Pan Fried Smelts

Hello there!

It’s been a while, a long while actually. Here at NK we still eat real food, shop locally and continue to work on reducing our environmental footprint. We are huge fans of sardines and healthy sustained fish. Whether frozen or fresh, smelts are deliciously pleasing every time.

Smelts are a family of small fish, Osmeridae, found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, totally sustainable and so delicious that you can eat them whole. And today we will!

We were lucky enough to find some fresh smelts at one of our local markets. These little guys are so quick and easy to make you are going to want to present these to your table more often. These will also make some great appetizers on a skewer, grilled.


  • 1 – 1.5 pounds of fresh smelts (if frozen, let them thaw out and dab with a towel)
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 of plantain flower
  • pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • fresh black cracked pepper
  • 1/2 lemon

Pour coconut oil into your 10 inch cast iron pan or the similar, allow the oil to get very hot.

Salt and pepper your smelt and then gently roll them individually in the flour. Ensure that you pat the flour on tightly and shake the rest off. Once you have 4 – 6 coated, place them into the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes each side. Place on paper towel, and sprinkle with a little more sea salt. Finish your whole batch and serve with your favorite salad or dipping sauce.

We hope that you enjoy these crispy smelts as much as we do. Be well – Jo and Henry

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Avocado Potato Salad

Try this very refreshing potato salad variation. Your friends will love you for bringing this over to your favorite outing.

Enjoy! NK




  • 2 large avocados
  • 3 medium sized redskin potatoes (each is the size of about a tennis ball)
  • 2 tbsps finely diced red onion
  • 1 peeled and cubed into small 1/2 inch pieces
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice



Boil, cook, peel, and chill potatoes. Cube potatoes into 1/2 inches.

Combine avocado, lime juice, spices, and mustard in a mixing bowl, and mix well using a hand blender; consistency should be very creamy. Now add cubed potatoes, and cucumber; fold in carefully, ensuring that the pieces remain whole. Taste for saltiness, and adjust accordingly. Finish with your favorite fresh green herbs to garnish.


Jumbo Prawns in Silky Tomato Sauce

We’ve been experimenting with some amazing things, stay tuned for more great things coming up really soon – you’ll love them for the summer.

jumbo shrimp



  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced thin to medium
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 dried Thai chilis, seeds in
  • 1 can coconut milk, full fat and the good stuff
  • 2 lbs large to jumbo shrimp, clean and get rid of the tail
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme


Heat your favorite large pan with the coconut oil, then add the fresh garlic and get it to golden in color. Add onions, and get those glossy, now add the tomatoes, sea salt, rice vinegar, fish sauce and Thai chilis. Let these amazing ingredients open up and mingle for a while, about 20 minutes on medium to high, and add the coconut milk, cayenne and fresh thyme; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.  … Taste the sauce and adjust to your liking.

Add jumbo shrimp and gently fold into sauce, turn up the heat until your sauce bubbles. Then fold in the shrimp some more to ensure even cooking, cover, reduce heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

It will amaze you. Serve it with mashed sweet potatoes, sunchokes, or yucca. …OR anything else that you fancy.🙂


Pumpkin Curry Soup

This soup can be served chilled or hot. The ingredients are so complimentary to each other and the curry and ginger lift the flavor profile to something almost floral. You can finish it with some crispy bacon, or labne or your favorite herb.

Ingredients for a big pot of soup that serves 6 – 8 people:

  • 1 medium to large butternut squash
  • 1 large potato or white sweet potato
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 large shallots
  • 1 – 2 inches of fresh ginger
  • 1 very large fresh garlic
  • 3 dried Thai chilis
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste

Peel the butternut squash, carrots, potato and shallots and cut up into 1 – 2 inch chunks. Add chopped garlic and grate the piece of ginger into the pot. Add all spices, salt, pepper and cover all ingredients with water, and bring to a boil. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes, then cover and reduce heat to low/medium depending on your pot. Check after 30 – 40 minutes to see if most of the veggies are soft and falling apart. Next remove the lid and let it sit for 5 minutes, stir it well and check for spice or salt adjustment. Now add the coconut milk and then begin to purée with a handheld or blend with your Vitamix. …and voilà you’ve got great tasting soup. I love serving this as an appetizer with some champagne at a great start to a Sunday brunch, chilled.

