Zox Kitchen Blog

by Chef Alan Zox

Brunch by the Sea

In 1896 Punch magazine wrote that the term “brunch” was coined in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for “Saturday-night carousers”. The term has evolved to mean the wonderful meal we enjoy today between breakfast and lunch. It might be bacon and eggs, omelets and vegetables, or any number of lunch time dishes reflecting where the meal is taking place. On Cape Cod or Montauk, LA,  San Francisco, Miami or Houston.  for example, seafood brunches are common in part because of the daily bounty of seafood readily available.  Of course any combination of complementary dishes work well for … Continue reading Brunch by the Sea

Creamy Cold Cauliflower Soup with Curry & Greek Yogurt

Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa has left indelible memories. Warm weather reminds me of detasseling corn, tomatoes you can only dream about eating, fields of watermelon, summer baseball, swimming in sand pits with cold springs which made warm summer days bearable, drive-in movies and eating Eastern European specialties. It wasn’t Brooklyn but it wasn’t merely cornbread and BBQ either—dishes I also came to adore. Friends are often surprised about this biographical fact of my background suggesting I have changed since moving away from the cornfields of Iowa. Perhaps, but these memories can be warm and comforting as well. Of … Continue reading Creamy Cold Cauliflower Soup with Curry & Greek Yogurt

Eating Well Regardless Of Your Age

When eating is a burden as opposed to a pleasure, it becomes painful to return home at the end of the day to prepare a healthy, nutritious meal. While some of us see this as a wonderful and creative opportunity, others see the opposite. They turn to fast food, pizza or high sodium frozen meals. Managing one’s hunger and feeding the kids or one’s spouse are burdens to overcome quickly. Serving cheese, crackers, pretzels and soda, or a quick and filling burrito become the simple way to fill one’s stomach. Achieving flavor can become a hardship. College or high school … Continue reading Eating Well Regardless Of Your Age

Seafood Paella for Father’s Day

Eating with my father was often an enjoyable process.  Sunday night we would charcoal steaks on our grill. Weekend breakfasts often included waffles or sometimes kippers and herring with sautéed onions. And the local delicatessen sold delicious corned beef sandwiches on bagels with mustard that we all enjoyed. When I got older my dad often invited me to join him on business trips that often included memorable meals. Years later when I began to travel on business my father joined me as I did with him. One of our favorite trips was to Barcelona, located along the Mediterranean Sea, and … Continue reading Seafood Paella for Father’s Day

Eating Well While Enjoying what we Eat

It’s difficult to say what is healthy and unhealthy food today. Organically grown food for example, appears to be good for us while growing in popularity. But It also continues to be more expensive than ever leading to some resistance to buying it. Nutritional studies are helping explain that we are what we eat. Yet even though these studies are becoming more and more common there is still much more to know about the effect of each and every supplement available at GNC or at your local CVS. No question that the definition of healthy food has gone through a … Continue reading Eating Well While Enjoying what we Eat

Comfort Food of Mexico – Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup is the chicken soup south of the border. The name implies an Aztec origin, but it owes much more to the Tarascan people from the Michoacán area of Mexico. I enjoy eating it in all its variations whatever its origin. It’s also easy to serve vegetarian style, or with shredded chicken thighs. Breast meat I have found is a bit too bland. Mexico is known for its soups especially when chili peppers are used like in the case of Tortilla soup which are called chipotle chilies when roasted and Jalapeño when fresh. All Mexican chili peppers have such … Continue reading Comfort Food of Mexico – Tortilla Soup

The Amazing Dover Sole

Dover Sole is now available in East Coast Fish markets.. It’s delicious, nutritious, and has not been overfished either. Further, the National Marine Fisheries Service which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the American Heart Association (AHA) tell us that a 3 ounce portion of sole is said to have one of the highest concentrations of Omega 3 in fish (which is very healthy for us), and are low in mercury. Yet there is confusion about Dover Sole but not about the flavor. First off there are at least two types of sole. The most … Continue reading The Amazing Dover Sole

Mother’s Day Chocolate Cake

It’s a time to remember and to celebrate the mothers in our lives. It’s always fun to make a special meal or to eat at a special restaurant when the weather is starting to turn warm and temperate. Mother’s Day in the United States was given birth by Anna Jarvis of West Virginia in the early 1900s. It was conceived as a day to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children. With the collaboration of the department store owner John Wanamaker, who held a Mother’s Day event, the holiday was off and running. Jarvis started a letter-writing campaign promoting … Continue reading Mother’s Day Chocolate Cake

New Study on Exercise and Mental Health – Amazing Findings!

