Archive for Seafood

Crab Stuffed Sole with Goat Cheese Creamed Corn

Posted by: · Nov 22 2011 · Comments (1)

When I came up with this dish at the grocery store I forecasted a long night in the kitchen and almost talked myself out of cooking it all together.   I was pleasantly surprised by the ease and short cooking time required of this very elegant meal. I opted to use snow crab for this recipe which I found to be sweet enough to offset the heat from the peppers. 

Serves 4



- 1 LB crab legs, snow or king crab

- 1 LB sole, preferably 4 thinly sliced fillets

- 1 tablespoon butter

- 1 small chili pepper, seeded and finely diced

- Salt for seasoning


- 4 cups corn, either cut off the cob or frozen

- 3 tablespoons butter

- 1 teaspoon salt

- ½ teaspoon sugar

- 4 ounces goat cheese

- 1 cup cream



Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Fill a large stockpot fit with a steaming rack with enough water to just brush the bottom of the rack.  Bring to a boil and add the crab.  Cover and steam for 12 minutes. 

Remove the crab from the pot with tongs and use a shell fish cracker to remove the meat from the shells.  Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add the 1 tablespoon of butter followed by the pepper and the crab meat.  Sauté for 4 minutes and remove from heat.   Place a few spoonfuls of the crab mixture in the middle of each fillet and fold over the edges to encase the crab.  Place the fish on a baking dish seam side facing down and season with salt.   Bake for 15 minutes. 

While the fish is cooking start on the corn.  Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the corn and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the cream, salt, sugar and goat cheese.  Bring to a slight boil then reduce to medium-low heat.  Cook until the cream thickens, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Serve the fish atop a generous serving of the corn.

Categories : Dinners, Seafood, Vegetables
Comments (1)

Carrot-Coconut Soup with Apples and Mussels

Posted by: · Nov 18 2011 · Comments (0)

Yesterday was the first legitimately cold day of the season in Chicago.  The first taste of winter’s cold is always a shock to the system and especially in my house where my husband likes to keep the house at 60° during the day.  After a brisk walk with the dogs, a long bath and hot soup were all I needed to counter the cold-both inside and out.  This soup is hearty enough to serve as a main course and light enough to serve as a starter when prepared without the mussels.

Serves 6


- 6 cups chicken broth

- 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped into fourths

- 1 LB yams, peeled and chopped in fourths

- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

- 2 tablespoons grated ginger

- ½ cup bitter ginger ale (I used Blenheim Ginger Ale

- 1.5 teaspoons garam masala

- 1 tablespoon butter

- 2 cups chopped Fiji apples, about 2 apples

- ½ cup coconut milk

- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

- 1 ¼  teaspoon salt

- 1.5 LB’s mussels, cleaned and debearded

- Extra salt and pepper for seasoning



Pour the broth into a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots and yams and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add the garlic, ginger, ginger ale and garam masala.   Cover the pot with a tight fitted lid and cook for 30 minutes or until the carrots and yams are very easily pierced with a fork.  Carefully pour the contents of the pot into a food processor and mix until completely smooth.  This typically takes a few minutes.  Return the contents of the food processor to the stockpot over medium-high heat.  Stir in the milk, cream and salt and simmer for 10 minutes.  

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the apples and sauté for 5 minutes.   Spoon the apples and any remaining butter into the stockpot.  Add the mussels to the pot, cover and let cook for an additional 5 minutes on medium heat.  The soup is done once the mussels have completely opened.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Categories : Seafood, Soups
Comments (0)

Simple Autumn Pasta

Posted by: · Nov 02 2011 · Comments (1)

I know it seems a little counterintuitive to add cream and bacon to whole wheat pasta, but hey, one healthy trade off is better than none.  This dish is the perfect easy fall dinner and so tasty.


- 12 ounce box whole wheat pasta

- 1 LB large raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

- 3 pieces thick cut bacon, diced

- 1 yellow squash diced

- 1 cup diced Portobello mushrooms

- 2 cloves finely diced garlic

- ¼ cup chopped parsley

- ½ teaspoon salt

- ½ cup Marsala wine

- ¼ cup whipping cream

- ½ cup shredded provolone

- ¼ cup parmesan



Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.  Strain, toss with a touch of olive oil and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook until browned.   Strain the grease from the pan and return to the heat.  Add the squash, mushrooms, garlic and parsley and sauté for 5 minutes stirring frequently.  Add the shrimp and cook until they turn slightly orange.  Stir in the wine, salt and cream and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.   Now add the chesses and stir until fully incorporated and thickened.  Fold in 5 cups of the cooked pasta ensuring that the pasta is thoroughly coated with the sauce.   Remove from the heat and serve.

Categories : Dinners, Pastas, Seafood
Comments (1)

Ginger Tuna Topped with Fried Shallots

Posted by: · Oct 31 2011 · Comments (2)

The last time I fried shallots was Thanksgiving of 2008.  While my husband was out back frying the turkey and taking all precautions to ensure for a safe and fire free fry, I was in the kitchen sipping wine, chatting with my dad and heating up oil to fry shallots for my green bean casserole.   A fire was in store that afternoon, but not in the suspecting turkey fryer.   My shallot oil erupted into a ball of flames and given that the kitchen fire extinguisher was out back with my husband, a large box of baking soda was our only savior.  A dramatic toss of the contents of the box onto the fire subdued the flames to reveal scorched ceilings, dad and dogs covered in baking soda and me with noticeably thinner eyebrows.  Despite the blunders on that date a few years back, fried shallots are such a tasty topping and I just had to jump back on the horse for this dish.  Super easy and delicious.

Serves 4


-  4 Ahi steaks

- ¼ cup oyster sauce

- ½ cup soy sauce

- 1.5 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

-  4 shallots, thinly sliced

- 2 cups vegetable oil

- ½ teaspoon kosher salt

- 1 tablespoon olive oil



Whisk together the oyster sauce, soy sauce and ginger in a small bowl.  Lay the tuna steaks out on a shallow dish and pour the oyster mixture over the tuna.  Cover with cellophane and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Flip the steaks, recover and continue to marinate in the refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes.  

While the tuna is marinating, heat the vegetable oil over high heat.   The oil should be ready for frying after 5 minutes of heating.  To ensure it is sufficiently hot, carefully add a few drops of water to the oil.  If the oil spits upon contact with the water  it is ready to fry.   Add the shallots and fry until golden brown.  Remove the shallots from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel to drain the oil.  Place the shallots in a small bowl and toss with the salt.  Set the shallots aside.

Remove the tuna from the refrigerator.  Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.   Remove the tuna from the marinade and lay on the heated pan.  Sear on both sides for 1-2 minutes depending on how well done you like your tuna.  Remove the tuna from the pan and transfer to a plate.  Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining marinade.  Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened.  Drizzle the thickened marinade on the steaks and top with a generous spoonful of the fried shallots.  

Categories : Dinners, Seafood
Comments (2)

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Arugula- Salmon Salad

Posted by: · Oct 05 2011 · Comments (2)

We had this dish after a long day of baby room remodeling.  I had somewhat of a hormonal breakdown last week about the progress of the baby room prompting my poor husband to spend all of his sparse free time dry-walling, plastering and installing molding in our little girl’s room.   This dish was a small you for all his hard work

 Serves 4


- 1 LB salmon filet

- Juice from half a lemon

- 2 peeled sweet potatoes, shredded in a food processor or with a cheese grater

- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped

- 1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese

- 1 teaspoon kosher salt

- 2 teaspoons fresh chives, finely chopped

- 2 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 tablespoon butter

- 2 cups baby arugala

- ½ cup sour cream



Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Place the filet on a baking dish with the skin side facing down.  Sprinkle with the lemon juice and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the potato and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the onion, salt and chives and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.  Let cool for 10 minutes before folding in the cheese.

Place the salmon in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until flaky.  Remove from the oven and remove the skin.  Cut into four equally sized pieces.

While the salmon is cooking, mold the sweet potato mixture into golf ball sized balls and then press down with the palm of your hand to form  1/2” cakes.  Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the cakes and cook until golden browned on one side.  Flip with a spatula and continue to cook until golden brown on the other side. 

Plate two cakes per person and top with a handful of arugula then a piece of salmon.  Finish with a small dollop of sour cream and a few chopped chives for garnish.

Categories : Dinners, Seafood
Comments (2)

Pan Seared Scallops with Key Lime- Ginger Cream

Posted by: · Sep 21 2011 · Comments (2)

Seafood has generally not been my friend these past few months, but that all changed when I made this dish.  With one bite, my love affair with food from the sea was instantly rekindled. 

Serves 4


- 1 LB large scallops, pat dry

- 1 tablespoon olive oil

- 1 finely chopped shallot

- 2 tablespoons butter

- ¾ cup half and half

- Juice from 5 key limes

- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

- ½ teaspoon corn starch

- Salt and pepper to taste


Start with the cream.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the half and half, lime juice and ginger.  Bring to a slight boil, reduce the heat to low.  Ladle a small amount of the cream mixture into a bowl and whisk in the corn starch.  Whisk the mixture back into the saucepan and continue to stir until cream thickens.  Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to your liking. 

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat.  Add the olive oil and heat until smoking.  Add the shallot and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.  Lightly salt the scallops on each side and add to the sauté pan.  Cook for 2 minutes per side or until nicely browned on each side.  Remove from the heat and serve with a drizzle of the cream.


Categories : Appetizers, Dinners, Seafood
Comments (2)

Cilantro Corn Cakes Topped with Fresh Crab

Posted by: · Aug 07 2011 · Comments (4)

Click here to watch! 

As the summer months dwindle away  I have found myself almost frantically trying to fit in as many seasonal dishes as possible.  This meal screams walks on the beach, picnics in a park and all the other wonderfulness that is summer.   

Serves 4


-  2 LB crab legs

- 4 ears of shucked corn

- ¾ cup bread crumbs

- 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

- 2 eggs

- ¼ cup diced prosciutto

- ¼ cup chopped cilantro

- 1 large shallot, finely chopped

- 1 tablespoon olive oil

-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

- 3 tablespoons melted butter



Bring two large stockpots full of water to boil. 

Add the crab legs to one stockpot cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove the crab legs with tongs and set aside.

In the other stockpot add the corn and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.  Remove the corn with tongs and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Once the corn has cooled, cut the kernels directly off the cob.  In a large bowl combine the corn kernels, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, prosciutto, cilantro and shallot.  Use your clean hands to mix the ingredients together.  

Heat the olive oil over medium- high heat in a large sauté pan.   Form the corn mixture into plum sized balls then presses the balls into 1/2” thick cakes with the palm of your hand.  Place the cakes on the sauté pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown. 

Use a seafood cracker to open the crab legs and remove the meat.  Assemble a large spoonful of crabmeat on top of each corn cake, drizzle with the melted butter and lemon juice and serve.

Categories : Dinners, Seafood
Comments (4)

Shrimp and Cabbage Salad

Posted by: · Aug 05 2011 · Comments (0)

I am true believer that food speaks to the eyes as much as it does the palate.  This salad is just stunning on a plate and simply delightful in taste.  I served this salad at an outdoor picnic/concert with friends and it was a great hit. 

Serves 6


- 1 LB shrimp, shelled and deveined

- 2 teaspoons olive oil

- 1 cup shredded red cabbage

- ¼ cup finely sliced radishes

- ¼ cup chopped scallions

- 3 tablespoons pine nuts

- ¾ cup light mayonnaise

- ½ teaspoon kosher salt

- Dash of sugar

- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar



Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan.  Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until they turn a nice bright orange hue.  Remove the shrimp from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before roughly chopping the shrimp. 

In a large bowl, combine the shrimp with the remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.  Serve alone or on a fresh French roll.  

Categories : Salads, Seafood
Comments (0)

Grilled Swordfish with Carrot-Coconut Puree

Posted by: · Jul 19 2011 · Comments (1)

This meal was a welcome treat in the extreme heat of Chicago.  Simple, light, seasonal and beautiful on a plate.

Serves 4



- 4 swordfish steaks

- Juice from 2 lemons

- ¼ cup olive oil

- ½ teaspoon salt

- ¼ teaspoon sugar

- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill


-  4 cups chopped carrots

- ¼ cup butter

- 1 cup coconut milk

- 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and roughly chopped

- ½ teaspoon sugar

- 1 teaspoon salt


- 2 cups vegetable oil

- 2 cups fresh full dill sprigs


Start with the fish.  Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and dill in a small bowl.  Place the fish on a large plate.  Pour the lemon juice mixture over the fish, cover and refrigerate for up to one hour before grilling.

While the fish is marinating, bring a large stockpot filled half way with water to a boil.  Add the carrots and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the carrots are tender when poked with a fork.  Remove the carrots from the water and transfer to a food processor.  Pulse until the carrots are nicely shredded.    Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a medium sized saucepan.  Add the chopped peppers and sauté for 4 minutes.  Stir in the shredded carrots, coconut milk, sugar and salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Transfer the contents back to the food processor and mix until smooth.  Spoon the puree back into the saucepan, cover and let sit until ready to re-heat.

For the topping, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  The oil will be ready to fry after 5 minutes at which point carefully lower the dill into the oil and fry for 30-45 seconds before removing with tongs and draining on paper towel.

Pre-heat the grill over medium-high heat.   Cook the fish for 3-4 minutes per side, occasionally brushing with the remaining marinade.  Serve the fish on top of a large spoonful of the puree (re-heat if necessary) and top with the fried dill.

Categories : Dinners, Seafood, Vegetables
Comments (1)

Grilled Lobster Tail Sandwich with Pineapple Aioli

Posted by: · Jun 21 2011 · Comments (1)

This is a nice alternative to a lobster roll.  Here I used whole grilled lobster tails with a seasonal aioli for a perfect summer sandwich.


- 1 cup chopped pineapple

-  1 egg yolk

-  Pinch of Kosher salt

- ½ cup olive oil

- 4 ounces cream cheese

-  4 lobster tails, shelled and cleaned

- 2 tablespoons melted butter

- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

- 4 hoagie rolls, cut in half

- Lettuce for topping


Start with the aioli.  Combine the egg yolk and the salt in a food processor.  While mixing, slowly add the olive oil through the feeder tube until the ingredients thicken.  Add the cream cheese and the pineapple and continue to mix until smooth.  Pour the ingredients into a bowl, cover with cellophane and refrigerate for 30 minutes before use.

Pre-heat your grill to medium heat.  Place the lobster tails on a plate and top with the lemon juice.  Transfer the tails to the grill and cook for 5 minutes per side, brushing occasionally with the melted butter.  Towards the end of cooking the lobster place the rolls directly on the grill and cook until crispy on both sides.  Assemble one lobster tail on each roll and top with the aioli and lettuce.  Serve immediately.

Categories : Dinners, Lunches, Seafood
Comments (1)