Wickwood Inn Notebook recipes
A L L  T H E  L O C A L  N E W S,  G O S S I P,  R E C I P E S  A N D  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T flower_pot.jpg (1947 bytes) S U M M E R   2 0 0 6

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been
the two most beautiful words in the English language."
Henry James


In Wickwood's Kitchen ---


One of the sweetest seafood hors d’oeuvres, this one has just a little sass. Thomas Keller at the French Laundry began poaching lobster in butter in 1991 and inspired us. We serve these just about every week at Wickwood, year round, and graciously accept the rave reviews.

¾ pound unsalted butter, (3 sticks)
8 cloves of garlic, minced
4 bundles of scallions, green part only, chopped
1 pound freshly cooked or best quality canned crab meat*
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound shrimp, cleaned and peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces (or precooked and shelled)

Shrimp and Crab Crostini

1. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat gently melt 1 stick of butter. When the butter has just melted, add the garlic and scallions and sauté for two minutes merely to take the “raw” taste from each. Both will still be crunchy. Set all aside in a medium mixing bowl, including the butter.
2. In the same skillet, melt a second stick of butter and gently warm the crab meat for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing crab meat with the butter. Add cayenne pepper and mix well. Add crab and butter to mixing bowl with scallions and combine.
3. Melt the third stick of butter and add the shrimp pieces (raw or cooked)-tossing to coat with butter and heat 1 to 2 minutes. Of course, if shrimps are raw-cook until uniformly pink. Using a slotted spoon add just the shrimp to the scallion crab mixture discarding the shrimp butter. Combine well.
4. Serve atop crostini or crackers while still slightly warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate between servings and when shrimp and crab is chilled, gently warm quickly in a skillet, stirring constantly.

*If we do not have fresh-we prefer Phillip’s Hand Picked Claw Crab, pasteurized, in the black can.


Mint      Peas


A refreshing salad of fresh shelled peas and crispy sugar snaps, sparkled with bacon. This goes well with either a meat or fish menu.

3 cups shelled fresh peas cooked or frozen (defrosted)
8 ounces sugar snaps or snow peas, trimmed and steamed crisp
1 cup leaves fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, stems removed
½ - 1 cup sour cream, as desired
½ - 1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise, as desired
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 slices crisp cooked bacon (pepper bacon preferred), crumbled

1. Reserve a few mint leaves for garnish and finely chop the rest.
2. Combine shelled peas with sugar snaps in a medium-sized bowl. Gently toss with the chopped mint.
3. Mix sour cream and mayonnaise and fold into peas. Season to taste with pepper. Refrigerate covered until cold.
4. Just prior to serving fold in crisp bacon. Garnish with the reserved mint leaves.              6 portions


This chicken has a crisp golden curst and the zing of fresh lemon. It’s great hot and terrific cold, so it’s brilliant for a picnic. It’s addictive so make plenty! We always sold out in the first half-hour.

2 chickens, 2½ pounds each, cut into quarters
2 cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup corn oil
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest ¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 lemons, sliced paper thin

Lemon Chicken

1. Combine chicken pieces and lemon juice in a bowl just large enough to hold them comfortably. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally.
2. Drain chicken thoroughly and pat dry. Fill a plastic bag with flour, salt, paprika and black pepper, and shake well to mix. Put 2 pieces of chicken into the bag at a time and shake, coating completely.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F
4.Heat corn oil in frying pan or cast-iron Dutch oven until hot and fry chicken pieces, a few at a time, until well browned and crisp. This will take about 10 minutes per batch.
5. Arrange browned chicken in a single layer in a large shallow baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with lemon zest and brown sugar. Mix chicken stock and lemon extract together and pour around chicken pieces. Set a thin lemon slice on top of each piece of chicken.
6. Bake chicken for 40 to 50 minutes, or until tender.

6 plus portions

Greek Grilled Lamb Chops


Great on the grill-indoors or out. Pretend you’re in the Agean.

4 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
Coarsely ground black pepper
Course sea salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 loin lamb chops, about ¾ inch thick
4 lemons cut into wedges

1. In a mini food processor fitted with a metal blade add the garlic, rosemary, pepper, and salt combined. Pour in olive oil and pulse into a paste. Rub the paste on both sides if the loin chops, marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
2. Remove from refrigerator and allow the chops to reach room temperature; it will take about 20 minutes.
3. Heat a grill pan over high heat until almost smoking or preheat the broiler or grill. Add the chops and sear for about 2 minutes, turn over and cook for another 3 minutes for medium rare and 3 ½ minutes for medium. Well done, forget it. Immediately serve with lemon wedges to squeeze.    Serves 4

"If they don't have bread, let them eat cake."


A very moist chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The name says it all and it will become everyone’s favorite picnic cake.

