Posted in Must Make, Seafood

Pasta with mussels and clams

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“When the sea is calling”

By Kim B

After living in Panama for 10 years 32 years ago, I am still amazed at the flashback and déjàvu I get whenever I see clams. Not the big honking clams from the east coast, but the little ones that pop up in the grocery stores on occasion. Even those aren’t exactly the same, but close enough to bring back lovely memories of trade winds and ocean breezes! Sigh…

So when you see these lovely beauties at the store, get yourself a dozen, at least. Pair them with some mussels, their cheaper cousin, and take yourself on a trip to the beach… In your mouth of course!

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Fresh shellfish tips:

Watch what you are being sold. All the shell fish should be tightly closed.

Ask when did these guys arrive at the store.

The fishmonger should handle the shellfish independently watching for open ones (dead) that do not close when tapped and throw them out.
When placed in a plastic bag, the bag should be left open so that they do not suffocate and die. And this bag should be place inside of a bag of crushed ice. They have plenty of ice behind the counter; if not presented this way, request it. You want your precious beauties to arrive alive to your house no matter the traffic situation.
Finally, do not let the friendly and helpful cashier roll up and close your seafood bag, again, this can kill them. Leave it open so they can breath.

Ingredients:

1 dozen small shell fresh clams
2 handfuls fresh mussels (that’s what I ask for at the sea food counter)
1 bunch of kale greens, washed and chopped
6 cloves of garlic
Pinch or more to taste of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil , plus good quality oil to drizzle
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup pasta water
1/2 lb Angel hair pasta

Directions:

Rinse the clams and mussels with cold water shaking about in the colander, drain and look for and remove any shellfish that remain open even after being banged around.

Bring to boil a pot of water for the pasta.

Add 1 to 2 large pinches of salt once the water boils and or just before adding the pasta.
Heat a large skillet over med heat.

Meanwhile, smash the garlic into a paste, using about 1tsp of salt on the cutting board.

Pour the 1/4 cup olive into the warm skillet and sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and add smashed garlic. Just as soon as you smell the garlic add the white wine and allow to reduce for about a minute. There should be a light simmering going on.

Next add the parsley and increase the heat slightly and add the clams then cover. The clams take a little longer than the mussels to cook so they go in first.

By now the pasta water should be boiling, add the salt than pasta, cooking the pasta to “al dente”.

Check the clams, the liquids should be at about a boil, stir in the kale and the mussels, add in the pasta water, cover and cook over med high heat for 2 minutes.

Uncover and gently stir, if the shellfish remains unopened return lid and cook checking every minute or so. Add more pasta water if the liquid is low. This is not a vey brothy dish. All the shellfish should be opened and cooked in 5 to 6 minutes.
Next add the pasta directly from the pot to the pan without draining, drizzle liberally with Extra Virgin olive oil and gently toss in the pan.

Taste for salt which you may not need. This a simple sauce with the taste of the brine of the shellfish being the star. The kale surprisingly lends it own greenly seaweedy sort of taste, and the pasta absorbs everything.

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Again, this isn’t the brothy dip your bread in kind of seafood dish, but if you want the essence of the shellfish and a taste of the sea give this dish a try!

Bon Appetite and happy cooking!

Posted in Dinner, Must Make, Seafood

Salmon and Fresh Veggies for 2 with a Spiced Cream Sauce

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 Salmon and Fresh Veggies for 2

By: Kim B

Directions

Preheat oven to 425

Start with 2 fresh salmon filet, about 3-4 oz each, rinse and pat dry. Place on foil or parchment paper on a flat baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

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Mix in a bowl the following:

2 Tablespoon plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 garlic clove crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper or to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes or drops of liquid hot sauce to taste
1 teaspoon mix of favorite dried herbs, such as thyme, basil, Herb de Provence
1 Lemon zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
A large pinch of sugar
Taste sauce and adjust flavors as needed

Spoon over fish. Reserve remaining sauce for vegetables.

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Bake in center oven for 7-10 minutes. Fish should not brown, but should be pale, opaque and firm to the touch. Making for a soft delicate flake, and a mild sweet taste.

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imageFor salad, combine a mixture of fresh greens, herbs and raw vegetable, such as spinach, sweet peppers, cauliflower, thinly sliced onions, green onions, red onions, basil, parsley, cilantro, etc. Toss with remaining sauce, serve fish atop vegetable.

Bon Appetit and happy cooking!

Posted in Dinner, Quick, Seafood

Kim’s Cookin’ School Linguini

Linguini with Shrimp, Mushroom and Fresh Peas
Serves 4

garnish
1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Salt, pepper and paprika
1 cup sliced mushrooms (any variety)
1/4-1/2 cup fresh garden peas  (how much do you like peas?)
4 large garlic cloves crushed, then chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Butter
Red hot pepper flakes
28 oz can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand in their juices
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup or more to taste grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb fresh of dried linguini, cooked al dente

Warm a large skillet over med heat.  Heat a large stock pot of water to boil for the
pasta. Once pasta water starts to boil, add 3 large pinches of salt to the water. Cook linguini as per box instructions for pasta until just al dente, firm to bite, as it will finish cooking in the sauce.

If using fresh pasta, cook the noodles after the sauce is put together. Fish out the pasta as it floats to surface and add to the sauce.

Reserve about two cups of pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary.

shrimpRinse shrimp under cold water, drain, than pat dry.  Cut into bite-size pieces.  Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Using half of the chopped garlic, rub into the seasoned shrimp, then set aside.

seasoned shrimpIn the warm skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil and increase heat to med high. Add 1 tablespoon butter, a dash of pepper flakes and the shrimp. Stir and cook shrimp until just pink, about 2 minutes, as they will finish cooking in sauce.  Remove to a bowl and set a side.

sauceIn the same pan add another tablespoon olive oil, heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter. Put in the remaining garlic, and if you like spicy, another dash of red pepper flakes. Sauté and stir until garlic is fragrant then add the mushrooms. Continue cooking until mushrooms are lightly brown and have released their juices, about 5 minutes.

mushroomsIncrease heat to med high, add tomato sauce, cream, and peas, and stir until sauce come to a boil. Then reduced heat to a simmer and cook until peas are tender and sauce has reduced, about 5-7 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.

pasta in sauceReturn shrimp to sauce, stir to combine. Add cooked pasta to sauce, tossing to coat all the pasta with the sauce over medium heat. If pasta sauce is dry, add some of the pasta cooking water to loosen. Taste for seasoning.  Turn off heat and toss in cheese.  LinguiniServe promptly in warm pasta bowls.  Bon Appetite!

Posted in Dinner, Seafood

Kim’s Cookin’ School Crunchy Fish Tacos

Crunchy Fish Tacos

fish tacos

By Kim B.

Ingredients:

4 Tilapia fish fillets
1 cup milk
2 cup crushed corn chips (Julio Brand or seasoned corn chips, optional)
All purpose flour for dredging
Salt, Pepper, and Paprika, or favorite seafood spice
1/2 cup frying oil
Favorite taco toppings!

Rinse and pat dry fish filets. Season fish with salt, pepper and spices.  Prepare 3 shallow dishes for breading fish.  Flour, milk and chips in that order.  In a shallow skillet heat oil over med heat.

batteringDredge fish in flour and dust off excess. Dip into milk then roll deep into the chips.  Press firmly into the chips with the heel of your hand to help coat.

Check that the oil is ready.  It should simmer but not smoke.  Drop in a few corn chip crumbs that should sizzle on contact, but again not smoke.  If smoking occurs and chips burn, reduce heat and wait 2-3 minutes and recheck.  If chip do not sizzle increase heat and wait 1-2 minutes and recheck.  Once oil is hot carefully add fillets, do not crowd pan.

frying

Fry 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to rack or paper towel to drain.

stacked fish

Prepare corn or flour tortillas by warming in microwave 45-60 seconds on high; cut the fried fish fillets to fit. Dress the taco with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

fish

I used a shredded cabbage mix then added sliced red onion, chopped cilantro and lime juice, and a soon-to-be-posted Creamy Poblano Avocado Sauce for the topping.

Posted in Seafood

Grilled Shrimp 2 Ways: Mesquite-Smoked Paprika and Lemon-Garlic with Jalapeño-Peach Dipping Sauce

With Sunshine and Spring weather comes summer dreams of the beach. Fresh grilled shrimp and a spicy tropical sauce bring me close to the waves and a margarita.

By: Bekie A. 

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp

1/2 lb of large gulf shrimp

Lemon Olive oil 2-4 Tbsp

2 cloves of Garlic smashed

1-2 tsp sea salt.

2 Tbsp Butter

3- Tbsp Lemon juice

–Combine everything into a bowl minus the shrimp. Microwave for 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant. Add shrimp to the bowl and stir until covered. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes before grilling over medium heat until pink (about 2-5 minutes).

Mesquite-Smoked Paprika

1/2 lb of large gulf shrimp

3 Tbsp of Mesquite Olive oil

2 tsp of Smoke paprika

2 Tbsp of worchestire sauce

Dash of Thyme

1 tsp of Sea salt

-Combine everything in a bowl and coat shrimp thoroughly. Marinate for 30 minutes before grilling over medium heat until shrimp is pink (about 2-5 minutes).

  

Spicy Jalapeño-Peach Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup of jalapeño pepper jelly

1/3 cup balsamic peach vinegar

1 tsp Smoke paprika

Dash of Hot paprika

–Combine everything in a large jar and heat in the microwave on 30 second intervals until melted. Whisk thoroughly. It can also be heated on the stove top.