HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Shellfish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shellfish. Show all posts

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Budget-Friendly Crabmeat and Two Ways to Serve it.

  

         Not too long ago, my friend Susan wrote and asked me to send her the link to a very nasty article in Bloomberg News about farmed Asian Seafood.  I won’t go into the appetite suppressing details but the news was not good.  It involved shrimp from Vietnam, which is now a major supplier of the shellfish to the US.  Bad enough that our own shrimp has been dodging the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but this story gave both Susan and I pause. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ina Garten's Lobster Pot Pie and, just for laughs, one woman's take on it.

        

         This is one of Ina Garten’s most beloved recipes.  It dates all the way back to 1999 when it appeared in Ina’s first cookbook “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter 1999).  Since I can’t think of  a better time for luxury foods like lobster than the holidays, I planned a dinner around it.  But whether lobster still counts as a luxury, I am not altogether sure.  The Maine Lobstermen certainly don’t think so as it brings in only $1.60 or less a pound!  (Somehow, by the time it arrives at our fishmonger in New York, it’s $9.99 a lb.  Still a bargain for sure, with divers scallops at 24.99 a lb and Lump Crabmeat at 19.99 a lb.). I decided to turn a Saturday night supper into Lobster Pot Pie and a salad.  But first, I wanted to share what I hope will give you a good laugh. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Shrimp Scampi, an amazingly fast Italian American Classic and the story of the Feast of the 7 Fishes.


        
Scampi
The other night, in the run up to Christmas, I wanted to cook something that would take no time at all to prepare.  I had some 20-25 count Shrimp and started poking around for a recipe that had not appeared on Chewing the Fat.  Since there have been no less that 41 shrimp recipes published here, it amazed me to discover that the Italian American restaurant classic, Shrimp Scampi, had never made an appearance here.  How clearly I remember Scampi from my first forays into an Italian restaurant in Montreal.  The overtly garlic-y, buttery sauce was a sensation—especially if you teamed it up with crusty bread to soak up the sauce.  Later, when I went to school in Italy and learned the language, I was surprised to hear that ‘Shrimp Scampi’ is rather like calling something Chicken Poulet.  Scampi is the ingredient “langoustines” -- an Italian version of shrimp.  But this dish itself is pure Italian American cooking, plain and simple and incredibly easy to make.  I was astonished that the whole thing took under ten minutes to make. In fact, it’s so speedy, you feel like a one-armed paper hanger juggling the cooking of the shrimp, with the 3 minutes it takes the angel hair pasta to cook.  But this is a winner from start to finish and before the feasting begins tomorrow, it’s a perfect thing to serve the night before the night before Christmas.  Except, perhaps, if you’re Italian, because your Christmas Eve Feast will satisfy your hunger for seafood for quite a while.   I’ll take you through the Scampi recipe after introducing you to The Feast of the 7 Fishes.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Diver Scallops with Monte's Ham Original Glaze and a Special Holiday Offer to You.



        
As you know, I own a ham company that makes an all-natural ham that I am extremely proud of.  And along with the ham comes the glaze that I created years ago when I baked my first ham.  Monte’s Ham Original Glaze is a luscious mixture of real Dijon Mustard, Organic Brown Sugar and Seville Orange Marmalade along with a top-secret spice blend.  For all of those who, no matter what the reason, cannot, will not or do not eat Ham, I’d highly recommend the glaze. And if you stick with me, there’s a special offer at the end of this post that I hope will tempt you to try it.  The glaze is terrific on carrots, great on salmon or ribs and a must-have with my ham.  It also turned out to be a terrific pairing with some large Diver Scallops I saw in the market. And it took so little time to prepare, it qualifies as an ideal under 30 minute weeknight meal. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gratin of Nantucket Bay Scallops and Prosciutto


        

         The other day I saw the sign pictured on the left announcing the annual arrival of Nantucket Bay Scallops.  Like local asparagus, there are only a few weeks a year when these little sweet morsels make their way into our market.  It’s an invitation I cannot refuse.  They’re tender and tiny, a true delicacy.  So I immediately bought enough for two and trundled home to hit the books, or more properly, the internet.   I quickly found a recipe that, while it sounded vaguely familiar, really appealed to me. The sweetness of the scallops was paired with salty bits of prosciutto, a little licorice-flavored liqueur and crisp panko breadcrumbs. There was some chopped garlic thrown in and some shallot as well. I turned to the comments section.  The recipe had very high marks from some reviewers. But others were not so taken with it.   I’ve written about how put off I am when a home cook drastically alters an original recipe and then rails that it wasn’t any good.  But in this case, there seemed to be numbers of people who’d followed the recipe to a Tee and still found it wanting.  And I started to make mental notes about how easy it would be to fix their problems.  It was at that moment that I realized I had indeed made this recipe last Nantucket Bay Scallop season. When you post over 450 recipes, eventually you’re bound to repeat yourself.  But I still wanted  to make it.  So I set about to make it even better than the last time.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Two Salads adapted from Ina Garten: Roasted Shrimp and Orzo and Beets with Orange Vinaigrette





         Recipes that other cooks invent should be treated with great respect.  I’ve mentioned before that few things put me off more than someone commenting on a dish—very often negatively—that they have ‘doctored’ beyond recognition.   Still, if you do delve into the comments, you can certainly learn something and sometimes there’s a certain universality of opinion that is worth paying attention to.  In the case of today’s offerings, I didn’t make a single change to Ina Garten’s Beets with Orange Vinaigrette.  It’s a winner just as it is.  But when I got to Roasted Shrimp with Orzo, two things made me alter the original and, if I may be so bold, they were spectacular changes.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stir-Fried Chili Scallops with Baby Bok Choy Adapted from Fine Cooking



When I wrote about our culinary adventures in St. Barthelemy, FWI in March, one of our readers, “Mike”, got into a spirited discussion about how the scallops I’d waxed poetic over, were not local.  In fact, he was pretty irate about seafood in general and posted as a comment:  “Why the lack of eating local seafood?  Scallops multiple times mentioned (frozen and cryovaced from America)...so really as a foodie...how good can it be?" Now “Mike” is a Massachusetts native and his knowledge of seafood is impressive.  In a subsequent comment, he explained: “ Scallops do not freeze well…they shrivel and such...and because of that the frozen ones are not "dry" scallops, they are the ones that have that phosphate solution added to them to plump them up and make them hold water and look better after they defrost.” All that being said, I still loved my St. Barth’s scallops.  And when we got home and I came across a recipe for a Stir Fry with scallops, I couldn't wait to get my hands on some fresh scallops.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vietnamese Shrimp Sliders adapted from Melissa Clark in The New York Times


         

I don't know when sliders took over the world but they're everywhere. And while they may have started out as mini-hamburgers, now you can find them on all kinds of menus, stuffed with everything from Turkey to Texas barbecue.  Let's face it, their size is ideal.  In one or two bites, you get the full-on slider experience.  They're just the right size for children, for whom a full-sized burger is a challenge.  In today's post, they're made with crispy fried shrimp dipped into a salty lime sauce and then tucked into tiny brioche buns that have been slathered with an Asian inflected mayonaise. They're a gift from the inventive Melissa Clark whose Wednesday food column in the New York Times is eagerly awaited in our house. This time, Melissa has gone East for her flavors.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crystal Shrimp with Ginger, Sweet Peas and Scallions



         No matter how gray a day it’s been, coming home to a dinner of beautifully pink and gold shrimp paired with sweet peas, fresh scallions and ginger medallions is a visual treat.  The simple salting and rinsing of the raw shrimp gives them a firm texture.  This recipe, which first appeared in Bon Appetit five years ago, gives credit for the name of the dish to the crystal-like texture of the shrimp. I would also have to say that there is a crystal look to the shrimp as well.  There’s not a lot of prep time involved in this recipe however it does require a 1 to 3 hour rest period for the shrimp once they’ve been battered with cornstarch and egg white.  While that was going on, I took a look at the history of the Shrimp and another look at where mine come from, that marvel of food shopping, Costco.

Marco Polo 
         In a kind of believe it or not, the shrimp’s name is derived from a Middle English word ‘shrimpe’ which meant ‘pygmy’.  This of course could lead to an entire discussion on the dichotomy of the words “Jumbo Shrimp” and doesn’t really give a satisfying answer to why someone would pick up a shrimp and think “Pygmy!”   Putting that aside, shrimp has been around for a very long time.  The Chinese were eating shrimp in the 7th century.  And when Marco Polo arrived in China in 1280, he commented on their abundance in food markets.  This country, however, has long held the record for shrimp eating.  In the 17th  century, Louisiana’s bayou residents were hauling in shrimp in giant seines that were up to 600 feet in circumference!  And there were no mechanical devices involved at all – just human labor.  It wasn’t until 1917 that mechanized shrimping arrived.  And with it came some unfortunate side effects.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Garlic Shrimp and Cannellini Beans adapted from Bon Appetit


         This is a one-pan wonder that comes together completely in just 30 minutes.  And in that time, Cannellini beans take on the rich flavor of a tomato sauce enriched with chiles and a single bay leaf.  There’s nothing bland about these beans! Then they’re topped with big beautiful shrimp that have been tossed in garlic and smoked paprika and broiled for 3 minutes.  Grilled bread that’s been rubbed with more garlic is perfect for sopping up the lusciously thick sauce.  The whole dish is an homage to Spanish cooking that couldn’t be simpler to make and yet complex in flavor at the same time. Make it and I can almost guarantee you will make it again and again.
            My experience with Spanish cuisine is limited to making an occasional Paella and even there, without a true Paella pan, I am not sure how authentic my version is.  But I’ve wanted to delve a little deeper ever since I read “Ferran ” (Gotham Books 2011) Colman Andrew’s biography of Ferran Adrià i Acosta who is, arguably, the best chef in the world. And who wouldn't be intrigued by a subhead  that read "The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man who Re-invented Food". From his out-of-the-way El Bulli restaurant in Roses on the Costa Brava, the chef has drawn gastronomes from every corner of the world.   Now shuttered while he decides what his next step will be, the chef’s most famous contributions to cuisine will never be the province of the home cook.  Adria is most associated with "molecular gastronomy”, which is that particular style of cooking obsessed with its science and how food is chemically changed during 
the cooking process.  Despite his reputation for being one of its foremost practitioners, the Chef himself doesn’t consider his cooking to fit in that category.  Instead, he is quoted as saying that his goal is "to provide unexpected contrasts of flavour, temperature and texture. Nothing is what it    seems. The idea is to provoke, surprise and delight the diner."  I won’t, for one minute, claim that this incredibly simple Garlic Shrimp with White Beans comes anywhere near the complexity of a Ferran dish.  But I think you will agree that this thirty minute entrée will “provoke, surprise and delight” you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Spicy Cocktail Sauce

Flowers from the fabulous
Bridgehampton Florist..where else?

These shrimp are the center of attention on our Holiday Open House Buffett.

Ina Garten is a goddess around here. She lives in the next town over and has for years and years. Before becoming the TV star and author, she had a local food shop and catering service which endeared her to hundreds of customers. Now, with seven indispensable cookbooks in print, she’s endeared herself to millions. Much to her chagrin, because she likes to be able to walk around town and in and out of shops without causing a riot, there’s a cottage industry that’s sprung up involving Fans who come to the East End on self-guided “Ina tours” many of which wind up in our dear friends Michael and Jimmy’s shop, the Bridgehampton Florist. As frequent guests on Ina’s TV show, Michael and Jim are celebrities to these visitors. Personally, I get it. Ina is a sensational teacher and advocate of simple, wonderful food. And from her cookbook “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” comes her recipe for Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. To me, that alone should put her on a pedestal.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cioppino, the San Francisco treat


        My mother adored Cioppino, the fish stew with its roots in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco dating back to before the earthquake.  If you knew my mother, or for that matter, read this blog, you know that cooking was not Mother’s thing.  But if it were an easy recipe, one requiring as little time and attention as possible, and one that could reasonably be cooked in as few steps as possible, my Mother would latch onto it with an almost religious fervor.  So it was with Cioppino.  There is very little opportunity to make a bad Cioppino because it is probably the most flexible fish stew on the planet.  And it packs a wonderful punch of flavor in every bite.  The Cioppino I am sharing with you today tasted of the sea itself.  And then there was the richness of the tomatoes, the anise flavor of the fennel, and the bite-sized pieces of seafood brightened with a dash of fresh lemon juice.  Mother was right.  It’s hard to beat a great Cioppino.