Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

GrilledOctopus_4206

 

If you look back to some older posts (5/17/09  and 10/18/10 ) you will find some octopus history including how to poach and grill. This past weekend my buddy, Lynn, pulled a very large octopus from her freezer and after thawing it, I poached it and then we marinated it for the fellas to throw on the grill. It was quite delicious, but it was well over 5 pounds so there was a lot leftover. Lynn made a salad to take to a picnic and I offer the following recipe should you have the urge to grill a large octopus and then need something to do with the leftover meat.

 

1 pound red potatoes

Salt

1½ pounds cooked octopus, cut into pieces

1 small onion, peeled and diced

½ cup chopped olives, green or black

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

 

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan with cold salted water to cover over high heat. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and drain well.

While still hot, cut the potatoes into chunks. Add the octopus, onion, and olives, tossing to blend well.

Combine the lemon juice with the olive oil, whisking to combine. Pour over the warm salad. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper, again toss to blend.

Serve at room temperature.

 

Links to previous mentioned posts:

https://judithchoate.com/2009/05/17/octopus-salad/

https://judithchoate.com/2010/10/18/octopus-%E2%80%93-a-current-favorite/

 

Octopus©StephenKolyer

Read Full Post »

Company_Coming_MG_2625

 

If so, my son Chris pulled together an easy, but a so elegant and pretty dish while he was visiting us a couple of weeks ago.  We were having a big family cook-a-thon or actually a throw-down where every cook tries to out-do the others and Chris was nominated to do the fish course.  Often the recipes my sons create are extravagant and complicated, so it was amazing to see this simple dish appear.  I had purchased some opah (sustainable fish when caught by U.S. fisheries), a wonderfully dense, meaty fish that has a glorious pale pinky, salmon color when raw, but turns white once heat hits it.

First, Chris made mashed potatoes, but instead of making them buttery and rich, he beat in olive oil, the juice of one lemon, and some lemon zest along with sea salt and white pepper. They were smooth and almost refreshing.  He made a very light lemon vinaigrette flavored with chervil.  He cut the opah into small blocks and seared it briefly – or just long enough to make each side crusty while keeping the flesh moist and tender.  As you can see, I placed a mound of the potatoes in the center of our plates, Chris nestled a crusty piece of fish into the center of the potatoes and drizzled the vinaigrette all around the plate.  I fancied it up with a few tiny chervil leaves and Chris presented an elegant, easy, and wonderfully delicious fish course.

Read Full Post »

Cavatelli_8891

 

A few days ago my friend Linda called to see if she could come “play” in my kitchen.  I, of course, said “come on over.”  Why my kitchen instead of her far more modern one I don’t know, but over she came bringing her untried kitchen implements and lots of good ideas.  First she wanted to tackle making cavatelli using her new cavatelli maker to be followed by an introduction to her cataplana, recently purchased in Portugal.  Cavatelli I knew of, but had never heard of the cataplana so had to Google it.
I learned that a cataplana is both a pot and the dish that is cooked in it.  The clamshell-shaped pot is generally made of copper and it has hinges on one side to open and close it easily and clamps to hold it closed on the stove top.  In Portugal, it is traditionally used to make seafood stews.  I had purchased clams, mussels, and shrimp thinking we would make dinner for six.  Unfortunately when I saw the cataplana it was clearly made to prepare stew for one.  So, we tried it out for a little snack as we worked on our dinner menu.
Her cavatelli maker worked like a dream and gave us a lovely first course of cavatelli sautéed in brown butter and sage.  The ingredients for the dinner cataplana went into my big Crueset pot which worked just fine, but left us without the presentation we had planned.
Here is my recipe for pasta dough should you have a cavatelli maker at hand.  You might want to eliminate one egg to make a stiffer dough for the hand-cranked machine. 00 flour is a finely ground flour with a cottony texture that is traditionally used to make pizza and pasta dough in Italy.  Until recently it was not available in the United States.  It is very easy to work with and gives the perfect mouth-feel to these doughs once they are baked or cooked.  It is available from Italian markets and many specialty food stores.  You can also use all-purpose flour.

2¼ cups 00 flour
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine the flour and salt on a clean work surface, slightly mounding it in the center.  Then, make a well in the center.   Place the eggs and olive oil in the well and, using your fingertips, loosen the eggs and incorporate a bit of the oil into them.  Slowly pull the flour into the well, working from the inside out, moving in a circular motion.  It is easiest if you use one hand to mix and the other to move the flour into the moistened mixture.  Continue working in this manner until all of the flour has been incorporated into the dough.  At this point the dough should easily pull into a ball.
Lightly coat the work surface with flour and begin kneading the dough by flattening it out and folding over and over until the dough is smooth and elastic.  This might take about 12 minutes.
Wrap the dough in plastic film and let rest for about 30 minutes before cutting it into the desired shape, either using the pasta making attachment of a heavy-duty stand mixer, a hand-cranked machine, or, the old fashioned way, by hand.

