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Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

I made up this pasta recipe when I was in college and wanted to use pantry items I already had around.  I’ve been making it for years and I thought it was too boring to post until a friend asked for the recipe recently and his family gave it rave reviews.  It can be made very simply with dry basil and parmesan from the green container, or prettied up with fresh basil and fancy grated parmesan.  I made it the original way most recently and added some beautiful sautéed shrimp.  Other fantastic additions are chopped kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes.  You could even toss some spinach with the hot pasta to make it a complete meal.  There is a lot of garlic, so be prepared.

Mary Anne Pasta

  • 1 – 13 oz package spaghetti, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta (I used whole grain, but the flavor is better with regular pasta)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil or about 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or a dash if serving kiddies
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, don’t forget to add salt to the cooking water.  While pasta is cooking, in a glass measuring cup, combine the olive oil, garlic, basil, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.  When the pasta is almost done microwave the olive oil mixture for 30 to 45 seconds.  Watch it closely, it needs to bubble and sizzle for a few seconds, but no longer because it will scorch.  You should be able to smell the garlic before you open the door.  Drain the pasta when done and return to empty cooking pot.  Pour the olive oil mixture over the pasta and toss well.  Add the cheese and toss until combined.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

For sautéed shrimp:  Peel and devein shrimp (about 1 lb).  Toss clean shrimp in a bowl with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning.  In a non-stick pan over medium to medium high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter.  Add the shrimp and saute for about 2 – 3 minutes per side until opaque.  Be careful not  to over cook the shrimp or they will get tough.  Serve with pasta.

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I’ve been making this salmon dish for years.   It’s quick, fresh and delicious.  Serve with rice, (spoon the juices from the baking pan on top), and a vegetable and dinner is ready in 30 minutes.

Orange Brown Sugar Salmon

  • 1 24-oz (approx.) salmon, steelhead, or arctic char filet with or without skin
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Pre-heat oven to 375°.  Place fish in a baking dish coated with cooking spray skin side down.  Brush fish with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pour orange juice over fish and sprinkle all over with brown sugar.  Bake about 25 minutes, or until just done.

If your fish has skin, it will come right off when you cut and serve.

Makes about 6 servings.

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Several weeks ago my husband went on a deep-sea fishing trip with some buddies.  Among the catch were two beautiful groupers.  If you don’t happen to have grouper caught two days ago in the Atlantic you can substitute any firm fleshed white fish like mahimahi or catfish.   

My husband Jay (right) with our friend Matt after day 1 of fishing

Grouper with Tahini Sauce 

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup well stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 (6 ounce) grouper fillets, skinned
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

Garnish: ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

Combine garlic, tahini, water, lemon juice, cumin and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. 

 Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat until hot but not smoking.  Add 2 fillets and sear until golden, about 3 – 4 minutes.  Turn fish over and sprinkle coriander around it and sear until just cooked through, 2 – 3 more minutes.  Transfer fish to plate and wipe out skillet.  Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil and cook remaining fillets the same way.  

 Divide tahini sauce among 4 plates and top with fish.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Serves 4. 

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It’s the first week of June and my sage is out of control!  I needed to use some and I saw a chef on Martha Stewart stick whole leaves to salmon and pan fry it.  It was very pretty, but he used an insane amount of butter and oil.  So to lighten it up a little, I used 2 tablespoons of butter for a 2½ pound side of salmon, stuck my sage on and baked it in the oven.  The result was flavorful tender salmon, without a crazy amount of added fat.  Salmon is fatty to start with, (probably why it’s so good, and somewhat forgiving) so I think just a little butter is good.  The sage leaves I used were enormous and by the way rather tasty.  My 3-year-old ate the sage off first then demanded the rest of us hand ours over.

Sage Brown Butter Salmon

  • 2 ½ pound salmon filet
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 8 – 10 whole fresh sage leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Place salmon on a large baking dish coated with cooking spray skin side down.  (My piece was too long for the 9”x13” pan so I cut the skinny end off and squeezed it in next to the larger piece.)  Season with sea salt and pepper. 

In a small pan melt butter over medium heat.  Heat until foam disappears then add the chopped sage.  Heat until butter browns.  Watch it carefully because this happens very quickly.  Remove from heat and carefully add the lemon juice to the butter in pan.  Pour or brush the butter mixture evenly over the salmon.  Place the sage leaves however you like on top of the salmon and press them down firmly.  Bake at 375°F for about 25 minutes.

