RSS

Category Archives: Seafood

Simple, Hearty and Delicious – John Besh’s Classic Creole Seafood Jambalaya

Shrimp is one of those ingredients that is a lot more versatile than many give it credit for. While Sean would be happy if I simply made fried shrimp every time I picked some up from the seafood market, I like to mix things up and try different things with it. A scampi is always a good option or a stir-fry dinner, but one of my favorites is to make jambalaya. There is something about a fantastic bowl if jambalaya with crunchy french bread that is perfect for me for a meal. While jambalaya might seem intimidating to some to try to make, the truth is most recipes for it a pretty easy to put together. More often than not, they have a lot of prep work for you to do, but once that is accomplished everything else falls into place pretty quickly. I decided to make this recipe from John Besh that I found at the Food Republic because, as a classic New Orleans chef, who should know better than Chef Besh regarding how to make this dish?

John Besh’s Classic Creole Seafood Jambalaya

1/2 pound andouille or another smoked sausage, chopped

1 pound fresh pork sausage, removed from casings

1/2 cup bacon fat or vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 stalk celery, with leaves, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups white rice

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 dried bay leaves

1 cup crushed tomatoes

2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 pounds medium wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and pepper

2 green onions, chopped

Heat a very big, heavy-bottomed pot (like a Dutch oven) over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium. (This lets the pot heat uniformly, preventing hot spots, which are likely to burn.) Brown the andouille and pork sausage in the bacon fat or vegetable oil, stirring slowly with a long wooden spoon to build color.

 

After the sausages have browned, add the onions to the pot and allow them to caramelize, about 15 minutes, to develop more flavor. Add the bell peppers to the onions to save as much of the color as you can in the peppers. Add the celery ( use the leaves too) and the garlic and cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring so that everything in the pot cooks evenly.

 

Next add the rice, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves to the pot and cook, often stirring, for about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

 

While the rice is cooking, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. After the rice has simmered for 15 minutes, fold in the shrimp and the green onions. Cover the pot again, turn off the heat, and let everything continue to cook in the hot pot for about another 10 minutes until the shrimp are pink and tender.

 

Fluff the jambalaya with a fork and serve.

I have seen other recipes that can get more complicated, but this one is basic straight to the point, easy to follow and returns an excellent meal. I used red, yellow and orange pepper for some added color to the dish. You can use another sausage if you can’t find andouille, but andouille to me helps to make the dish what it is with its spice and flavor. You might also want to sub in shrimp stock for the chicken broth if you are feeling ambitious. You can make a nice stock with the shrimp shells and add some deeper flavor. The recipe comes together pretty quickly, and all of the flavors are there for you to give a complete, tasty meal in one pot. It often tastes just as great the second day as the flavors come together even more. You can have the whole meal created in about 45 minutes for a different weeknight meal for you and the family.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Score Big Smiles with Seared Sea Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce

Sea scallops are one of those foods that are an occasional treat around our house. They are one of the favorite seafood meals for all three of us, but the cost of sea scallops today make them pretty prohibitive to have often. Even when you can get them on sale, they are very often still around twenty dollars per pound. However, once you are eating them and they are cooked correctly, you tend to forget all about the price and wonder why you do not have them more often. Scallops, like all seafood, requires attention when cooking so that you do not turn them into little disks of rubber and ruin your meal. You can cook them pretty easily, putting a nice sear on them for some color and flavor, in just a few minutes, and when you can find some great dishes to complement the rest of the meal, you will hit a home run. Such is the case with this recipe I tried from Serious Eats for seared sea scallops with a leek risotto and lemon-brown butter sauce. It sounds fancy and complicated, but it is pretty easy to make (save for the stirring of the risotto).

