Category Archives: seafood

Sexy and Sassy Shrimp for Valentines Day – Fra Diavolo

photo (3) photo (5)photo (2)OK it’s Valentines Day and that’s the reason for the sexy, and the reason it’s sassy is because this shrimp packs some heat known as Fra Diavolo sauce. What a perfect meal for Valentines Day and it’s red!!! this was so delicious and light. I highly recommend it and it really was an easy dish to make. I would say it’s downright easy to make.  I made it with Bucatini pasta, which is a thick ropey spaghetti, you can use whatever type of spaghetti you prefer or none at all. I would say that this whole dish start to finish took 1/2 hour. That’s so perfect. Buy your shrimp peeled and deveined which will save you time. Happy Valentines Day!

*don’t leave out the fresh herbs, they kick it up a notch


1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon of kosher salt , plus more as needed

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 (14 oz. can) diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons

1 cup dry white wine

3 garlic cloves , chopped

1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, I didn’t think this was too spicy ,  you’ll have to adjust to your own taste buds. I actually thought 1 teaspoon was pretty mild, next time I will add more, but we like it spicy.

3 tablespoons chopped fresh italian parsley leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves


In a medium bowl toss the shrimp with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for a few minutes, toss around a bit and continue cooking until shrimp is just cooked through. ( you’ll want it pink and slightly curled up)

Remove shrimp to a bowl, set aside.

In the same skillet add 1 – 2 teaspoons of olive oil and add onions and saute until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano.  Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken up, about 15 minutes. If sauce sits for a while it may loose some of its liquid , you can just add a little bit of water at a time to get sauce where you’d like it, but just a little at a time.  When you’re ready to serve, add the shrimp back into simmering sauce with any juices that they may have accumulated, toss to coat the shrimp, and cook for about 3 minutes . You can cut into a shrimp to make sure it’s cooked , it should be opaque not translucent. Stir in the parsley and basil. Taste for salt, and serve.

*prepare pasta according to directions and serve shrimp and sauce right on top.

Shrimp on the Bar-B (marinade)

Shrimp for the BBQ

For shrimp I use Under 12’s, that’s about 12 to a lb. You can use whatever you like. The larger the shrimp, the easier it is to skewer. Since I am married to a shrimp expert, I am a bit choosy about my shrimp. This advice comes straight from Joel: always ask for mexican, shell-on, white shrimp. For size, ask for under 15, under 12, or under 10. Of course, you will have to peel and de-vein these babies but they’re worth it. I left the tail on this past weekend for grilling.

Marinade: I put all ingredients in a glass measuring cup and use a whisk to mix together.

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 cloves garlic, minced

juice of 2 limes (this past weekend, I used lime; but you can also use 1 lemon and 1 orange or just lemons, oranges, or limes. ) you’ll want the citrus flavor

1 tsp. dried basil

2 tablespoons white wine (whatever is open)

I use about 1 tsp. kosher salt (I think you can add more, depending on your preference.)

freshly ground pepper

Marinate shrimp for about 1 to 2 hours — no more because the citrus can actually start the cooking process . I then put the shrimp on metal skewers which I prefer to the bamboo. They’re a worthwhile investment and have owned the same ones for many years. I place on the hot grill and cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side– keep in mind the size of your shrimp. The shrimp I use is rather large so takes about 4 minutes on each side. Obviously smaller shrimp will cook much faster– when shrimp starts to curl and turn pink is usually a sign they are done. You can always remove from heat and cut into one.


Orzo with Lemon Shrimp and Spinach

photoDSCN0367DSCN0363DSCN0372DSCN0384DSCN0390By now you all know how very much we love shrimp. It comes in handy to have an ex-shrimp monger on hand to clean and devein my shrimp. I love cooking it but not so much cleaning and deveining it. Joel not only obtains the best shrimp around but he really does do a great job of cleaning and deveining.  In any event we make a pretty good team when it comes to shrimp dishes.
 This dish was pretty easy to pull together once shrimp was prepped. Not a whole lot of ingredients, and whole thing took about 1/2 hour.  This dish was very light in flavor and a perfect summer night meal, doesn’t have to be served super hot , can be room temperature. 

