The Unorthodox Epicure — Surf & Turf Sliders w/ Caesar Slaw

Surf & Turf Sliders w/ Caesar Slaw — A four-star three-bite nosh.

After recently watching a YouTube sensation do a video review of his own concoction of fast food products, my wife and I were talking about burger possibilities. Sure, I prefer mine with plenty of mustard and pickles — assembled properly — but our conversation took us well out of the box. Considering that hamburgers are […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Tacos de Camarónes Frescos (Fresh Shrimp Tacos)

Grilled Shrimp Tacos —

Fresh. Zesty. Light. Nope, these aren’t the tacos we grew up on. For one, there’s nothing guilty about this pleasure — no frying; no amber-colored grease dripping down your forearm; and no need to postpone your annual physical after eating a plateful.  Plus, they’re quick, easy and absolutely a ten in the flavor department. Want […]

Confession No. 136 — You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…

Crab Cakes blah blah

For those of you who are new to these parts, this project began almost four years ago with my ‘Confessions’ — everything from rants about people wearing pajamas in public, to very personal pieces about my life as I know it.  Following is one of those intimate essays, a letter to our youngest son. April […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Blackened Fish w/ Mango Salsa

Blackened Fish w/ Mango Salsa — An outstanding contrast of flavors

Confession: My first experience with blackened fish left a bitter taste in my mouth for a very long time. Too long, in fact. I might’ve been 13 or 14 when my father decided he’d try his hand at the popular Chef Paul Prudhomme brainchild. He cleaned the fish (you couldn’t buy catfish fillets back then […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Crab & Corn Bisque

Crab & Corn Bisque — Velvety goodness.

Bisque evokes thoughts of a cream-based soup in which crab is the star. And sometimes lobster. For average guys like me, it also means that I’m going to pay top dollar for a few spoonfuls of creamy warm shellfish bliss. While that might be the case nowadays, bisque has a somewhat humble beginning. As the […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Shrimp: The real chicken of the sea

Lemongrass Shrimp — If you listen closely, you'll hear Bubba mention it in Forrest Gump.

‘You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.’ – Bubba Blue (Mykelti Williamson), […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Garlic Butter Grilled Oysters

Garlic Butter Grilled Oysters — This ain't your average bivalve mollusk!

My infatuation with oysters is odd. I’ve eaten them since childhood — though I’ve never really been crazy about them. I think it all began when my father, an avid oyster eater, mentioned that he’d once found a pearl while eating a fried version of the popular bivalve mollusk. I was perhaps seven or eight-years-old, […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Foods that heal and give long life. Or do they?

Scallops Provencal. Melt in your mouth goodness.

Ginger ale for a stomach ache? Mustard for muscle cramps? Really? Truth is … yes. There have been numerous formal and informal studies about swallowing a spoonful of prepared yellow mustard to alleviate the excruciating pain of Charlie Horses. And, despite that there’s no definitive answer as to why — Vinegar? Mustard seed? — an […]

Confession No. 56 – Please, just get to the point.

The ultimate Southwestern Surf & Turf: Ancho-braised Beef Shanks and Shrimp Cocktail ala La Mansion del Prado, with a side of Cauliflower-infused Chipotle Mashers.

Many people think of me as a windbag. Some also believe that arrogance flows through my veins. Possibly so on both counts, but one thing’s for sure — I’m a man of double standards. Especially when it comes to conversations. In short, I much prefer being behind life’s virtual podium to being on the audience side. […]

Confession No. 4 – I’ve never made Five-star cuisine, but I know the difference between béarnaise and rémoulade.

Yours truly, pictured with Mile (pronounced mee-lay) in the Windsong dining room aboard Carnival's Ecstasy. Despite that Mile couldn't warm our brie, we tipped him. True to his socialist roots, he said he would share the tip with his co-workers.

I‘ll say it up front: this essay is more of a rant than anything else. Sure, I’ll include a tried and true recipe, but really, I’m taking this opportunity to make fun of cruise ship cuisine and the people who shamelessly gorge on it. My family, during the week of July 4, cruised the Carnival […]