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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

While I was menu planning this week I pulled out my recipe notebook that I use to write down family or passed down recipes and to store recipes I’ve cut from magazines. I started this notebook right after college and haven’t really looked through it in a while.

I found this recipe that I cut from the May 2007 Cooking Light for Tuna with White Bean and Charred Onion Salad. I was in the mood for a lighter dinner and had fish in mind so this was perfect.

The original recipe calls for grilling the tuna and the onions but our gas grill is not working and Brandon didn’t want to fire up the Egg for a three minute tuna sear so I decided to prepare this inside. Although there are several elements to this dish, nothing is too complicated and it was easy to put together. Instead of grilling the onions, I cooked them in a cast iron skillet and let the edges get a little charred. I seared the tuna in a hot skillet for about 2 minutes per side.

I made several modifications  to the recipe. First, I doubled the marinade and only used two tuna steaks. I still made the full recipe for the white bean salad because I wanted to use the leftovers for lunch. Second, I omitted the parsley from the white bean salad and used a mixture of fresh rosemary and basil instead. And third, I omitted the capers because I detest them!

I was very pleased with how this dish turned out. The white bean salad was delicious and paired nicely with the tuna. I enjoyed plating the tuna and white bean salad over mixed greens but you could easily skip the mixed greens and just do a vegetable on the side.

Maybe I’ll have to turn to my recipe notebook for inspiration more often!

Tuna with White Bean and Charred Onion Salad
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, May 2007)

Ingredients:

FOR THE TUNA
1  tablespoon  grated lemon rind
3  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
1  teaspoon  olive oil
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1  garlic clove, minced
4  (6-ounce) tuna steaks

FOR THE SALAD
1  medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
1  garlic clove, minced
1/2  cup  chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/4  cup  chopped flat-leaf parsley (I subbed basil and rosemary)
1  tablespoon  capers (omitted)
1  (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6  cups  mixed salad greens

Directions:

FOR THE TUNA
Combine the marinade ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag or a shallow dish. Add tuna to bag or dish and seal or cover. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning once. Remove tuna from bag and discard marinade. Prepare grill if cooking outside. Place tuna on grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill 2 minutes on each side for rare or until desired degree of doneness. Alternatively, cook in a skillet over medium high heat with a bit of olive oil for about two minutes per side.

FOR THE SALAD
Place onion slices on grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender. Cool and chop. Alternatively, cook onions in a cast iron skillet over medium heat with olive oil, salt and pepper until tender and browned.

Combine vinegar and next five ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add onion, cucumber, parsley (or herbs), capers and beans to vinegar mixture and toss to coat. Arrange 1 1/2 cups salad greens on each of four plates. Top each serving with about 1/2 cup onion mixture and 1 tuna steak.

Yield: 4 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 61

Gourmet named this recipe Spicy Boiled Crabs, Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn and Garlic. I put a Southern spin on it by subbing sausage for the crabs and calling it by its true name, Lowcountry Boil. I think the crabs would have been a fun addition but not in the realm of  possibility for tonight’s dinner.

Lowcountry Boil is a simple, one-pot dinner full of deliciousness. We served it at our rehearsal dinner when we got married in Charleston and requested it for our joint birthday party last year. It’s a great party/entertaining dish but also fun and easy for any night! You can easily scale the amount of ingredients to the number of people you’ll be serving. It’s also easy to control the spice level. If you love spicy foods, feel free to be a little heavy-handed with the seasonings. You cook this in such a big pot that the spices are really diluted.

It’s also relatively healthy and filling. We usually sub chicken or turkey smoked sausage. My favorite way to serve Lowcountry Boil is on a big platter so everyone can pick and choose what they want. And really hot homemade cocktail sauce (the more horseradish, the better!) on the side.

If you’ve never experienced Lowcountry Boil it is a must try this Spring/Summer. Perfect for your next get together – casual, a little messy and fun! I can just picture serving this outdoors with rolls of paper towels and sweet tea in mason jars – what can I say? I was definitely born and raised in the South!

