Étouffée is one of my favorite comfort foods during the colder winter months. When you prepare this Cajun/Creole dish, it’s all about making a perfect roux! Usually with a meat gumbo, I cook the roux until it is very dark and chocolate looking. This simple and easy Étouffée is made with seafood so a lighter roux is best for this dish.Read the rest of this entry
This simple and easy recipe is inspired by a BBQ shrimp dish I had at Mr. B’s Bistro in New Orleans many years ago. These massive prawns are tossed in a buttery Creole sauce and served with crusty french bread. It makes a great appetizer at your next dinner party! Read the rest of this entry
Happy Independence Day! The summertime is here and I know you have not heard from me in a while, but for good reason. I have some amazing news! Read the rest of this entry
Lately I have been experimenting with Paleo recipes at home in my effort to eat cleaner. I have never tried to add grapes to seafood because it sounds like a not so good combination. I proved myself wrong with this recipe. Read the rest of this entry
Summertime in NYC will always be the season for great seafood. This recipe doesn’t skimp on it either. The combination of butter poached lobster, spicy Alfredo sauce, and shellfish ravioli (made easy with wonton wrappers) work together magically.
This easy bisque recipe is both flavorful and comforting for the cold winter season. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry
This is a dish I had at a restaurant some years back during a trip to New Orleans. There is something about Cajun/Creole food I absolutely love. Maybe it’s because the flavors are big, bold and comforting at the same time. Some think that all Cajun food is spicy, but that is not completely true. Like other cuisines, you can always adjust the spice level to your liking. The Creole seasoning recipe given here I would say the level of spiciness is medium. Feel free to use red snapper or drum fish for this recipe if you do not have catfish. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry
Once I learned to cook shrimp this way, it was over for me ordering take out, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry
This quick and easy dish hails from the south-west region of India, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry
Summertime in NYC is here! I want to bring seafood back to my blog during the season. I love risotto and I love paella, so why not combine the two? Ok seriously, I could not find Spanish short grain rice (Bomba Paella Rice) so I used the next best thing, Risotto. I also did not have a paella pan handy (I recommend one), so I used my 16 inch cast iron pan to get the job done. Enjoy!
Living in Brooklyn, NY I have had my fair share of great island food, since we have a huge Caribbean population here in the Boro. Here is my spin on Jamacian curry shrimp, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry
One of my favorite dishes breakfast, lunch, dinner! Read the rest of this entry
For the shrimp
3 cups large peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper Read the rest of this entry
Spring is here, and it’s time to pump out the seafood dishes! Living in NYC I do not get to eat Crawfish aka “Mudbugs” a lot here. After a trip to Louisiana a few years back, I have come to love these fresh water crustaceans. Recently I found some at my local market and decided to do a tasty seafood boil. Read the rest of this entry
1 1/2 lb large shrimp in shelled and deveined
1 – 1 1/2 lb broccoli florets
3 tablespoons rice wine Read the rest of this entry
So far it has been a stormy fall season in the northeast. I mean 8 days ago we were hit by Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the tr-state area. As I write this blog we are currently being walloped by a Nor’easter that rolled in this afternoon bringing snow to NYC in early November. So as you can imagine I have been stuck at home the past week, which I don’t mind because that means more kitchen time! With this kind of weather rolling in, it is time to roll out the comfort food. I am a big fan of seafood of all types, and I also love comfort foods such as chili. So the idea of combining the two in a comforting Fall/Winter chili made my stomach growl. The funny thing about this dish is that it was made with ingredients I never intended on using, this is why I call this “sort of chili”. I accidentally added too much heat to my sauce, and although I love spicy foods, this had a bit much. (oh no!)
It was a mean and spicy sauce which consisted of chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, green chiles, and jalapeno peppers, Whew! I needed to find a way tone the spices down without hurting the flavor in order to save my sauce. I added a tablespoon of sugar which did not have much affect, and I decided not to add anymore because it would suck if I were to end up with a sweet chili “dessert” instead of dinner! What I did next was dice up a small potato and a one medium sized green zucchini into small pieces and added them to the sauce to absorb some of the heat. Not only did this work, it surprisingly added another dimension of flavor and texture to the dish. The chili sauce maintained some of the heat, but it was much more tolerable. After a 90 minute simmer I added the seafood which consisted of shrimp, whole baby clams, calamari, sliced octopus and other goodies. Overall, this meal was a hearty, surprisingly good, and a really comforting seafood chili, well sort of a chili… Bon Appetit! *My prayers and support go out to all the victims of Hurricane Sandy*
1 lb cooked shrimp
1 lb cod or other firm white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves minced garlic
1 red chilli pepper, minced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
juice from 6-8 limes
juice from 2-3 juice oranges
salt/pepper to taste
3 Tbsp of fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
1/2 Navel orange, peeled and segmented
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cilantro roughly chopped
Add the fish, garlic, chilli pepper, and onion to a medium bowl, and then add the lime and orange juice on top. Be sure to submerge the fish completely into the citrus juice.
Cover and Allow the fish to marinate in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until the fish is white and opaque and no longer translucent.
Toss in the cooked shrimp, cut up oranges, mint leaves, cilantro, then add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well drain the juice into a bowl. Refrigerate the seafood for an hour.
Plate your Ceviche, and whisk the olive oil with the strained juice citrus juice and pour it on top of the ceviche and served garnished with mint leaves or edible flowers for the ultimate summer feel:)
Cajun & Creole cuisine are a couple of my favorite types of food to eat. These cuisines are similar to each other but also quite different, which is something I learned a few months back from my friend, ex-Army veteran, Derrill Guidry. He is a great cook from Louisiana and should know such things, so I trust him. Also on his food page, The “G” Spot, he displays his skills in the Cajun and Creole arena. Both of these cuisines have roots stemming from French cuisine, along with influneces from Africa, Spain and to a lesser degree a few other countries. One of the major differences between Creole and Cajun food is in the type of roux (pronounced “roo”) used as the base of sauces, soups, stews, and other savory dishes. Creole roux is made from butter and flour (as in France), while Cajun roux is made from lard or oil and flour. Most people have the misconception that all Cajun food is spicy, which is not the case. There are a few more differences, and I hope to cover this subject in more detail in a later post, but right now let’s get on with tonight’s dish: Alligator & Shrimp Creole!
Now most of the people I know (excluding chefs) hear the word “alligator” and run for the hills! They wont go anywhere near it, even when it is cooked — and no longer baring teeth. The fact is, alligators have been hunted and consumed by humans for centuries. The tenderloin I purchased looked no different from boneless chicken cutlets (certainly not green and slimy like some of you think). There are two different species of alligators, one in North America and the other in China. The Chinese alligator is listed as a critically endangered species, while the American alligator is plentiful, and can be found throughout the Southeastern United States. Louisiana and Florida have the most alligators: over one million wild alligators in each state with more than a quarter million more on alligator farms. Obviously, I will use farm raised alligator, and obviously an alligator from Louisiana since it’s Creole. The meat yielded a mild taste somewhat like chicken, and unlike its wild counterpart, which I am told tastes a tad bit more like frog legs or fish. The soft texture is sometimes compared to veal. While this wasn’t my first time cooking gator, it was my first try at a Creole-style dish and it was just absolutely delicious! The Creole flavors where exciting to the taste buds and the alligator and shrimp cooked to perfection. Bon Appetit!
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup butter
1 cup peeled chopped tomato
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 whole chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/4 cups chicken or fish stock
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 bay leaves
1 lb alligator tenderloin cut into 1 or 1 1/2 inch sized cubes
1 lb large/jumbo shrimp, shelled (tail on is optional)
3/4 lb smoked chicken sausage, sliced (Traditionally, you’d use Andouille sausage, which a more heavily spiced sausage, but I used chicken since I don’t eat pork)
Mix together oregano, salt, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and basil in a small bowl; set aside. Brown the sausage slices is a small frying pan and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan oven over medium heat; stir in tomato, onion, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion is almost translucent, about 4 minutes.
