The Island Free Press Recipe Box

The purpose of this feature is just to share recipes.  Yes, we are located on barrier islands where the fresh seafood is awesome, so we want your seafood recipes – both traditional island recipes and new takes on the old favorites or regional specialties from the area where you live.

But we also welcome any recipe that you really love and that will help us prepare our daily meals or serve the hordes while we are vacationing at the beach.

Send us recipes for meat, poultry, salads, appetizers, veggies, pasta and rice, sauces, and desserts – whatever. Also, send us your favorite holiday recipes – for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah and the like.

We are all interested in healthful recipes from scratch using fresh ingredients, but every now and again, we like the old favorites.

We all want tasty, but we all especially value easy recipes, especially for quick weeknight dinners or large gatherings.

So let us hear from you.  Send your recipe to [email protected].  You can include a photo if you want to snap one, but it’s not required.  Do include your name and hometown.

Enjoy the recipes below.

Mix together:
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract

Add 1 cup sugar. Mix into a dough ball. (After I mixed the dough, I worked it with my hands to squeeze it into a ball.) Divide dough into quarters. Roll into 10-12 inch log. Flatten (I used a rolling pin) onto two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper 3 inches wide. Brush with milk. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. I probably use about a cup of almonds. Bake 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
Icing: Combine 1 cup plus confectioner sugar with 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and then add water until consistency to drizzle. While cookies are still warm, drizzle with icing. Slice diagonally then in half lengthwise into parallelogram bars. (I use a pizza cutter.)

This recipe came to us from our daughter-in-law, from her mother, and back to her grandmother. I am not real heavy into almond, but we have shared these with a couple of neighbors and all really like them.

Don Ward
Ijamsville, Md., and Frisco


Your favorite bread, slathered with lots of Duke's mayo (can only use Duke's)
Slices of fried green tomatoes (breaded with yellow corn meal and, of course, fried in bacon grease)
Slices of Vidalia onion
Prosciutto (Italian ham), instead of bacon.

Assemble and enjoy.

Ted Hamilton
Salvo and Hampton, Va.


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup raisins 
1 cup dried cranberries

Beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla for 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time. Mix in raisins and craisins.
Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

These are pure and simple crowd pleasers, crispy and chewy at the same time -- better than Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies on the Quaker Oats lid.  Makes 8 dozen with my small scoop. Recipe is from

Judy Latham
Raleigh, N.C.


2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 large shallot or 1 small onion diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
3 cups fresh baby spinach
Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in a 2-3 quart saucepan.   Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.    Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the same pan and add the onion, carrots, and celery.   Cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.   Add garlic, thyme and cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes.

Add flour to the vegetables and cook for 1 minute longer.    Add the chicken stock slowly to mixture.      Cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and soup thickens.

Add the half and half and cook and stir until thickened.   Add chicken and spinach, cooking for another 5-10 minutes.    Check the seasonings and add more salt, pepper or cayenne to taste.

Jody Wilson


This is great for pork chops, chicken, or ribs on the grill.

Combine your favorite teriyaki sauce and “Mango Mango” mango preserves, mixed 50/50. Heat over medium heat to dissolve the preserves.

The preserves are made locally in Hampton, Va. Here is where you can buy them:


Ted Hamilton
Salvo and Hampton


CheerRumba:  Shot of rum in tall glass with ice and Cheerwine.

CheerWodka: shot of vodka in tall glass with ice and Cheerwine.

Ted Hamilton
Salvo and Hampton


1 package tri-colored slaw mix (green/purple cabbage and carrots)
1 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 4-ounce jar diced pimento, drained
2 green bell peppers, finely chopped

Mix all together with a dash of garlic salt and fine sea salt with granulated sugar and apple cider vinegar to taste.

With a liberal amount of vinegar to keep it covered, it will keep easily for two weeks in the refrigerator or three to four days at room temperature because it's basically pickled.

Use a slotted spoon to serve. Keep in mind true original Eastern slaw did not have mayo. That came later. Who knows when? This recipe goes back into my family for I don't know how long. I have added the pimento and garlic salt, along with store-bought stuff, to make it easy and doable year 'round. This is similar to what went on Eastern North Carolina barbecue before mayo junked it up.

By the way, for the low-carb freaks, powdered Splenda can be substituted for sugar. No artificial sweetener after-taste because I think the vinegar takes care of it.

Ted Hamilton
Salvo and Hampton


2 dashes sea salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/4 to ½ cup mayonnaise
1/8 to 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or pomegranate infused vinegar

1/8 to 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoon Sugar in the Raw
1 tablespoon Jack Daniels honey mustard
1 large bag of coleslaw mix (or shredded cabbage as you like it) 

Two hours ahead, mix the first nine ingredients. Pour over coleslaw and mix. Refrigerate. A dash or two of cayenne pepper is good, too.
Don Ward
Ijamsville, Md., and Frisco


4 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, crushed with a press
1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Two 15- to 19-ounce cans white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
One 16-ounce jar mild salsa verde
One 14- to 14 1/2-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat 1 teaspoon oil on medium-high until very hot. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken to the Dutch oven in two batches, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes per batch, and adding 1 teaspoon more oil for the second batch. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a medium bowl once it is done.

After all the chicken is cooked, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil with the garlic and onions to the Dutch oven and cook on medium heat until browned, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, and cook 1 minute. Add the beans, salsa verde, broth and browned chicken, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook the chili for 15 minutes to blend the flavors.

To serve, garnish with cilantro.

Christine Tabaka
Hockessin, Del.

1 large acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter (optional)
1 tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)
1 5-ounce package Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf (or 1 cup brown rice or 1 cup mixed
whole grains)
1 cube vegetable bouillon or can of broth (vegetable or chicken)
½ cup raisins

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 small onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup shredded carrot
¼ teaspoon dry thyme
¼ teaspoon dry sage
2 teaspoon sweet curry, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Grated Locatelli Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush squash with olive oil and bake squash halves cut side down for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cook Kashi pilaf (or brown rice/mix) according to directions using vegetable bouillon in place of water.  Throw raisins in for the last 15 to 20 minutes to soften.
In a large saut
é pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sauté the onion and garlic until tender, approximately 5 minutes.  Add shredded carrots, spices, and almonds and continue to cook for approximately 10 minutes. 
Combine the pilaf (or brown rice) with the onion mixture. 
Turn the squash over and put a pat of butter in it and sprinkle the brown sugar inside the scooped out center (optional).  Add the pilaf mixture and bake an additional 20 minutes covered with foil. 

Remove the foil and cook 10 more minutes.  Sprinkle with the grated cheese (optional).
This is a vegetarian main dish. To make it a side dish, cut acorn squash into 1-inch squares after initial baking and place in a shallow baking dish.  Top squash with filling and continue to bake as directed.

The recipe is mine and has been used, with permission, by several take-out food shops that tell me it’s a big seller in the autumn.

Christine Tabaka
Hockessin, Del.


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped 
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped 
1/2 cup button mushrooms, chopped 
1/2 cup butter 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1 quart chicken broth
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
1 bay leaf

3/4 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup heavy cream
12 shucked oysters and liquor

In a large pot, sauté chopped carrot, onion, celery, and fresh mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 5 minutes or until the onions are transparent.

In another large pot, melt 1/2 cup butter and stir in the flour. Cook for 5 minutes.

Whisk the chicken broth into the flour mixture. Add the saut
éed vegetables, artichokes hearts, bay leaf, salt, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano and sage. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat.

Whisk in cream and add oysters; bring to a simmer, but do not boil.

We think this is so special that I serve it on Christmas Eve with a salad and baguette.  It’s from

Judy Latham
Raleigh, NC


1 to 1½ pounds of cooked, cleaned and peeled shrimp, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 pound fusilli
1 large sweet Vidalia onion, chopped fine
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
into small pieces

3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced into small pieces


1 cup of thawed green peas
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
1 cup of good quality mayonnaise (I use Spectrum canola mayonnaise)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain but do not rinse and keep warm.

Meanwhile chop onion and cucumber and place in large bowl. Mix cooked warm pasta in bowl with onion and cucumber to absorb flavors.

Slightly cool pasta mix in refrigerator. When slightly cooled, add diced tomato, thawed peas, and shrimp.

Make dressing of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and poppy seeds and add to pasta salad, gently mixing.

Cool for several hours, then serve.

Christine Tabaka
Hockessin, Del.


1 cup of organic Basmati rice
2 cups of mushroom broth (or 2 cups of water and 2 mushroom bouillon cubes)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
 1 pound of organic Sweet Italian sausage
1 large sweet onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ pound of button mushrooms, sliced thick


17-ounce can of chunk pineapple in heavy syrup (drained, save liquid)
2 tablespoons of Tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot
½ to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, according to desired amount of heat
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice in mushroom broth for directed amount of time.

Cut Italian sweet sausage into ½-inch pieces.  Sauté sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside in large bowl (to be used for serving later). Saut
é onions and green bell pepper in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until onions are transparent. Salt to sweat onions. Add toasted sesame oil to sauté. Add mushrooms and sauté until cooked well.

Add sausage back into mixture. Drain pineapple (save liquid) and add to mixture.

Mix liquid from canned pineapple with tamari (or soy sauce) and corn starch (or arrow root) and whisk together, then add to sausage and vegetable mixture.

Sprinkle red pepper flakes and cook and stir until sauce is thickened.

Serve over rice.

Christine Tabaka
Hockessin, Del.


15 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
4 large eggs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¾ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
¼ cup 1 percent milk (or whatever you have)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup packed fresh basil, chopped – Do not skimp
1 pound, plus or minus, sliced tomatoes

This is my favorite use for garden basil and tomatoes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together cheeses, eggs, salt and pepper. In cup, stir milk and cornstarch, then whisk it into the cheese mixture and add basil. Pour into 9-inch glass pie plate. Arrange tomatoes on top, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle tomatoes with more salt and pepper. Bake 30-35 minutes until lightly browned around edges and center is slightly puffed.

Judy Latham
Raleigh, NC

From Good Housekeeping, August 2002


Easy Remoulade Sauce
¼  cup of good quality mayonnaise
1  tablespoon of prepared horseradish
1  tablespoon of ketchup
1  tablespoon of Dijon mustard
½  teaspoon of hot sauce
1  tablespoon of sweet pickle relish
1  teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1  tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
½  teaspoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons (or more to taste) of chopped scallions
¼  teaspoon of cayenne pepper

½  teaspoon of paprika 
A dash of white pepper

Mix ingredients well. Chill for at least one hour

Poached Shrimp
1 pound of shrimp, cleaned and peeled
½ lemon with peel
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
Large pot of water
I like to boil the shrimp shells in the water for extra flavor, then strain off the shells before proceeding to poaching the shrimp.

Bring pot of water to a boil with lemon and seasonings.  Drop in shrimp and turn off heat.  Cover and let sit until pink -- no more than 5 minutes. Immediately drain and chill in cold water with ice cubes.  Chill until ready to use.

Fried Green Tomatoes
1 cup of stone-ground corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
¼   teaspoon cayenne pepper

1½   cups buttermilk
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 large unripe (green) tomatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch thick slices, ends removed
½ cup oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
1 tablespoon of sweet (unsalted) butter

In a large pie pan, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together. Mix well. 

In a separate large pie pan pour buttermilk and add salt and pepper to taste. Soak tomatoes in the buttermilk for 15 minutes (or so) and coat well, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture, coating both sides well.
Place large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat and coat with oil and butter.

When oil is hot, pan-fry tomatoes (in batches, if necessary) until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Carefully remove tomatoes and drain on a paper towel.

To assemble -- lettuce leaves topped with fried tomatoes, topped with shrimp, topped with sauce!  Yum!

Christine Tabaka

Hockessin, Del.


3 cups water
2 potatoes, peeled
1/3 cup minced onion
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 cups cooked bluefish, boned and flaked
(I boil mine with a little vinegar & salt)

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease two baking sheets.  Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.  Drain and mash.  Reserve about 1 cup mashed potatoes for recipe.

In a large saucepan, sauté onion, green and red bell pepper and celery in butter over medium high heat until tender.  Turn heat to low and fold in flaked fish.  Slowly mix in flour, cheese, Old Bay seasoning, dry mustard, salt, pepper, mashed potatoes, and milk.  Mix gently but thoroughly.  Remove pan from heat.

With floured hands, shape batter into cakes 1/2 inch by 3 inches.  Coat with breadcrumbs, if desired.   I usually scoop mine out with an ice cream scooper (2-ounce size), so they will all be uniform.

If you are baking the fish cakes, bake them for 25 to 30 minutes  or until lightly golden brown.

I then make a gravy with cream of celery soup, thinned only until pourable with milk and heated.  Pour over fish cakes.

Jody Wilson


1 pound raw shrimp, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 basil leaves, cut into strips
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
4-5 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  In a large mixing bowl, toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, and half the basil.  Sauté shrimp.  Place on platter and set aside.  Reduce heat to medium, then add remaining olive oil and butter.  Add onion and sauté until translucent.  Add garlic and red pepper.  Sauté for 1 minute. 

Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Turn off heat, cover, and keep warm. 

Add rice to onion mixture then cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until grains are well coated and outside turns translucent.   Don't let rice brown.  Add white wine and cook for 30 seconds or until most of it is absorbed.  Add additional broth in 1 cup increments, stirring after each addition until most of the broth is absorbed.  Stop adding broth when rice appears to be saturated.  You may not need all of the broth. 

Cook, stirring frequently for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and creamy, but not mushy.  Stir in corn and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in shrimp plus any collected juices.  Reduce heat to low and cook until warm, no more than 1 minute.  Add a little bit of broth if risotto gets too dry.  Remove from heat, then stir in remaining basil plus ¼ cup of the Parmesan.  Top with remaining Parmesan.

Donna Barnett


Four 6-8 ounce dolphin fillets, of similar depth and width
Sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pats plus more, softened
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 bay leaves

4 teaspoons fresh thyme
8 sprigs fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
8 small scallions, trimmed
12 thin slices red bell pepper
12 thin slices yellow bell pepper
12 thin slices small zucchini
4 tablespoons dry white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut parchment paper into large squares and coat one side with softened butter.

Sprinkle both side of each dolphin fillet with salt and pepper and place one in the center of each parchment square.  Drizzle lemon juice over each fillet; top with 2 pats of butter and 2 bay leaves.

Divide the vegetables equally and arrange over each fillet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon wine.

Fold the parchment around the fish as if making a package.  Put a toothpick through the paper folds on top, being careful to ensure the packet is completely closed.  You don’t want steam or liquid to escape.

Some of you may be more comfortable using aluminum foil as it crimps together more easily.  The cooking is the same.  The presentation isn’t quite as pretty!

Place the packets on a baking sheet and put in the pre-heated oven to cook for 20 minutes.

Remove.  Place unopened packages onto the dinner plates.  Carefully open to avoid steaming your hands or face!  Diners enjoy the novelty of eating directly from the parchment, so spoon some cooked rice onto the flavorful broth.

Many other varieties of white fish are equally delicious prepared this way.

Lynne Foster


Freshly caught clams, small to medium in size
Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce, optional
Garlic powder
Other herbs or chopped veggies to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese

This is an easy recipe for preparing freshly caught clams to which you can add your own tastes and special touches.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a clam knife, open the clams and leave on the half shell.  Discard the other half. Using the knife, scrape underneath the clam meat to loosen it from the shell.

Place the clams on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with a few drops of Worcestershire, a drop of hot sauce, and garlic powder.  Add other herbs to taste.  I’ve used fresh and dried parsley and basil, but add whatever you like. I’ve also used chopped pimientos. Or you can add some finely diced jalapeno or red bell pepper.

Top with grated Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

With tongs, remove clams to serving platter carefully, to keep the juices in the shell.

Serve as an appetizer or a first course for dinner with crusty bread.

Irene Nolan

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