Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

Smoked Fish Pilav

Yesterday came out with a really nice dish worth of recording: scallop and smoked whitefish pilav:

On my favorite F&W site i stumbled on the smoked fish jambalaya but while the fish part fo the dish sounded nice i didn’t care much for the flavoring. Instead i decided to make a celery battuto for a base. Here’s the final recipe:


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IMHO fregola is the tastiest version of couscous. For the dinner tonight the point of departure was couple recipes in Bugialli’s “Foods of Sicily and Sardinia” book.
Took me less than half an hour to come up with a great dish!

Serves 4.

1lb of shrimp, peeled.
1-1.5 cups of fregola cooked al dente.

tiny dice (i pulsed the stuff in food processor) – leaves from a bunch of parsley, white part of 2 bunches of scallions, 4 celery stalks, 2 plump garlic cloves.
in a large skillet sauteed the battuto in olive oil with 4oz of very small cubes of pancetta on med heat. Increased the heat, added shrimp, roasted for couple of mins turning once, mixed in fregola, covered and put into 375F oven for 10mins.

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I liked greens in Kennedy’s arroz verde so much so that i decided to use this to flavor grits. In fact, it sounded like the right thing to do. And even more than that – the sauce seemed a natural as a shrimp marinade. Don’t need to explain where shrimp came from – you know, shrimp and grits, right?
So the prep went like this. Soaked coarse grits from Anson Mills. Whizzed poblanos, romaine leaves, garlic, scallions, parsley and cilantro in food processor and moved most of the paste to a blender. Slowly added some olive oil to the stuff remaining in the processor to make a marinade for shrimps (wild from the Gulf of course). Added some water to the blender – this will be a final water addition to long cooking grits. And touch of mascarpone didn’t hurt the grits 🙂

Shrimp and Grits Verde

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Time to pull out the deep fryer.
I coated hon shimeji mushrooms with a beaten egg, let the excess to drip off and then coated mushrooms in masa harina and green japanese pepper shaking the flour off. 1 min in 350F – excellent stuff. Next time i’ll use the egg white only.
The coating for the shrimp was made with 1/3 cup of flour, 1tbs of chipotle, 1tbs of paprika, 2tsp of salt and some black pepper. 3mins in 350F. Next time – increase the amount of chipotle and salt. And raise the temp to 275F, for 2mins maybe? Still shrimps were excellent especially those heads on.

Mushrooms tempura and deep fried shrimp

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Man was i missing all these miso possibilities…
Well now it’s time to catch up!
Tonight is a quick miso dinner of mussels, with the rest of ingredients right from the japanese pantry: sake, ginger, scallions, garlic and watercress. Ok, there were olive oil and butter involved too. Oh and some grilled triple olive ciabatta. A modern japanese pantry?.. Anyway the outcome was still delicious, light and tasty… And it involved miso!

Mussels steamed in Sake and Miso

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Borscht, Vaguely

Still cold and just plain nasty outside. Craving some hearty soup. I think a spicy mussels and tomatoes. But there are plenty of cooked chickpeas in the fridge, and a bunch of beet stems and leaves. Let’s do some borscht, well sort of…
The shopping list – bag of mussels, can of plum tomatoes, poblano and scallions. From the fridge – the above mentioned chickpeas, beet leftovers, as well as some dill and parsley.
Mussels go first – steamed in water and vermouth, with bay leaves. Liquid reserved, mussels shelled and put aside. Now charred and peeled poblanos got sauteed with scallion whites and chopped beet stems.
Some garlic and diced tomatoes added. Then some more vermouth. And the mussels broth. And couple of dill stems. The turn for chickpeas to be gently simmered for about 20-30mins.
To finish i add sliced beet leaves, chopped scallion greens, dill and parsley. Bring to boil. Add mussels…


    And then slowly devour the result, with pumpernickel toasts and creme fraiche…

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Fish department at Wegmans does really a great job. Their fresh mussels and squid (not the frozen one – avoid this) are excellent. I used it for some crazy fusion of two recipes – turkish for pilaf and sardinian for fregola paella. Strangely (or maybe not) both recipes have a lot in common so it was not difficult to imagine that the resulting dish might actually belong to both cuisines – same seafood and spicing (dill!).

Fregola with Mussels and Squid

Served with eggplant allioli.

The recipe is pretty straigforward – steam 2lbs of mussels in 1cup of water until opened (usually 4-5mins). Shell and save the liquid – this is your stock for paella. Warm some oilve oil, add whites of scallions (abour 1bunch), add cut up squid (3/4 lb), cook for a min, add spices (used cinnamon stick and a bit of dill) and green raisins, add 1.5 cup of fregola and pour the stick (2cups). Steam until squid and fregola are ready – about 10-15mins more. Stir in mussels and some more dill and scallion greens. Done.

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