I always say, the freshest ingredients simply prepared is the best way to cook.
For this meal I had some amazing, colossal shrimp which I butterflied and seasoned with EVOO, pepper, and Slap ya Mama. I also had sushi grade tuna which I cubed (large cubes) and dredged in black pepper.
The shrimp, I simply grilled them for about 2 minutes (or until they turn pink, depending on how hot your grill is) and that’s that. For the tuna, I sautéed the dredged cubes in a little EVOO until just the outside is charred and the inside is still bright pink (you could also do this in a cast iron skillet on the grill). I served the tuna with a wasabi/soy slurry.
I served grilled eggplant with the shrimp. To do this, first peel the eggplant, leaving some strips of peel on the fruit. Then simply slice the eggplant in circles, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with EVOO and season with salt & pepper. Throw the eggplant on the grill about 5 minutes before the shrimp and remove when they are tender and charred. The center will be soft and very tasty.
I know I cook a ton of seafood, but this particular dish was amazing. A friend of mine just got back from the glorious Keys and brought back her bounty of snapper (the filets were cleaned, packed, flash frozen and shipped).
I kept the recipe super simple so not to take away from any of the naturally delicious flavor of the fish. I lightly dredged the fillets in some seasoned (salt, pepper) flour and sautéed it stove top in a little EVOO. Depending on the thickness of the filets, it should not take more than about 3-4 minutes per side.
In a separate pan, I sautéed fresh spinach seasoned with crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper.
I plated this gorgeous dish on top of creamy polenta – can it get any easier?
Literally nothing could be easier than cooking super fresh, simply prepared seafood on the grill. I just soak the clams to get rid of any sand they might be holding onto, scrub the mussels and toss them all right on the grill. As soon as they pop open they’re ready to eat. Hubby makes a butter dip with garlic, lemon and parsley (or cilantro) and that’s it! I also sprinkled a little Slap Ya Mama seasoning on the mussels just to spice them up a bit.
Great as an appetizer or a main dish, clams, mussels, and a side of Shishito peppers!
Spaghetti Alle Vogole as my grandma would say, this recipe could not be easier. Here it is in 3 simple steps:
In a shallow pot, add a little EVOO and a pat of butter. Sauté a little garlic (or a lot of garlic!) some red pepper flakes, parsley and black pepper (I tossed in a jalapeño just for kicks).
Add 2 dozen cleaned clams (see how to clean clams here) into pot and add 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of white wine (I used chardonnay). Cook over medium heat until all clams open up (discard the ones that don’t – or give them to a guest you don’t like…haha)
In a rapidly boiling pot of salted water, cook 1 pound of capellini (angel hair pasta) for about 7 minutes or until cooked al dente. Strain pasta and plate with plenty of clam sauce and clams, garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
Taco Tuesday has become sort of a tradition at our place. We have our little Tuesday night gang and the super casual, tasty, fun night is something we look forward to after a busy work day. I try to mix it up a bit every week. Some fun taco filling options I’ve recently made include tuna dredged in black pepper and simply sautéed in a little EVOO (cooked rare, you want to see red!) Blackened shrimp is a homerun every time. And of course there’s the blackened chicken. The toppings that are our go to’s are: sour cream, avocado, onion, jalapeño, tomato, shredded cheese, and tons of hot sauce! For a side dish I made some stuffed jalapeño poppers (slit the pepper in the middle, stuff with cream cheese, wrap with a piece of bacon and bake for 20 minutes at 350).
Pro-tip: If you’re following a keto or low carb diet, skip the tortilla and make a protein bowl! All the yummies with none of the carbs!
I know I cook, a lot, but I do enjoy going out to eat as well. We’re lucky to have a great Greek community not so far away. Our favorite place in Tarpon Springs is a restaurant called Mykonos. (See reviews here.) It’s a simple place that gets loud and frenetic during lunch and dinner (constant yells of “Opa!” fill the dining area when the flaming Haloumi is being brought from the open kitchen).
We basically get the same items every time we go to Mykonos. Here are our go-to’s: a trio of dips which are: 1) Skordalia (mashed potatoes flavored with garlic, crushed almonds, lemon juice, EVOO and a shit ton of garlic – NOT A FIRST DATE DISH!!), 2) Melitzanosalata (eggplant dip, much like babaganoush) and 3) my (personal favorite) Taramasalata (roe/caviar, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, onion garlic and olive oil).