*once the shrimp is prepared this dish is a snap. Have your fish store clean and de-vein your shrimp for you if possible.



1/3 cup olive oil

zest of 2 large lemons ( try to use organic if you’re zesting and eating the peel) and scrub those lemons well

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice ( from the 2 large lemons you just zested)

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth and set aside.


1 lb. orzo

1 lb. shrimp , I used large under 10’s, peeled and deveined  ( you can have fish monger do this )

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 large shallot , chopped

app. 1 more teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup dry white wine ,  ( I used what I had on hand)

6 ounces of spinach , I used baby spinach, use whatever greens you like. You can use arugula as well.


Cook orzo according to directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper . Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped shallots and cook until soft for a few minutes. Add the shrimp, cook shrimp until they turn pink and are just cooked through depending on the size of your shrimp. When shrimp is cooked through remove the shrimp from the skillet. Increase the heat to high and add the 1/2 cup of wine, allow to boil up and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, cook for another minute or so until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Then add orzo to the pan along with the vinaigrette and the spinach and let it wilt down.  I added most of the reserved pasta water , you’ll use as much or as little as you need, I used whole cup of reserved pasta water. Add the shrimp back in and toss well until all the ingredients are well coated. Serve up and enjoy.

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Corn

I saw this recipe on the New York Times cooking site by Ali Slagle. One of my most favorite cooking sites . I made a few changes to recipe and would highly recommend checking out this recipe. I served with rice but this recipe stands on it’s own as a meal. You can use pasta or bread as well. If you love shrimp and corn and tomatoes this one’s for you.

And I just want to talk about this new pan I received as a gift from my sister. You see it in the pictures it is a carbon pan from a company called @madein –check it out if you’re in the market for some new pans. I absolutely love this pan and reach for it whenever I can. @madein on Instagram. Now you know I make no money for this endorsement and I just want to spread the good word on a great product.


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined — I used under 12 ( meaning 12 to a pound) Mexican White Shrimp– this is the shrimp I prefer but use what you can get and like

Kosher Salt and Pepper 

2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes — there are so many variations out there now– I used these tiny little grape tomatoes but would use different colors as well ( heirloom grape / cherry tomatoes)

2 cups fresh or frozen corn– app. 4 ears fresh corn

5 garlic cloves–minced

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes — we like the heat use at your own discretion– this was not spicy

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 large lemon

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

*extra lemon wedges and cut up fresh basil for serving–totally optional


Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and lightly golden in spots, app. 1 – 2 minutes on each side. Remove with slotted spoon to a plate and set aside. You will finish cooking through at the end and you don’t want shrimp to over-cook.

Add the tomatoes to the skillet, you can season with a little salt and pepper if you’d like and cook stirring a few times just till the tomatoes to start to blister, 3-4 minutes. Add the corn, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring a few times to incorporate. Tomatoes will start to burst and the corn is golden , another 3- 4 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook stirring another few minutes. 

Reduce heat to medium and add the wine and lemon juice, stirring any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until nearly evaporated, then add the butter and stir until melted . Add back the shrimp and stir until warmed through and shrimp is fully cooked , another 2 minutes or so. Stove was on medium-low.

Taste for Salt and Pepper . Add some fresh Basil if you’d like and you can serve with some extra lemon wedges .

Roasted Salmon with Corn and Tomatoes

Sometimes you just need to lighten up the meal and I find Salmon always does the trick . It is filling without being full. Do you know what I mean? This Salmon dish is light but satisfying in every way. This is what I did and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

*this recipe should serve 4 nicely–easy to cut in 1/2 for 2


I asked for 6 oz. fillets– just make sure they are the same size and I like from the middle of the salmon not the end–you will need 4 for 4 people. One fillet for each person

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1 small container of cherry or grapes in any coloration you’d like-halved

2 cups frozen or fresh whole kernel corn

2 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. lime zest

1 Tbsp. Lime juice

1 tsp. honey

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion — I used a shallot this time because I didn’t have a red onion in the house

*if you love it snip some fresh cilantro in there at the end –while I love cilantro I don’t always have it to add and have to say equally as delicious

*also makes for delicious leftovers


Pick up Salmon from your local fish store or Whole foods type of market

I rinse the salmon off and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15×10 baking dish with aluminum foil or spray with your favorite cooking spray and I prefer to just spray and it’s fine but if no cooking spray then use aluminum foil.  Place fish in prepared pan. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt over salmon and about 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper–you will have to eyeball it but the salmon needs salt and pepper it’s a question of how much. Lightly sprinkle.

In a medium sized bowl combine tomatoes, onion/shallot,  corn, oil , chili powder, cumin and a little more salt and pepper ( app. 1/4 -1/2 tsp. more salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper) Toss to coat. Spread tomato mixture around the fish in the baking pan. Roast uncovered, app. 15-18 minutes or until fish flakes easily and is cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fish so you should check on it after 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small bowl , stir together lime zest, lime juice, and honey

When fish is done to your liking remove fish to a platter. Brush fish with honey mixture. Add  cilantro to tomatoes in pan, stirring gently to combine all ingredients. Top fish with tomato mixture and if you’d like a little more cilantro this would be a good time to add it.





Lime Shrimp with Corn and Avocado

IMG_8249 (2) IMG_8233 IMG_8228 (2)All I can say is Wow!!!!  I cooked about a lb.of beautiful shrimp and I wanted to use it in a delicious light salad incorporating some fresh corn and avocados. This salad has some of my most favorite ingredients in it.  I used fresh corn, fresh tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion, and shrimp! Limes are the secret ingredient here because they add all the flavor to this super light dressing.  This has got to be one of the healthiest most delicious salads.  Totally not fattening but filling because of the shrimp , corn and avocados. If you’re into these ingredients this is a must go to for summer entertaining. Light and Fresh , low in calories and so so easy to make.

If you like cilantro I would chop some up and add it, but a lot of people hate it so much I chose to not add. I removed all the seeds from the jalapeno and probably used 3/4 of a large one. One small seeded jalapeno is perfect and not hot at all. Be careful handling the peppers and the seeds,  I’ve taken to wearing surgical gloves to cut up the peppers.

This is a perfect salad just don’t add avocados till you’re ready to serve,  everything else can be assembled ahead of time. I put together in the morning of the day I was serving and then added my avocados right before I served. This is what I did.

Honestly one of my most favorite salads.


1 lb. cooked shrimp (after cooking it should be 1 lb.) I then cut it up into smaller pieces. I probably cut each shrimp into 4 pieces. Remember I used under 10’s. So that’s 10 shrimp to a pound. You want the shrimp pieces to be bite size but not too small.

1/4 cup chopped red onion

3 cobs of fresh cooked corn ( just put cobs in boiling salted water, bring to a second boil and remove and plunge into an ice bath) let corn cool and remove kernels from cobs.

2 limes-juiced , I use my juicer to juice because it’s tough with limes and you need as much lime juice as possible from 2 limes. I squeezed a third lime over at the end, but it’s probably not necessary. The citrus helps keep avocado from turning brown as well.

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

a few grinds on the pepper mill–to taste

I put in about 1/2 pint of small grape tomatoes, but you can eyeball if using larger tomatoes, I didn’t want tomatoes to over power the other outstanding flavors –if you prefer you can cut tomatoes in 1/2. I sometimes do this if I am not using the small grape tomatoes.

2 avocados–sliced and cut into cubes

1 small-medium jalapeno–seeded and minced

*a handful of chopped fresh cilantro if you love it


  • We Cook shrimp- peel and de-vein or buy it cleaned and de-veined whichever works best for you. I like cooking my own shrimp but you can certainly use a “cooked shrimp” readily available in most markets. I cut shrimp up into bite size pieces but not too small.

Cook corn and allow to cool down. When corn is cooled completely down I cut kernels off.

In a separate small bowl, place chopped red onion, lime juice, olive oil and salt and a little black pepper. Whisk together .

I placed Shrimp, Corn, Jalapeno and Tomatoes into a large bowl. About an hour prior to serving I poured the lime juice combination over the bowl of Shrimp.

Mix well and allow to sit and marinade. You’ll want to mix a few times before adding avocados to circulate the marinade.

Taste for Salt and Pepper but it should be good.

I added the 2 Avocados right before serving and squeezed a little more lime over it, probably not necessary but I did. If you’re adding the cilantro go ahead and add it now.

That’s it–perfect summer salad.

Ginger, Honey Soy Salmon

Another recipe from Jessica Seinfeld that we enjoy. This is a wonderful recipe which is very tasty and very light. And did I mention easy? Very easy with very few ingredients. 5 ingredients including the salmon.

I made it this time with roasted brussels and rice pilaf .

Enjoy and continue to be safe


1 1/2 lbs. skinless salmon fillets — I like to have it cut from the center so they’re the same size

1/3 cup soy sauce– I like to always use low sodium

2 Tablespoons Honey

2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice — juice from probably 1/2 an orange

1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger ( app. one inch piece maybe a little more) if you absolutely cannot get fresh ginger use about a 1/2 tsp.. powdered ginger


Place the salmon fillets in a large ziplock bag.

In a liquid measuring cup measure the soy sauce, then add the 2 Tablespoons Honey and fresh orange juice.

Using a vegetable peeler peel the ginger, cut off any small knobs before you peel. Grate the ginger then add to the soy sauce mixture. Whisk it all together.

Reserve 3 Tablespoons of the mixture and set aside. Pour the remaining mixture over the the salmon in the bag , squeeze the air out of the bag and seal the bag and put in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes ( flip it over half way through so both sides get marinated ) don’t marinade too long — I marinaded for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile spray or line a sheet with aluminum foil — this is a sticky marinade so pan will burn — I sprayed .

Heat the broiler with oven rack app. 4 inches from the top.

Place Salmon on the prepared pan and discard the marinade from the bag. Broil until the top of the salmon starts to char– 5-6 minutes depending on your broiler. Pull out the pan and spoon the rest of the soy marinade over the salmon and broil for another minute or so. The salmon should be blackened in spots but not burnt. ( see photo)

You can check for doneness by inserting the tip of a paring knife into the thickest part of the salmon. If it flakes easily but still has a darker orange center it’s done. If not broil for another minute.

I like my salmon medium rare to medium. If you like it cooked more, you can broil it until it is the same color throughout.

Shrimp Marinara

I made Marinara Sauce last week and had it in the freezer but if you don’t want to make your own try and get a hold of some Raos Marinara Sauce in a jar you’ll be just fine. Raos is my go-to jarred sauce when I need sauce and don’t have my own. Making your own is super easy but I know not everyone wants to do it. I have some recipes on my site for making your own. Look for Sunday Night Red Sauce ( Marinara) .

I made this for the 2 of us and this is what I did if you have more people just increase ingredients. No exact science here and you can make changes to suit your own preferences.

I used Bucatini type spaghetti because we like the ropy texture but you can use any spaghetti you like or no pasta or use zucchini zoodles.


4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 lb. Shrimp — I used app. 12 large shrimp for the two of us –peeled and de-veined

4 Whole garlic cloves, peeled and minced

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Marinara Sauce — I made my own but probably 1/2 a jar or more depending on how much sauce you like

Spaghetti –any type you like for the two of us I used 1/2 a box but if you make the whole box it’s great leftovers the next day

*Basil is really nice served chopped up in this but I didn’t have any

*crushed red pepper is a must for us but also totally optional


I pat the shrimp dry after cleaning and de-veining it and place in a bowl and sprinkle salt and pepper and mix around with the shrimp — or lay out the shrimp on some paper towels and sprinkle S and P , just make sure you get salt and pepper all around the shrimp– I like a bowl but it really doesn’t matter.

Heat 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and cook till golden not burnt if heat is too high turn it down the garlic cooks very quickly so sometimes I will put in hot oil and remove from heat till garlic turns golden and softens.