Savory Calamari & Cod: Thai Inspired

Although we’ve been cooking as usual, we haven’t really shared recipes consistently and we are sorry for that. We are back and you can expect consistent posts. Thank you for  your continued visits and recreation of our dishes.

calmari thai


  • 2 cups calamari tentacles
  • 1/2 lb cod, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (you could also use another robust white fish)
  • 2 bell peppers, we used one green and one red
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 3 dried Thai chilis
  • 1 1/2 cup dried Porcini mushrooms (will need to be soaked, see below)
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 can organic full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/3 tbsp World Market Spice Blend

Take a small bowl and soak the Porcini mushrooms for about 10 minutes, then drain and add to the sautéed veggies. 

Take our your favorite wok or large pan and heat ghee on high, once it is very hot, add the sliced onion and dried Thai chilis and stir fry until golden. Now add the sliced bell peppers and World Market Thai Spice Blend, black sesame seeds, fish sauce, coconut sugar, cayenne and fresh grated ginger root (add mushrooms here). Allow to cook for another 5 minutes on medium-high, then add the coconut milk, and water; keep stirring. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Now it’s time to add the calamari tentacles and cod. Allow to simmer on low for another 10 – 15 minutes and serve with your favorite side. We enjoyed some traditional Thai Jasmine rice with this dish. 

Please enjoy!

Cucumber Relish

Henry, my wonderful husband, surprised me with this dish of love when I got home from a really long day of work recently. This dish is so incredibly refreshing, light and satisfying that it erased all the clutter of my day, and I hope that it does the same for you. It is a make you feel good and happy dish, that pairs so well with just about anything. Please give this a try; you will not be disappointed.

cucumber relish


  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (rice/coconut)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Serrano or Thai chilli peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 limes, juice only
In a salad bowl, mix peeled cucumbers, finely diced ingredients, lime juice and all other ingredients. Cover and chill in your refrigerator for an hour for best results. Serve and enjoy. Thank you honey!


Poppy Seed Banana Torte

We love poppy seed anything, and wanted to share an easy, but delicious torte that you can make for your family or for a gift to bring to a friends house. With the holiday season slowly approaching, it will be nice to have another healthy choice on the dinner table. This will surely make it onto ours for Thanksgiving as a secondary to our Perfect Pumpkin Pie.

photo (4)


  • 2 cups of ground poppy seeds
  • 5 (cage free) eggs
  • 2 bananas (not overly ripe)
  • pinch of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • gratings from 1/2 lime rind

This is so easy to prepare. You can choose to use a handheld mixer or a Kitchen Aid, I prefer my Kitchen Aid. Begin by separating the eggs. I always beat the egg whites first until they are very stiff and move them into a bowl. Then begin to mix the butter, once it’s nice and smooth, add the sugar, continue to mix well. Now add the egg yolks one at a time and continue to mix until everything is beautiful and creamy in texture. Sprinkle in the salt, remember, you can always add salt, so be careful not to add too much. Now add the poppy seeds, vanilla and bananas and continue to mix, but at a lower level. When everything looks smooth and blended well, stop the machine and add the lime gratings. Fold these in by hand first and then fold in the egg whites. Ensure not to leave any large egg white clumps as your torte will not have the right consistency when it bakes.

Grease your favorite 8 inch pan and pour in the mixture. Move your oven rack to the middle position and place the torte into the preheated 325 degree oven on convection. Because every oven is different your best measure to see if it’s done is to check with a metal skewer. Insert it after about 40 – 45 minutes to see if anything sticks, if yes, it needs a little more time. Be careful not to overcook it though as it is thin.

We are showing it here with some fresh whipped cream.


Wild Black Rice Burger Patties with Dover Sole

It’s been a little while since we posted last, so very much has happened – the most important and sad is that we have lost our boy Tiger, who you see on our last post. We have not had the heart or mindset until now to think of other things. We will miss him forever! …


Thank you all for you patience in waiting for this post and thank you for your continued support and love.

Today we would like to feature a new spin on how you serve a burger, your style and burger patty of choice. This particular burger is accompanied by a warm kale salad, which we will share soon, protein is dover sole, separately sauteed onions to top your patty with before stacking the fish or beef filler.

Rice patty

Saute one large yellow onion with a pinch of sea salt, black pepper and a few coriander seeds. Saute and set aside, keep them warm.

