Tag Archives: seafood

Linguine with Spicy Scallop Marinara

28 Aug
Whew! What a summer! Four weeks in Puerto Rico, another week in Chincoteague, VA, plus wall-to-wall activities, nonstop writing for the Edible publications…it’s been great, but I am afraid I have not posted here as often as I would have liked.
 
More garlic, cause that's how we roll.

More garlic, cause that’s how we roll.

If you think I have neglected this, you should see the #GardenofNeglect in my raised beds. Once again, the champion of zucchini failure failed to get even one lousy zucchini, bringing my three-year grand total to ONE. Ah well, fall plantings are in and I see a few radish greens popping up, so maybe we’ll get something going there now that we are home.

Sweet, tender Chincoteague scallops are a treat

Sweet, tender Chincoteague scallops are a treat

 
Anyhoo, this recipe is something my brother and sister-in-law put together while we were in Chincoteague to take advantage of the superb sea scallops available there. Apparently this is a new go-to for them in their home in Canada, warming without being heavy.
 
Hard at work in the kitchen

Hard at work in the kitchen

They based it on a Food Network recipe that uses spaghetti, parmesan rind and much less garlic than my brother bungs in. Why you would want to use less garlic is beyond my comprehension, but to each his/her own! You can use less than the amount called for in my brother’s version, but for my money, he has the right idea using a lot.

 
Look at that color...

Look at that color…

It was truly delicious, with bright clear flavors and not difficult at all to put together. I think it will become a go-to here in New York too!

 
Let's eat!

Let’s eat!

Linguine with Spicy Scallop Marinara

(serves four to six)

Kosher/coarse salt
1lb linguine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  6cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1 28 -ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, sliced, plus more for topping

grated Parmesan to taste
3/4 pound bay scallops or sea scallops cut into 1″ chunks

Cook pasta according to package direction. Before draining, reserve 1/4 Cup cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic softens, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup water and half of the basil. Bring the sauce to a boil, then stir and reduce the heat to medium low; simmer 15 minutes. Season with salt.

Increase the heat under the sauce to medium high, add the scallops and cook, stirring occasionally, until opaque, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining basil, stir in the parmesan and season with salt and more red pepper flakes.

Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the sauce; toss. If you need more liquid, use the reserved cooking liquid. Divide the pasta among bowls, drizzle with olive oil and top with more basil.

A view from the kitchen

A view from the kitchen

Easy Steamed Clams for Me – Easy Linguine with Clam Sauce for the Kid

13 Apr

The problem:  I want steamed clams. My dad wants steamed clams. My son won’t eat them. Nor will my mom. I don’t want to cook two meals, because as much as I like to cook, this is not a bloody restaurant.

Cherrystones

Cherrystones

The solution: Both my son and my mom will eat pasta with seafood flavor. So I steam the clams in a nice cooking liquid, remove the offending shells and shellfish for me and my dad, then plump up the liquid into a delicious pasta sauce for the other two.

yum, clams

yum, clams

And so, we had a lovely casual dinner on the deck, with the remainder of the bottle of white wine, everyone enjoying the arrival of spring (and celebrating the absence of the mosquitoes that have been effing up our summer nights for the last few years).

linguine and clams

linguine and clams (these clams were removed immediately after the picture and eaten by me. The pasta went to the kid.

The whole operation takes only as long as it takes to cook up the pasta. So go for it! Click on for recipe

 

cheese for the kid

cheese for the kid

Steamed clams and BONUS linguine with white wine, butter and clam sauce

½ lb linguine (this sauce will stretch for a pound of pasta – 4 servings – if you are extra generous with all ingredients)

1 Tbs unsalted butter

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp garlic, chopped fine

½ Cup dry white wine

A dozen cherrystone clams in their shells, scrubbed

1 tsp or so lemon juice

6.5 oz can chopped clams

Parmigiano Reggiano for grating

Boil pasta according to package directions. Reserve ¼ Cup of pasta water before draining.

Melt butter in a large saucepan at medium high. When foaming subsides, add olive oil and garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add wine and lemon and bring to a boil.

Add clams in their shells and cover. Cook at medium high until the clams open and remove each one with tongs as it opens. I advise checking after about three minutes, and then uncovering every minute or so after that, to move cooked clams out of the pot as quickly as possible, because they get chewy if overcooked. Set clams aside/start eating them with a glass of that nice dry white wine you opened to cook them.

To the remaining clam cooking liquid, add the can of clams, with juices. Cook at medium high for 1-2 minutes, then add drained pasta, and, if necessary, some of the reserved pasta water. Taste for salt, add pepper if desired and serve with grated cheese.