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS , NY Times Blog: More people are living longer these days, but the good news comes shadowed by the possible increase in cases of age-related mental decline. By some estimates, the global incidence of dementia will more than triple in the next 35 years. That grim prospect is what makes a study published in March in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease so encouraging: It turns out that regular walking, cycling, swimming, dancing and even gardening may substantially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Exercise has long been linked to better mental capacity in older people. Little research, however, … Continue reading New Study on Exercise and Mental Health – Amazing Findings!

Super Bowl Eats

Thanksgiving has become the holiday Americans of all backgrounds celebrate together. Yet the football event called the Super Bowl has also become no less observed and venerated on TV by millions of Americans. It will be interesting to see if the viewing public continues to follow the sport as we have up till now with the release of the film Concussion, starring Will Smith. The film documents the risks that athletes of all ages can suffer from sport induced head injuries called CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Do you think the film, Concussion, will alter the popularity of American football? … Continue reading Super Bowl Eats

The Enduring Importance of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Only three figures in American history have a national holiday named after them: President George Washington, Christopher Columbus and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Reverend King however is the only one who is a native born United States citizen. Whenever I write about King, I am reminded of this profound fact. To have a day named in your honor is no small achievement. But it wasn’t easy to accomplish. It took 15 years after King was assassinated in 1968 until it was finally signed as a Federal bill by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. One of the more popular initiatives … Continue reading The Enduring Importance of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Ajiaco- Colombian Chicken Soup

Ajiaco ( phonetically pronounced Ah-He-A-Ko) is a wonderful seasonal delight that is a very popular Chicken soup in Colombia, South America.  The key to the soup is the sauce you add called Aji and the herb, “Guascas” which can be found on www.amazon or substituted with dried oregano or bay leaf and parsley. Soup is considered a staple of Colombia for all social classes and ethnic groups. It meets the needs of Colombians living in hot and colder climates, T The smells of the soup are memorable and remain with us forever like so many dishes we grow up with. … Continue reading Ajiaco- Colombian Chicken Soup

The Thrill of Blue Fishing

A summertime fishing challenge and equally a culinary delight Headboats are 50-60 foot fishing vessels that carry 20-40 men and women who pay a captain to catch fish. Rods and reels and bait are provided along with radar to find your fish of choice. My brother and I enjoyed these outings off the Montauk and Connecticut shores. If the conditions are right, you can land several fish in a couple of hours. Summertime brings schools of bluefish and stripers (striped bass) to the Eastern shores that challenge the best of us. We always enjoyed fishing for these species because of … Continue reading The Thrill of Blue Fishing

Grilling vs Smoking Saltwater Fish

Grilling and Smoking Fish are two cooking methods that create wonderful flavors and delicious meals. But they are distinct and unique from one another. Knowing the differences will enhance your cooking skills and delight your families and friends. Lightly smoking your fish will require no more time than a few minutes to achieve at a low temperature of 200F- 225F for no more than 5-10 minutes. Smoke with alder or apple wood placed on top of white coals. Even less time is needed when you poach or braise your fish beforehand in a Court Bouillon followed by a few minutes … Continue reading Grilling vs Smoking Saltwater Fish

Organic Eating And Growing With Italian & Mexican Chiles

The other day I overheard two shoppers at Whole Foods having a friendly disagreement about the value of conventional vs. organic eating and growing. I learned that food grown organically has a certified organic label. Who knew? The label guarantees the food to be free of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, antibiotics and GMOs. So much to know but as the saying goes “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware.” Other questions concern why organic costs so much more than conventional foods even though sales are growing by about 20 percent a year, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. Still this isn’t enough. … Continue reading Organic Eating And Growing With Italian & Mexican Chiles

Mole: The Delicious Mexican Sauce

Mole is as old as antiquity. Today this wonderful sauce continues to be as popular as ever. Moles are found across Mexico but especially in the marketplaces of Mexico City, the capital, and Oaxaca where historic pre-Aztec ruins are visited by tourists. Not surprisingly Oaxaca is the home of modern day moles which satisfy even the most discerning food critic. The Town of Oaxaca, which was part of the Zapotec civilization, who spoke the language of Nahuati, is located in this area of southern Mexico. In fact, mole is a Nahuatl word that simply means “mixture.” But not necessarily one … Continue reading Mole: The Delicious Mexican Sauce

Summer Time Fitness While Eating Well

 It’s getting to be that time of year again when the sun shines like you kind of remember it did many months ago, and winter attire has been put away.  Summer has arrived but there is still time to get ready  for that August vacation.  In fact I hear many folks still  thinking about shedding a few pounds so we can get into those slacks we bought on sale after Christmas—and the idea of starting a few exercises feels good and maybe even helps the waistline. Where do we begin? Here’s a few popular diet books and some habits that … Continue reading Summer Time Fitness While Eating Well

