Seafood Risotto-Best Yet

For me, Risotto is the ultimate comfort food. When you make this one, it will probably hit number 1 on your list as well.

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped small onion
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch each of white pepper and black pepper
  • 6 cups seafood stock
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 lbs. shrimp and scallops
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley leaves

In a large frypan, heat the oil on a medium heat and add the onions. Season with salt and peppers, cooking until the onions are soft. This should take about 2-3 minutes.

Add the stock and garlic, bring this to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Reduce the heat and add the rice, stirring constantly, cook for about 12 minutes.

Lightly season the seafood and continue cooking for 6 minutes. Stir in the butter, cream, cheese and simmer a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, spoon the risotto into a serving dish and garnish with parsley.

In a word: YUM, YUM and YUM. So delicious.

 

Lobster Ravioli Cream

Finally! This is the missing part of the recipe for Lobster Ravioli. Here we go. It makes a ton, so use what you need and freeze the rest or, have a family reunion. They will love it.

 

  • 4 lbs. butter
  • 17 oz. Grana Pandano, pre-grated cheese
  • 20 oz. lobster base
  • 12 oz. Dijon mustard

Put butter in mix master with paddle attachment and whip on medium speed until the butter becomes smooth and malleable. Do not add too much air or you will have a whipped butter.

Mix all ingredients in a stainless steel bowl until well incorporated. Place in appropriate container,cover, label and refrigerate.

Finished butter must be well mixed and homogeneous.

 

 

Simple Fish “Tagine”

The title shouldn’t scare you. It really means if you don’t have a tagine (who does?) make sure you have an oven-proof large fry pan with a tight fitting lid. There…simple.

 

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. saffron
  • 4 x 4 oz. halibut or cod, skinless (4 servings)
  • 1 Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored and julienned
  • 1/3 cup colossal green olives
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fish stock (vegetable will also work)
  • 1/2 lb. raw prawns, cleaned, tails on
  • 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed
  • lemon wedges for garnish
  • crusty bread (for dipping)

In a food processor whirl 1/4 cup of the olive oil, garlic, cilantro, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper and saffron until almost smooth. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Add the fish pieces and turn in the mixture to coat well. Set aside.

In a large oven proof fry pan heat 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion and saute until almost soft. Add the orange pepper and olives and saute for a further 2 minutes.

Fold in the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Snuggle the fish pieces into the vegetable mixture and scrape the remaining marinade over the top. Cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes of a medium low temperature. Remove the lid and tuck the prawns and mussels into the mix and continue cooking for another 5 – 10 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with lemon wedges and slices of crusty bread for dipping into the liquid gold sauce.

 

If you want to take this one over the top, serve with a really chilled Chardonnay. Just sayin’.

 

Seafood Risotto In One Pot

Well, after two days off …not really, transplanting some pot-bound indoor plants and watching them sigh a big sigh of relief, here it is..Monday morning. So..I absolutely love risotto and this is for the hard-core seafood diner. Trust me!

 

  • 2 tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, cored and chopped
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 1 pound orzo
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 12 mussels
  • 16-18 shrimp. deveined
  • 1/2 lb. squid rings
  • 1 lb. small clams
  • 1 lb. meaty white fish, cut into chunks
  • flat leaf parsley leaves for garnish

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and fennel, stirring until just starting to brown. (3 minutes), add the tomato paste and season with a little salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes. Stir in the vermouth and saffron and cook for 1 minute.

Add the orzo and now, using a large ladle, add the clam juice and broth, stirring constantly until the orzo is  el dente and the liquid is almost all absorbed. Add the shrimp, squid and baby clams into the pot, stirring under to cover the seafood. Stir gently for about 5 minutes until the seafood is cooked through. Season the fish with  salt and pepper and gently tuck under the orzo and cook about 5 minutes more. Let stand for five minutes before serving and sprinkle some of the smaller parsley leaves over.

In warm bowls, ladle out the orzo. If you wish put a few wedges of lemon/lime on the table and let everyone help themselves.

You may need a whip to hold the guests back and stop the neighbours from breaking down your door just to taste this. Enjoy!

 

 

Fall Boil With Shrimp And Stuff

October has arrived and while the weather is still super nice, this would be a fun thing to do for a last hurrah, if you will. No real fussing, no real cleanup. It is messy, delicious and pure fun!

This will serve 8

 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp. seasoning salt, like “Joe’s Stuff” or Cajun-type seasoning
  • coarse salt
  • 3 lemons,  1 halved, 2 cut in thick wedges
  • 2  1/2 lbs. new baby potatoes
  • 5 ears of corn, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • butter for brushing
  • 3 lbs. jumbo shrimp, shells on, deveined
  • Sheets of packing paper (clean and by the roll, if possible)

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until melted. Add the garlic and simmer for only 1 minute. Stir in the seasoning and salt. Squeeze the juice from the halved lemon (reserve the halves) and add to the butter. Remove from the heat but covered to keep warm.

In a large saucepan with water, boil the potatoes for about 12-15 minutes until tender when poked with a knife. Add the corn and the lemon halves. Return to the boil, then drain.

Preheat the barbecue and brush the grates with oil. Take 2 tbsp. of butter mixture and toss the potatoes, corn, shrimp and sliced lemons until coated.

Put it all on the grill, cooking only until the shrimp have turned pink and there are grill marks on the corn and potatoes.

You can add mussels and clams as well, making sure they all open.

Throw out the paper to cover the table, have a pile of paper napkins handy and toss it all on the table. The trick here is to help  yourself and eat away. Serve the remaining butter in a couple of bowls and just have fun.

Cold beer in a bucket or a bottle or two of chilled wine is all you need.

 

Shrimp With Cabbage and Ginger

Due to a small incident with the whisk attachment of my Kitchen Aid, this is being posted a few days later than anticipated. Sorry. All is well now and here we go.

This is really a Chinese recipe but if you make the Thai Trout Salad, you could get away with the two together. Who’s to know?

  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp. dry Sherry
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • pinch of white pepper and salt
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, quartered lengthwise, cored and cut into 1  1/2″ pieces to make 10 cups
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil (looks like lard in a jar)
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger (peeled)
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce

Stir together the shrimp, 1 tbsp. sherry, cornstarch, pepper and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Rinse the cabbage in a colander, tapping to remove some of the water. Transfer to a large bowl with some of the excess water sticking to the leaves.

Heat a large wok or 12 inch heavy skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add 2 tbsp. coconut oil and stir fry the shrimp until golden and almost cooked through. (3-4 minutes). Transfer to a clean bowl. Add the remaining oil to the wok and stir-fry the ginger and shallots for 2 minutes then add the bell pepper and cook a further 2 minutes.

Stir in the remaining Sherry and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the cabbage with remaining water to the wok,  the soy sauce and remaining pinch of salt and now cook until the cabbage has become tender. This should take 5 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp and any juices, simmering until cooked through. (1 minute longer), and the shallots and toss to combine.

What can be said? Yum!

 

Crawfish Etouffee

As mentioned before, we attended a cooking class in New Orleans. Sondra gave us this recipe and I wanted to share it with you.

I have to be honest. Don loved it, but  I don’t care for the taste of crawfish (poor man’s lobster or in the South they are  known as ‘mud bugs’ ). In Canada, at least at this end of the country, you can’t buy crawfish as far as  I am aware. In this case, use large shrimp.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 cups celery, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lbs (2 1/2 lbs) large shrimp crawfish)
  • 2 tsp. Joe’s Stuff seasoning blend (salt, pepper and paprika) to taste
  • a touch of crab boil (if you can find it)
  • Enough white rice for each person served (this will serve 8 or dinner twice)

Add flour to hot oil to make a dark  chocolate coloured roux, stirring constantly. (remember, turn off the tv, unplug the phone type of concentration). Add seasoning to the mix to blend, along with the onions, celery, green pepper and garlic.

In another pot with piping hot chicken stock, stir in the roux GRADUALLY, until well blended. Cook for 20 minutes over medium heat.

Add the shrimp and cook an additional 5 minutes, if desired, add chopped parsley before serving.

This is always served over plain white rice. Try it….With shrimp, it is delicious. Honest!

Shrimp Stuffed Avocado

You have to read this one to the end. Don has made this a few times and I LOVE it. You will see why. I never knew why,  but this is what love is all about.

 

  • 2 ripe avocados , cut in half
  • 1/4 red onion (NEVER IN BONNIE’S)
  • 1  1/2 cups shrimp, cooked
  • 3 tbsp. mayo
  • 1 ts. white vinegar
  • pinch of dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. worchestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Remove the flesh from the avocado and cube, reserving the skin for filling later.

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients and then carefully stuff the skins.

OMG! This is so yummy. I did not know he had written this about the onion. It must have been done up 25 years ago, when we were first dating. I was going through our recipe box and thought this would be a good one to share. Gotta love this man, I know I sure do.

Lobster Newburg

Not  much seems like summer’s here except when serving lobster. I had this for the first time when I was about 20 years old and fell in love with lobster prepared almost any way.

 

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped boiled lobster
  • 2 tbsp. sherry
  • cooked fettucine noodles (enough for 4 servings)

Melt butter in the top of a double boiler, over direct heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour to make a smooth mixture. Add the salt, nutmeg and paprika.

Gradually whisk in the cream and bring to the boil; reduce the heat and simmer, whisking, 3 minutes longer.

Now add a little bit of the hot mixture to the egg mixture and pour all of it back into the double boiler. Add the lobster and cook, over hot water until the mixture has thickened and the lobster is hot (about 8-10 minutes). Do not boil.

Stir in the sherry and serve over cooked and buttered noodles. I know everyone serves this over rice, but come on – try it with noodles and you will melt.

All that is needed with this dinner is a crisp, chilled salad and a glass of a chilled, crisp Pinot Gris…..did I say glass? I really meant bottle. sorry!

Yummy!