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Asian/ ENTREES/ Seafood

Commander Tso’s Cod

Celebrate the Chinese New Year on Jan. 25 with this better-than-take-out twist on a classic.

According to The New York Times General Tso’s chicken is not really named for Tso Tsungt’ang, a 19th-century general. Although, he is believed to have enjoyed the dish, this ubiquitous offering traces its roots to Peng Chang-kuei, a chef who created the dish in 1950s Taiwan. Later, when he moved to the United States in 1973, he brought his recipe along with him. Once here, he sweetened it to appeal to Americans.


Here I have replaced the chicken with cod and toned down the sweetness just a bit. But feel free to add more sugar if you like. And because I love a good alliteration, I’ve named it Commander Tso’s Cod — after no one in particular.



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Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • For the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • chili flakes to taste
  • ½-1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • For the fish
  • 12 ounces cod filets
  • 2 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Oil for frying (peanut or any neutral oil)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Instructions

1

Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

2

To prepare the fish, cut each filet into bite sized pieces. Add the soy sauce and egg yolk and mix well. Stir in the corn starch and 2 teaspoons neutral oil and set aside.

3

Pour the peanut oil into a large wok or large frying pan. (You want enough oil so it comes up at least half way on the fish.) Set over high heat until the oil is hot. (I test the oil by putting a damp toothpick in the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready) Add half the fish and fry until crispy and golden. Using a slotted spoon, move the fish to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the fish. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and wipe the wok or pan clean.

4

Place the wok or pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds, until fragrant. Add the reserved sauce. It will thicken a little as it cooks. Return the fish to the wok and stir carefully to coat. You don’t want the fish to break up. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and top with scallions. Serve with rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.

5

For the Brussels sprouts

6

Trim one pound of Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a rimmed sheet-pan in the oven to get hot.

7

Toss the Brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of a neutral oil and kosher salt to taste.

8

Carefully remove the sheet-pan from the oven and spread the Brussels sprouts on the sheet-pan cut side down. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until they are brown and crispy on the cut side.

Seafood

Guilty Salmon

Salmon with Cream Sauce with spinach, artichokes and sundried tomatoes

So usually when I eat fish, I am eating fish because I want a lighter dinner. Not so if you plan on bathing your salmon in heavy cream. But hey, everything in moderation. And ya know, there’s spinach here too.

Salmon with Cream Sauce

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Ingredients

  • Salmon filets with skin on (1 per person, I was cooking for 6 here)
  • 2-4 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 15-ounc can artichokes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • Olive oil for sauteeing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream, depending on how many servings you are making

Instructions

1

Dry off the salmon with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

2

Add some olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, place the salmon filets skin side down. Leave them there for about 3-5 minutes or until you start getting a nice sear. You want crispy skin. You will see the salmon starting to turn opaque. Flip the salmon and cook until cooked through. Just another few minutes. Remove the salmon to a plate. If you are making 6 filets, I suggest doing this step in 2 batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.

3

Add a touch more oil to the pan and saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two.

4

Turn the heat down to medium and add the heavy cream, don't boil it —just get it warm. Add the Parmesan (if using) and stir through.

5

Add the spinach and once it is wilted add the artichokes and sundried tomatoes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

6

Now place the salmon filets back in the pan and serve it right from the pan. But be quick, you don't want the crispy salmon skin to get soft.

7

Alternatively, you can pool a little sauce on plates, place each filet on a plate and then spoon more sauce on top of each serving.

ENTREES/ Seafood/ Uncategorized

Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Corn Chowder with Shrimp

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

This is your basic corn chowder with some shrimp added in. Some corn chowder recipes call for bacon, but I wanted to keep this pescatarian so we subbed in some smoked paprika and topped it off with smoked cheddar

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced 1/2 inch
  • 1 hot pepper such as jalapeño, chopped finely
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • smoked cheddar cheese, grated (for serving — optional)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

1

Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off of the cobs and place the cobs in a large pot with 4 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the bayleaf and the thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. While the stock simmers, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the corn and sauce for 12-15 minutes until the corn starts to brown a touch. Remove the corn to a bowl and take about a half cup of the corn and save it for a garnish. Add the wine to the pot to deglaze the pan and cook until it reduces by half. Add the wine to the corn.

2

In the same pot, add 2 tablespoons of butter and add the onions, leeks, hot pepper and potatoes. Cook until the onions are translucent and then add the garlic. Cook for just another minute until the garlic smells garlicky. Don’t burn the garlic. Sprinkle the flour over the whole thing and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3

Add the corn stock and let it all cook until the potatoes are fork tender.

4

Add the shrimp and when they turn pink and are cooked through, add the cream and the corn to the pot. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. I also like to add a hit of smoked paprika (makes up for the lack of bacon.)

5

Top the bowls with parsley and smoked cheddar and a few more hot peppers for heat.

ENTREES/ Seafood

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

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Serves: 5-6
Prep Time: 45 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

These babies are stuffed with crabmeat and Ritz crackers. I know, I had you at Ritz crackers.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 pound crabmeat, picked over
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 34 Ritz crackers, crushed into crumbs (I counted them)
  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined but leave the tail on
  • paprika to taste
  • fresh lemon wedges for serving
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions

1

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2

Preheat the oven to 375.

3

In a large saute pan, cook the onions, celery, garlic and parsley in 3 tablespoons of butter until softened. Add the crabmeat and cook until warmed through – about 3 minutes. Add in the chicken broth and the Ritz crumbs and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit while you work on the shrimp.

4

Using a sharp paring knife, butterfly the shrimp along the inside of the curve. Don't cut all the way through. It's OK if the tippy top is cut through so you can flatten the shrimp out. Arrange the shrimp on the baking sheet.

5

Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon put about 2 tablespoons of the crab filling on top of each shrimp. The cookie scoop will do a lot of the work here if you have one. Otherwise, wet your hands to form mounds of the filling.

6

Melt the rest of the butter and drizzle over the shrimp. Sprinkle paprika over all of the shrimp. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until the shrimp are pink.

7

Serve with lemon wedges.

ENTREES/ Seafood

Peruvian Shrimp Tostadas

One of my favorite NY Times recipes is Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Spices Cilantro Sauce. Here, I have used the marinade on shrimp which turned out to be a great idea. And making tostadas was an even better idea.

Peruvian Shrimp Tostadas

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 4-5
Prep Time: 50 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

A true mash up of world cuisines.

Ingredients

  • For the Shrimp
  • 1 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deviened
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon some sort of chili paste (I used Korean)
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Olive Oil
  • For the sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro, tender stems and leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 3-4 jalapeños
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • For the tostadas
  • corn tortillas
  • guacamole
  • roasted grape tomatoes
  • red onion, chopped
  • fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

1

Combine the soy sauce, chili paste, lime juice, Dijon mustard, ground cumin, pepper, kosher salt and olive oil. Marinate the shrimp for 30 minutes before cooking. (Only 30 minutes, any longer and the shrimp will start to cook in the acid from the marinade.)

2

To make the sauce combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil.

3

Preheat oven to 425. Brush the corn tortillas with olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes.

4

In a cast iron skillet, heat a little olive oil and cook the shrimp until opaque.

5

To assemble the tostadas, place a few shrimp and the sauce and whatever toppings you want to use.

Notes

Honestly, you can top these with anything you would put on a taco. But you should make the sauce because it is out of this world good.