Category Archives: Seafood

Goodbye Summer 2018

Photo Sep 21, 9 04 13 PM (1) INTRO WITH HEADING

Click on the photo to enlarge, and the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi everyone,

Well the sunsets are earlier and the realization that summer is coming to an end is haunting me.

I like the spring, love the summer, can tolerate the fall and despise the winter. The thought of snow, cold and shoveling is making me sad already.

I don’t go by Labor Day as my guide to the last day of summer. No, I hold on to the bitter end and wait until the first day of Autumn shows up on the calendar.

This year, it’s Saturday, September 22, 2018. 

Although, a few weeks ago in the Northeast it was still in the high 80’s and humid and as if someone flipped a switch, it became cool, breezy, raining and 57 degrees with a high of 68 degrees after Labor Day.

I didn’t know what my Goodbye to Summer Tablescape would be and then one day while shopping in Pier 1, the best idea was right in front of me – Watermelons!

Many of you might remember my obsession with the vintage red truck cookie jar at Christmas.

Photo Dec 17, 11 55 26 AM CENTERPIECE 2

Well, Pier 1 has a vintage red truck cookie jar filled with watermelons and a tray to match. That is all it took to get me started.

Watermelon happens to be my favorite fruit and I constantly buy them all summer long.

(Along with Friendly’s “Wattamelon” ice cream roll).

rolls_ice-cream-rolls_wattamelon-roll (1).png 2.jpg FRIENDLY'S IN BOX

So, it looks as if Watermelon is now the “2018 Goodbye to Summer” theme.

To prove my love of watermelons, I even have a “watermelon shaped” clutch bag.

Photo Sep 21, 12 38 29 PM WATERMELON BAG

So, after seeing the clutch bag, I know what you are thinking and yes, I have watermelon dishes (two different sets actually).

The set I am using today and another set that I use for dessert.

 This is an additional watermelon serving bowl that I will be using on today’s tablescape.Photo Sep 21, 12 33 16 PM CHP BOWL

So, let’s get started on a tablescape…

First, the tablecloth. I am going to use burlap for a neutral background.

Photo Sep 21, 1 29 16 PM BURLAP TC

Solid green napkins to pick up one of the shades of the rind from the dishes.

This time I placed the folded napkin under the salad plate and have just a small portion exposed. I want the focus to be just on the dishes.

Photo Sep 21, 9 02 17 PM (1) NAPKIN

The placemats can be nothing else than a woven slice of watermelon.

Couldn’t pass these up.

Photo Sep 21, 12 39 27 PM WATERMELON PLACEMAT

No charger plates because you wouldn’t see the placemats and they are too cute to hide.

Now the dishes…The dinner and salad plates are exactly the same to this set and there is also a small salad bowl to match.

The dishes are ceramic with a white background with various sizes and shapes of sliced watermelon with shades of green and the deep pink of a ripe watermelon.

Just the color alone is refreshing.

Photo Sep 21, 12 34 40 PM WDISHES

Complete set…

Photo Sep 21, 12 35 03 PM W-COMPLETE SET

Here is my second set of watermelon dishes that I use just for dessert. 

 The dessert plates are melamine for outdoor use and the pattern is similar to the other dishes. It has a white background with not only slices of a watermelon but a whole watermelon as well.

Photo Sep 21, 10 08 54 PM DESSERT DISH

The serving bowl and dessert bowls are also ceramic and just too cute.

Even though the bowls and dishes are not part of the same collection, I think they look great together.

Photo Sep 21, 10 13 23 PM DESSERT BOWLS

Glassware will be clear acrylic tumblers with a design of watermelon slices.

(great find in Homegoods). 

Later they will be filled with a watermelon beverage, mini wedges of watermelon and refreshing mint.

Photo Sep 21, 12 31 03 PM W-GLASSWARE

Flatware is brown to continue the neutral feeling.

Photo Sep 21, 12 39 46 PM FLATWARE

The Centerpiece…

Here it is, my new red vintage truck & watermelon cookie jar. I just love it.