Stir in chicken or fish stock, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, hot pepper sauce, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and bring sauce to a simmer. Stir in seasoning mix and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 20 minutes.
Gently stir in shrimp and alligator; bring sauce back to a simmer add sausage and cook until the shrimp and gator are done, about 20-30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and garnish with yellow celery leaves or parsley. Serve with a crusty bread or rice.
This is a quick and easy stir-fry recipe for seafood. This is the type of meal I usually prepare during the work week when I get home and I am too tired to cook a more complicated meal. I am sure there many of you home cooks and foodies who do not cook for a living feel the same way. With this recipe I suggest that if you are impatient with prep work (we all are) buy your squid already cleaned and ready to cook. I chose to clean my own squid, but it was well worth it as I was able to salvage and cook the tentacles as well as the calamari rings. 🙂 So I hope you enjoy this quick and easy Stir-fry! Bon Appetit!
1 lb shelled and deveined shrimp
1 lb squid cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
2 tilapia filets cut into 2 inch chunks
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
1/2 tsp – 1 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust the heat to your taste)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fish stock
cooked Jasmine or white rice
Cilantro (minced) or chopped scallions for garnish
salt and pepper, to taste
First rinse and pat dry the cleaned shrimp, squid, and fish. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat and add the peanut oil. Immediately add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 10-15 seconds stirring a couple of times, and when the garlic begins to color add the fish, shrimp, and squid and cook stirring frequently until all the seafood is opaque. Add the stock and cilantro leaves; stir and simmer for about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Garnish with fresh minced scallions or cilantro and serve with cooked rice of your choice.
Although winter in the northeast has been a pretty mild one with above average temperatures this year, we still look to eat comfort foods such as soups and stews. If you are a follower of this blog you may have noticed by now I am a seafood lover, and while shopping this weekend I bought some Mahi-Mahi filets. Mahi, also known as Dolphin fish, is a very popular fish among chefs everywhere and is highly sought after. Mahi meat is firm with a large flake and a mild, sweet flavor which made it perfect for the type of stew I planned to prepare. I also decided to add two other seafood favorites of mine: fresh jumbo shrimp and blue claw crabs. Along with the fresh herbs and spices I intended to use in this stew, can you say yummy? To top it all off, the stew will be delivered to the table in a fresh sourdough bread bowl which is always a comforting hit at the dinner table. So enjoy this recipe and give me a little feedback on what you think 🙂 Enjoy
1 1/2 lbs Mahi Mahi cut into chunks
8 – 10 large shrimp, shelled and deviened
2 blue claw crabs
4 bowl size sourdough loaves, optional
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add spice according to your taste)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 13oz cans of diced tomatoes
6 tablespoons of fish or chicken stock
1 can chickpeas, drained
4 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp mango chutney (homemade or store bought)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro and some leaves for garnish
salt & pepper
First remove outer top shell of the crab then clean out the the internal organs and cut each crab in half leaving 4 total clusters (you can have your seafood guy do this). If you are using bread bowls you need to carefully carve it open so it resembles a bowl, and use the scooped out bread for dipping. Heat oil in a large saucepan the add the onions and sautee until soft but not browned. Add tumeric powder, curry powder, chili powder, and garlic to the pan and fry for 3 minutes until spices become fragrant. Add the stock, 2 Tbsp of cilantro, tomatoes, and tomato paste then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add stock as needed if it reduces. Throw in the shrimp, chunks of fish, crab clusters, and the chick peas then simmer for 10 minutes or until the fish has cooked. Mix in the mango chutney and simmer for 1 more minute and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add an even amount to each bowl including 1 cluster of crab for each. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and 1 Tbsp of yogurt in each bowl and serve immediately. Bon Appetit!
