Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Iowa City has a fantastic Farmer’s Market and I’m dying for it to open in 2011. I’m tucking this one away for when the tables are lined with piles and piles of fresh basil.


Ingredients: (serves- 4)

Prawns- 500gms cleansed

Basmati rice- 2 cups soaked in water for 1 hour.

Garlic – 8 cloves coarsely crushed

Ginger- 1 inch crushed

Green chillies – 6 (optional for those who need heat otherwise season with a little pepper)

Tomato – 1 medium sized chopped

Onion – 2 medium sliced finely

Fresh Basil leaves-2 handful leaves chopped coarsely

Lime juice- from 1 whole lime

Bay leaves – 3 whole (fresh or dry)

Cloves – 4

Nutmeg powder – ½ teaspoon

Red bell pepper- 1/4th julienned for garnish

Salt to taste

Butter – 2 tablespoons



1. Cook rice in 3 and ½ cups of water. Keep aside with lid on. At this point it might be just a little under cooked but that’s ok we’ll do the finisher with our prawns.

2. Sauté bay leaves and clove in butter. Add onions and sauté till transparent.

3. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a few mins.

4. Add tomato and cook till mushy.

5. Pour in lime juice, nutmeg powder and adjust salt.

6. Mix well. Add prawns and cook on a high flame till the prawns are slightly pink and just purrfectly cooked.

7. Add rice and chopped basil leaves. Toss the mixture on high heat till even.

8. Garnish with red bell pepper and basil leaves.

9. Serve hot. No accompaniments needed!!! J


Tips n Tricks:

· Cook the rice in freshly made prawns stock to get the ultimate flavours J

· And if you don’t have basil, try it with mint, that’s finger lickin good too!!

From: Cardamom Hills


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Those fine folks at the James Beard Foundation share some recipes that make my mouth water when I look at the pictures and read the recipes.

But hold on there! This recipe sounds like it comes straight from a snooty French eatery. But a quick scan of the ingredients and the directions reveals a simple recipe with some amazing flavors. I think the specific scallops suggested in the recipe will make it taste fantastic. But I suspect any fresh scallops will do the trick. Who knows…give the frozen ones a try?


Four servings

8 diver scallops, rinsed and dried
1 cup raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
Salt and white ground pepper to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cooking oil

Beurre Blanc:
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, sliced and softened, plus more for sautéing
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup chopped basil


To make the scallops, use a rotary cheese grater to grate the macadamia nuts into a bowl, or chop using a knife. Season the scallops with salt and white pepper. Dredge the scallops in the flour, removing any excess. Coat the scallops in the beaten eggs, covering them completely. Dredge the scallops in the grated nuts.

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Heat an oven-safe pan over medium heat and add the oil. When very hot, place the scallops in the pan. Brown on one side until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn onto the other side and place the pan into the oven until done, about 4 minutes. The scallops should be golden brown and firm to the touch.

To make the beurre blanc, melt a little butter in a medium saucepan. Sauté the shallots until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine, orange juice, and lime juice and reduce to a syrup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add the butter one slice at a time while whisking constantly.

Place 2 scallops on each plate. Drizzle with the beurre blanc sauce. Garnish with chopped basil.

From: The James Beard Foundation

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Shrimp, Avocado Tacos

I’m a big fan of the fish taco. You get all of that great latino flavor and it doesn’t sit and weigh down your stomach. Don’t get me wrong a carnitas burrito with rice rock, but you can’t eat that all the time. This is a great variation on that idea. I might cut back on the peppers just because one of the boys doesn’t like spicy.

Serves 4    


4 Roma Tomatoes

1 Garlic Clove, minced

2 Large Fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced

1/2 Cup Cilantro

1 Lime, juiced

Kosher Salt & Pepper

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

1/2 Onion, chopped

1 1/2 Cups of Cooked, Shelled, Deveined, de-tailed Shrimp

8 Taco Shells

1 Cup Mixed Lettuce Leaves

1 Cup Mexican-Blend Shredded Cheese

1 Avocado, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put tomatoes, garlic, half of the jalapeno, 1/4 cup of cilantro, and lime juice in a food processor and pulse to make a salsa.

Saute’ onions and remaining jalapeno over medium-high heat until onions turn opaque, about 4 minutes.

Add shrimp and heat through an additional 2 minutes.

Warm taco shells in oven about 3 minutes.

Fill tacos with shrimp mixture and top with lettuce, avocado, salsa, and cheese.


From: www.themanlyhousewife.com

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Shrimp Salad Rolls

I like this as an option on a summer lunch. A great filling sandwich without having to crank up the oven.    

Serves 6

Kosher salt

2 lb. large shrimp (31 to 40 per lb.), preferably easy-peel

3/4 cup finely chopped celery with leaves

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives

1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh tarragon

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

6 hot dog rolls, preferably New England-style split-top rolls

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until bright pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes.the water needn’t return to a boil. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Shell the shrimp, devein if necessary, and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, stir the celery, mayonnaise, chives, tarragon, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir in the shrimp and season to taste with more lemon, salt, and pepper.

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler to high. Toast both outside surfaces of the rolls under the broiler, about 1 minute per side. Spoon the shrimp salad into the rolls, using about 2/3 cup per roll, and serve.

From: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/new-england-shrimp-salad-roll.aspx

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Facebook has been great to reconnect with friends and acquaintances from high school. Recently, former Francis Howell alum Jason Pettus posted this pictured on Facebook.  I asked for the recipe and he obliged. The use of sardines intrigued me as I’ve been reading “Beard On Food” and the writer uses a lot of sardines.    

Jason begins:

“Although I was briefly a professional cook for a time in the ’90s, in recent years I’ve gotten out of the habit of preparing interesting new dishes, so thought I’d at least try to add one elaborate new recipe to my life per week again and see how that went. This week, for example, I decided to teach myself some new things to do with sardines, which are cheap and flavorful but also salty and overwhelming if used badly; but when combined with cod and green onions to make fried cakes, and covered in a zesty parsley/capers/lemon sauce, they are a wonderful and inexpensive treat. (The six large cakes you’re seeing here were probably less than a dollar apiece to make, which when combined with vegetables and soup could easily make an entire three-person meal.)


(for six cakes)

* 1 pound 1-inch-thick halibut fillets

* 6 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 cup chopped green onions

* 3 drained canned sardines, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

* 2 large garlic cloves, chopped

* 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

* 2 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

* 1 large egg


Sprinkle halibut fillets with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add halibut fillets and sauté until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate; cool. Wipe skillet with paper towels.

Flake halibut fillets into large bowl. Mix in green onions, sardines, chopped fresh parsley, flour, garlic, and lemon peel. Mix in 1 cup breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper; mix in egg. Shape into six 3-inch-diameter cakes. Transfer remaining 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs to bowl. Coat fish cakes with breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.

Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish cakes and cook until brown and crisp, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to plates; serve fish cakes with Caper-Parsley Sauce.

Caper-Parsley Sauce

And here’s the recipe for the sauce, which in this form makes about a cup’s worth:


* 2/3 cup olive oil

* 6 tablespoons drained capers

* 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

* 6 anchovy fillets, chopped

* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

* 2 large garlic cloves, halved


Blend all ingredients in processor until coarse puree forms. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Courtesy: Jason Pettus  http://www.cclapcenter.com

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I’ve never been a fan of fish sticks. At the risk of sounding like a food snob…they just don’t taste like fish. These look promising.  I could do without the capers…but I’ll give them a try.


1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons drained capers

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons or dill pickles plus 1 tablespoon pickle juice from jar

1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 large egg

1 1/2 pounds 3/4-inch-thick halibut fillets, cut into 3×3/4-inch strips

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided


Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl. Season with pepper. Cover and chill tartar sauce. Spread panko on plate. Whisk egg in small bowl. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Working in batches, coat fish in egg. Coat in panko; shake off excess.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of fish and cook, turning often, until fish is opaque in center and golden on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to 2 plates; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and fish. Spoon tartar sauce alongside.

From: www.bonappetit.com/recipes/quick-recipes/2010/06/halibut_fish_sticks_with_dill_caper_tartar_sauce

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Forget the fruit. I want to fill these with BBQ and ranch dressing. Maybe some tater tots and cheese? Biscuit chunks and sausage gravy? Maybe some chopped crab or shrimp with cream cheese and some scallions and a little garlic salt?

Lipitor and Bran?


2 lbs Bacon (long skinny pieces are better than short fat pieces)

Fresh basil leaves

Homemade aioli (substitute: store-bought mayo + lemon juice)

Fresh mango, cubed

Large avocado, cubed

1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 large onion, sliced into thin rings

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Tools & Materials:

muffin tin

aluminum foil

baking tray large enough to contain the upside-down muffin tin

heavy pot for frying bacon

splatter screen (very handy!)

cutting board


food processor (or blender)

oven (preheated to 500F)

Preheat oven to 450F.
Let’s Begin:

If you have a metal muffin tin, cover the back side with aluminum foil to prevent the bacon from sticking.  (I used a silicone pan, which avoids this problem.)

Turn your muffin tin upside-down, and place it on top of a baking dish to catch grease drips.  If you don’t have a large enough pan, get creative with aluminum foil – there’s going to be LOTS of grease, and you don’t want it smoking and burning on the bottom of the oven.  A double sheet of foil with a folded-up lip will probably do the trick.

Stretch bacon lengthwise to increase pliability (skip this step if you’re using thin-cut bacon!) and cut a few pieces in half.  Each cup will take 1-2 strips of bacon, depending on their length and thickness – you want two strips crossed across the muffin cup, and at least one full wrap around the sides of the cup.  Tuck ends under to avoid the dreaded bacon curl-up.

Technique 1:  1.5 strips

Drape a half piece over the cup.  Stretch your second piece, and drape it across the first piece at a 90-degree angle.  Fold the bacon up at a 90-degree angle, and wrap it around the cup.  Tuck tail into the fold.

Technique 2: 2 strips

Drape the bacon over the cup so one end is touching the ground, then fold the other side at a 90-degree angle and wrap the rest around the cup – it shouldn’t fit all the way around.  (If it does, use technique 1.)  Repeat with another strip, 90 degrees offset from the first, except tuck the initial end under the first bacon loop, and make sure all wrapped ends are tucked in/under as well.

This is hard to describe, but just play with it – even a messily-wrapped cup will work so long as the ends are tucked under.  You can also wrap a coil of wire around your bacon cup to keep things in place, but I find this quasi-weaving quicker and classier.  Check out the close-up shots in pictures 3 and 4 below for bacon-tucking details.

Bake bacon cups in a 500F oven.  Be sure your tray catches all the melting bacon grease!

Remove from the oven when bacon is brown and crispy, but NOT burned!  Set the entire assembly aside to cool.

When the bacon cups are cool, carefully pry them off of the muffin tin.  Lift from the bottom to avoid cracking the bacon, or otherwise damaging the shape.

Your fingers should do the job, but a silicone spatula can also be handy.  I used a flexible silicone pan, so was able to fold the muffin cups inward away from the bacon for even easier removal.

Place the finished bacon cups on paper towels to finish draining and cooling.

Fry 5-6 strips of bacon slowly, making sure they’re cooked through and crispy.  Dry and cool on paper towels.

Remove any non-crispy bits (and eat them!), then give the crispy bits a final pat-down to remove extra grease.

Toss them in the food processor, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar, and give it a whirl.  The bacon grease will still likely stick to the sides, so scrape them down with a spatula, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar, and turn the sucker back on.  Repeat until the bacon stops sticking, and achieves a dry, light, fluffy, powdery “weaponized” state.

add a teaspoon of cocoa powder, and blend in.  This goes nicely with the fruit, but is totally skippable.

Cut one medium-sized onion in half from top to bottom, then cut each half into thin semi-circular slices.

Put onion slices into the pan of bacon fat leftover from making the bacon for bacon powder.  Add a pinch of salt, and cook gently (low/medium heat) until onions are soft and starting to brown.

Add a tablespoon of brown sugar, and continue cooking until the sugar has incorporated and the onions are meltingly soft, sweet, and evenly browned.

Set aside to cool.  If you refrigerate the onions, let them come to room temperature before using – solidified grease is kind of gross.

Chop your mango as described in How to Cut a Mango.  Slice the spikes off at their base, and set the perfect little chunks aside.

Chop your avocado as described in Avocado Preparing Made Simple, but use a spoon to scoop out the pre-cut chunks instead of squeezing. This will keep your chunks nice and… chunky.

Wash your basil, and spin or pat dry.

Pull out the jar of previously-prepared aioli, whip it up from scratch, or mix some lemon juice in with your store-bought mayonnaise.

Pull out your onion confit (step 6) and your bacon powder (step 5).

Line each bacon cup with basil whole fresh basil leaves.  Place the base of the leaf in the center of the cup, and let the tip stick up past the edge of the cup.  Use 2-4 basil leaves, depending on size.

Place a dollop of aioli in the middle of the basil leaves.

Fill the cup with an even mix of avocado and mango chunks.

Dust everything with a fine coating of bacon powder.  A sifter is great for this – just put a scoop of bacon powder in, and gently whack it over the bacon cups to produce a fine dusting.

Top with a big pinch of onion confit.

These are perfect for buffets, picnics, and other single-serving, no-utensils eating extravaganzas.

Serve immediately, or leave at room temperature until serving.  These should be safe to leave at room temperature for several hours as the bacon is fully fried and separated from the wet ingredients.
These are awesome, and disappear quickly – storage shouldn’t be an issue!

If for some reason you must refrigerate the assembled cups, let them come up to room temperature before serving.  Better to refrigerate all ingredients separately (store bacon cups at room temperature) and assemble shortly before you serve.


Substitute other fruits and herbs to fit your tastes and the seasons.  The mango works because it has a nice strong acidic flavor that works well against the bacon – I’d expect cherries, pineapple, and other assertive fruits to fill the same niche.  Avocado could be subbed for a nice, ripe, melty pear – this one’s about mouth feel.  Cilantro and mint would be good substitutes for the basil.

From: http://www.instructables.com/id/Bacon-Fruit-Cups/

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