linda

 

linda 2

 

cataplana

Read Full Post »

Salmon Salad_9245

 

We have a dear friend who is battling a nasty illness and I keep trying to think of things that I can deliver to her that will entice her to eat and yet be healthy and healing.  Milk shakes always entice, but they sure don’t do the other tricks.  So, here’s what I did for lunch one day this past week.  I slivered a few leafs of organic kale and then blanched them very quickly in boiling water to soften slightly while keeping the bright green color.  I dried them thoroughly in the salad spinner and then tossed them with some slivered fresh red bell pepper and a handful of toasted almond pieces.  I removed the skin from a nice fatty piece of wild caught salmon and gave it a quick sear – just enough to cook it around the edges.  Then, I dressed the kale salad with a tiny bit of citrus vinaigrette and placed the warm salmon on top of it.  As speedy as a bunny I ran it up the block.  I stayed with her and got such pleasure watching her enjoy her lunch – can you think of anything better for you than salmon and kale and almonds – if only that alone could heal.  But, I know it does help.  (You will note that Steve was fascinated with my Global knife handle reflecting the salmon skin.)

 

Salmon_9233

Read Full Post »

Shrimp_8867_1

When I went to pick up some mussels and clams for a dish to be made in a Portuguese cataplana – which I’ll tell you about in another post – I saw these amazing little bug-eyed creatures that I remembered from a couple of winter’s ago, Maine shrimp.  They are the most wonderful corally-red color and so deliciously sweet and delicate that I had to buy a few.  Since they were pretty pricy I got just enough to use as garnish on the shellfish stew we were making.  Although once everyone tasted them, I felt a little guilty that I couldn’t offer more.
Maine shrimp are only caught for a brief period during the late winter – I think the season begins at the end of December and ends in February and since they have been over-fished limits are defined.  Not many make their way down the coast to New York and I would guess they are unheard of in other parts of the country.  I’m not a shrimp lover (even though I once wrote a book called The Ubiquitous Shrimp) only because shrimp doesn’t have the same taste I remember from my California childhood (where little guys are shrimp and big guys are prawns), BUT Maine shrimp bring that flavor memory right back to me.
Should you find them, either eat them raw or barely cook them – perhaps with a tiny bit of olive oil and lemon for just a few seconds in a very hot pan.

 

©stephen Kolyer_MaineShrimp

Read Full Post »


We were trying to figure out how many years we have been making a fall trek to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod to walk the beach, eat great seafood, and toast the magnificent sunsets, usually with our best buddies Lynn and Doug.  (And this year our “almost-daughter Anne and her husband joined us, too.)  Neither Steve, Lynn, Doug nor I can remember, but for however long it has been – 10 years or more – we have begun each day there with breakfast at Café Heaven on Commercial Street.  It is the most welcoming spot run by 2 open-hearted guys, Alan in the front and Patrick in the kitchen.  We walk in the door and find a seat and Alan has coffee on the table, 3 regulars and 1 decaf.  The menu is imaginative and the food delicious.  One specialty, Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict, is seen on almost every table every morning.  We usually opt for simpler dishes.  Open for breakfast and lunch early and late in the season and for 3 meals a day during the height of the summer crowds, Café Heaven is truly a little bit of heaven on Cape Cod.

 

 

Read Full Post »

We are big mussel fans – they’re cheap, meaty, filling, and fun to eat.  Distinguué French ladies usually open one and then use the half shell to gingerly lift the meat from the shell.  Trés elegant, n’est-ce pas?   Following form, I usually prepare them in the traditional white wine/shallot/parsley mix only because I really love the broth sopped up into crusty bread.  Steve prefers his over a bed of spaghetti to slurp up the broth.

But, the other night I felt the urge to try something different and since I had a fresh coconut about that I had pounded open and grated, I decided to do a take on Thai flavors.  I used “lite” coconut milk, but feel free to use the stronger stuff – it does have more flavor.  I always use chicken stock with canned clam broth as I think it balances the flavor.

For this dish, I served mine over some leftover baby spinach and Steve had a bowl of steamed jasmine rice on the side with his.  This should feed to 2 hungry eaters.

1 cup clam broth

1 cup “lite” coconut milk

1 cup chicken stock or canned nonfat, low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Thai red chili paste or to taste

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, peeled and minced

½ jalapeño chile or to taste

1 tablespoon minced lemon grass or 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Salt to taste

2 pounds mussels, scrubbed clean with beards removed

3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut meat, optional

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the clam broth, coconut milk, chicken stock, and chili paste in a large pot.  Place over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the chili paste.  Add the garlic, shallot, jalapeño, and lemon grass and bring to a boil.  Season with salt, lower the heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes or long enough for the flavors to blend.

Add the mussels, cover, and bring to a boil.  Cook, lifting the mussels up and about occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until all of the mussels have opened.

Stir in the mint and cilantro and serve.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: