Tag Archives: seafood

Seaworthy…

There’s nothing like super fresh, simply prepared seafood. We’re lucky to be on the Gulf where seafood is both fresh and abundant. Tonight we started with some sautéed shrimp (just sauté in EVOO and/or a little butter with a bit of garlic and whatever spices you like, i.e. pepper, blackening seasoning, chili peppers).

Then, for the main course, I blackened some fresh cod and baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees (I cooked the cod over some sliced Vidalia onion for flavor). It was perfectly cooked. Cod is mild with large flakes and needs to be seasoned. This is the same fish that I use for fish and chips. I bought a one pound piece of cod, which was enough for two people. I found no bones in the cod, which is usually the case.

My new penchant for blackening seasoning started with this Old Bay product. I love it and it’s not super salty.

I plated the cod over broccoli rabe with some of the onion from the baking dish. Of course serve with fresh lemon. Enjoy!

Comfort food…

Life is chaos right now so I needed comfort food dish that would not be stressful to make. Orecchiette, sausage, shrimp and broccoli rabe was just that dish last night.

Start by blanching coarsely chopped broccoli rabe (add a bullion cube to the boiling water to take the bitterness away). Then sauté de-cased sausage, shrimp, a little crushed red pepper and of course a little (or a lot) of crushed garlic. Once the sausage and shrimp are cooked through add the cooked (al dente!) orecchiette and mixed it all together. Add a few ladle fulls of the pasta water to create a bit of a broth.

Voila! Super flavorful, satisfying and easy to do. You can totally switch out the proteins here (think chicken, lobster, cod…)

Pro-tip: Add a touch of cream or mascarpone to thicken up the broth and deepen the flavor.

So many fish in the sea…

I made a great lightly creamy seafood pasta the other day that was, according to my hubby, “the best meal ever”. Wow. Considering how easy it was, I was very happy that it was so delicious. For the seafood I used little neck clams, shrimp and a lobster tail but you can use whatever looks good a the fish monger. I bet mussels and crab would be great in this dish too.

To start I sauteed the shrimp and lobster in a little EVOO, a dash of truffle oil and butter until just about cooked. Then I added 2 cups of chicken broth and let that heat up. When broth is hot (almost boiling) I tossed in the clams and steamed until they opened up. I added 1/2 cup of frozen peas just for color too. Next, I reduced heat to low and added 1 cup of heavy cream and a ton of fresh cracked pepper and parsley. You can thicken up the sauce with a tablespoon of mascarpone if you like.

Cooked linguine (al dente of course) was then transferred into the pan with this yummy sauce, mixed around so every piece of pasta was covered, then plated with a shaving of … wait for it … fresh truffle! (On sale at Eataly this week by the way.)

Feast of the seven fishes….

There is no meal in life for me that is more of a competition in both creativity and stamina than Christmas eve and the seven fishes. This year, because of stupid COVID, it was only my hubby, daughter and me. Seven fishes, cooked in various ways is A LOT for three people. I won’t lie, the whole snapper (who premiered this year) didn’t make it to the table last night. It will be a great Christmas day lunch though.

Where do I even start here? We had my hubby’s famous stuffed artichokes (my daughter’s favorite!) stuffed clams, Alaskan king crab legs, stuffed calamari, fried baccala (cod), whole lobsters, dungeness crabs, shrimp, broccoli rabe, mushrooms. rainbow cookies, butter cookies, chestnuts.

This is no small amount of prep. The entire house is consumed by Christmas eve. Our place in NY has a very small kitchen (I refer to it as a one person kitchen) so we have to plan out who’s doing what and in what order. This is essential for harmony…

I really missed having a houseful this year and while it was great, it just wasn’t the same without my parents and our close friends. Hoping that 2021 bring better things.

If you’re interested in any of the recipes, inbox me and I’ll share. The batter for the baccala is particularly good and surprisingly easy to make and can be used for onion rings or fried zucchini.

Merry Christmas to you all and here’s to a (MUCH) better 2021.

BUON NATALE!!

Dedicated to my sweet mother-in-law who we lost this year. Miss your crazy laugh!

Totally shellfish…

What to cook on a cold night with only a few ingredients? Shrimp! Super versatile, quick and yummy. Tonight I simply sauteed these jumbo babies in a little EVOO and butter with whatever fresh herbs I had on hand (today it was fresh sage) a little diced onion and of course minced garlic (to taste).

I also prepared a creamy polenta garnished with fresh chopped basil and mint. Pro-tip: use a chicken stock base to make the polenta, it adds a deeper flavor. You can also add either a drop of heavy cream or mascarpone to enhance the flavor.

As a starter I prepared a creamed cauliflower soup. In boiling water add a cut up head of cauliflower (core removed), cook until soft (about 10 minutes). Drain. Warm up about four cups of chicken stock, add cooked cauliflower, salt, pepper. Using an emulsifying blender, blend until soup is creamy smooth. Now add either 2 tablespoons of mascarpone or 1/4 cup of heavy cream. You can add more broth to thin or more mascarpone or cream to thicken. I topped with a handful of cooked, diced bacon. This was a winner! Pro-tip: you can make a soup like this with almost any vegetable. We often make zucchini soup, mushroom soup, butternut squash…etc.

Getting stoned…

There’s a short season for stone crabs in Clearwater that begins in mid-October. Local legend is that stone crabs can only be found here – I don’t know if that’s true, but what I can tell you is that they’re delicious, pricey and gorgeous.  These little buggers have a much harder shell than blue crab, or even lobster for that matter.  They’re served boiled, cracked, either cold or hot with drawn butter or an aioli.  Ranging from about $35-65 per pound depending on size (medium, select, or large) they’re not cheap.  I researched the prices per pound and saw that there is also a jumbo size ($105 for a pound and a half, which is about four claws) – but I’ve never seen jumbo on a menu near us.  I have never made these at home, I prefer to leave the mystery of perfectly boiled stone crabs to the professionals.  If you ever have the chance to try these, I highly recommend that you do.