One Year Ago: Easy Spanakopita

Lowcountry Boil
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, June 1996)

Ingredients:

2 (3-ounce) packets Zatarain’s crab boil or 5 tablespoons Old Bay  seasoning (or more – adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon cayenne (or more adjust to taste)
1/2 cup table salt (might want to reduce to around 1/4 cup)
3 lemons, quartered
2 onions, halved
1 1/2 pounds small potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter)
2 whole heads of garlic (not separated into cloves)
6 ears of corn, shucked and halved
24 ounces smoked sausage (2 packages), cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste, for sprinkling over  boiled seafood
3 pounds large shrimp (about 30, preferably with heads)

Directions:

In a very large stock pot or kettle (7- to 8-gallons) bring 5 gallons water to a boil.

Add Zatarain’s crab boil or 5 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, cayenne, salt, lemons and onions to boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic and boil for about 10 minutes. Add corn and sausage and cook for about 5-10 more minutes, until corn and potatoes are tender.

Add shrimp and cook until they turn bright pink, about 2-3 minutes, careful not to overcook. Drain pot and transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning and serve with cocktail sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet:  Day 30

I know I’ve mentioned this before but I love staying in on Friday nights and cooking something a little more special than our average weeknight meal. This week sea scallops were on sale at the grocery. Since they are one of my favorites, I decided to base our Friday night meal off of them.

I browsed through the highly rated scallop recipes from Gourmet online and thought that this recipe for Seared Scallops with Tomato Beurre Blanc sounded perfect. I love sundried tomatoes so I knew I would enjoy this beurre blanc.

I went to a hot vinyasa class at Y2 yoga after work yesterday. The founder of the studio, Tanner, was teaching so I was very excited to check it out. It was an awesome class and I couldn’t believe the amount of work he packed in to 60 minutes. Usually, I prefer 90 minute yoga classes but I don’t think I could have made it through 30 more minutes of this class! I definitely think there was 90 minutes of work packed into the 60 minute class! I left exhausted but with a smile on my face – ready for the weekend and ready for these scallops!

The online recipe says that the preparation time is 2 hours and 15 minutes. That is not true. I don’t know how it could have taken that long. The only time you have to build in is making your sundried tomato butter. You can do that the day before or cheat like me and put the butter in the freezer to harden! :)

I loved this recipe. Simple but delicious preparation. I served it with Orzo “Risotto” (I was going to make real risotto but ran out of time and energy for it!) and roasted asparagus. Perfect Friday night feast!

Seared Scallops with Tomato Beurre Blanc
(Recipe source Gourmet, May 2002)

Ingredients:

FOR BEURRE BLANC
1/4 cup packed soft dried tomatoes (I used very soft, ready to use sundried tomatoes and skipped the rehydration step)
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup minced shallot
2/3 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

FOR SCALLOPS
2 lb large sea scallops (30), tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
About 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

FOR THE BEURRE BLANC
Soak tomatoes in warm water until softened, 20 to 25 minutes (I skipped this step because I used ready to eat softened sundried tomatoes). Drain and pat dry, then mince. Mix together tomatoes, softened butter and salt. Form butter into a log on a sheet of plastic wrap, roll up and chill until firm. About 1 hour in fridge or you can cheat and put the butter in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Cut tomato butter into 12 equal pieces.

Heat a small heavy sauce pan over low heat. Cook shallot in 1 piece of tomato butter for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add wine and boil over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half, to about 1/3 cup. This should take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and whisk in remaining cold tomato butter 1 piece at a time, adding each piece before previous one has completely melted and lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture (sauce should not get hot enough to separate). Whisk in water and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer beurre blanc to a bowl and keep warm, covered, in a larger bowl of warm water.

FOR THE SCALLOPS
Rinse and pat scallops dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sear scallops, turning once, until golden on each side and cooked through. About 2-4 minutes total. Work in batches if you need, keeping previously cooked scallops warm on a platter covered with foil. Wipe out skillet and add more oil in between batches.