Gravlax: Salty-Sweet Salmon, Fragrant with Dill

3 Jan

You might not expect my Caribbean family to serve something so distinctly Northern European as gravlax, a salt and sugar-cured Swedish delicacy, but we are equal opportunity gourmands. And there are two important sources of inspiration for how gravlax has become a frequent element of our party buffets. I’ll tell you about those and then give you some nifty background on the dish itself!

Start with the freshest salmon you can find/afford

Start with the freshest salmon you can find/afford

We get ours from Two Cousins Fish Market in Freeport. They are very accommodating to kids and to folks looking for sustainable options.

We get ours from Two Cousins Fish Market in Freeport. They are very accommodating to kids and to folks looking for sustainable options.

One source of inspiration is my Swedish sister-in-law, Annika, who has introduced us to the joys of Scandinavian cooking over the years and whose recipes have become part of family tradition. Second is Frank Eldridge, the college mentor for both my parents who helped them get together at Springfield College more than a half-century ago and who apparently introduced them to gravlax as well. He is no longer with us, but his gravlax is; this is an adaptation of his recipe, sent to us by his wife. 

Be lavish with the dill

Be lavish with the dill

The etymology of Gravlax is pretty cool…and not just because it comes from cold weather countries or because it is a fish dish served chilled. Continue reading

Fish on Friday: Five More Fab Seafood Solutions

28 Mar
Spanish tapas: Mussels vinaigrette (make 'em the night before)

Spanish tapas: Mussels vinaigrette (make ’em the night before)

The last Friday in Lent is coming up. Why just pan-fry filets (again), when you could try some of these much more entertaining and tasty takes on seafood? This is Part Two of my Lenten seafood series. I know you’ll end up making them all year long. I certainly do!

Shrimp and Avocado Salad, Spiked with Chipotle (charming served in an avocado shell)

Shrimp and Avocado Salad, Spiked with Chipotle (charming served in an avocado shell)

Pasta al Tonno: One of the fastest pasta sauces known to man. (switch out the green olives for black) Deeply flavored

Pasta al Tonno: One of the fastest pasta sauces known to man. (Feel free to switch out the green olives for black and skip the capers) Deeply flavored!

Creamy, sweet, tangy, chunky, light Swedish Skagen Salad (the best shrimp salad EVER)

Creamy, sweet, tangy, chunky, light Swedish Skagen Salad (the best shrimp salad EVER)

Cioppino Latino...sí, sí, sí

Cioppino Latino…A San Fran Seafood Stew Classic with a special Latina twist

For more seafood recipes, click here!

We Make You Look Good: Mussels Vinaigrette, Spanish-Style Tapas, Party Snacks

24 Jul

Some things are worth repeating.

Full disclosure: I have posted a close relative of this recipe before. That was a long time ago, the early days of this blog, and  this is slightly tweaked, plus the photos are new (since I made it again for a visit from my sister-in-law and niece).

Mussels Vinaigrette (make ahead!)

They are still the best damn mussels I have ever had and you should know about them, because they are also extremely easy to prepare and can be made the night before any big affair. (Washing out the shells takes a bit of time, but it is satisfying and mindless work that can be done while sipping a glass of something and chatting companionably with whomever is around).

Served cold and slurped right from the shell, they are a stupendous appetizer in looks and flavor. Want to impress? These are your bad boys.

Mejillones a la Vinagreta (Mussels Vinaigrette). Make Ahead!

(serves 4-6 as an appetizer. For more guests, double the mussels, but just half again of everything else)

1/2 cup olive oil

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

heaping Tbs small capers

2 Tbsp minced red onion

1 Tbs minced roasted red peppers (you can also use jarred pimientos, the sweet kind)

1 Tbs minced parsley

pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper

2 lbs mussels in their shells

1 slice lemon

Whisk the oil and vinegar together, then add the capers, onion, peppers, parsley, salt and pepper. Put the mix into a large freezer bag (if you need this dish to be portable)

Boil one cup of water in a big pot with the lemon slice. Add the mussels and bring to a boil, covered. Pluck out the mussels when they open (waiting until the meat separates completely from the shell into a little sausage shape and then pulling out immediately) and put in a separate bowl to cool. Discard any mussels that do not open after ten minutes. Remove the mussel meat and put into plastic bag with the seasonings and refrigerate.

Save half the mussels shells and clean well (this is the tedious part; make sure you have good music on). Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate.

To serve the next day, arrange shells on an attractive and large platter and put one mussel in each. Spoon the remaining seasoning over each.

Shrimp in Seconds (tapas, party snack, salad topper or killer wrap/tortilla filler)

13 Sep

A bag of frozen shrimp in the fridge is worth its weight in gold when you have surprise guests, a hankering for seafood or you just want a tasty, quick, low-fat protein that you can eat with your fingers. It thaws in no time, cooks in less than no time, and is a virtually guaranteed crowd-pleaser. I also use any leftovers for lunch the next day!

This recipe is so basic it almost doesn’t seem like a recipe to me, but it gets the job done when you just want to eat without fussing and be able to sit down with your guests and actually eat and relax.

Casual Sauteed Shrimp (Appetizer or Salad Topper or Wrap Ingredient)

15-20 medium frozen shrimp (31-40 is fine and usually reasonably priced; pre-peeled is nice….).

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Do a Quick Thaw McGraw on the shrimp in a bowl of room-temperature water, turning occasionally changing water if things are moving too slowly. Ten minutes is all you really need. Peel shrimp if necessary, leaving tails on.

Drain shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel and place in a bowl. Add Old Bay Seasoning and stir to coat.

Heat oil at medium high in a skillet. When oil is loose and fragrant, add shrimp and cook for about two minutes, stirring frequently until they are pink-white (not translucent) and curled up. You don’t want to overcook, so pull them out as soon as they begin to stiffen. You can cut through one experimentally to check that all translucence is gone.

Remove from heat and serve as finger food with plenty of napkins and cocktail sauce, lemon wedges or anything else you like to dip shrimp into. Garlic mayo (aioli) comes to mind https://hotcheapeasy.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/tapas-1-make-your-own-mayo/ Or use to top a salad. I have used them in wraps, cold out of the fridge and sliced in half lengthwise, along with fresh or roasted vegetables, white cheese or feta and a smear of hummus. You can also stir into pasta, adding a bit more oil and lemon.

Tapas 2: The Best Mussels EVER (party snacks to make ahead!)

18 Dec

Mejillones a la vinagreta must be made the night before and then assembled just before serving. Enlist the help of your guests – those lovely kitchen elves who want to keep busy while watching you cook.

I love seafood and I especially love mussels. And I especially, especially love mussel dishes that force people to use their hands and slurp – there is no better ice breaker than perilous food, particularly if eaten standing up while simultaneously holding a beverage. Conversation among complete strangers is virtually guaranteed.

Also, mussels are simple. You just need to pull them out of the pot as soon as they open (so babysitting the cooking is required on this one for about ten minutes) so they don’t get chewy. This means TONGS are crucial (although I have been known to use my fingers to pluck them out in extremis).

These mussels are inspired by Spanish cuisine maven Penelope Casas. You make them the night before and then dish them into the reserved shells before serving. Crusty bread for dipping is critical.

Mussels (Mejillones) a la Vinagreta

1/2 cup olive oil

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

heaping Tbs small capers

2 Tbsp minced red onion

1 Tbs minced pimiento (I prefer roasted red peppers, but I inadvertently bought sweet red peppers in a jar and the resulting tanginess worked out just fine)

1 Tbs minced parsley

pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper

2-4 lbs mussels in their shells*

1 slice lemon

Whisk the oil and vinegar together, then add the capers, onion, peppers, parsley, salt and pepper. Put the mix into a large freezer bag (if you need this dish to be portable)

Boil one cup of water in a big pot with the lemon slice. Add the mussels and bring to a boil, covered. Pluck out the mussels when they open (waiting until the meat separates completely from the shell into a little sausage shape and then pulling out immediately) and put in a separate bowl to cool. Discard any mussels that do not open after ten minutes. Remove the mussel meat and put into plastic bag with the seasonings and refrigerate.

Save half the mussels shells and clean well (this is the tedious part; make sure you have good music on). Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate.

To serve the next day, arrange shells on an attractive and large platter and put one mussel in each. Spoon the remaining seasoning over each.

Serve with a dry sparkling white (like Spanish cava or prosecco – your more economical options) or a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, or if you are lucky/geographically able, a Long Island sauvignon blanc from Paumanok or Jamesport Vineyards.

*NB: Mussels should be bought the day of or the day before making. Buy them in net bags (not wrapped in plastic) from a reputable vendor who moves a lot of product and SNIFF THEM! If they smell faintly briny and sweet, they are good. If they smell funky or of ammonia or anything that makes you wonder, then don’t buy them! Do not be afraid to ask for a different bag after sniffing; a fishmonger will only respect you the more for knowing your shellfish.

At home, store in a nonreactive bowl in the fridge, covered with a damp towel.

These days mussels from stores are pretty clean. You must still wash them in cold water and tug out any weirdy-beardies sticking out from the shell. While you wash, discard any mussels that are cracked or are open and won’t close back up if pressed together.

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