Posts tagged ‘Seafood’

December 22, 2013

Salmon with Champagne Citrus Beurre Blanc

Cooking is a creative outlet for me and I probably make much fancier at home meals than most people, but not usually this fancy. This dish is special. It all started with me trying to find a way to use up the last bit of champagne in our fridge from a spontaneous celebration. After a night of sitting in the fridge, champagne is not particularly drinkable, but it is perfect for cooking! We still had some Alaskan salmon in the freezer brought home to us straight from the source…the gift that keeps on giving. That with some salad and bread to sop up the wonderful sauce made for the perfect date night in. This is my riff on beurre blanc but certainly not typical. By replacing the vinegar with extra citrus you get a bright sauce. Most of the time you would strain this sauce, but I left the shallots which added some texture. I also cut down the butter by about 75%. You still have a rich sauce, but without 3 sticks of butter. I am sure French cooking purists would not call it beurre blanc, but this is my show! This would be a perfect holiday meal and may be repeated in our house for New Years. Put this sauce on anything and enjoy!


Salmon with Champagne Citrus Beurre Blanc

1 + pounds of salmon (about ½ pound per person)

2 finely chopped shallots

1 clove finely chopped garlic

2 cups dry Champagne or white wine

Juice of 1 lemon, 2 tangerines, and 1 orange

1/2 stick of butter, cut into pieces

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Kosher salt


Preheat oven to 400°. Season salmon fillet with salt and pepper place in a baking dish. Cook for 12 minutes then turn off the heat and allow to stand in the hot oven for an additional 3 minutes.

Prepare the sauce while the salmon cooks. Add 1 T butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the shallots and garlic cook until soft and fragrant.

Add the wine and bring to a boil allow to reduce by half, stirring frequently. See the pretty bubbles from the champagne?? Add the citrus juice and simmer about 10 minutes until reduced by about half and it begins to thicken.

Reduce heat to low; gradually add butter, 1 piece at a time, stirring after each addition, until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place sauce on the plate and top with salmon. Garnish with more sauce. Serves 4.

December 26, 2012

Christmas Lobster

I hope all of you had a fantastic Christmas with lots of family time. We were blessed with a white Christmas this year. Just enough snow to make it feel like Christmas!

In our family, ’tis the season for more parties! As I mentioned, we had our traditional Mexican Christmas Eve meal with great friends. For Christmas, Mary usually likes to try something new. This year we happened to find a deal on Lobster tails at Costco. With inspiration from Jacques Pépin, we were set on making artichoke bottoms stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, topped with Lobster tails…umm yum. As it turned out, the artichoke bottoms ended up too small, so we did the mushrooms in the artichoke bottoms and kept the lobster tails separate. Since BF is a native Mainer, he took charge of the lobster tails, giving me a great lesson in the keys to great preparation. One word: grilling. They came out sweet and perfectly cooked. Add to that some spicy lemon butter and you have a great complement to the lobster. Kick things off with some roasted tomato bruschetta and you have a great Christmas meal! What did you make?

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year to you all!


Grilled Lobster Tails with Spicy Lemon Butter

Adapted from Bobby Flay

Spicy Lemon Butter:

1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon clover honey

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Crushed red pepper to taste (about 1 tablespoon)

Kosher salt and freshly grounded black pepper


Grilled Lobster Tails:

Kosher salt

6 Maine lobster tails

Canola oil, for brushing

Freshly ground black pepper


For the lemon-red Fresno butter: Put the lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup. Stir in the honey. Add the butter, lemon zest, red pepper, salt & pepper.

For the grilled lobster tails: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lobster tails and boil for 4 minutes.

Remove and drain well.

Split each lobster tail lengthwise down the underside with a heavy knife, taking care not to cut through the back shell, so that the lobster is still in one piece but the inside is exposed.

Next, carefully remove the legs and under shell to expose the meat to easily season.

Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush the lobster flesh with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the tails flesh-side down on the grill and grill until slightly charred, about 3 minutes.

Flip over, brush with a generous amount of lemon butter, and continue grilling until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes, brushing with butter throughout. Remove from the grill to a platter, flesh-side up. Top with a little more butter.

Serve with mushroom stuffed artichokes and salad.


“There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?” ~Love Actually

June 6, 2012

Shrimp Stir Fry

Looking for something quick and easy for dinner? Look no further! By combining some of this week’s CSA items with some extra veggies and lovely shrimp, we got an easy stir fry. I found a bottle of sweet chili sauce in the fridge and thinned it with a little wine and fresh orange juice. We used our CSA garlic scapes for some fragrance and bite, some amazing CSA sugar snap peas (I wish I had a whole bushel!), organic red bell pepper, some CSA greens, an artichoke heart, and an orange left over from a race goodie bag. Try to keep the veggies the same size. Cook on medium high heat starting with the garlic, then larger veggies, then shrimp, then greens. Toss in sauce when you add the shrimp. Try not to overcook, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Serve over rice or on its own and enjoy!


March 3, 2012

Mediterranean Party Recipes

As promised, here are some of the recipes from the Mediterranean Party from last weekend. Here is a quick overview:

I am not a huge fan of sangria in general, because I like wine and prefer other sweet drinks. This one however is so fun! How can you go wrong with champagne? I will absolutely use this again, especially on a hot summer day…or for a bridal shower perhaps? I have to say, the favorite had to be the dates. They are rich and sweet and salty and a little spicy and just perfect. The gazpacho tastes like a garden in a glass. Such a great way to add a healthy element and would also be a wonderful first course, especially in the summer. Paella is something you can find a basic recipe for and add your own flare. Use the seafood and veggies you like and it will be lovely. The one thing I do recommend is to use something as your focal point if you are looking to impress. We used a fan of asparagus and scallops in ours, but muscles or lobster on top create a lovely effect as well. The ice cream is like nothing else you have had. It has a wonderful texture and the nuts give it a toasty richness. With the ginger cookies (my staple), a few berries, and a sprinkling of toasted nuts, it was a lovely finish. I can’t wait to hear what you think!



Citrus Champagne Sangria

Combine grapefruit juice, ginger ale, simple syrup (if you like sweetness) with thinly sliced blood oranges, tangerines, and apples overnight. Add half a glass of champagne or white wine to fancy glassware and top with the citrus mixture for fabulous presentation. Make sure some of the fruit makes it to the glass. J

Gazpacho Shooters – Adapted from
Marge Cirinelli’s Twisted Gazpacho

2 cans (11.5 ounces each) tomato juice

Juice from 1 lemon

1 cup fennel, fine dice

1 cup cucumber (1 medium), seeded and peeled, fine dice

2 large carrots, fine dice

1/2 cup red onion (1 small), fine dice

1/2 cup celery (2 stalks), fine dice

1/2 orange bell pepper, fine dice

1 pint sweet 100 or other small cherry tomatoes, stemmed and quartered

2 tablespoons italian parsley, fine chop

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons jalapeño pepper, seeded, fine mince

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper to taste

splash of tequila

In a bowl, combine tomato juice, lemon juice, fennel, cucumber, red onion, celery, tomatoes, parsley, basil and sherry vinegar. Add olive oil to a small sauté pan along with minced garlic over medium heat, stirring until lightly browned. Add minced jalapeño and cook, stirring for 15 seconds. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir mixture into the gazpacho and chill for 1-2 hours or overnight. Add a splash of tequila. Spoon mixture into shot glasses or small martini glasses.

Note: If you are serving them as shooters, you can use a hand held blender to smooth out the texture a bit, but if you use a fine enough dice, it will work anyway.


Chorizo-Filled Dates

Yield: Makes 12 dates

4 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, coarsely crumbled

Salt and Pepper

1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

12 large Medjool dates

6 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise in half

Cook chorizo in heavy small skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through, stirring frequently and breaking up lumps with spoon, about 5 minutes. Drain off fat; transfer sausage to small bowl. Add parsley; stir to combine. Cool.

Working with one date at a time, cut slit along top of date. Gently pry open date and remove pit, leaving pocket. Stuff pocket with 1 scant tablespoon chorizo mixture. Wrap 1 bacon piece around each date, overlapping ends slightly; fasten ends with toothpick. Place wrapped dates on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 375° oven. Bake the dates for about 20 minutes or until bacon is brown. Remove toothpicks. Serve warm.

Note: I have also made these stuffed with a chunk of parmesan cheese in place of the chorizo and they were also amazing. A combination of the two might be gracing my next party.


Dulce de Leche Ice CreamGourmet, May 2007

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound dulce de leche (about 1 2/3 cups; preferably La Salamandra brand)

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (2 1/2 to 3 oz), toasted


Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat and whisk in dulce de leche until dissolved. Whisk in vanilla and transfer to a metal bowl. Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, 15 to 20 minutes. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm, then fold in pecans. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.

Note: We found that it works best if all the ingredients are cold when you add them, so freeze the nuts for a while before adding them.


Ginger Cookies

Courtesy of ‘The SONO Baking Company Cookbook’ by John Barricelli

**Makes about 60 cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 t. baking soda

¼ t. coarse salt

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. ground cloves

1 t. ground ginger

1 cup sugar, plus ¾ cup for rolling

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg, at room temperature

¼ cup unsulfured molasses


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Beat in the egg and molasses until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture beating until combined. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about an hour (and up to 24 hours).

Arrange the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mats; set aside. Place the extra sugar for rolling on a plate; set aside. Use a 1 ½-inch ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough, and roll balls in the sugar to coat, and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the cookies are deep golden brown and the centers are firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Continue to roll and bake the remaining cookies in the same way.

Note: I like to keep these in the freezer. To do so, scoop into balls and roll in sugar then place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours. Once the dough is frozen, place the dough in a freezer bag. Bake as usual using the frozen dough, no need to defrost. These will keep for several months in the freezer and are a great thing to have on hand for unexpected guests or late night cravings! Also, if you want to get really fancy make them into ice cream sandwiches…yum!

January 23, 2012

Shrimp Cocktail

It had never occurred to me to make shrimp cocktail at home. It is one of those things that you buy prepared for a quick and easy appetizer or meal that requires little to no prep. A sale on some shell-on shrimp and a request by Ali changed my mind. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was and the result was pretty great. This is really just like making one of my favorite things to make: stock. The shrimp ended up very tender and flavorful. This is one I may have to play with a little more and try out making cocktail sauce as well. We used the 365 brand sauce from Whole Foods. It was fine, I would give it a solid C, but there are better jarred options out there. One of the surprising parts of this recipe for me was the lovely stock created by draining the boiling liquid. That will be in the freezer ready for something fun soon! We served these with a lovely salad and some garlic toast. Overall, a satisfying and healthy meal!



Shrimp Cocktail

10 cups cold water

1 large onion, halved

2 carrots, quartered

2 stalks of celery

1 head garlic, halved

1 lemon, halved

1/2 bunch parsley

5 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 pound medium or large shrimp, in the shell, split & deveined, rinsed

Cocktail Sauce

Lemon wedges


Put the water, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, lemon, parsley, thyme, salt and bay leaves in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

(Ok, so we were missing a few veggies, so I spiced things up a bit with some dried herbs.) Lower the heat to a simmer, set a cover on top slightly ajar, and cook for 10 to 30 minutes until fragrant. Drop the shrimp into the liquid and turn off the heat after 10 seconds.

Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until they curl and turn pink, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for medium shrimp, 3 minutes for large ones. Drain and cool to room temperature. Peel the shrimp leaving the tails on. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

To serve put the cocktail sauce in a medium bowl and surround with the shrimp, or loop the shrimp over the edge of an individual cocktail glass and top with the sauce. Garnish with the lemon and serve.

P.S. Those are my grandmother’s shrimp cocktail glasses, yep just for this dish. I love that the vintage glassware still gets used in the family!

January 10, 2012

Salmon with Zucchini Mixed Green Salad

Every year seems to have a cycle. We enjoy the holidays by indulging on some of our favorite foods, not to mention lots of party food. Then you get to good old January and feel the need to set yourself right again. I am trying to do that with more veggies and protein and less carbs and alcohol. This is a great salad to get you on the right track! I like to experiment with textures and colors to make salads more interesting. It makes salad feel like a gourmet meal and will leave you satisfied. I served salmon here, but you could use any kind of protein you like. I especially try to incorporate fish when I find a special; here in Colorado, fish can be expensive and is not always the best quality. Try this one out, the warm zucchini is a great compliment to the freshness of the salad! Do you have any ideas for going healthier this month?


Salmon with Zucchini Mixed Green Salad

4 Cups mixed green salad mix

3 Zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise

2 Carrots, shredded

1 Tomato, cubed

½ Avocado, cubed

1 Can sliced hearts of palm

1 oz. Goat cheese, crumbled

¼ Cup Vinaigrette (3 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar, 1 T Dijon mustard, 1 clove crushed and peeled garlic, salt and pepper)

1 lb. Salmon

1/3 Cup Marinade (4 T each citrus seasoning, orange juice and apple cider vinegar; 2 T each soy sauce and lime juice, olive oil)


Combine all the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish and add the fish. Allow to marinade 1 hour to overnight turning several times.

Preheat your broiler. Place the zucchini on a lightly greased sheet pan. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper and lightly spray with cooking spray.

Broil for about 5-7 minutes until golden (although I like them well done.) Wash and dry the vegetables and combine in a large bowl. Add the hearts of palm and goat cheese.

Combine vinaigrette ingredients in an airtight container and shake well.

Place the fish under the broiler for about 15 min (keep a close eye on anything you broil as it can burn quickly.) Remove the garlic then toss the salad with the desired amount of salad dressing.

Top with the zucchini and fish.


December 28, 2011

Shrimp and Grits

I have been taking a bit of a break and enjoying the holidays at home with the fam. Our white Christmas got the better of me and I am nursing a bit of a cold. In honor of my NC State Wolfpack winning their bowl game last night (and my need for comfort food) I thought I would share a Southern treat with you today. Outside of the South, grits are a bit understood, but I promise this recipe will make a convert out of anyone. The key is to get the right ingredients and a little bit of patience, what you will get is creamy goodness perfect for cold winter. I hope you are enjoying your holiday season!


Shrimp and Grits

For the Grits:

1 Cup Stone-Ground Grits

4 Cups Water (plus a little if needed)

2 Tablespoons Butter

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Small Grating of Nutmeg

Dash of Tabasco

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

½ Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

For the Shrimp:

1 Pound Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined

6 Slices Bacon

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Cups White Mushrooms, Sliced

1 Bunch Scallions, Sliced

1 Clove Garlic, Pressed

Juice from 1 Lemon

¼ Cup Vermouth (or White Wine)

Dash of Tabasco

2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Pour the grits into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Skim off the chaff as it floats to the surface.

Stir the grits and skim again until all the chaff has been removed. Drain the grits in a sieve.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and slowly stir in the grits.

Cook at a simmer, stirring frequently, until the grits are done, about 40 minutes. Add more water about ½ cup at a time if they are not quite getting tender. They should be quite thick and creamy. Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter, cheese and spices. Serve immediately or keep warm over a double boiler for 30 minutes.

While the grits are cooking, prepare the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Dice the bacon and fry in a large skillet until browned. Drain on paper towels.

Pour off the excess fat, leaving a couple tablespoons to cook the shrimp. Add olive oil if you need additional fat. Heat over medium-high heat, add the shrimp and cook until they begin to color, turning once. Remove then add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the scallions and garlic.

Then add the bacon and shrimp back. Add the lemon juice and Vermouth to deglaze the pan. Allow to simmer about 1 minute then add Tabasco, parsley, salt and pepper.

Serve shrimp over the cheese grits.


August 1, 2011

What to Eat: Dog Days of Summer

Like most of the nation, we are feeling the heat this week. I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain. After all, we are in Colorado and have relatively low humidity, but it is still H-O-T. So my usually creative menu is uninspired. I don’t feel like cooking (or even thinking about turning on the stove.) So what to do? Mary had an inspired idea requiring no cooking at all: Poisson Cru. Think sushi-grade tuna with all kinds of goodness. This recipe is inspired by one of our favorite athletes, pro surfer, Laird Hamilton. I find him one of the most inspiring athletes ever. His book is amazing and a great read. This recipe is awesome for a hot day when you don’t want to worry about cooking. It takes about 10 minutes of prep and 15 minutes to marinate. If you have never tried (or prepared) raw fish, this is a great recipe to try. There is so much flavor and the texture is perfect. We served this with toasted French bread, but you could eat it on its own, with crispy won tons, etc. The possibilities are endless. We usually make this more in the Poke style with a teriyaki-like sauce while this incorporates coconut milk in the Tahitian style. Both are wonderful, but I have to say; this hit the spot! How are you beating the heat?

Kelly & Mary

Poisson Cru

Based on ‘Force of Nature‘ by Laird Hamilton

½ C Coconut Milk

½ C Fresh Lime Juice

2 Scallions, Chopped

1 Large Tomato, Diced

1 Small Cucumber, Peeled, Seeded, and Diced

2 Carrots, Diced

*Zest of 2 limes

1 lb. Sushi-grade Ahi Tuna, Cut Into ½” Cubes

Crushed red pepper to taste

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Fresh mint leaves (optional)


In a large glass bowl, combine the milk, lime juice, scallions, tomato, cucumber, carrots, *zest, salt and pepper.

Add the tuna and let marinate for 15 minutes.

Drain the excess liquid and serve immediately.

%d bloggers like this: