Remove from the oven, garnish with a few basil leaves if desired.  Repeat for the second pizza.


Allow pizzas to rest for a few minutes and then cut into 6 slices each.  Serve and enjoy!


Serves 6

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 354.5 calories; 59% calories from fat; 24.5g total fat; 123.0mg cholesterol; 470.4mg sodium; 189.8mg potassium; 6.3g carbohydrates; 0.5g fiber; 1.6g sugar; 22.0g protein.


Cooking Tips

If you don't have a pizza pan, use an inverted sheet pan.  Mama Mary’s Pizza crusts are available at Food Lion and other grocery stores.


Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr

Source:  The Barnes Creek Cookbook


Wine Pairing

Chardonnay compliments this pizza really well.  We find Edna Valley 2006 Paragon Chardonnay to be a great choice.  This wine is easy to find and inexpensive, about $15.


For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click HERE


Tagliarelle with Oyster Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, and Radicchio


250 grams Tagliarelle


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted


12 cloves garlic


1/2 cup sweet red vermouth

7 ounces oyster mushrooms


4 ounces Brussels sprouts, about 8 small to medium


4 ounces radicchio, about 1/2 small to medium head


4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


salt and ground black pepper


1 tablespoon honey





Bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pasta pot.  Add 2 tablespoons of salt.


Toast the pine nuts in a small sauté pan over medium heat, turning frequently, until light brown.  Set aside.


Slice the radicchio into 1/2 inch strips and set aside.


Clean the Brussels sprouts.  Slice lengthwise and place in a microwave safe bowl.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of honey.  Cover with plastic wrap leaving a vent hole for steam.  Microwave on high until just tender, about 3 minutes.  Remove from microwave, shake to coat the Brussels sprouts and set aside.


Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan.  Add garlic and sauté until lightly brown, about 6 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the vermouth.  Return the pan to the burner and add the oyster mushrooms and 4 tablespoons of butter.  Boil until reduced by about half.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Drop the pasta in the boiling water until al dente, 3 minutes if using Cippiani Tagliarelle or follow manufacturer's recommendation.  Drain.


Add the hot pasta, Brussels sprouts, and sliced radicchio to the mushrooms.  Gently stir over medium heat to coat the pasta and mix ingredients, about 1 minute.  Plate the pasta, sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 496.5 calories; 44% calories from fat; 25.1g total fat; 45.3mg cholesterol; 216.0mg sodium; 508.3mg potassium; 53.5g carbohydrates; 3.6g fiber; 6.2g sugar; 15.4g protein.

Cooking Tips

We strongly recommend using Cipriani Tagliarelle.  This pasta is extremely thin and very delicious.  It's a bit hard to find.  We found the best price is at The Fresh Market.  See their website for locations.  It can also be ordered from Fresh Market via the internet at  ; Or from, but the price is substantially higher.


Cipriani Tagliarelle comes in 250-gram boxes, 8.82 ounces.  This is the perfect amount for four servings.  If using thicker, pasta use about 14 ounces.

Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE


Penne with Shrimp and Morel Mushrooms

4  1/2-ounce packages dried morel mushrooms

1/2 cup olive oil, divided

2 1/2 cups very hot water

3 pounds uncooked large shrimp, shelled, deveined - Carolina shrimp are best

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided

1 1/2 pounds crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, thickly sliced

5  garlic cloves, peeled, pressed into small bowl

3/4 cup dry white wine

1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 pounds penne

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


Place dried rnorels in medium bowl; add 2 1/2 cups hot water. Soak until tender, about 35 minutes. Lift out morels, squeezing liquid back into bowl; reserve liquid.  Cut any large morels in half.


Heat 1/4 cup oil in large skillet over high heat. Add shrimp; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Sauté until just opaque in center, about 2 to three minutes.


Transfer shrimp to bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil to same skillet; reduce heat to medium-high. Add morels, crimini mushrooms, garlic, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Sauté until mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes. Add wine. Cook 1 minute, scraping up browned bits. Add, cream and 1 cup mushroom soaking liquid, leaving any sediment in bowl. Boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain and return to same pot.


Add mushroom sauce, parsley, and shrimp to pasta in pot. Toss over medium-high heat until warmed through, adding more mushroom soaking liquid (leaving sediment in bowl) if pasta, is dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the finished pasta and serve!

Serves 8

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 744.5 calories; 32% calories from fat; 26.7g total fat; 294.4mg cholesterol; 272.6mg sodium; 835.3mg potassium; 70.7g carbohydrates; 4.9g fiber; 1.7g sugar; 49.7g protein.

