Blowing Out the Candles on a Cake

Good morning to all of our beloved friends and clients and I don't know about you but I'm getting worried over the scant amount of human interaction that we are spending with our friends and family in this age of social media.

On top of that it seems, even more so, that our behavior has led us down a path of an over sterilized environment with reminders everywhere on how to behave as to not spread germs among us. Why just this morning on my Google news feed I read that a new study has shown that blowing out candles on a cake can add a tremendous amount of bacteria to the sweet treat. Seriously, a study conducted by Clemson University in South Carolina revealed that blowing out the candles on a cake can add as much as 1,400 percent more bacteria to the dessert's surface. Now please know that being in the food industry, safe food handling practices are paramount in my day to day operations but you would have to sneeze on a good cake at least three times before I wouldn't be the first in line for a slice. Wait, does that mean deep soul kissing can also spread "cooties"...I sure as heck hope so. So let me get this straight, we've replaced talking with texting and instant messaging, we've replaced visiting someone with Skype and Facetime...what's next, are we going to download an app that will simulate the warm caring hug of a half Lebanese fishmonger (for the record, I never pat the back during my hugs but they do linger a little too long).

No, enough is enough, I'm not going to sing an out of tune Happy Birthday at the top of my lungs and expect my Dear Aunt Mary to break out a can of "Dust Off" to extinguish the candles. Now keeping in mind the only thing I know if fish, I believe that these "Love Germs" are not only okay but necessary for us to build our pathetic immune systems for times when we really need it. Like, eating some sort of meat on a stick at a street food festival. So come on, let's revolt against technology together and bring back some Old Timely traditions like breaking bread together or pulling a sip off your friends drink to see how you like it, or my favorite, letting someone lick your face when you get home from work...oh, that's my dog but you get the point. So should you want to actually get together with humans this weekend and swap "Love Germs" around a delicious meal, then I would highly suggest today's recipes featuring Chipotle Lime Tuna with Grilled Peaches & Barbecued Whole Branzino with a Minted Chimichurri Drizzle.

Today's Featured Recipes Created With Love for You... Chipotle Lime Tuna with Grilled Peaches Serves 4

As Sweet as a Peach is something we heard most of our lives but when you add a little Heat to that Sweet then you get; As Libidinous as a Spice Laden Peach... Ok, it's a little wordy but at least I'm trying to come up with new sayings. Okay let's get to it little chef.

Ingredients 4 Sushi Grade Tuna steaks 1 inch thick 6 to 8 ounces each...I like my Tuna Rare should you like yours well-done, please don't tell me, I will lay hands on you. 4 Peaches pits removed and quartered (ripe but not too soft) 4 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro 4 tablespoons olive oil divided The juice of 1 lime at least 2 tablespoons 1 small chipotle in adobo chopped very fine (if you don't like the heat then use less or just have some warm milk and go to bed you big baby...I'm just kidding) 1 teaspoon of garlic powder ½ teaspoon of ground cumin ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika ½ teaspoon ground coriander Salt and pepper

How it's done In a small bowl let's make the marinade by combining the cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, chipotle pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin smoked paprika and coriander.

Next brush the peaches with half of the marinade and set aside.

Then brush the Tuna steaks, on both sides, with the remaining marinade; cover with plastic wrap and let marinate on the counter for 20 minutes.

Prepare your charcoal or preheat your gas grill to high heat.

Brush the Peaches with a little of the remaining olive oil and season with a little salt and grill the peaches, on the cut sides until charred about 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a serving platter.

Next brush the Tuna steaks with the remaining olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper and grill for about 3 minutes per side for rare and 5 min per side for medium. If you like you Tuna well done, again, please don't tell me, I will hurt you.

To serve, transfer the Tuna Steaks to the platter with the grilled peaches and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

You what little chef, you are as Sweet as the murmur of the brook and the rustle of the corn. Before you comment on that, know that it was from Ralph Waldo Emerson...Boom, Literary Bomb Dropped! Barbecued Whole Branzino with a Minted Chimichurri Drizzle Serves 4

Fresh Mint and Fish go together like a warm hug and an unexpected lip kiss from the neighbors that just moved in down the road from Europe. Okay, that wasn't my best analogy but I promise some little chef is going to get hugged and kissed after making this dish.

Ingredients 2 Whole Branzino Scaled and Gutted with the heads left on about 1½ to 2 pounds each: Of Course you could use Dorade (Sea Bream), Sea Bass or Snapper with great results Lemon wedges for serving For the Minted Chimichurri Drizzle (this is also going to be our marinade) 1½ cups fresh mint leaves 4 cloves of garlic crushed 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste) ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground 3 tablespoons of good red wine vinegar ½ cup of olive oil 3 tablespoons of water

How it's done First make the chimichurri drizzle by adding all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and set aside; you might need to add a little more water to make it pourable and of course adjust salt if necessary.

Pat the fish dry with paper towels, both inside and out and make three cuts (crossways) into both sides of the fish (Metro will do this for you) and place in a large glass dish.

Now take half of the Chimichurri drizzle and gently rub into the fish and into the chest cavity; cover with plastic wrap and let marinate on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes. If you want to marinate longer you can in the refrigerator of course, just please let the fish come to room temperature before grilling.

Prepare charcoal or preheat grill to medium heat (400° degrees)

Remove the Branzino from the marinade and season both sides of the fish with a little more salt.

Grill the fish on the medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes per side or until the meat is just opaque when fork tested.

To serve, transfer the fish to a large serving platter and garnish with lemon wedges.

Drizzle the fish with a little of the Chimichurri and serve the rest on the side.

You know what, I just thought of a better analogy. Mint and Fish go together like cooking for those you love and they clean up afterwards...that's pretty sweet you have to admit.