1 cup boiling water
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoons (1 stick) sweet butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup dairy sour cream
2 cups less 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Chocolate frosting (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch bundt pan. Knock out excess.
2. Pour boiling water over chocolate and butter; let stand until melted. Stir in vanilla and sugar, then whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
3. Mix baking soda and sour cream and whisk into chocolate mixture.
4. Sift flour and baking powder together and add to batter, mixing thoroughly.
5. Beat egg whites until still but not dry. Stir a quarter of the egg whites thoroughly into the batter. Scoop remaining egg whites on top of the batter and gently fold together.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; unmold and cool completely before frosting.             12 portions


2 tablespoons sweet butter
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1¼ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, or as needed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over low heat and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly; add more sugar if necessary to achieve a spreading consistency. Spread on cake while frosting is still warm.


Capture the very essence of summer.
4 cups peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped fresh peaches
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons Amaretto

1. In a blender or food processor, puree the peaches. Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse to combine, and refrigerate until very cold.
2. Place the mixture in an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.      Serves 8


A symphony of summer berries, ripe together for a limited time.
1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled
1 quart fresh raspberries
1 quart fresh blackberries
1 quart fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup fresh orange juice
Mint leaves for garnish

1. Place berries in a large mixing bowl and toss well. Reserve 1 cup of mixed berries for garnish. Puree the fruit in batches in a food processor or blender. Add the sugar and juices and blend until smooth.
2. Strain the puree to remove seeds, and chill. Place the chilled puree in an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.    Serves 8


These are three of our favorites from the sea - great at any temperature.

4 Salmon filets (allow 6 ounces per person)
1 carrot
2 small onion, sliced
2 stalk celery, sliced
4 slices lemon
Several sprigs of parsley
6 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups dry white wine
Juice of one lemon

1. Cut the salmon filets into individual portions if necessary.
2. Place in a large skillet the carrot, onion, sliced celery, lemon, parsley and bay leaves.
3. Add the fish, salt, wine, lemon juice and cold water to cover. Bring the liquid to a boil, uncovered.
4. Adjust heat to simmer and let fish cook for 10 minutes, covered.
5. Turn off heat and leave fish undisturbed for 15 minutes. Then remove it carefully to a serving platter; the salmon will be perfectly done. It is delicious served either hot or cold.
6. To "gild the lily" we sometimes add our “Potted Shrimp & Crab” atop. Gently heat approximately 2 cups of potted shrimp and crab (see recipe) in a small skillet and divide atop each salmon filet.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." - Albert Einstein

In summer we seek the lightness of fish - roasted, braised, grilled, poached, sautéed, or steamed. Try something new:

Artic Char
Black Cod
Black Sea Bass
Pacific Sand Dabs

Molecular Gastronomy
"Long live the sun which gives
us such beautiful color."
Paul Cezanne


Croquet, bocce, skittles, quoits, horseshoes, petanque, all bring everyone out-of-doors both players and spectators. These very social games loosen up strangers and long lost family members. A little wine or Pimm’s Cup, widely varying rules and the taste of revenge spark even the least competitive. Laughing is the best sport.

Real rules can be found at:
www.bocce.com www.petanque.com www.mastergames.com

Grilled Tuna Steak


This summer expand you repertoire on the grill - don’t get stuck with steak, ribs and BBQ chicken when there’s leg of lamb, tuna, wild boar, buffalo ribeyes, salmon, swordfish, sausages, venison chops, brochettes, shrimp, oysters and clams, whole wild turkey, duck, lamb shanks, rabbit, (well, you get my drift) to master.

Remember it’s the “subtle” use of a light marinade, rub or various woods that gently brings out the flavors that you’ll savor. All that’s grilled need not taste charred or sauce sweet. Think nuances - that’s what cooking outdoors really means!!

Find extraordinary varieties at: www.d’artagnan www.neimanranch.com www.heritagefoods.com www.lobels.com www.legalfoods.com


This year treat yourself and taste a tomato with a past - next year you’ll want to grow them. They’re sweeter, more flavorful than you’ve tasted in years. Some of our favorites:
Mortgage Lifter
Yellow Pear
Cherokee Purple

Remember if you over-water you’ll get green foliage - but watery tomatoes. Every few days is enough. Tomatoes want sunshine.

Heirloom seeds can be found” www.seedsofachange.com www.seedsavers.com www.johnnyseeds.com www.tomatobob.com www.rareseeds.com www.reneesgarden.com www.tomatofest.com www.montello.com

"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anythingr."
Vincent Van Gogh


Life’s too short to make potato salad from scratch-unless you’re using small/new/just dug red skinned potatoes and leaving the peel on.

Invariably, I must admit, these days I buy ready-made at our specialty food store or grocer and doctor it up. Bill loves it for lunch!

So to the All American ready-made grocery store potato salad , I generously add:
A lot of hard boiled eggs, quartered
Dijon mustard
Hellman’s Mayonnaise & sour cream in equal amounts
Red onion, chopped
Fresh dill, minced
Hand full of coarsely chopped scallions, green part only, sometimes
Sliced radishes and/or cucumber, celery, sometimes
Freshly ground black pepper, loads, always
Pimenton, a dash of smoky Spanish paprika just occasionally for variety.



Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |   http://www.wickwoodinn.com   |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors