CatDecenzo’s Weblog

Just some mundane madness

The Lemon Sea Bass Caper


LemonSeaBassI rarely measure anything (my husband’s glad about that), but I had some nice sea bass that I wanted to cook up. If you need measurements, cookbooks and mathematical equations for cooking, you’re at the wrong place.  Head on over to the cooking channel, otherwise, a little dab’l do ya….

Combine some olive oil, lemon juice, capers and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Save a small portion in a separate bowl.

Cook up some spaghetti or fettucine in boiling water. Drain. Toss into that large bowl w/lemon/caper sauce.

Lightly flour and salt ‘n pepper a few pieces of sea bass (mine was skinless).

Heat light layer of canola or vegetable oil in bottom of a pan (I used my black wrought iron pan) till  really hot but not smokin’! (Drop of water will sizzle in pan..but so will your face, so back off)

Saute sea bass about 2-3 minutes on each side. (Meanwhile, wander on over and preheat the oven to 425 degrees).

Throw entire pan into the 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes (or if not ovenproof pan, saute a little longer on each side until fork tender).

Plop the spagetts in a really pretty serving dish. Add sea bass around the top (I divided the fish into portions). Drizzle small portion of saved lemon/caper sauce over the whole thing.

Damn, that’s eatin’.


August 21, 2009 Posted by | Recipes/Food | , , , , | 1 Comment

“And Let Them Gather All the Food of Those Good Years”

appalachia1After a week of repetitive holiday get-togethers, gastronomic overload and glaring light sensitivity to the little twinkling lights, the Mister and I decided to high-tail it to the mountains of West Virginia for a little rest and relaxation a few days after Christmas.

Although there’s little to do in the college town of Morgantown, WV, especially when the students are gone, we found solice in doing absolutely nothing – just relaxing by our little fake electric fireplace, watching some playoff games, and putzing around our little investment condo in an area we consider God’s best kept little secret. There were no telephone calls to be made, no bills to be paid, and no work to be done.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. I was in almost heaven.

appalachiacooking1I was going bezerk trying to find something to read and, in my desperation, was actually going to read a few cookbooks, when I remembered tucked in between them was  a little gem of a book I purchased off of E-Bay once, which is a collection of early West Virginia Food and Philosophy.  I love to collect cookbooks, although I think I’ve only referenced one maybe twice in my entire life to actually cook something. Manuals and I don’t get along…

appalachiapanI started wading through this bible, and was mesmerized by the concoctions and recipes passed down through the generations of Appalachian homemakers who had nothing but a kettle and fire with which to cook. Even more amazing, the book is a rag-tag compilation typed on a manual typewriter with hand drawn illustrations, lovingly printed and bound in a little town way out in Iowa.

Besides the strange, albeit basic recipes I came across – with their names obviously resurrected from family names or treasured “hollers” in and around Appalachia, it was apparent these heritage foods and philosphies rose from these simple people who retained a pure and basic concept, one that “accepted things as they are”  in their use of fruits, vegetables, domestic animals and game – no aspertame, preservatives (except salt), chemicals, plastics, etc.

Besides names that bring to mind fields of tiny wildflowers and mountain streams,  like Permilia Trail’s Yellow Cake, Green Valley Pudding, Preston County Buckwheat Cakes, Leather Britches Beans, and West Virginia Corn Pone, there are basic recipes drenched in soul and simplicity: Fire Roasted Onions,  Pickled Corn, Stone Jar Sauerkraut, Corn Cob Syrup and Candied Orange Peel, apparently favored by Martha Washington.

And tucked in between the recipes are little noted wisdoms, “Every story has three sides – yers, mine and the facts,” or “The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of man than the discovery of a star.”

And in case I can’t find those tips from Heloise I cut out three years ago, there are many from the 1860 section of “Household Treasures.” I may not find them useful for keeping spots off my dishes from my high-tech dishwasher, but next time I complain about having to change a light bulb, I’m going to remember these little ditties from the folks from ages gone by:

“If you stir your hot custard with a small branch from a peach tree, it will flavor it nicely.”

“Oat straw is the best to fill beds with.”

“A lump of hard soap is good to stop up them mouse holes with.”

“A piece of bread put into a kettle of rendering lard will prevent it from boiling over.”

Survival of the fittest….I wouldn’t mess with Ma or Pa, that’s fer sure.initial

January 5, 2009 Posted by | Random, Recipes/Food | , , | Leave a comment

This Ain’t Your Mama’s Tuna Casserole


tunacasserole-0021Find some pasta in your cupboard.  I used ziti noodles.
Boil it up. Drain it.

To a large bowl, add:

2 cans albacore tuna
Some chopped celery
Some green olives
Some chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1/2 carton sour cream
Cup of scallions
Some garlic powder
Some pepper
(No salt…everything’s salty enough)


Combine ingredients

Add drained pasta to mixture above.

Spray a baking dish with Pam or grease it up good (or you’ll be scrubbing it forever)…Throw in pasta mixture.

Top with shredded cheese (I had some leftover cherry ‘n chipotle cheese..yum-o..from Thanksgiving). I also added some shredded Asiago cheese…Use whatever cheese ya got.


Sprinkle french fried onions

Sprinkle all with French Fried Onions. 

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven till bubbly…oh, about 20 minutes, or until french fried onions are crispy critters….




Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

December 3, 2008 Posted by | Recipes/Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cooking with Gusto

Lorena Bobbitt. You remember her. Whacked off her husband’s manhood one night after he returned, intoxicated, to their feely posturepedic after carousing the bars and wanting some whoop-dee-doo.

Right when I thought I got past THAT visual, with the associated shudders running up and down my spine –  or down in some nether parts – I came across an author who just may help her slither back into the limelight. On second thought, he might want to hire HER for her knowledge in the correct dissection and proper storage of those cajonies.

cookbook1Yes, folks, welcome to “The Testicle Cookbook: Cooking with Balls.” Men, before you go running off protectively covering your plums, the recipes involve the nackers from animals – from pigs to stallions and ostriches – and are considered a delicacy..and some think, an aphrodisiac.

Now, mind you, I didn’t go seeking out this book. Can’t even imagine what site I was on when I fell into the deep abyss of extraneous links and came across this cookbook.

Perhaps this Thanksgiving, we should go a different route.  I don’t think the Pilgrims would mind.  Some of the delicious palate-pleasers on the menu could be:

  • Heart-shaped Turkey Testicles (uh, cookie cutters?)
  • Pig Testicles with Potatoes (peter piper picked a peck of….)
  • Bull Testicles (with Bechamel Sauce, of course)
  • Testicle Pizza (you mean that’s not sausage??!) 

The Chinese believed that eating testicles on a regular basis boosted libido and cured impotence. Wonder if Loretta ever thought of using a fork instead? initial

November 17, 2008 Posted by | Recipes/Food | , , , , , | Leave a comment