Green Beans – Healthy Casserole or Easy Saute

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables and are enjoyed throughout the world. They are made up of small seeds in long pods. Because beans are harvested while still young, the green pods are tender and edible. They are available with a peak season of May to October. Green beans grow on vines or bushes. If you are buying them, look for green beans that are loose rather than in packages so you can pick the freshest ones. They should be crisp and bright green, without blemishes or signs of wilting. Although they taste best if eaten right away, … Continue reading Green Beans – Healthy Casserole or Easy Saute

Eggplant Rollatini With Quinoa Or Spinach

India is the birthplace of eggplant. But seldom do we see Indian varieties. In fact, many people assume that eggplant, which is actually a fruit and not a vegetable, comes from the English who originally thought of eggplant as having an ornamental virtue rather than a culinary one. Perhaps the bitterness of eggplant may have compounded these biases further, which is why cookbooks will tell you to use salt to draw the bitter acid out of the eggplant, which can be washed away after an hour of salting. But by the 18th century, eggplant had been developed that was less … Continue reading Eggplant Rollatini With Quinoa Or Spinach

Check out Apple’s Weekly News Up Dates – Eg. A Meaty Issue in China

Recently I began to receive news articles published by Apple, about   popular subjects.  Many  are worth the price of admission — which is free.   See Apple News <[email protected]>I particularly liked the one on China titled — A “Meaty Issue” China is enlisting celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Cameron to push people to eat less meat. If the campaign works, it could have a surprisingly large effect on global warming.     Updated by Brad Plumer on June 21, 2016, 9:20 a.m. ET Plummer tells us that the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines remained fairly muted on the topic after fierce … Continue reading Check out Apple’s Weekly News Up Dates – Eg. A Meaty Issue in China

The Delicious Datil Pepper from St. Augustine, Florida

When I think of peppers or chilies I think of warm summer—even tropical climates. I imagine splashing waves, hammocks, sea breezes, steel drums, seafood, dark, lovely ladies and handsome men with a lightness in their walk and a song in their heart that make cold winds disappear, at least in my imagination. This is also the time of year when many of us are fortunate enough to visit such warm weather places like St. Augustine FL, and try the fiery yet fruity datil pepper. Datils are similar in strength to habaneros or Scotch Bonnets, but have a sweeter flavor. Locals … Continue reading The Delicious Datil Pepper from St. Augustine, Florida

The Popularity of Salads Year Round

Salads have become one of life’s special meals year-round. Winter, spring, summer and fall, they have taken on their own personality. Eaten raw, roasted, baked or boiled, cold or hot, salads have become the healthy, quick and easy replacement meal for working adults. Although children can learn to love salads before they are called such a thing as an “adult.” I remember I did.If you haven’t tried salads as a satisfying meal by themselves or with a cup of soup, give it a go. You won’t be disappointed. Just add your favorite vinaigrette to some greens and vegetables, and voilá—a … Continue reading The Popularity of Salads Year Round

The Ancient and Forever Popular Hot Dog

I remember the joy of discovering gourmet sausages on Rush Street in Chicago, working at Consolidated Freightways, the summer before my senior year in college. No one had ever heard of eating hotdogs with sliced tomatoes, coleslaw, caramelized onions and BBQ onions; or, the pleasure of eating a thick, Braunschweiger German sausage which is a blend of pork meat and pork liver almost like a pate slathered with mustard. Sausages are considered among the oldest forms of processed food, that go back as far as 9th-century B.C. Frankfurt, Germany, is traditionally credited with originating these hot dogs. Others say the … Continue reading The Ancient and Forever Popular Hot Dog

The Popularity of Spaghetti Bolognese

Date: May 9, 2016   Spaghetti Bolognese is an Italian meat-based sauce or ragù, which is said to come from Bologna, that wonderful city of food located in Emilia Romagna. Curiously, spaghetti Bolognese is very popular outside of Italy, but is said to have never existed in Bologna itself. Meat-based ragù, not meat balls, was always served in Bologna with local egg pasta like tagliatelle or lasagne. Spaghetti bolognese, on the other hand, is usually eaten with a wheat pasta or gluten-free pastas. When the war ended, it’s possible that American and British soldiers who returned to Italy as tourists … Continue reading The Popularity of Spaghetti Bolognese

Borscht, The Wonderful Roasted Beet Soup

Borscht is usually a beet soup that is a part of many religious holidays and cultural traditions from Eastern Europe. When I used to visit New York City with my father I loved eating the exotic flavors found in “kosher cafes” that followed Jewish law not to mix dairy products and meat.  Most people think of Kosher as being a Jewish tradition but actually Islamic kitchens follow several dietary traditions as well called Halal which are similar to kosher rules. For example, both traditions do not eat pork or shell fish among other differences. Back in the day when kosher … Continue reading Borscht, The Wonderful Roasted Beet Soup