Jo’s Healthy Kitchen – May, 2023 Newsletter

Due to sad personal circumstances I was not able to send out an April newsletter. But here is May’s just in time for the CORONATION of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, as she will be known, on Saturday, May 6th. It is a once in a lifetime event and I hope all the pomp and pageantry remains and that not too much tradition is cast aside. A quiche is the official Coronation dish chosen by the monarchs – it is spring like in flavor combining broad beans/fava beans, spinach and tarragon. Whether it will be as popular as the Coronation Chicken served at Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation remains to be seen – the general opinion is that it will not be. Three other official Coronation recipes have been revealed: Ken Hom’s Coronation Roast Rack of Lamb with Asian-Style Marinade, Nadiya Hussain’s Coronation Aubergine and Adam Handling’s Strawberry and Ginger Trifle. They all sound delicious and I am sure cooks up and down the country will be trying them.The recipes are available to print or download and they have broad appeal. I found the recipes here –

There is no doubt that downtown WEST PALM BEACH is changing at quite a pace – new apartment buildings, new office blocks, influx of Wall Streeters, Rosemary Square has replaced Cityplace (for the better), restaurants are popping up all over the place and quite a few of them are outposts of NYC restaurants – Felice, Adrienne’s Pizzabar just opened and Harry’s is to follow. The choice of eateries we have in a small area is amazing and continues to grow. I can barely keep up with what has opened where and that is before I cross the bridge to Palm Beach where I have the choice of Cucina, the Honor Bar, Palm Beach Grill, St. Ambroeus and Henry’s within a brisk 10 minute walk from my apartment. One restaurant I am very excited about that is coming to WPB in 2024 is a sister establishment to the Mandolin Aegean Restaurant, a Greek and Mediterranean restaurant from Miami. You are transported to Greece the moment you walk through the door. FYI – catch the Brightline train to Miami from WPB. Bon Appetit voted Miami the ‘Food City of the Year’ so plenty to explore there from Brickell to South Beach to Coconut Grove and Little Havana – good food everywhere.

I was quite gratified to learn that I had pipped Bon Appetit to the post. You heard it from me first last year when I wrote about DOROT GARDENS pre-portioned frozen garlic. Apparently, Trader Joe’s now stocks their frozen garlic – not sure about the rest of their range, which appears to have grown since I first reported it. You can now also buy frozen ginger, basil, cilantro, turmeric, parsley and dill.

I like to pop into EATALY in NYC – always worth a visit but there is also the fourth generation DI PALO’S on Mott Street, Little Italy – sadly a much shrunken neighborhood since its heyday in the early to mid 20th century. But a few treasures remain and Di Palo’s is one of them. Mozzarella is still made there by hand daily, the store is immune to the rush of the world outside its doors. Customers visit to sample the various some of its cheese or the Italian charcuterie, to learn, to chat, to be enthralled by the knowledge and stories of the owner. Pay a visit next time you are in NYC. P.S. This is one of Ruth Reichl’s favorite places and features in her book, Delicious.

When I am in the UK one of the first things I do is buy a food magazine or two and on my recent trip I was happy to come across the award-winning ‘DELICIOUS’. The photography is stunning and mouth-watering, the articles seem a little more informed than some of its rivals and the recipes are what I would call contemporary. The magazine is aimed at “sophisticated consumers, who are passionate about cooking, good ingredients and where they come from”.

I came across a thought-provoking article suggesting that food can be classed as healthy or unhealthy based on the number of ingredients that are in it – 5 or less is the number to aim for and no chemicals, colorings, etc. Over 5 and the food is considered ultra-processed. Unfortunately, this means that many of the foods you think of as healthy are actually not as healthy as you think they are. Almond milk, for example, has around 11 ingredients. Until today I hadn’t even thought about looking at the ingredients in almond milk, but I did consider it a healthy option and my husband, who is very careful about what he eats, puts it in his protein shakes. He was very surprised when we read the label together to prove my point and found such items as calcium carbonate and gellan gum in it. By comparison reduced fat milk contains just milk and a couple of vitamins though to be on the safe side it should be organic milk to ensure the cows haven’t been given growth hormones or antibiotics. My challenge to myself is to see if it is possible to stay with the ‘5 ingredients or less’ theory. I imagine it will be quite tough but also enlightening.

You don’t see it now but there was a time, probably in the 90’s, when soup was served in a hollowed out circular loaf of bread and I had completely forgotten about that trend until I came across a recipe for BAKED BRIE or CAMEMBERT in a loaf of bread and that seemed a rather novel idea. Cut off the top of a circular loaf of good white bread and remove the soft inside leaving a hole for the Brie or Camembert (Camembert has a stronger flavor). Plop the cheese in the hole, put the bread top back on and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or so. During this time cut the bread that was removed from the middle into pieces for dipping. Toast them lightly in the oven. Good party food.

Do you know other meaning of the word ‘dock’ and it has nothing to do with boating? Docking is what you do before you blind bake pastry (blind bake means to partly cook the pastry before adding the filling to ensure the pastry is crisp on the bottom). It means you prick the pastry with a fork to let the air out so the pastry doesn’t lift off the pie dish.

I couldn’t help laughing when I came across this site which sells rubs for meats and fish. I discovered it when I was taking a look at Harvey Nichols’ (one of the top luxury department stores in London) food hall to see what they sell there. BOHN’S RUBS caught my eye with their tongue-in-cheek labeling – Breast Enhancer for chicken, Butt Massage for pork, Lamb’n Season for lamb, Game On for game and Fish Hook or Bait for fish. Can see these producing some giggles as a stocking filler! They are all natural and the production process builds in layers of flavor which complement but do not overpower the meat. If Harvey Nicks stocks them they must have passed the taste test.

Across the road from me and a little bit tucked away is the MEDITERRANEAN MARKET – a complete gem of a shop. Always bustling, always bits of chit chat between the Lebanese owners and the customers – they have a very loyal customer base. It is a little bit of an Aladdin’s cave and I come across things I have never seen or heard of or tasted before even though I go there fairly often. Today I picked up a tub of muhammara, a nicely spicy red pepper dip which can be served as part of a mezze platter. The other ingredients contributing to the flavor, are walnuts, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, dried red pepper (which I believe is aleppo pepper), breadcrumbs and cumin.

Did you know that you can pre-cook POACHED EGGS and simply heat them up at the last moment? This is particularly helpful if you are cooking for several people and I think this is what restaurants do. Usually poached eggs take about 3 – 4 minutes, so under cook them by about a minute, place in a bowl of cold water with a little ice. The eggs can be kept for 2 days in the fridge. Simply bring a pan of water to a boil and place eggs in for a minute or two. I am going to do a test run first so I can perfect the process before I serve my guests smoked salmon, sliced avocado and poached eggs on toast.

One big regret I have is not getting up early to visit the TSUJIKI WHOLESALE FISH MARKET in Tokyo. I had young children at the time and the thought of getting up at around 4.00am to be at the market for 5.00am was distinctly unappealing. Tsujiki closed down and has re-opened as the TOYUSU MARKET, the biggest fish market in the world. To catch the early morning action you will need to take a taxi. While there is a station at the market the trains don’t run early enough to catch the tuna auction. Admission to the market is free. If you want to get close up to the tuna auction you have to apply ahead and tickets are extremely limited. The other option is to watch the auction from behind a window one floor up from the auction which is more doable but less thrilling. It takes about 2 hours to tour the market and add on extra time if you want to eat at one of the little restaurants. Try to organize your eating before 1.00pm as some of the restaurants run out of fish. It is still worth visiting the old Tsujiki market for its array of eating establishments and stores. You may feel more comfortable doing a guided tour and there is one which takes in both markets. It just saves some hassle.

This product was on Shark Tank and was immediately snapped up. It is described as a cone-shaped splatter guard (like a cone a dog gets from the vet) which prevents oil, sauces, etc. spitting out of the pan on to the cooker. It comes in various sizes from 8 – 12″, it is dishwasher safe and rolls up into a tidy little bundle for storage. I have an inverted glass cone that also stops splatters but it sends the moisture back into the sauce. It doesn’t work well with bacon, for instance, so I think a Frywall would be a good addition to my kitchen. Available on

BOOK OF THE MONTH – Red Sauce – How Italian Food Became American by Ian Macallen

A fascinating book and one, I think, that anyone who is of Italian heritage will find interesting. The book traces the rise of Italian American cuisine which in fact was invented in the US – it isn’t what southern Italians actually ate before they emigrated to the US which was a revelation to me. When I read it I had my computer near me to look up all sorts of interesting facts and history. You can read it all at once or dip into it chapter by chapter.


Beautifully filmed Thai drama set in two kitchens – a noodle shop and a fine restaurant. It has had mixed reviews but I nevertheless enjoyed it and the drama of it – so much tension in a kitchen with a boss who is unafraid to humiliate his employees. Available on Netflix.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH – A Thai Fish Curry (serves 4)

This was inspired by Charlie H. who served it for dinner when I was a guest recently. The sauce was more gentle Thai than hot and two things were interesting – a mixture of fish, a white fish and salmon – and it was cooked with chunks of fresh mango. I really liked the idea of using two different types of firm fish and I used broccoli and peas instead of mango. No idea how he prepared the sauce but I used Thai Green Curry paste, shallot, garlic, ginger and lemon juice all mixed into the coconut milk along with the fish. I served it with farro which sopped up the juices nicely.Thanks for the inspiration!

1 tbsp. olive oil
Half a largish shallot – finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic – grated
1 x 2″ piece of ginger of ginger – grated
2 tbsp. Thai Green Curry paste
1 can of lite coconut milk
10 oz. haddock loins – cut into bite size chunks
6 oz. piece of sockeye salmon – cut into bite size chunks
Juice of half a lemon
1 head of broccoli – cut into small florets and use thin slices of some of the stem as well
2 handfuls of frozen peas

Heat the oil until hot but not sizzling as shallot needs to be softened not browned. Add shallot and cook for a few minutes then tip in the garlic and ginger and stir. When you can smell the ginger fragrance, pour in the coconut milk and stir in the Thai Green Curry paste. Bring to a light boil, add the fish and lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes.
Taste the sauce and add pepper if you think it needs it.
Stir in the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Subscribe to our new recipes and newsletter