Serve scallops with 3 tablespoons of beurre blanc – either spooned onto the bottom of the dish or spooned over the scallops. I served my beurre blanc over the scallops and the orzo.

Yield: 6 servings
(I did not make 6 servings for the 2 of us. I just cut the beurre blanc in half and used about 1/2 pound of scallops.)

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 8

Day 8 of 68 Days of Gourmet! Only 60 more posts to go! I made an exciting purchase last night – The Gourmet Cookbook. It includes over 1,000 recipes. I started flipping through it last night and have already flagged well over 60 recipes that I want to try and that was just appetizers, soups and salads! It’s going to be tough to narrow it down but I’m happy to have this resource in my kitchen.

Sashimi grade tuna steaks were on sale at the grocery this week and they looked great. I picked some up on my weekly shopping trip. I found this recipe that included an amazing looking marinade in Gourmet. The marinade reminded me of a recipe I’ve always loved that my parents use for salmon.

It was just as good as I’d hoped. While cooking the tuna, I brought the marinade to a boil so we could spoon extra sauce over our fish and rice. The combination of the teriyaki and soy sauce with the fresh ginger and garlic was so delicious. I will definitely be making this marinade again for tuna and also for salmon. I usually have most of the ingredients in my pantry so it’s a great standby fish preparation.

Asian Marinated Tuna Steaks
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, September 1996)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Sherry or white wine
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
2 scallions, chopped fine
a pinch dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
2-4 tuna steaks, depending on how many you’re feeding

Directions:

Combine everything except for fish in a baking dish. Whisk to combine. Place fish in marinade and let sit at room temp if you’re marinating for less than an hour, in the fridge if you’re marinating over one hour and bring to room temp when you have about an hour left. The reason for this is so your fish won’t be cold in the center when seared. Marinate fish for up to 2 hours total.

Remove fish from marinade and pat dry. Place marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil and let cook for a few minutes. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Sear fish about 1 minute per side for rare tuna.

Spoon a bit of boiled marinade over tuna before serving.

Yield: 2-4 servings, depending how many steaks you cook

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Crispy Oven Fried Fish

crispyovenfish

Every Sunday I plan our meals for the week and go to the grocery. My dad did this growing up and posted the week’s menu on the fridge. We always knew what was for dinner and I can only imagine how much simpler it made his life while working full-time with two kids. When someone asks for advice on cooking my first suggestion is always to plan meals and shop for them. You are much, much more likely to cook at home during the week if you know what you’re having and already have the ingredients on hand.

It always takes me a while to menu plan because I’m pretty indecisive. This week was especially challenging for some reason. Part of my process is to see what’s on sale at the store. I saw this week that flounder fillets were on sale and I remembered this recipe for Crispy Oven Fried Fish from Cook’s Illustrated (note, you must have a subscription to view recipe). There was a bit of a bump in the road when I got to the store and the flounder fillets were cut paper thin. I thought this would turn out better with a thicker fillet so I switched to cod instead.

The fish had a great flavor. Making your own bread crumbs really enhances the crispiness and the addition of shallots and parsley take it up a notch. This would be a quick weeknight meal if you made your breadcrumbs ahead of time. I thought it would be fun to do a healthy spin on fish and chips so I decided to serve this with roasted potatoes.

Crispy Oven Fried Fish
(Recipe source Cook’s Illustrated)

Ingredients:

4 large slices white sandwich bread , torn into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup plus 5 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/4 pounds skinless cod, haddock or other thick white fish fillet (1 to 1 1/2 inches thick), cut into 4 pieces
Cooking spray
Lemon wedges

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pulse bread, melted butter, salt and pepper in a food processor until bread is coarsely ground. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes. Stir twice during baking time. Cool crumbs to room temperature and transfer to a pie plate or medium sized bowl. Toss with parsley and shallot.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Place 1/4 cup flour in a second plate. In a third plate, whisk eggs, mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until combined. Whisk in remaining 5 tablespoons flour until smooth.

Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Rinse fish and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge 1 fillet in flour and shake off excess. Coat with egg mixture and then dredge in bread crumb mixture. Gently press crumbs so they adhere to fish. Transfer to wire rack and repeat with remaining fish.

Bake fish for about 15-20 minutes, or until instant-read thermometer inserted into centers of fillets registers 140 degrees. Carefully transfer to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Yield: 4 servings

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cherrytomatofish

I have really lucked out with access to fresh local fruits and vegetables lately. First, there were the figs. Remember the Grilled Fig and Prosciutto Pizza and the Fig Upside Down Cake? Then we had the mountain blueberry extravaganza that resulted in this Peach and Blueberry Crisp. Last week I found out that my brother in law’s tomato plants were going crazy. This summer he planted his first garden and I was really excited to hear that his tomatoes were doing really well and really excited that he wanted to share some with me!

When I saw the beautiful red and yellow cherry tomatoes I was instantly inspired to serve them over fish. I Googled “fish and cherry tomatoes” and this recipe from epicurious.com was the first to pop up. Usually, I spend forever looking for the perfect recipe but this was just what I had in mind so I went with it.

I found red snapper on sale at the store and it ended up working great with this dish. It was firm and didn’t fall apart when sauteed and good for my husband who doesn’t like strong fish. The cherry tomato/olive mixture is very flavorful and the red pepper flakes add just the right amount of spice to the dish.

This was a great summer dinner and we’ll definitely have this again!

Sauteed Snapper with Cherry Tomatoes
(Recipe source epicurious.com)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 to 1 pound tilapia, red snapper, orange roughy fillets
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (depending on your spice tolerance)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmers. Place fish in skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fish. Fish should be opaque and flake easily. Transfer to plate.

Add parsley, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, olives and garlic to same skillet and saute until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and spoon over fish.

Yield: 2 servings

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shrimptaco

First things first, let me apologize profusely for the quality of this picture. Unfortunately, dinner wasn’t ready until it was dark outside so I was forced to shoot these in the harsh, unflattering light of my kitchen. But these shrimp tacos were just too delicious not to share!

I have been craving shrimp tacos for the last couple weeks. I couldn’t really find a recipe that sounded perfect to me so I just kind of went for it. I decided to do grilled shrimp with a spicy jerk rub, shredded cabbage, salsa, cheese and this great Baja cream that I found on Epicurious. The combination turned out great. The flavors went together really well. The Baja cream balanced out the spiciness of the jerk grilled shrimp and the cabbage added just the right crisp to the tacos. And to top it off, they were pretty healthy!

I served these with black beans and rice (recipe to come on the blog soon!) and grilled corn. Perfect summer meal!

Grilled Shrimp Tacos
(A Bakin’ and Eggs Original)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon lime zest
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)
Pinch of salt
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Extra virgin olive oil
Jerk seasoning rub (recommended Dizzy Pig Jamaican Firewalk)
Skewers (metal or bamboo soaked in water)
Cooking spray
Taco sized flour tortillas
Your favorite salsa
Shredded cheese
Shredded cabbage

Directions:

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice and salt for Baja cream. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let flavors develop.

Preheat grill to medium heat (around 400 degrees).

Place shrimp in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat lightly. Generously shake Jerk rub over the shrimp and toss to coat. Place shrimp on skewers. Spray grill grate with cooking spray and place shrimp and grill. Cook for about 2 minutes per side or  until pink and no longer translucent.

Wrap tortillas in a paper towel and heat for about 45 seconds in the microwave. Place grilled shrimp (I did about 4 per taco) on tortillas and then top with cabbage, salsa, Baja cream and cheese.

Yield: 2-3 servings

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tunaherbaioli

Before we get started on the tuna let’s talk about my absence from blogging the last couple weeks. My husband just graduated from law school in Birmingham, Alabama and will be practicing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Moving has been a gigantic pain but we’re so excited to finally be in Charlotte and getting settled in our new place. Unfortunately, with all the business of moving and starting a new job, there just hasn’t been much time for blogging.

I’m happy to report that as of this week I’m back in the kitchen. I made a menu for the week  and took my weekly Sunday grocery trip for the first time in over a month. My new kitchen is considerably smaller than the old kitchen and we don’t have a dishwasher (gasp!) but I’m trying to embrace it and work with what we have. So if you have any tips to share on maximizing small kitchen space, I would love to hear them (seriously…you should see the tiny amount of counter space I have).

Now on the the tuna…last Tuesday was my birthday and we’d been in our new place for all of two days. Needless to say, we weren’t very unpacked. I was really sick of eating out so I tried to brainstorm a simple dinner that I could prepare quickly for my birthday dinner. Tuna is one of our favorites and I was looking to do something different than our usual tuna with wasabi aioli.  I remembered a good herbed tuna recipe that I tried in college from Bon Appetit and decided to make my own variation of it. I used some of my favorite herbs and it turned out to be a great summer dish.

Seared Tuna with Herbed Aioli
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

2 tuna steaks (recommended sushi/sashimi grade)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (3 for marinade and 1 for pan)
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use reduced fat)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients from olive oil through garlic clove to create the marinade for the tuna. Place mayonnaise in a separate small bowl and stir in about 2 tablespoons of the marinade mixture to create the aioli.  Refrigerate.

Season tuna steaks with salt and pepper. Pour reserved marinade over the tuna and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Preheat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan and add fish. Cook for about 45 seconds per side for rare (you just want to get the sear and warm it a little). The inside should still be red.

Top with aioli and serve.

Yield: 2 servings

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tunaWe stumbled upon this recipe a few years ago while looking for a new way to prepare tuna. It has become part of the regular rotation and is our standby recipe for tuna steaks. The wasabi aoli is definitely what makes this dish. You can adjust the amount of wasabi you use to taste – we love the burn!

Try this recipe soon! We serve the tuna with stir fry veggies and sushi rice.

Seared Tuna with Wasabi Aoli
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

2 tuna steaks
Soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil (or sesame or canola oil)
1 tbsp wasabi powder (can be found in the Asian section of grocery store)
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I always use light)

Directions:

Place tuna steaks in a dish and pour a couple tablespoons of soy sauce over them. Let marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature, turning once.

Mix together wasabi powder and water and then whisk in mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pat tuna dry. Heat a medium skillet to medium-high. Heat oil. Sear tuna steaks for about 45 seconds per side for rare.

Serve with wasabi aoli.

Yield: 2 servings

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broiledmahi

Brandon is in Vegas for a bachelor party. Anytime he’s out of town I get excited to cook whatever I want for dinner. One of the things I always turn to is fish. When Brandon’s not here to man the grill, I’ve found that broiling fish is a quick and flavorful way to prepare it.

My method is really simple – I brush both sides of the fish with olive oil and then sprinkle it with a seasoning rub. I’ve mentioned this before and will continue to mention that our favorite rubs are from The Dizzy Pig. Tonight I used Tsunami Spin. Broiled fish is also great with Ragin’ River and Shakin’ the Tree. I seriously recommend that you order some rubs from The Dizzy Pig!

This recipe also works great with salmon. Another tip, line your baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup (especially if you’re preparing salmon because of the skin).

Simple Broiled Mahi Mahi
(Recipe source Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

Fish fillets (recommended: Mahi Mahi or Salmon), as many as you’d like to prepare
Olive oil
Seasoning rub (preferred: The Dizzy Pig)
Lemon wedges

Directions:

Arrange oven rack so it’s about 4 inches from the broiler. Preheat broiler on high. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray (or line with foil and spray with cooking spray for easy cleanup – I highly recommend you do this).

Rinse fish under cool water and pat dry. Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle rub on both sides to coat evenly. Place fish fillets on baking sheet and squeeze a little lemon juice over them.

Broil on high for about 8 minutes (for Mahi or Salmon) or until internal temperature reaches 140-150 (depends on your desired doneness). Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your fish fillet. Fish should flake easily when done. Tip: make sure you have your exhaust fan on while broiling. The fish may smoke.

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