Seared Sea Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce

For the Leek Risotto:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice 

4 tablespoons butter, divided

2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and diced (about 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock if you do not use wine)

5 to 6 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock or water, kept warm

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)

2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated (from about 1 large lemon)

1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce:

5 tablespoons butter 

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Scallops:

8 to 10 large dry-packed sea scallops (about 3/4 pound), dried thoroughly with towels

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola, or grape seed 

2 tablespoons pickled pepper (optional)

For the Leek Risotto: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice turns translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the leeks and cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the leeks are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until the wine has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of warm stock and stir the rice mixture until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth in 1/2-cup additions, and stirring until the liquid is absorbed before the next addition, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes. The rice can be kept warm at this point until you are ready to finish cooking.

 

When you are ready to finish, stir in enough warm stock to loosen the risotto to a creamy consistency. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, mascarpone, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When the risotto is finished, the grains of rice should be suspended in a thick and creamy sauce; if the risotto thickens too much, simply add additional warm stock or water to restore the risotto to the proper consistency.

 

Meanwhile, for the Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce: Add the butter to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring and swirling the pan every few seconds until the foam subsides and the butter begins to turn golden brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the garlic and let it sizzle for about 10-15 seconds, then add the lemon juice. Season the butter with salt and pepper; keep warm.

 

For the Scallops: Season the scallops with salt. Let the scallops stand in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

 

Remove the salted scallops from the fridge and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the scallops lightly with a little more salt. Heat the vegetable oil in a large stainless steel cast-iron skillet set over high heat until the oil is lightly smoking. Add the scallops, leaving space between each one. Press each scallop down very gently with a spatula to ensure good contact with the pan.

 

Cook the scallops without moving them until they are well browned on the first side, about1-2 minutes. Carefully flip the scallops and cook them until they are seared on the opposite side and medium-rare within, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the scallops to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. To serve the meal, scoop the risotto into warmed bowls or warmed plates, top the risotto with the scallops, and drizzle the scallops with the sauce. Top with a few pickled peppers, if using.

Okay, making risotto is always a bit of a chore because you have to constantly stir it to get the liquid absorbed properly so the rice comes out right. Many people today are making use of their Insta-Pot or pressure cooker to make risotto. I have yet to give it a try myself but some people swear by the results and say it is worth it so if you can do it, go for it. I didn’t mind the stirring all that much (consider it your workout for the day). The flavor of the risotto was very creamy and the leeks really shine through in the dish. The scallops are cooked very simply so that you get the best flavor of the scallops and Michelle and I loved the lemon-brown butter sauce as a topping for it all. I think this is an easy and delicious way to cook your scallops. You could serve it with a nice side of asparagus, broccoli or peas and you have a great meal (don’t forget to use the rest of your white wine from the recipe to go with dinner; it’s a nice touch and pairs well with the meal).

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

IMG_0685

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Seafood

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

A Monday Monkfish Recipe – Monkfish Fillets Dijon Style

It’s nice to be able to get back to posting a blog! I am feeling better, and though I am still swamped with work, and we have lots going on around the house, I wanted to make sure I had time to post a recipe today, even if it is just a short one. Since it is the Lent time of year, more people are eating fish right now, which means you might be looking for some new recipes or different ways to make the fish you eat this week. We are lucky since we have a great fish market in the area now where I can get very fresh, great-tasting fish anytime. Such is the case when I went over there recently and picked up some monkfish to make for dinner. Monkfish has great flavor and a good texture, making it meatier than many other whitefish that you find sold. Many people refer to it as “Poor Man’s Lobster” since it has a similar texture and taste lobster without having to go through all of the hassles of getting through a shell for not a lot of meat. Though, by today’s standards, monkfish in many cases costs just as much per pound or more than what you pay for a lobster. In any case, it is a great fish to make and this simple recipe from Pierre Franey at New York Times Cooking gives a fast preparation that has great flavor.

Monkfish Fillets Dijon Style

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 skinless, boneless monkfish fillets, about 1 1/2 pounds

Salt to taste if desired

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

¼ cup finely chopped onions

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

cup dry white wine

½ pound small mushrooms

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Select a baking dish large enough to hold the monkfish fillets in one layer without crowding them. Pour the olive oil over the bottom of the baking dish. Turn the fillets in the oil to coat them well all over. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper on both sides. Brush the fillets with the Dijon mustard. Scatter the onions and the garlic around the fillets.