I then add the shrimp into the hot oil and cook the shrimp but not all the way through– maybe 2 minutes on each side you’ll want the to start curling and turn pink around the edges. When shrimp is cooked set aside shrimp in a dish– If you’re making double the amount of shrimp don’t crowd the shrimp in the pan you want them to sear not steam

Prepare the Pasta according to the box directions– I prefer it al dente.

After you remove shrimp pour the marinara sauce into the pan and bring to a low simmer stirring up any small bit from the shrimp. I added crushed red pepper because we like it spicy this is totally optional.

When pasta is ready I put shrimp into the simmering marinara sauce and probably cook for app. 4 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp. Obviously if you’re using small shrimp this will cook faster you’ll have to watch it.

I plated up the pasta added sauce and shrimp and served immediately



Salmon with a Mustard Glaze

this is the same recipe with sliced lemons on top also a delicious variation

IMG_7557 IMG_7571Here is another delicious Salmon recipe and so super easy. This is a light easy to make dinner perfect Spring Time Meal.  I made this for dinner last night and it was ready in no time and tasted truly delicious.It is light and easy, it doesn’t get much easier than this. The whole recipe took less than 1/2 hour to prep and cook! Depending on how thick your salmon is it could take no more than 10 minutes to fully cook right in the oven. Very few ingredients and a perfect dinner casual enough for just you and your family and can be bumped up to serve to guests. This is a winner.Last night I served with potatoes and a salad.  Almost any side dish will do alongside this.

Roasted Brussels on another night were also perfect.




3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 heaping Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (app. 1 average size lemon)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper ( about 1/4 tsp. of each)

4 pieces Salmon fillets ( app. 6 oz. each) with skin on

*sprinkle a little fresh thyme if you’d like!!!


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray to facilitate removal of fish not to mention clean-up.

In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I used a mini whisk and it came together beautifully.

Place Salmon, skin side down in a baking dish , and spoon mustard glaze over each piece of fish. Bake until salmon is just cooked through and no longer red, 6 – 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillet. I added a sprinkle of some fresh thyme right before I cooked and it added some more delicious flavor, this is totally optional.

Voila! done and enjoy. I served this time with a delicious lentil side dish.

Sheet Pan Salmon with Brussels and Butternut Squash

In these crazy times with all the bad news coming our way with the Coronavirus occupying our every waking moment it’s good to know that a home cooked meal can still bring you a moment of peace in another wise chaotic time.

I am not saying that I won’t eat out just yet but cooking and eating at home is in my control and that gives me a sense of contentment.

This is a wonderful weeknight or any night meal. A very light Asian flavor with soy and sweetness with honey paired with brussels and creamy butternut squash. Sweet and Savory. I think this meal is pretty healthy and brimming with healthy vitamins and heart-healthy omega -3 fats. Fairly easy to make with easy to get ingredients.

Enjoy! and follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi



app. 1-1 1/4 lb. Salmon — I used a center cut piece or you can use skin on Salmon Fillets — your choice

cooking spray of your choice

1 1/2 Tablespoon lower sodium soy sauce or Tamari

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil –divided ( see instructions)

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice — 1 lime should do

2 cloves garlic–minced and divided ( see instructions)

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 Tablespoon sliced green onion for garnish –(scallion)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large rimmed sheet pan ( app. 13 x 18 ) with cooking spray

Combine soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, honey, lime juice, 1 minced clove of garlic, and ginger in a large bowl. Use a whisk and whisk all ingredients together and then set salmon piece or pieces in the bowl to marinate–set aside

In another bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, remaining clove of minced garlic, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, salt , pepper and paprika. Toss to coat. Spread out vegetables on pre-sprayed baking sheet, avoid over-crowding. Bake at 400 degrees for app. 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir vegetables and push to edges of pan to make a space in the center of pan for Salmon.

Place marinated Salmon in the open center space of pan. Pour any leftover marinade over the salmon. Bake at 400 degrees for at least 15 minutes and check salmon doneness — I cooked for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top Salmon with the green onion. I served with Basmati Rice and Brussels and Butternut.

Keep Calm and Keep Cooking