We also get grilled calamari – which is amazing. No need to bread and fry truly fresh fish, throw it on the grill, splash with fresh lemon and enjoy, like they do in Greece. For a main course my hubby got grilled shrimp in a fresh tomato sauce, it was very simple and delicious. I always get a peasant salad (tomato, red onion, cucumber, feta cheese and pepperoncini-no lettuce) with a side of gyro meat. It’s ALWAYS too much, but so simple, fresh and delicious.
If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend this place. Oh, and don’t let the turkey vultures in the back parking lot scare you (they terrify me).
Yes, it is possible to make delicious low carb linguini & clam sauce. I’d have fought you on this if I had not done the research and trial &error to prove it.
The key is to find a low carb noodle that doesn’t taste like wet paper. These low carb freaks of nature are out there – you just need to try, try and try again. I found one yesterday at our local Publix that actually had both a good taste and a bit of bite (think al dente). You can read more about the nutritional info here. Note that you don’t cook these noodles, plop them in a strainer, rinse them well, drain them and then add them to whatever sauce it is that you are making.
The clam sauce that I made is my go-to. I sauté some fresh, coarsely chopped onion and garlic (tons of garlic) and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. I put the cleaned clams (I soak the clams when I get them home so the sand they might be holding is released) into the pan and let them steam up for about 2 minutes. Then I add a cup of white wine, a bottle of clam juice, a chicken bullion cube (for extra flavor) and, if you need more liquid, some water. I season again with the same seasonings as above and wait for the clams to open (discard any that do not). When clams all open and the sauce is heated through, I put the pasta in the pot and mix it all in.
We’ve been trying to stay keto, and taco Tuesday wasn’t cutting it. We were going to make protein bowls (all the taco sans the shell) but came up with something fancier – Poke bowls!
You really need a fish monger you can trust when buying sushi grade fish (in today’s case it was tun and salmon). This dish was so easy and quick. First I prepared a salad of arugula, spinach, avocado and very thinly sliced jalapeño, dressed with a little EVOO balsamic, salt & pepper. Then I cubed up my tuna & salmon. I dressed the fish up with a little low sodium soy and black & white sesame seeds. I plated this with the salad on one side of the dish and the fish on the other topped with a little more sliced jalapeño and a side of both pickled ginger and wasabi.
This is definitely a game changer. It was so fresh, filled with good protein and low carb. We loved it!
We may be late to the game but we just started doing Taco Tuesdays. It’s so much fun. I remember making tacos for the kids when they were little so I’m glad to be back at it again.
My husband makes a great fresh guacamole. All you need to do is mix fresh mushed up avocados (we do this using the back of a fork), chopped tomatoes, minced onion and jalapeños, fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon), salt & pepper in a bowl. I like the guac to be a little chunky, but it’s totally your preference. If you don’t know how to cut open an avocado, I found this good video here that you might want to check out. Also, a note of caution – we now use gloves when chopping the jalapeños, it’s a story I won’t share here…
Then we make the fillers…we eat shrimp, a lot of shrimp…so we sautéed some shrimp in a little EVOO with a bit of garlic and seasoning – and that’s it!
For toppings, I chopped up some lettuce, tomatoes, and some more jalapeño. Then of course there’s the obligatory shredded cheese, sour cream and hot sauce. We like the soft shell flour tacos, which I warm up for 30 seconds in the microwave before plating.
One of the dishes I used to like to order when I was on the road was shrimp & grits. This was not a dish that I grew up with or one that I made, until recently (of course with my own spin on it).
To make my version of this dish I prepared some polenta (follow the instructions on the bag). I use chicken broth (or you can use vegetable broth) instead of water – this gives the polenta a richer flavor. When the polenta is nearly done cooking (remember to stir, stir, stir) I add about a tablespoon of mascarpone, which makes the polenta creamy and yummy. Remove from heat and prepare the shrimp.
In my wok (or sauté pan) I steam some fresh broccoli rabe for about 7 minutes (again I steam this in chicken broth, which removes some of the bitterness). Strain and refresh with cold water. Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, drizzle with a little EVOO and set aside.
Now, back to your wok or sauté pan. Add a little EVOO, when warm add some fresh minced garlic and either fresh chopped onion or scallion and cook for about 3 minutes. Add fresh, cleaned shrimp and sauté until just pink. I usually have mint & basil growing on the patio, so I would mince some up and toss in towards the end of cooking.
Now to plate this baby. Spoon polenta on the plate, top with shrimp and a helping of the broccoli rabe. I garnished with fresh avocado. You can drizzle with EVOO and viola!
Pro-tip: you can use any type of protein and/or veggie for this dish. Chicken would be great or LOBSTER…broccoli or zucchini noodles would work too.