All posts filed under: Seafood

One from Column “A” ~ Sweet and Sour Fish

I’ve seen it anywhere from something resembling savory fruit cocktail with chicken in it, to  what I’m absolutely sure was cherry pie filling with meat. Here’s the thing – by and large, “Sweet and Sour anything”  in almost every Asian food establishment is , well… dreadful. Either the: The sauce is gloppy… and red,  the vegetables are in much too large of chunks to be easily managed, the fried coating on the meat turns spongy when it hits the sauce,  or there’s pineapple (ergh) in it. Not that I dislike pineapple, I just don’t want something that’s already too sweet having yet another sweet / sharp component it the mix. So, what’s a fella to do? He  puts on his big boy apron and makes his very own. A couple of things you’ll notice about the recipe – The coating for the fried fish is a dry coat. I’ve found it works best when adding the cooked protein back to the sauce to keep the fish somewhat crispy. The sauce isn’t red, on purpose. I think …

Weekday Meals – Crispy Potato Cakes with Spicy Shrimp

Oh, blame it on the copy of “Irish Pub Cooking” Jane left conspicuously lying around with Colcannon earmarked. Blame it on the fact that after I marinated two dozen shrimp destined for the grill, Jane didn’t want them. Blame it on the quart of mashed potatoes already cooked in the fridge. Blame it.. well, just blame ME. I wanted something crispy.. and fried, and I hadn’t nearly satisfied my weekly starch and grease quotas…  yet. So yes, this started out to be grilled shrimp, but it turned out much better this way. And, even if you don’t, My waistline and liver thanks me. Just so you don’t get all freaked out about fried potato cakes for dinner – in all actuality, they’re only pan fried a couple of minutes to set the crust and finished off in the oven. Crispy Potato Cakes  with spicy shrimp and peas Makes 4 Large Cakes Ingredients For the Marinated Shrimp: 1/2 Cup Orange Juice 1/4 Cup Olive Oil 1 Tablespoon Lemongrass Paste 1 Clove Garlic – Minced 1 Teaspoon Cumin 1/2 Teaspoon Chili …

Mixed Paella

Admittedly, I was going to go all Martha on you all and tag this a Simple Dinner Sunday, but my conscience just wouldn’t let me. Point In fact, there’s nothing simple about good paella. True, you can buy one of those “yellow rice” tubes, toss in a chicken breast and a package of that mixed seafood you find at the back of the freezer cabinet – but why bother. Sometimes, taking a shortcut is as believable as opening a can of Chef Boyardee and telling your family “Look, I made ravioli!”. Although I have been to several Atlanta restaurants that appear to have done just that…. um, the yellow rice thing… not the canned ravioli. When I started researching the paella, I knew I wanted more depth of flavor that saffron and garlic alone were going to give. I stumbled on an old recipe for the broth that I liked – but not the rest of the preparation. I decided to keep the broth and tweaked it a bit. The chicken marinade is my own creation …

Cookbook Sundays – Jambalaya With Chicken and Seafood

There are classics, there are fads, and then there’s everything else. I originally bought Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen way back in the 80’s because I wanted to learn how to blacken red fish. I did… it gave me monumental indigestion. Although, as a recipe, it wasn’t as terribly difficult as I had made it out in my mind, it was just something I wanted to make sure I got right… because, you know… it was the thing back then. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t all that enamored with Louisiana style cuisine, and the book found it’s way to the “probably wont try that again shelf.” With this Cookbook Sunday’s thing I’ve decided, at least for the near future, to dig back into some of my older cookbooks for inspiration. With the mill of cookbooks, coffee-table photo food books, celebrity chef books and the like working overtime in recent years, I thought it would be nice to look back at some of the celebrity chefs of earlier years and the food that really got that whole food fad machine to …

All that, and a can of fish…

Some people have never bought (or admitted you’ve bought) a can of salmon. Really, I get it. It’s fish… cooked in a can. That there’s skin and little bits of bone in there with the fish… doesn’t really make it all that appetizing either…. … as far as tinned fish goes. As an “entitled” friend of mine once put it –  “No, I don’t eat that crap…. it’s poor people food.” We haven’t spoken much since I fed him smoked salmon dip. Truth be told, I love me some salmon in a can. One of my favorite meals as a kid was salmon patties, cream gravy and biscuits. There’s just something about that crispy browned outside – the creamy, rich, salmon-y inside with those oddly crunchy bits of bone, smothered in a quart of peppery cream gravy – just makes me all warm and gooey inside. The thing is (with fish in a can) is you have to put your food snobbery and gastronomic horror aside, look past what it is… and envision what it can be. …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Blue Crab and Cod Cakes with yuzu mayonnaise

For some unknown reason, I’ve been craving crab cakes… for like a month! But wrasslin’ twenty bucks out of my pocket just to satisfy a nosh need, just doesn’t make sense. I really don’t need crab cakes… I just want them. So I’ll rationalize away the urge, pick up a pack of Krab…with a “K“.. for $2.50, and eat a seafood-ish salad. Poking around at the Mego Mart this week I came across fresh packed Blue Crab Claw Meat, and that needle y little gnawing at the bottom of my stomach came roaring back. Granted, it’s not lump crab meat, but claw meat is immensely more flavorful that any bulk crab…and  ..and  it was only $4.50 for a pound pack. I figured I could flush out the crab with some cod filets and allow the rich claw meat to carry over to the milder fish, making it behave more like the mucho expensive lump crab meat. I dusted off my trusty crab cake recipe and made: Southern Cod and Crab Cakes  with Yuzu Mayonnaise Makes …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Lobster & Crab Salad

Back a couple of weeks ago, we pick up two of those pre-cooked chicken lobsters from the market with plans of doing lobster night. Although I really wasn’t expecting Lobster Bar quality, I did think they would be edible. They weren’t – they were stale, chewy, watery… just plain overcooked. Like good soldiers, we plowed through them…after all we had spent the money on them. This week we tried again, except we only bought 2 good fresh lobster tails… not precooked. Since they were still small-ish, we thought a better use of them would be to make a pasta salad to get the maximum lobster flavor out of the little tails. As it stood, they still weren’t quite enough meat, so we added a can of lump crab meat to the mix to flush things out. It was stellar! So today’s Simple Dinner Sunday offering is : Lobster and Crab Pasta Salad Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 2 Lobster Tails 1 6 Ounce Can Lump Crab Meat – Drained 1/2 Cup Fresh Peas 1/2 Cup …

Birthdays, Fish… and a Comedy of Errors

During a call in regards to my recent birthday, a friend (doing the obligatory Q & A) asked if I did anything special this year… “Eh” I said “it was pretty much the same… quiet, low stress.” “You don’t really do much for your birthday, do you…” It wasn’t a question, really. It was a knowing acknowledgement that I really don’t celebrate my birthday. I haven’t in years. Birthdays and me are like Tiki Torches and a can of gasoline – … in theory “brighter torches, cheaper fuel” … in reality “flaming road flares of horror” In fact, I only remember one birthday where there was a party… and it was doomed from the onset. My parents, on one of their 100 Mile Excursion research trips, had come across the Lake Burton Fish Hatchery. A fairly scenic North Georgia location with picnic tables, campsites, and well… the hatchery. And, in my folks book – outdoors, water and a little education makes for a fun afternoon all around. This is the place they picked for my …

The Thanksgiving Onslaught

Ah, so it begins… Monday marks the start of all-day kitchen relays getting ready for that all important food gluttony holiday. You’re psyched, you’ve run sample meals and test recipes, you’ve practiced operating on limited sleep for months to get you conditioned. But, now you have a dilemma…. what are you going to feed the miniature humans and the significant other species while you are channeling your inner Food Network genie? I have two words for you, my burgeoning chef. Tuna Casserole. Don’t turn your nose up. It’s fast, tasty, filling, and easy…. did I mention easy? Buck up, Buttercup. The fam can eat something a little less creative for the next couple of days. Whip up a batch and get on with the extravaganza. Tuna Casserole Serves 8 Ingredients 2 Cans Albacore Tuna in Oil – Drained 2 Cups Dry Macaroni 2 Eggs 1/2 Cup Chopped Onions 1/2 Cup Chopped Celery 1/2 Cup Chopped Mushrooms 2 Strips Thick Cut Bacon – Chopped 2 Cups Milk 2 Tablespoons Oil 2 Tablespoons Flour 1 Cup Bread …

Shell Game

There’s an old joke –“You know how to win at the Shell Game?”“Ask someone to play.” It’s an old con – A flimsy card table on the street corner. A man of questionable repute stacking and unstacking, twirling and spinning the shells, giving you a peek of where the pea is – but his hands never really stopping long enough to fully register which shell was which… It’s a no-win situation and he always gets your dollar. We’re doing a Shell Game today – 3 Shells… and a Pea. So get out your wrinkled dollars and let’s play! Ever since I was a kid and going out to dinner, I’ve been fascinated with seafood served in little mock shells. Even as a child, I found it a beautiful presentation – even if it was a stainless steel scallop shell. And when I was little, no one did tacky serving dishes better than Red Lobster. I loved the old Red Lobster. I loved herding in to the waiting corral, watching the tropical fish and staring, for …