Category Archives: seafood

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. ( I think it’s in his DNA) In any event we make a pretty good team when it comes to shrimp dishes.
So now on to this delicious dish. I didn’t feel like grilling and this dish was calling out to me. I saw Giada de Laurentiis make a shrimp scampi on her show and she made it with arugula , it looked so awesome and light I figured I’d do it my way and make it with spinach even though I knew Joel wouldn’t eat the spinach.  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. Thanks again to Giada for the wonderfully inspiring recipe.

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

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:

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.

Ingredients:

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. Giada used arugula .

Directions:

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.

No Fuss, No Muss Salmon

This is really the easiest way to grill salmon and truly my most favorite way to cook and eat it! It really takes no time and the ingredients are simple, fresh and tasty. That’s why I call it No Fuss, No Muss Salmon. Of course you can cook this in the oven  just bake it in a baking dish at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes depending on the size of the piece of fish.

INGREDIENTS:

I use 2 1/2 lb salmon filets (1 per person)

1 lemon

Capers

Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Take a piece of aluminum large enough to hold 1 filet. Put the filet on aluminum and fold up edges (as pictured), making a little tray out of foil. I have made a little tent with aluminum where salmon is completely sealed in the aluminum and this will make a more steamed salmon. It’s delicious either way.

First pat salmon dry with a paper towel and very lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on each filet (it really doesn’t need it, but I use a little bit). Next, spread dijon mustard on the filet with a butter knife (all over the top). Sprinkle a few capers on each–as many or as little as you like, I don’t use a lot; just a few is good. I cut the lemon in 1/2 and then squeeze a little all over each piece (1/2 lemon is good for the 2 pieces) and then I slice very thin slices from the other 1/2 of the lemon and place them right on top of the salmon.

I then place the salmon on a hot grill in aluminum, lower heat to a more moderate heat and cook for about 20 minutes. Next, remove from heat and just let it sit for about 5 minutes. When you open up the aluminum and take the salmon out, it should lift right off the skin but you may have to play with it. The skin is actually very crispy at this point. Salmon should be light pink and flaky.

I served alongside corn on the cob (also on the grill) and some rice and a beautiful green salad.

 

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

Ingredients:

I asked for 6 oz. filets– 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 filet 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

*if you love it snip some fresh cilantro in there at the end

Directions:

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 and spray with your favorite cooking spray. 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, 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.

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 onion and 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.

 

 

 

 

Springtime Shrimp, Orzo and Herbs

While this dish is really a mediterranean flavored dish it makes me think of the spring with all its green colors and fresh flavors. Even though it is still pretty cold here in the Northeast I am officially done with Winter. So why not lighten up the menu? I am in a Spring mind-set now and this recipe screams Spring! If you didn’t catch this recipe the first time around here it is again.

The shrimp gets a roasted treatment and the orzo gets it’s flavor from the lemons, feta, dill, scallions and red onions. Yum! It had me at hello. The original recipe is from Ina Garten and this recipe as is should serve 5- 6 nicely. I cut this recipe in 1/2 for the two of us. Simple, easy and delicious that’s the way I like it!
Enjoy and obviously this dish is delicious and right for all times of the year. What’s especially nice about this dish is that it can be served at room temperature which makes it a lovely dish for a luncheon as well. This will be a keeper throughout the summer for a delicious flavorful orzo salad. I have to add that I put this dish together rather quickly which always adds to my general love of a recipe.

You can also modify the amounts of herbs if you don’t enjoy the strong flavors of dill, scallions and onions. My husband is a very fussy eater who usually balks at the sight of anything green thoroughly enjoyed this dish without picking out a single piece of the green stuff! If you don’t like the strong flavor of dill this recipe will probably not be for you but if you enjoy dill, parsley, onion, scallions and cucumbers this is the one for you.

Ingredients:

This is the original recipe and should serve 6 very nicely. I cut in 1/2 and we had a little left over.

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper– amounts are listed below in directions

Olive Oil – amounts listed below in directions

3/4 lb. orzo pasta

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (app. 3 lemons)

2 lbs. shrimp – peeled and deveined . I used Jumbo Shrimp had the fish store peel and de-vein it and I had app. 14 pieces to the pound.

1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts–this will probably be 2 bunches of scallions

1 cup chopped fresh dill

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and medium diced– I scooped out the seeds with a melon baller

1/2 cup small-diced red onion

3/4 lb good feta cheese, cut into cubes

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare all the ingredients while orzo is cooking.

Cook orzo according to the box for al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice , 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meantime, place the shrimp on a sprayed sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. ( I mix the shrimp with clean hands and get the olive oil all over the shrimp then sprinkle with Salt and Pepper) Then spread in a single layer. Roast for 5-6 minutes till shrimp are cooked through. Do not Over-cook!!! shrimp will turn pink and curl up.

Add the cooked shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion and start with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and add more if necessary, and app. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of black pepper–obviously every one has different taste buds for salt and pepper but taste as you go. Toss well. Then add the feta and stir carefully. (remember that the shrimp has salt and so does the feta)

You can eat and enjoy immediately like we did or allow the flavors to seal in for an hour at room temperature. This would make for a lovely salad in the warmer months served at room temperature. If you make ahead and put in the refrigerator–bring to room temperature and taste for seasonings before serving. This would be fine to make ahead of time as long as you bring it to room temperature before serving .

 

 

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. This 1 lb. of shrimp should feed 4. 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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

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

Ingredients:

I asked for 6 oz. filets– 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 filet 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

*if you love it snip some fresh cilantro in there at the end

Directions:

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 and spray with your favorite cooking spray. 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, 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.

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 onion and 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans

Misc. dinners and New Years Eve 071Misc. dinners and New Years Eve 073Misc. dinners and New Years Eve 074  This is a wonderful and very simple meal and perfect for the upcoming Holidays or any time of the year. By very simple, I mean the ingredients are as simple as the preparation. I cooked this whole recipe up in a 1/2 hour–very little prep and you’ll look like a chef! So great. This is my kind of recipe. The original recipe comes from Michael Chiarello and I highly recommend it.
The beans are a perfectly healthy alternative to pasta.

Ingredients:

*this is for 4 servings

3 cups canned Cannellini white beans

1/4 cup plus tablespoons olive oil

app. 16 large shrimp ( this would be 4 per person, so adjust depending on size of shrimp) cleaned and deveined — I sometimes like to leave the tail on the shrimp –as you can see but it is totally up to you.

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper depending on how spicy you want it

1 cup diced tomato from a can is fine. in the summer I would use fresh tomatoes

1 cup whole basil leaves

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Kosher Salt and Freshly ground black pepper

*you can use some extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

* sprinkle of fresh chopped italian parsley if you like as well

Directions:

Drain the beans over a bowl and reserve the liquid. Put the white beans in a large skillet with just enough of their liquid to moisten them. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bring the beans to a low simmer. Keep them warm while you prepare the shrimp. Lay out the shrimp on some paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned shrimp and cook , tossing frequently for a few minutes till shrimp turns pink , curls up and is cooked. ( don’t overcook) Remove the shrimp to a bowl with tongs. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until the garlic browns a little bit. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and basil and stir briefly, the add the lemon juice. Season with a little more Salt and Pepper. Cook for another minute or so, and then stir in the shrimp. Toss well and cook briefly to reheat the shrimp and make sure it’s fully cooked.

We placed beans on a large platter with shrimp over them. Drizzle with a little of the best olive oil you have on hand. Sprinkle with parsley if you’d like. Serve warm. You can also just serve shrimp with beans on the side. We thought it made a lovely presentation on the platter.

* leftovers were amazing

Clams and Spaghetti–White Sauce

IMG_6366

I made this recipe for the first time back in 2014 and highly recommend it for a quick and delicious meal.IMG_6286IMG_6287 (2)IMG_6283 (2)It is super easy and not intimidating at all. I got the recipe from Jessica’s Seinfeld’s book The Can’t Cookbook even though I know how to cook. 

http://www.doitdelicious.com this is Jessica Seinfeld’s site or you can just buy the book “The Can’t Cookbook”.

Ingredients:

2 dozen littleneck clams

3 cloves garlic

app. 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc. I actually used what I had open which was a Pinot Grigio

1 box spaghetti, you can use any kind of spaghetti you like. I actually had bucatini style in the house so that’s what I used

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

*if you’d like a little heat and you should know your audience because mine didn’t so I put on table for those who wanted to add heat. If you are adding add app. 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Kosher Salt , to taste. I have to say I added almost no extra salt at all.

You’ll need a large deep pot to cook clams in. I used my Le Creuset Pot.

Directions:

I placed my clams in a colander and I put the colander in a larger bowl in the sink and I filled the bowl with cold water. I let the clams soak for a few minutes, then rubbed with my fingers to dislodge any dirt; then drained the clams. Throw away any clams that remain open or were smashed. ( my clams were pretty clean) I purchased them clean from Whole Foods. Any Fish Store will clean them for you, but always run them through this process to remove any residual sand, etc.

Smash the garlic and chop it . Chop the Parsley. Measure the Wine. Place all your ingredients near to the stove.

Cook Pasta according to directions on box.

Place a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Pour in 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil until it heats up and shimmers ( a few minutes) Add chopped garlic to the pot, and cook , stirring , for at least a minute, until you can actually smell the garlic breaking down. Don’t Burn!!!! Now add the wine and the clams and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and you’ll want a fairly high flame, probably medium-high . Cook clams until they open, I probably cooked for about 10 – 12 minutes. Looked so beautiful! Add the parsley and the red pepper now if you’re using. Throw away any unopened clams, they are no good.

Once pasta is al dente and drained I transferred to a large serving bowl and added 1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil to pasta, top with clams. Sprinkle if you’d like a tiny bit of coarse salt now if you feel it needs it. I did not need to add any additional salt or pepper. Adjust to your taste.

Amazing!!!! and did I mention Super Easy!!!!!

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. ( I think it’s in his DNA) In any event we make a pretty good team when it comes to shrimp dishes.
So now on to this delicious dish. I didn’t feel like grilling and this dish was calling out to me. I saw Giada de Laurentiis make a shrimp scampi on her show and she made it with arugula , it looked so awesome and light I figured I’d do it my way and make it with spinach even though I knew Joel wouldn’t eat the spinach. Our friend Drew was over and he loves spinach so we ate Joel’s spinach, once again it’s his loss. 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. Thanks again to Giada for the wonderfully inspiring recipe.

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

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:

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.

Ingredients:

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. Giada used arugula .

Directions:

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 on the Bar-B (marinade)

Shrimp for the BBQ

Joel cleaning shrimp for me!Shrimp for 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 devein 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 1/2 an hour, then put on long skewers (I use metal b/c they’re easier to maneuver on the grill) and grill about 4 minutes each side. I put them on hot sprayed or oiled grill. you can take a shrimp off and cut into it, if it’s translucent leave it on grill for another minute or so.