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My family loves seafood, especially salmon and tilapia.  I stumbled across this recipe when I wanted to do something a little different with the tilapia my husband brought home from Costco.  (I love Costco!)  It is very easy, extremely quick and my 3 and 4-year-old ate it up!  I served it with oven roasted broccoli and baked potatoes.  In retrospect I should have served brown rice and poured the juice from the pan all over it because it was super yummy delicious.  The cooking time on this really depends on the thickness of the tilapia fillets.  Mine were about ¾ inch thick in the middle and took 15 minutes, thinner fillets would take more like 8 – 10 minutes.  If you don’t have pineapple juice substitute lemon juice or orange juice.

4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets, without skin

2 garlic cloves minced

¼ cup pineapple juice

4 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 tbl. olive oil

Garnish:  thinly sliced scallions

Put rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.  Oil a baking dish just large enough to hold fillets in one layer.

Arrange fish in baking dish.  Stir together garlic, pineapple juice, soy sauce sugar and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk in oil until well blended, then pour vinaigrette over fish.

Bake fish until just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.  Sprinkle with scallions.

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I have wavered back and forth on the issue of whole wheat pasta for the last 10 years or so.  You didn’t know it was an issue?  I’m making it one.  Years ago I decided I liked it because I frequently made a pasta dish with lots of olive oil, basil, crushed red pepper, and a ridiculous amount of parmesan cheese.  Sometimes I added kalamata olives.  This concoction would make sardines taste super yummy, so I can’t use this as my guide.  More recently I placed whole wheat pasta in the super gross category because Ragu didn’t cover the flavor very well and I just didn’t like the texture.  After having kids I have had to rethink yet again because my kids love pasta, and I don’t want to deprive them of pasta.  We eat everything else in its whole grain version, whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat tortillas, so why not whole wheat pasta?  The answer is….build up, build up….wait for it, wait for it….

its Super Gross!

Actually, I do only use whole wheat pasta.  After some experimentation and trial and error, I have decided that it can be yum.  My kids don’t seem to care, they eat it like its yum, and who am I to argue with them?

First, buy the skinny pasta, the small fat varieties makes the texture more prominent.  I only use spaghetti.  Macaroni or rotini are too fat.  Second, cook it for one minute less than the shorter cooking time listed on the box.  I cook  spaghetti for 8 minutes.  Third, drain it – do not rinse it!  Fourth, cook or heat whatever sauce you’re using in a pan large enough to accommodate all the sauce and the cooked spaghetti.  After you have drained the pasta add it to the pan with the sauce.  I learned from the Sopranos, you know the episode where Ralph explains to Rosalie the secret of cooking good “Macaroni and Gravy”, the hot pasta absorbs a little bit of the sauce adding flavor.  That is also the reason you cook it one minute less because it will be absorbing more water.  Unless you like your pasta mushy then by all means cook it longer.  Back to the point.  After you stir around the pasta and sauce for a minute or two its ready to serve and already combined!  When I was a kid my parents always plopped the plain pasta on the plate then put a spoonful of sauce on the middle of it, then all the pasta in the middle was coated and the poor noodles on the edges didn’t get enough.  I had a rough childhood.  So here is a recipe that you can try at home. If you are a vegetarian obviously omit the scallops and add, hmmmm I don’t know, chopped kalamata olives and a little parmesan.  Enjoy!

 Spaghetti with Bay Scallops, Fennel and Tomatoes (adapted from bon appetit magazine) serves 4, start to finish 30 minutes if you’re really organized) Calories 457 Fat 13g Fiber 6g

8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti

3 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, plus one tbl chopped fennel fronds

1 medium onion, halved, thinly sliced

1 pound bay scallops

1 6 ounce container cherry tomatoes, halved if large (I forgot to buy them, so I used chopped romas)

1 tbl Pernod, or dry vermouth works too

4 tbl chopped fresh parsley

juice of half a lemon

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain, reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbl olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium  to medium high heat.  Add sliced fennel and onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute until wilted but crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.  Using slotted spoon transfer to medium-sized bowl.

Add remaining 1 tbl of oil to skillet.  Add scallops and saute until just opaque in center, about 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon transfer to bowl with fennel and onions.  Add tomatoes to skillet and saute until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Return scallops, fennel and onions to skillet.  Mix in Pernod (or vermouth).

Add drained pasta to skillet; toss to coat (use tongs), adding reserved pasta cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time if it seems dry (I added almost all of it).  Stir in parsley and fennel fronds.  Transfer to a large shallow bowl, or just leave it in the skillet if you don’t want to have to wash another large vessel.  Squeeze lemon juice all over.  Top with Parmesan if you like, the purists will never know.

a special thanks to my good friend Lindsey for declaring she hates whole wheat pasta on Facebook sometime last year, it got me thinking

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