Boil 1 cup of dry black rice in 2 parts of water with a little pinch of sea salt, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a little simmer. Stir once or twice and allow to set.

In a medium mixing bowl add cooked black wild rice, one egg, pinch of turmeric, a little paprika, fresh cracked pepper, pinch or salt, a tiny pinch of Garam Marsala and dice up 1/2 tablespoon of pickled jalapenos. Use pickled peppers because this will help in keeping your patty together better.

These patties are sensitive and you do have to take care to cook them thoroughly and ensure that they are rounded out and can’t break out. Work with a spatula after you pour them into the pan to round them out.

Whip the rice and egg and all other ingredients mix them well. Heat a cast iron pan with some ghee or coconut oil until the pan is really hot. Pour in the desired pancake size of rice mix into the hot pan and allow to cook for a minute or so, before you flip the rice patty for the other side.

It really is that easy. Set the patties aside on a paper towel.  Now begin to build your favorite burger.

Ours here is depicted with the warm kale salad, patty has organic dijon mustard lightly smeared on it and topped with the wonderful onions, followed by the dover sole, covered with the top patty and wrapped in your favorite tissue for presentation and enjoyment.

These are truly delicious – please give these a try.

Jo’s Indian Spiced Comfort Ground Beef

Sweet husband of mine made this fabulous dish for me. He had it waiting with the most perfectly baked Yucca, and had the perfect wine to pair, thanks Eric! I am truly lucky in every way. I was so smitten with these tastes that you, too, should be able to enjoy such a perfect combination of Indian spice blends…in a non-traditional Indian dish. Make it in advance and wow your family and friends.

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  • 3 lb. grassed beef, we buy ours from Date Creek Ranch (thank you!)
  • 3 Tbsp Ghee
  • 2 Inches of Ginger (peel)
  • 4 Large Onions
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Turneric
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste, same with pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 5-8 Serrano Peppers
  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 can coconut cream

Here’s how to make it!

  1. Sautee Onions and Ghee until glossy (browning them to golden in color on medium heat)
  2. Add Spices and continue to cook while you get ready for the next step
  3. Combine Ginger, Onions, Garlic, Peppers, and tomatoes, and mix well with a hand-held blender, until smooth
  4. Add to onions and spice mixture and cook another 3-5 minutes
  5. Add Beef and make sure it is well folded in, let it cook for another few minutes on medium heat
  6. Finally add Coconut Cream, combine and let simmer on low/medium low for another 15-20 mins – covered

Serve with our favorite Yucca and enjoy!                                …secret…it’s even better the next day.🙂  – and it always tastes better with Tiger to help us eat.

Mixed Ceviche (without Onions)

We love ceviche just about every way. This past spring we enjoyed some variations with juices and coconut milk  in Bogotá, Colombia. In my opinion, Colombia has some of the tastiest ceviche.

Ours today has three different seafood in it, for taste and texture. We chose to leave the onions out of this dish this time, and we did not miss them, actually.

It is very important to get enough lime juice and the proper balance of spices. I am not a big fan of adding spices in which the dish is marinating, rather we prefer to sprinkle cayenne and some turmeric over it. Mix it well and cover it and place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, stirring it every 20 minutes. We always make a little extra for a snack or lunch the next day.

photo (10)

Today’s ingredients:

  • 4 large diver scallops (cut into very small chunks)
  •  2 cups of tiny bay shrimp
  • 1.5 pounds of Tilapia filet (cut into strips and then chunk into small squares
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of freshly pressed lime juice
  • 1 great bell pepper, diced
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 – 6 cilantro peppers, diced seeds in
  • a little sea salt to taste
  • some fresh ground black pepper
  • sprinkle of cayenne and turmeric – for finishing
  • drizzle of olive oil, also for finishing

Note:  if your seafood is frozen, please allow to thaw naturally, not in the microwave.

Take a large serving bowl and add diced veggies and seafood. Mix well, add some salt and pepper and continue to fold in well. Add lime juice and once again mix well. Let your food sit for a minute or two and stir again, repeat this a few more times before it’s covered and chilled. The extra mixing allows for the lime juice to cook the seafood evenly, and tt will make all the difference in taste.

As you can see we served ours with some Yucca. Enjoy this dish this summer, it’s easy and it’s refreshing.

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