Cooking Tips

Use only the largest, wild caught shrimp available.  Do not over-cook. Saute on each side for about one minute.  The center should be slightly translucent since the shrimp will continue to cook when removed from the skillet.


For a very moist pasta, reduce the amount penne by about 20%.


Fresh Morel mushrooms are difficult to find in the United States.  You can, however find them dried in better grocery stores   ...usually in the produce section.  If unavailable, substitute dried Porcini mushrooms.

Recipe Source

Author: Modified from March 2008 - Bon Appetite

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook

Wine Pairing


We reccomend a light red.  Try your favorite Pinot Noir!

For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE



Vietnamese Fried Rice

1 1/2 cups rice, Uncle Ben's Original  converted rice is highly recommended

3 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided


5.5 ounces Chinese style sausage [3 links] Kam Yen Jan brand suggested

1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup carrots, baby, chopped into 1/4 inch  pieces

1/4 cup small frozen peas - optional

3 large eggs, beaten

1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped

6  green onions, including tops, finely sliced

3 tablespoons Yoshida's Sauce  [or 1/2 the amount of Hoisin sauce]

ground black pepper to taste


Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add the rice stirring frequently until it is slightly brown.  Add the chicken broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes.  When the rice is fully cooked, all the broth has been absorbed, fluff with a fork and let cool.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large wok over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the egg and scramble.  Remove from wok and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with the remaining egg.

Slice the Chinese sausage about 1/4 inch thick on a bias.  Add to the wok and cook over medium-high heat until slightly crisp [about 5 minutes].

Add the carrots to the wok and stir fry until soft.


Add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger to the wok and stir fry until translucent.

Add the cooked rice to the wok slowly mixing well with the other ingredients.  Allow the rice to slightly brown before turning.  Turn every couple of minutes until most of the rice has been slightly browned.  This should take about 10 minutes, but do not burn the rice.  If the rice sticks to the wok, add a little olive oil.

Add the peas, scrambled egg and 3/4 of the green onion to the wok and mix.  Add coarsely ground black pepper to taste.

Transfer the fried rice to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining sliced green onions.

Serves 6

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 733.7 calories; 55% calories from fat; 45.4g total fat; 187.7mg cholesterol; 2491.3mg sodium; 688.2mg potassium; 46.2g carbohydrates; 1.8g fiber; 1.9g sugar; 33.3g protein.

Cooking Tips

Chinese sausages are available in most Oriental food stored.  Usually refrigerated or frozen.

Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr  ...inspired by Mary Nghiem

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE




8   jumbo or whale soft shell crabs, live, if possible

1   cup rice flour

1   cup corn starch

8   ounces beer, approximately

2   cups panko ( Japanese bread crumbs)

3/4 gallon peanut or canola oil for deep frying


                                                                                    Crispy Fried Soft Crabs over pasta carbonara

Add oil to the manufacturers recommended level in a deep fryer.  preheat the oil to 375 degrees F.


Clean the soft shell crabs really well by removing the gills, apron, face and as much yellow fat as possible.


Add the rice flour and corn starch to a medium mixing bowl.  Slowly whisk in the beer until the batter is pancake batter consistency.  Add the beer very slowly while mixing.  It is very easy to overshoot.


Dip each crab in the batter and then coat thoroughly with the panko.  Set aside until all crabs have been coated with the bread crumbs.


Deep fry the coated crabs at 375 degrees F until golden brown.  Work in batches.  Do not over crowd the deep fryer.  Frying two crabs at a time is recommended.  Keep fried crabs warm in a 200 degree F oven until all the Cabs have been fried.  Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley, if desired, and serve.


Serves 4


Cooking Tips


Find the largest live crabs possible.  Jumbos or whales are recommended.

Clean the crabs well.  A Google search for "cleaning soft shell crabs" will return several sites with excellent instructions.


This batter and panko recipe works very well with shrimp.  Buy the largest gulf shrimp possible.  Remove the shell, devain and butterfly the shrimp.  Dip in batter then panko and deep fry like the crabs.  See photo below.





 Crispy butterfly jumbo shrimp


For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE

For instructions on cleaning soft crabs, click HERE


 Recipe Source


Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


Wine Pairing


We reccomend a full bodied, well balanced, fruity white with a hint of sweetness with both recipies.  Our favorite is probably Conundrum from Rutherford Valley California. 


Crispy Chicken with Orange Peel

4 tablespoons soy sauce

3/4 cup white wines

2 cups cornstarch

2  oranges, peel only, cut into 1/4 inch strips

3/4 cup sugar

4  egg white

2 tablespoons white vinegar

6  dried red hot pepper (optional ...or reduce quantity for a milder taste)

2 tablespoons catsup

4  scallions including tops

20  snow peas, washed

8  chicken breast half, boneless - cut in 1 inch chunks


Make the sauce:


Mix sugar, vinegar, catsup, soy sauce, and wine in a sauce pan.  Add hot peppers and simmer over medium heat until reduced to the consistency of syrup.  As sauce thickens, watch closely so it does not caramelize.

Prepare the chicken:


Separate egg whites and place in a bowl.  Place the cornstarch in another large bowl.  Cut chicken into chunks about 1 inch wide by 1 1/2 inches long.  Dredge in the egg white and then in cornstarch until well coated.


Deep fry the chicken:


Fill a wok, deep fryer, or large pot about 1/3 full of oil, preferably peanut oil.  Heat oil to about 375 degrees F.  Working in batches suitable for the fryer, deep fry the chicken and orange peal until light brown.  Keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until all the chicken is cooked.



Place the fried chicken in a large bowl.  Add the sauce and mix well.  Do not saturate the chicken with sauce.  A light coating is ideal.  Transfer the coated chicken to a serving platter and garnish with thinly sliced scallions and snow peas.  Serve at once!

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 502.0 calories; 1% calories from fat; 0.6g total fat; 17.1mg cholesterol; 769.9mg sodium; 338.4mg potassium; 103.5g carbohydrates; 1.9g fiber; 40.9g sugar; 12.6g protein.


Cooking Tips

The sauce takes awhile to reduce and can be prepared ahead of time if desired.  Reheat before using.

It is important to heavily coat the chicken with cornstarch.  This can also be done several hours in advance and refrigerated.  Do not overload the storage container if prepared in advance.  This will cause the chicken to stick together.

Peel the oranges by scoring all the way around the orange with the point of a small knife.  Rotate 90 degrees and score again.  Carefully separate the peel from the orange, then cut into 1/4 inch strips.

This recipe makes generous servings,   ...but it keeps well in the refrigerator and is also delicious cold.


Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook



Wine Pairing


Crispy Chicken with Orange Peel is a little sweet and spicy.  I prefer a semi-sweet white. Try your favorite Riesling …or just a cold beer.


For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE


16 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts, sliced

2 ounces shallots (2 oz is about one very large shallot)

6 cloves garlic

2.5 ounces Pancetta

2 tablespoons olive oil

coarsely ground black pepper to taste



Slice the Brussels sprouts (from the tip to stem) in 1/4 inch shreds discarding the tough stem end.  Set aside. Thinly slice the scallions and set aside.  Peel and finely dice the garlic and set aside.  Dice the Pancetta into 1/4 inch cubes.


Add the olive oil to a large frying pan and heat at medium-high until the oil is shimmering.  Sauté the scallions and garlic until soft and fragrant.  Add the diced Pancetta and sauté for approximately 2 minutes or until the Pancetta is slightly brown.  Add the sliced Brussels sprouts and sauté until they soften, about 2 minutes.  Do not over cook the Brussels sprouts.  They should be bright green, softened, but somewhat firm.

Serve at once.


Serves 4


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 206.5 calories; 65% calories from fat; 15.1g total fat; 12.0mg cholesterol; 178.6mg sodium; 543.4mg potassium; 14.1g carbohydrates; 4.4g fiber; 2.5g sugar; 6.5g protein.


Cooking Tips

Pancetta is Italian cured pork and is widely available in grocery store delis.  Bacon can be substituted in a pinch.


Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr


For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE



2 cups cream sherry, reduced by half

0.3 ounce fresh rosemary, finely chopped (about one large sprig)

8 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

4 ounces heavy cream

28 ounces pork tenderloin

6  egg whites

2 cups flour

2 cups breadcrumbs

6 tablespoons olive oil

Make the sauce:


Reduce the cream sherry in a medium saucepan by half over medium high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium; add the cheese, rosemary, and cream.  Stir continuously until the cheese melts and the sauce begins to boil.  Set aside.



Prepare the pork:


Cut the pork tenderloin into 1 1/4 inch thick slices.  Place a slice between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat hammer to a thickness of about 1/4 inch or a bit less.  Repeat until all the meat has been pounded.  Place the flour, egg whites, and breadcrumbs into three separate containers.  Dredge each piece of meat through the flour, then the egg white, and finally the breadcrumbs.


Sauté the meat:


Add about 3 tablespoons of olive to a large frying pan.  Sauté the meat without overcrowding over medium high heat until golden brown.  About 2 minutes per side.  Repeat until all the meat is cooked.  Add oil as necessary to prevent the pan from drying.




Arrange the meat on a serving platter, spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons full of sauce over each piece of meat.  Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and serve.

Serves 6

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 845.9 calories; 43% calories from fat; 41.5g total fat; 142.8mg cholesterol; 921.6mg sodium; 804.7mg potassium; 61.9g carbohydrates; 3.4g fiber; 2.8g sugar; 48.6g protein.

Cooking Tips

The sauce can be prepared ahead of time, if desired.  Refrigerate and reheat before use.

There will be unused sauce if applied to the meat at the recommended rate.  Use the remaining sauce over pasta for a great side dish.

Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


Wine Pairing

Pork Scaloppini with Gorgonzola, Wine, and Rosemary Cream Sauce is rich with intense, complex flavors.  I suggest a medium to full-bodied red.  My favorite with this dish is Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano.  This Tuscan wine also has complex and intense flavors which compliment the pork.  I suggest Villa D’Angelo 2003 Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano.



For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE



Virginia Pan Fried Oysters with Smithfield Ham

Oysters with great traditional Virginia flavors; Oysters, Smithfield Ham and Peanuts.  This dish is great any time of year, but especially appropriate in the fall harvest season.  I'm sure you'll engoy!


1/4 lb Smithfield ham, thinly sliced (shaved)

3 cups cracker meal

3/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup peanut oil

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup satay sauce  (peanut sauce)

1 quart oyster, drained


Drain oysters and set aside. Combine sour cream and peanut sauce to make sauce.  Set aside. Hollandaise is also great. Sauté Smithfield ham in a large frying pan, approximately one minute.  Place warm ham evenly on a serving platter.  Keep warm in a 200 degree F oven. Coat oysters in cracker meal.  Cover bottom of frying pan with butter and oil in a ratio of 3/4 butter and 1/4 oil.  Add just enough to cover bottom. Pan fry oysters in the butter and oil until golden brown.  Arrange cooked oysters on top of the ham.  Repeat until all oysters are cooked. Heat sauce and spoon on top of the oysters and serve.

Serves 6

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 698.9 calories; 53% calories from fat; 42.3g total fat; 169.7mg cholesterol; 920.2mg sodium; 473.0mg potassium; 55.5g carbohydrates; 1.6g fiber; 1.3g sugar; 23.6g protein.

Cooking Tips

Satay sauce (peanut sauce) is widely available in most grocery store Oriental food sections.  Thai Kitchen is a suggested brand or; better yet, make your own by clicking HERE for a great printer friendly recipe.


Wine Pairing

My suggestion is a medium-bodied crisp white.  Try Louis Latour Pouily-Fuisse.


Recipe Source

Author: HGBJr

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, cilck HERE.



Steve'sCrab Cakes              

There are nearly as many crab cake recipes as there are crabs in the Bay.  My problem with most of them is that the mish-mash of  flavors and binders mask the wonderful delicate flavor of Blue Crab.  My friends and I have been experimenting with recipies for thirty plus years.  This recipe, finally penned by my friend Steve, is our all time favorite. It's simple and delicious.  Enjoy!            


7  Ritz crackers, crumbs

1 1/3 lb crab meat, cooked - lump or jumbo lump

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2/3 tsp mustard, champagne mustard is best, or other sweet mustard

2/3 tsp sugar

1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1 1/3 egg, beaten

1/4 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients except crab and Ritz Crackers.  Fold into crab meat.  Crush Ritz Crackers and gently fold into crab mixture.  Pat into four crab cakes.  Optionally, sprinkle both sides of crab cake with bread crumbs for a little crunch.  Refrigerate the crab cakes for two hours.  Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil (about one tablespoon per crab cake) and pan fry over medium high heat until golden brown, about one to two minutes per side.  Add more oil if pan becomes dry.  Serve.

Serves 4


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 387.9 calories; 53% calories from fat; 23.6g total fat; 220.2mg cholesterol; 743.1mg sodium; 599.2mg potassium; 8.5g carbohydrates; 0.3g fiber; 2.2g sugar; 34.1g protein.


Cooking Tips

This recipe contains very little filler or binder.  Form each crab cake with your hands.  Sprinkle with bread crumble while you are still holding the crab cake, if desired.  The crab cakes will be very soft so gently place them on a sheet pan or similar support structure and refrigerate for at least two hours.  Chilling the crab cakes will help prevent crumbling when frying.  If they do separate a bit, no matter, they'll still be the best you've ever had!   Enjoy.


Wine Pairing

Here’s the place for your favorite Chardonnay.  If you’d like to try a well made Virginia Chardonnay without too much oak, I suggest Prince Michel 2005 Chardonnay.  Another well made Vrrginia white from Ingleside Plantation worth a try is blue crab Blanc. 


For a printer friendly version, click HERE


Chicken Maison

4  egg white

4  half chicken breast

3/4 tsp thyme leaves, dried

2 1/2 cup cream sherry

1/4 cup peanut oil

1 cup bread crumbs


Trim chicken breast and pound very thin  [ veal]. Dip chicken in egg whites and then in breadcrumbs. Add oil to frying pan and fry chicken over medium high heat until done.  One or two minutes on each side. Remove from frying pan to a dish and keep warm in a 200-degree oven. Add sherry and thyme to frying pan.  Cook over medium high heat until about 75% reduced.   Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 472.0 calories; 26% calories from fat; 15.3g total fat; 11.4mg cholesterol; 274.2mg sodium; 290.3mg potassium; 31.6g carbohydrates; 1.3g fiber; 1.9g sugar; 12.2g protein.

Cooking Tips

The secret to this recipe is pounding the chicken very thin, 1/4 inch or less.  Place the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat hammer.  If the chicken tears somewhat, that is OK.


Pan-fry the chicken in batches as to not crowd the frying pan.  Use a small amount of oil and add more if the pan becomes dry.


For added richness, add 1/2 cup heavy cream to reduced sherry and thyme sauce and cook over medium heat for one minute.  Pour over chicken.

Recipe Source

Author: HGBJR

Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook


Wine Pairing


Light to medium-bodied reds pair well with this dish.  Try Chateau La Grange Clinet 2004.  This is an excellent Bordeaux and a great value at about $12 per bottle and widely available.   For inexpensive Bordeaux reviews, including Ch. La Grange Clinet, click HERE.


Click HERE for a printer friendly version.



1 3/4 lb Beef Tenderloin,  1 to 1 1/2 inch thick

1  scallions including tops, sliced in half lengthwise

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons flour

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, smashed


Combine all ingredients except meat and blend well.  Pour over fillets and marinate at least one hour.  Grill to desired "doneness".  Baste often with marinate.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 462.9 calories; 65% calories from fat; 33.1g total fat; 80.7mg cholesterol; 763.6mg sodium; 396.7mg potassium; 18.5g carbohydrates; 0.6g fiber; 13.1g sugar; 22.1g protein.



Cooking Tips

This marinade is great with all steaks, including flank steak!



Wine Paring


Full bodied reds go well with this dish.  I suggest 2005 Cabernet Franc Reserve by Barboursville Vineyards, Barboursville, Virginia


Click HERE for a printer friendly version 



16 ounces Roasted red peppers, drained

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

1 cup cream sherry

1 teaspoon honey

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

dash ground red pepper

2 pounds Alaskan King Crab meat

1 pound Pappardelle pasta


Reduce the cream sherry by 50% over medium high heat.  Set aside to cool.


Drain the roasted red peppers and add to the bowl of a food processor.


When cool, add the reduced sherry, honey, mascarpone cheese, white pepper and ground red pepper to the peppers in the food processor and puree.  Set aside.


Cook the pasta in two quarts of boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes.  Drain pasta well and return it to cooking pot.  Add 3/4 of the sauce and mix well.  Heat the Alaskan King Crab meat in a microwave.  Transfer the pasta to a serving platter, top with the warm crab meat and add the remaining sauce over  the crab.  Garnish with parsley or basil and lemon slices.  Serve immediately.


Serves 4

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 945.5 calories; 29% calories from fat; 31.6g total fat; 198.2mg cholesterol; 2842.6mg sodium; 920.1mg potassium; 95.5g carbohydrates; 3.9g fiber; 2.4g sugar; 62.1g protein.

Cooking Tips

Pappardelle is a wide Italian egg noodle.  Penne pasta is an excellent substitute for sometimes hard to find Pappardelle.


As an alternative to Alaskan King Crab, dust soft shell crabs, two per person, and saute until golden brown.  Serve over the pasta, but do not top the crabs with additional sauce,



Wine Pairing 



CRU, Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard, Albemarle County, VA

…a soft, sweet and fruity wine; excellent with crab

 Click Here for a printer friendly version



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