Jims Galley

Jims Galley

Saturday, March 31, 2018

NEW Asian American Steak Marinde & Double Barrel Smoked JBBQ

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Just Added!
You gonna love this double barrel JBBQ Ver. 1 Recipe for smoked beef ribs and pork shoulder.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jims Chesapeake Bay Classic Seafood Platter

Growing up around the Chesapeake Bay during the late 60’s and 70’s, a tradition we boys had with our dad was going out for a delicious broiled seafood platter. One of our favorite places to go for seafood was the historic Nicks in Yorktown Virginia but unfortunately Nicks is no longer, and that’s a damn shame.

There are many versions of the seafood platter and depending on where you are in the world will largely depend on what type of fresh seafood one has access to. Here on the Bay the standard fresh fare on a platter was flounder, shrimp, scallops, and a backfin crabcake. Sometimes a platter would be served with the flounder stuffed with crabmeat which is of course, totally awesome as well.

Over the last 40 years I have noticed in my region of the country, the seafood platter has waned.  Either they are not as popular as they use to be, the seafood is imported elsewhere, or you will see on the menu (which I hate) “choose two”.

Well the good news is you can cook up an excellent seafood platter at home; it is really pretty easy however there are a few very important things to know. Below is what you will need for a great seafood platter and understand that everything has to be fresh, not fresh frozen! You will have to substitute items on your platter based on what is available fresh to you.

You will need (for two)

Two 10 inch cast iron skillets well-seasoned

Four lemons sliced

Two pounds of fresh flounder

One pound fresh large shrimp with heads on

One pound large sea scallops

Two fresh backfin crab cakes

One stick of butter

Two cups fresh shrimp stock

Fresh herbs

Four cloves sliced garlic

Two cups white wine

Two cups jasmine rice

Four bay leaves

Old Bay

Garlic powder

Black Pepper

Celery salt

One cup bread crumbs

How to prepare the crab cake:

First make your crab cake. Now, there are a million different recipes of which everyone calls theirs the best and that is fine. Not going to debate this recipe, just do this simple version.

Place crabmeat in a bowl; add one beaten egg and only enough bread crumbs to hold shape of the cake meaning, really very little. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and a dash of Old Bay, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and some celery salt. I also add a dash or two of Texas Pete.

Mix everything up gently as to not break up the backfin lumps. Form into a cake and set aside. Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium high heat and add some olive oil or butter. Sear each side of the crab cake cooking them only a couple of minutes or so on each side. When done, place cakes in the fridge until ready to prepare platter.

How to prepare the scallops:

Pan sear each scallop in a cast iron skillet with butter. Sear each side only about a minute on each side. You don’t want to fully cook the scallop at this stage.

How to prepare the shrimp:

Wash the shrimp and place in a bowl. Take the heads off each shrimp and place in a separate bowl. Next peel and devein each shrimp and place the discards in a bowl with the heads. Now place the peeled and deveined shrimp in the fridge.
Place all the shrimp discards in a boiling pot and add five cups of water and a splash of white wine. Then add hole peppercorns, four cloves garlic, and a stick of celery. Boil for 10 minutes then reduce to medium and cook for another 30min to an hour. Then strain the shrimp stock using a cheesecloth, napkin or towel. Place the remaining cleaned stock in a container and put in the fridge.

How to prep the cast iron:

The 10 inch cast iron skillets are also used as the serving trays. Be sure to have the proper oven mitts when handling cast iron and warn your dinner guest the cast iron is very hot when served. It is also a good idea to set hot plates at each dinner setting or small cutting boards to place under the cast iron.  We also have mitt handle pads for the skillet handle that we leave on while dining. This way if someone wants to adjust or turn the skillet they can without getting burnt.

The skillets should be well seasoned. I preseason them again before cooking this dish and do a quick spray of olive oil nonstick. A guaranteed nonstick surface!

How to cook the rice:

For cooking the rice use your homemade shrimp stock but save about a cup of the stock to be used in assembling the platter. DO NOT FULLY COOK THE RICE! Cook it about 80% because the rice will continue to cook n the platter once put in the oven.

Assembling the platter and cooking:

Preheat oven to 375.

Take the shrimp and sprinkle a LITTLE Old Bay or your favorite Cajun seasoning over the shrimp and place in a section of the skillet. Now place the flounder filet alongside as well as the seared scallops and crab cake.

Next add the rice to the skillet and top everything with fresh herbs, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Place three or four lemon slices alongside the rim of the skillet and then add 1\2 of shrimp stock to the skillet. Then set a pat of butter on each item including the rice.

Pace both skillets in the pre heated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Lastly set the oven to hi broil and broil off the skillet for about two minutes.

The skillets will be extremely hot, use caution when serving.

That’s it! Enjoy!


I could not get fresh flounder for this dinner, so bought whatever I could get that was fresh so we used cod. My favorite substitute if I can’t get flounder is fresh speckled trout.

Try not to use large game fish like tuna or swordfish, although they are fantastic fish to eat, you really don’t want a steak filet in a seafood platter.

Adding some fresh Chesapeake Bay oysters in the skillet (in shell) is a great way to go,  we just did not have any during this recipe.

Should you need more liquid in the skillet just prior to broil, use white wine.

Tight Lines and Cheers!

Jim Baugh


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cooking With Wine, Jims Sunday Gravy! (with credit to Aunt Jeanie RIP)

If you surveyed 10 different grandmothers from Naples Italy you may get a slight variation on this classic and authentic Sunday gravy. What a lot of the general public does not realize is the history of Italian cooking stems from the basic fact is that much of the ingredients used in recipes are all locally produced and fresh. From the Buffalo Cheese, to the veal, to the San Marzano tomatoes, to even the flour, historically is all locally produced and fresh.

So trying to duplicate something like a Neapolitan pizza one must find the 00 imported flour, have a wood fired brick oven, and the list goes on and on. Making  Sunday gravy is a bit easier because most of the ingredients can be sourced from your local supermarket with no special ovens or flour needed.

For many years I have tried to perfect the perfect Sunday Gravy and as of this post, I believe success has been achieved. No doubt, this is the best spaghetti you will ever have and the sauce and meat can be used for a variety of dishes.

They say time heals all wounds. One thing is for sure, it takes time, and a lot of it to make the perfect Sunday Gravy.  How much time? Well, once all the groceries are purchased and sitting in the kitchen ready to cook, allow yourself 10 hours. Maybe more.
One can watch all 3 Godfather films while making Sunday Gravy

Here we go. First start the sauce in the morning.


1 #10 can of Italian plum tomatoes (San Marzano if available)

1 16 ounce can of tomato paste

2 cans of crushed tomato

3 tablespoons of very good extra virgin olive oil

2 cups of water

2-3 cups of red wine (Pino or Merlot)

5 cloves of garlic crushed

1 large onion peeled and chopped

2 cups of chopped basil

1 teaspoon of oregano

6 sprigs of thyme

3 shallots chopped

2 tablespoons of sugar

How to cook the sauce

First get a LARGE heavy pot to cook in. Make sure the pot is large enough so that when all the tomatoes are added the pot is only a little over half full. The reason is you will be adding a LOT more ingredients and you need the room, so use the largest pot you have. I have used the base of a crab steamer and that sorta worked, but it was really too thin. When I got remarried, my wife is half Italian, and she had the perfect heavy sauce pot for Sunday Gravy.

Start by adding olive oil to the medium high heated pot. Then add the garlic, chives, and onion. Cook until tender then deglaze with red wine.
Next hand crush all the tomatoes and add them as well as the remaining ingredients. Cook on medium heat with the lid off. Cook this way until all of the meats are cooked and added, then cover the pot.

Meat Balls:

2 pound of ground veal

1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground beef 80/20

3 large eggs

1 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Sea Salt

2 cups fresh chopped Italian Parsley

2 tablespoons oregano

1 cup finely chopped fresh basil

4 pieces of white bread (soaked in water for two minutes)

2 cups of Italian bread crumbs

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 1\2 cup of good parmesan cheese

How to cook the meatballs

First mix all the ingredients and be sure to strain out the water from the wetted white bread. This damp bread is an extra source of moister and also helps to bind the meatball. Mix everything by hand then roll out each meatball into a little larger than a golf size meatball.

Next, heat a CAST ITON SKILLET then fill the bottom of the skillet with olive oil. Add the meatballs and brown both side of the meatball. Then drain the meatballs on a paper towel and then add them to the sauce. Keep the heat on because we are going to continue to cook the meats.

Sautéed Meats

4 chops of pork

4 veal chops bone in

4 flankin ribs bone in

10 sweet Italian sausages

How to cook

First clean the meats and trim off ANY fat especially on the veal. Season with garlic and Italian seasoning. Then sautee all the meats in the cast iron skillet. What you are looking for is a nice browning on each side of the meat. Once cooked, cut the meats in half drain on paper towels then add to the sauce.
Note: Precooking tip on the pork chops. It is a good idea to cook the chops in a crock pot or in an oven on low for a couple of hours, then Sautee them. This will cause the pork to be much more soft and blend better in the final sauce.

Now that all the meatballs and sautéed meats are in the sauce, your Sunday Gravy is ready to simmer with the lid on for a good five hours. Check often to make sure the sauce is not boiling.

How to serve.


Timing is important. Have the table set and ready for dinner. Get a large straining spatula ready to go by the Sunday Gravy sauce pot.  Also have a large serving platter ready to place all the meats on.

Now, boil your pasta, fresh homemade if you can do it, if not, get some good organic spaghetti noodles but do not use thin spaghetti noddle’s if you have the option, get the thickest noodles you can find.

Once the noodles are boiled set them on the table.

Next, spoon our ALL of the meatballs and sautéed meats onto your serving platter and set on the table. While doing so be sure to remove any bone!

Then immediately pour out the Sunday Gravy from the pot and serve.

ALWAYS keep your meats separate from the sauce from this point on. When saving the leftovers, keep the meats separate from the sauce. This is due to many reasons. It adds to the variety of what you can use it for with other dishes but most importantly, it keeps the meats in perfect condition. If they sit in sauce too long the meats will get mushy and fall apart.

Tips: I usually will add more red wine towards the end of the simmer. We love garlic and basil, so we go a little heavier on those ingredients that what is printed here.

I have used this gravy on other dishes that really make the dish stand out. Pizza sauce, baked chicken and veal Parisian, etc, etc, all awesome.

Be sure to double check the sauce while straining and check for bone, and remove it.

Try this recipe your friends and family will love you for it!!

My wife Donnas’ Aunt Jeanie who is first generation Italian, made Sunday Gravel. Donna said that this recipe here is as close as she has ever had to Aunt Jeanies recipe.  RIP Aunt Jeanie and hope we did ya proud!


Jim Baugh


We use the gravy and meats in various other dishes and they are fantastic!
Baked Spaghetti
Meat Ball Subs with homemade sourdough Italian bread
Baked Tortellini