Once again I will try my hand at an international dish. This time we go to India’s smallest, yet richest state, Goa, which is in western India. Goan cuisine is famous for its wide variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconuts and curries are widely used in Goan cooking along with chili peppers, spices and vinegar, giving the food a unique flavor. Fish curry with rice is one of the main dishes in this region. A rich egg-based multi-layered sweet dish known as Bebinca is a favorite during the Christmas holiday, which was the inspiration for this dish. I found the dish to be like most of the Indian dishes I have prepared, except the coconut milk which I have found more common in Thai cooking. This dish is BIG on flavor and, because I happened to find colossal shrimp at Fairway, the dish is big — just check out the photo of an uncooked shrimp. It has a has a nice amount of heat for the foodies who love spicy dishes (but not over-spicy). Bon Appetit!
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion chopped
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp fresh crushed black pepper
3 tbsp water
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 lbs of shrimp
1 cup coconut milk
1 medium tomato diced
1 tsp salt
4 hard-boiled eggs
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
Your choice of rice to serve (I used basmati)
Stir in the lime juice and half the cilantro. Remove from the heat and transfer the curry to a serving dish. Garnish with the rest of the cilantro and serve with basmati rice.
French cuisine is often seen as a benchmark for gourmet cooking. The word “gourmet” is French, after all. I have never been to France, but from reading about it I’ve learned tons of things about this beautiful country. France is a land of variety with a rich array of home -grown produce, with every region having its own specialties. But I wondered, what makes this cuisine so special? Part of what distinguishes French cuisine is simply the attitude of the French towards food. The joys at the table are fundamental to their way of life, and food is a constant conversation throughout France. Chefs, cheesemakers, winemakers, bakers, and pastry chefs are respected and revered in ways that are unheard of elsewhere. French cooks would rather spend time finding fine fresh products, than stocking up on processed food. A funny thing I learned is that at one o’clock throughout France the traffic becomes suddenly lighter, why? Because the French have their feet under the table. 🙂
So what I will prepare tonight is a classic French dish which has its origins in Burgundy: Poulet aux Crevettes (chicken with prawns). This meal has an unusual combination of ingredients and the recipe is traditionally made with crayfish. Here in NYC it is easier for me to obtain shrimp, so that’s what I will roll with this time.
You will need:
3 lb whole chicken chopped into 8 pieces
14 jumbo shrimp with heads, if possible (mine are headless)
1 small onion, sliced
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp of all purpose flour
2 garlic cloves chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large tomatoes, cored and quartered
bouquet garni (4 sprigs parsley, 3 sprigs thyme, 4 inch piece of celery and one large bay leaf tied together)
3/4 cup of dry white wine
2 tbsp brandy
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
6 tbsp heavy cream
Fresh parsley for garnish
Wash the chicken pieces, pat them dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large heatproof casserole or deep skillet and cook the shrimp over high heat until they turn bright red. Remove the shrimp, allow to cool slightly and remove the heads and shells and put aside for later (leave the tails on the shrimp). Chill the shrimp while the chicken is prepared. Add the chicken pieces to the casserole skin side down and cook over medium high heat for 10-12 minutes until golden brown, turning to cook evenly, you may need to cook in batches. Transfer chicken to a plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium high heat stirring frequently until it is golden. Sprinkle with the flour and continue cooking and stirring for 2 more minutes. Then add the wine and brandy and bring to a boil while constantly stirring. While mixture is boiling add the stock, shrimp shells, tomatoes, garlic, bouquet garni, and chicken pieces with any remaining juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Remove the chicken pieces and strain the cooking liquid, pressing down on the shells and vegetables to extract as much juice as possble. Skim fat from the top of the liquid with a spoon and discard, and return the liquid to the pan. Add the cream and boil until it is reduced by 1/3 and slightly thickened. Return chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Just before serving add shrimp and heat through. Arrange on warmed plates, pour some of the sauce over and garnish with fresh parsley.