Place the baking dish on top of the stove and heat the dish until the oil begins to sizzle. Add the white wine and scatter the mushrooms around the fillets. Bring the wine just to a simmer.

Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Baste the fillets and return the dish to the oven and continue cooking the fish for about 5 minutes. Remove the fish from the baking dish and place it on a platter. Swirl the butter in the sauce in the baking dish and then place the sauce over the fish fillets on the plate. Sprinkle the fish with parsley and serve.

This recipe is definitely one you can make quickly, and with ingredients you are likely to have on hand most of the time (except the fish, of course). The flavors all come together nicely, and the Dijon mustard does not overpower the fish at all. The onions, garlic, and mushrooms add a nice touch to the meal, and even just the hint of white wine in the sauce is very nice. You could even substitute another fish in here if you like, though I personally like the monkfish for this recipe. I served this with some wild rice and broccoli, and it was a nice, light, and complete meal.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day, enjoy your meal!

IMG_0696

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Cooking, Dinner, Seafood, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Recipes for Picky Eaters | Bon Appetit

We all have picky eaters in our households. For us, Sean won’t eat tomatoes, Michelle is not a big fish eater, and I don’t eat pasta and cheese ( I know, gasp!). Very often this means re-working recipes to make it fit everyone’s needs. Of course, there are some great recipes for the picky eaters in your life that mask some ingredients they may protest about but love once they eat them. I have done it myself, using some cheese in things I usually would not eat and they were quite tasty. In any case, Bon Appetit has put together 32 recipes for the picky eaters in your life to help them learn to love some great dishes. Check it out!

By the way, our kitchen is complete, and I can start cooking again. I’ll be doing a post on Wednesday about the new kitchen, and I already have some recipes that I can’t wait to post. See you then!

Source: Recipes for Picky Eaters | Bon Appetit

 

Tags: , , ,

17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

Coming up with ways to make easy, fast and healthy dinners can seem impossible sometimes. There are many days when the last thing you want to think about is what is for dinner and wish something could magically appear that you can cook quickly. Instead of turning to pizza delivery or fast food, start using some of these 17 ideas and tips Bon Appetit offers to keep healthy and easy dinner options right in your kitchen so you can throw something great together in just minutes and look like you have been thinking about it all day. Check it out!

Tomorrow should be the day our new appliances come, and hopefully, that will complete our kitchen. It’s been tough trying to cook meals just using an electric pressure cooker, a sandwich press and two small electric burners we borrowed, so it will be great to have a stove again that I can with each day. Fingers crossed it works out tomorrow, and I can get back to recipes!

Source: 17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Quick and Easy Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas and Recipes : Cooking Channel

If you are still looking for some quick and easy recipes to use for your Christmas dinner, Cooking Channel has 25 great ideas for you for side dishes, entrees, salads and more that are very easy to make and can help you round out a menu that is planned even at the last minute. Check it out!

 

Source: Quick and Easy Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas and Recipes : Cooking Channel

 

Tags: , , , , ,

55 One-Bite Appetizer Recipes – Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

With Christmas and New Years right around the corner, if you are hosting parties for either you may want to think about some of the appetizers you make for your event. Making appetizers that are quick bites to eat and don’t require a knife and fork is the best way to go and Bon Appetit has put together 55 great recipes for items that are easy to make and try for your party. Check it out!

Our kitchen renovation is still ongoing so there is no cooking for me yet, but after the holidays it will all be done and I’ll have a brand new kitchen to cook in, so look for some great new recipes after the New Year. Thanks for following and have a fantastic holiday!

Source: 55 One-Bite Appetizer Recipes – Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

simple cooking recipes

a blog to share with you the best

Forks and Passports

A blog about food, travel, and crossing things off of the bucket list!

Cooking with Violet

if Alton Brown was a busy mom...

%d bloggers like this: