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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

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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scallops

The last few weeks I have been traveling for work and putting crazy hours in. Last weekend was my first weekend off in three weeks and I just wanted to hang out at home and relax. We planned a “date night” at home on Friday night and I really wanted to try something a little fancier than what I make on weeknights. Think fine dining-esque.

We thought about it all day on Friday and browsed through a few cookbooks. We finally landed on sea scallops. One of my very favorite things to order in nice restaurants is seared sea scallops over risotto. So off I went to Whole Foods after work with a mission of creating a delicious scallop dish.

I ended up with six beautiful sea scallops, fresh spinach and prosciutto de parma. When I got home I turned to my trusty Joy of Cooking (seriously, if you do not own a copy – buy one! most useful cookbook ever!) and used their “Simplest Risotto” for my risotto.

I loosely followed a recipe from The Newlyweds Cookbook for the scallops. I finished it all off with wilted spinach and a balsamic reduction.

This is a great special occasion recipe. I was really, really pleased with how it came out. The scallops were a cinch and the risotto…well…risotto is a labor of love. You have to commit to stirring (a good job to assign the man)! I highly recommend you give this a try if you’re looking for a special Valentine’s day dinner (or any date-worthy occasion).

Simplest Risotto
(Recipe source Joy of Cooking)

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups Italian rice
1/2 cup white wine (can sub chicken stock)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Melt butter or heat olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook over low heat until soft and translucent but not browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, simmer the chicken stock over medium heat.

Increase the heat on the onions to medium and stir in the rice. Using broad strokes, stir the rice until it looks chalky and you can see a white dot in the center of each grain, about three minutes.

Stir in white wine and continue stirring to prevent sticking until all wine has been absorbed. Then start stirring in the stock, 1 cup at a time. Each cup must be absorbed before the next is added. Stir the risotto continuously to prevent sticking. When 6 cups of stock have been absorbed, add the stock 1/2 cup at a time and start tasting the rice. It should be tender but still a little firm to the bite, not mushy.

Take the risotto off the heat when the rice still has a little more resistance than you’d like and fold in butter and parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.

Let risotto stand for a moment and then serve immediately.

Seared Scallops with Crispy Prosciutto
(Adapted from The Newlyweds Cookbook)

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp olive oil
6-8 sea scallops (3 or 4 per person)
8 slices prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 bag of baby spinach, optional
salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium to medium high heat in a medium saute pan. Add prosciutto and saute until crispy, 3-4 minutes. Make sure to have the exhaust fan on, the prosciutto will smoke. Drain on a plate line with paper towels.

Wipe out pan and heat another 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat . Season scallops with salt and pepper and add to hot skillet. Sear 2-3 minutes per side (cooking time will vary depending on the size of your scallops). They should be golden on both sides.

When you remove the scallops from the pan  you can throw a bag of spinach in the leftover olive oil and heat until lightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 tbsp brown sugar, to taste

Directions:

Bring vinegar to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer until it’s reduced by about 1/2. Add in the sugar and let simmer until thickened. Remove from heat. Will thicken more as it cools. Watch the mixture carefully to prevent scorching while simmering.

To plate everything…

Place risotto and spinach on plate side-by-side. Arrange scallops on overlap between spinach and risotto. Sprinkle with crispy prosciutto. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.

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