Archive for the ‘Seafood’ category

Scallops with black trumpets and cream

April 30, 2011

Another dish that resulted from finding black trumpet mushrooms in our yard.

1 lb sea scallops (see note below)
1/2 c dried or 1c fresh black trumpet mushrooms
1/4 c minced shallots
1 TB each butter and olive oil
1/2 c excellent white wine (I like a Sancerre)
2/3 c heavy cream

If using fresh mushrooms, clean carefully and chop coarsely. If using dried, reconstitute in water, drain, and chop. Heat butter and oil in a sauté pan until smoking. Add scallops and sauté until lightly browned and almost fully cooked. Remove to a warm bowl. Reduce heat, add shallots and sauté until limp. Add mushrooms and sauté for a minute or two. Add wine and reduce until almost gone. Add cream and simmer for a few minutes. Season to taste with pepper, salt, and lemon juice. Return scallops to pan and heat thru. Serve over pasta.

Note about scallops: Some scallops are soaked in a phosphate solution before sale. This acts as a preservative, causes them to absorb some water, and makes the scallops pure white. These so-called wet scallops are to be avoided. The absorbed water means you get less actual scallop meat per pound (and I don’t have to tell you what scallops cost!). Also, they are harder to brown because this water comes out in the pan and you end up with simmer scallops – yech. Untreated or dry scallops are much to be preferred. They may look white at a quick glance but are actually a delicate pearl color with subtle variations between individual scallops.

Salmon with chive butter

April 30, 2011

A lovely way to do salmon.

Two 8-10 oz salmon fillets, skin removed, about 1″ thick
4 TB butter at room temperature
4 TB minced fresh chives
1 TB vegetable oil

Mash the butter with the chives. Preheat oven to 250F. Form a tray out of heavy duty aluminum foil that is just large enough to hold the fillets, and place tray on a baking sheet (or, if you have it, use a baking pan of the right size). Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until quite hot. Dry the fillets with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and rub on both sides with the oil. Cook in skillet for about 1-1/2 minutes per side to brown both sides. Transfer fillet to tray and spread chive butter on top. Bake for about 10 minutes. Transfer to serving plate and drizzle with melted butter from the baking tray. I like this served with mashed potatoes.

Baked halibut with spinach

April 25, 2011

You can buy excellent frozen halibut. It is frozen on the boats shortly after catching so it is really fresh.

Two 6-8 oz halibut fillets
1/2 c diced onion
1/4 c diced carrot
1/4 c diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil
1 c cooked, drained, and chopped spinach

Saute the onion, carrot, garlic, and celery in 2TB olive oil for about 5 minutes. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the spinach and add to pan. Saute for another minute, stirring, and season to taste with S&P.

Season the fish with S&P and rub with olive oil. Place in a shallow baking dish and spread 1/2 the vegetable mixture over each. Bake at 400f until done, about 10 minutes.

Deep fried tuna bites

April 22, 2011

For a nice presentation,serve this on finely grated daikon radish on top of a lettuce leaf.

Yellowfin or other tuna cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 c Japanese soy sauce (Kikkoman is excellent)
1 tsp wasabi powder
1/2 tsp honey
potato starch, corn starch, or arrowroot starch
Oil for deep frying

Dissolve the wasabi in the soy sauce and brush on the tuna, refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Mix the remaining soy/wasabi with the honey – this will be your dipping sauce. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Roll the tuna chunks in the starch, shake off excess, fry for a bare 20-30 seconds – you want the outside crisp and the inside still rare.

Red cooked fish (Chinese)

April 22, 2011

“Red cooked” is a generic term for something – fish, meat, etc. – cooked in soy sauce. This is based on a Szechuan recipe and is good with many kinds of fish. We like to use mahi-mahi.

4 individual serving sized fish fillets at least 1/2 inch thick
1-1/2 inch piece fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
6 scallions
1/4 c soy sauce
2 tsp hot pepper paste
1/2 TB sugar
1/2 TB rice vinegar
2 TB soy sauce
1 TB Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry

Peel the ginger and cut half of it into thin slivers, about the thickness of a matchstick. Cut the scallions, the white and some of the green, in half lengthwise and then into 1 inch pieces. Mix ginger slivers and scallions with 1/4 c soy and pour over fish in a shallow bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before cooking, scrape the marinade off the fish and pat fish dry with paper towels – reserve the marinade.

Finely mince the remaining ginger and the garlic into pieces about the size of raw rice grains.

Heat a couple of TB oil in your wok or a saute pan. Add the fish and cook on both sides for a few minutes until the fish is cooked thru. Remove to a plate.

To the oil remaining in the pan (add a little more if needed) add the minced ginger and garlic and the hot pepper paste and stir fry for about 30 sec. Add the reserved marinade and all other ingredients and stir for another 30 sec. Return the fish to the pan and coat with the sauce, letting it cook for another minute or 2.

Plaki (baked fish Mediterranean style)

April 22, 2011

Plaki is a general term for fish baked with “Mediterranean” flavors. Some recipes use whole fish, others use fillets. You can use almost any kind of mild-flavored fish. We have great results with mahi. There are many variants on this recipe, here is mine.

4 fish fillets, 6 to 8 oz each
1 medium onion, cut into thin half rings
1/2 of a green pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 TB finely diced jalapeno pepper (optional, or use less)
1 TB finely minced garlic
1/2 c chopped kalamata olives
Slices of ripe tomato, 4 large or 8 small
1 lemon cut into thin slices

Rub a baking dish with olive oil and place the fillets in it, one layer. Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic in 1 TB of olive oil until soft, adding salt and black pepper to taste. Let cool, mix with the olives, then spread 1/4 of the mixture over each fillet. Top with the tomato and lemon slices and bake at 350f until the fish is done, about 1/2 hour but depends on the thickness of your fillets.

Thai-themed shrimp bisque

April 21, 2011

I devised this recipe in an attempt to replicate a soup I had at a restaurant.

1 lb shell-on shrimp, heads on too if possible, size doesn’t matter but not tiny
3 TB olive oil
1c finely diced onion
1/2 c each finely diced celery and carrots
1 TB minced fresh ginger
1 TB minced garlic
2 TB tomato paste
1/4 c brandy (optional)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 TB paprika
2 c chicken stock
1/2 c raw white rice
1c canned unsweeted coconut milk
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 c fresh cilantro, diced
1/4 c scallion tops, sliced thinly on the diagonal

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the shrimp. Simmer until just done, 2-3 minutes, then drain and reserve the liquid. When cool enough to handle, shell and behead the shrimp. Set the shrimp aside and return the shells and heads to the pot with the reserved liquid. Bring to a simmer for a few more minutes then strain thru a fine sieve. Discard the shells and reserve the stock.

In a heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, celery, and carrots until just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a another few minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until thoroughly mixed. If using the brandy, add to the pot, stir, and ignite with a match (keep your face back!). When the flames die down, add the reserved shrimp stock and the next 7 ingredients, bay leaves through rice. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely dice 1/3 of the shrimp and cut the remainder into pieces about 1/2 inch in size.

When the simmering is finished, add the finely diced shrimp, the coconut milk, and the cayenne pepper to the soup. Use an immersion blender to finely puree the soup (or do it in batches in a regular blender). Return to the pan and correct for salt, if needed. Add the remaining shrimp and heat through. Serve the the cilantro and scallions sprinkled on top.

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