The cookie jar truck has a lid piled high with watermelons.

(I am sorry I didn’t buy this sooner so I could have displayed it in my kitchen the entire summer).

To give the tablescape some height, I am placing the truck on an inverted crate.

Photo Sep 21, 12 30 51 PM REDTRUCK

The platter is also a red truck with a cargo of watermelons and matches the cookie jar exactly. I will use this platter to serve watermelon slices.

Photo Sep 21, 12 32 49 PM RED TRUCK PLATTER

I have a few table accents in mind.

The first one is a coaster that I picked up in a tiny, I guess you could call it a general store (NOT Cracker Barrel) at a road stop on the way upstate to see our son. It is a coaster with a design of a watermelon with a slice cut out and the caption reads “Summertime Favorite”. They only had one, and I bought it anyway because it just struck me.

Since this is all I have and it is small, I will display it on a clear acrylic easel as I would a photo on the table.

Photo Sep 21, 12 30 12 PM WATERMELON COASTER

My second table accent, (if you haven’t already guessed), is my favorite item for the tablescapes and that would be salt and pepper shakers. They are ceramic slices of watermelon in the true deep tone of real watermelon.

Photo Sep 21, 12 31 38 PM WATERMELON S AND P

Next table accent, will make you laugh…

A few years back, Kleenex introduced tissue boxes designed like fruits. Of course I bought the watermelon box and I thought I could re-purpose it once the tissues were gone, so I filled the box with artificial greenery and use it as a display next to fruit platters at summer gatherings.

Just like the Ferris Wheel from the “State Fair” post, I love conversation starters.

Photo Sep 21, 12 37 03 PM TISSUE BOX

At the last minute, I decided to put two more table accents on the table…

A real watermelon…

  And a vase of sunflowers in a mason jar with rocks.

Sunflowers also scream “Summer” to me and this brings a pop of color to the table.

Photo Sep 21, 1 30 54 PM FLOWERS AND WATERMELON

Now that the table is done…I wanted to make some watermelon “food items” along with slices of fresh watermelon and the first thing that came to my mind were watermelon cupcakes.

(Do you see how my mind goes to dessert first)?

I love these cupcakes because they not only have the layered colors of a watermelon slice with seeds, but the buttercream frosting is watermelon flavored (thank you, Kool-Aid). 

They will look so cute on the table.

Photo Sep 21, 9 30 28 PM CUPCAKE 2

(Recipe for watermelon cupcakes at the end of the post).

Well, now that I had a watermelon dessert, I might as well make a complete Goodbye to Summer Lunch with some watermelon tucked in here and there and some of my favorite summer foods.

Since I can’t have a watermelon sandwich to start with, here is our menu…

Goodbye to Summer Lunch

Shrimp salad roll – for those of us allergic to lobster.

(recipe at the end of the post)

Photo Sep 16, 12 16 09 AM SHRIMP SALAD

Homemade potato chips.

(recipe at the end of the post)

Photo Sep 15, 11 52 18 AM HOMEMADE CHIPS -use

Tomato, Watermelon & Feta skewers with mint & lime.

(recipe at the end of the post). 

Photo Sep 15, 11 28 30 PM FETA, TOMATO WATERMELON

Watermelon cooler made with lemon sorbet. 

(recipe at the end of the post).

Photo Sep 21, 10 28 41 PM COOLER

Fresh watermelon slices.

Photo Sep 21, 11 28 28 PM W-SLICES

 Watermelon Italian Ice (store bought).

Photo Sep 21, 10 19 31 PM ITALIAN ICE

Watermelon Cupcakes.

Photo Sep 21, 10 34 05 PM (1) CUPCAKE

(recipe at the end of the post)

Dessert is Served…

Photo Sep 21, 10 33 53 PM DESSERT IS SERVED

*****************************

I could go on and make a watermelon cake, watermelon pizza and watermelon sorbet, but I don’t want to get carried away. Maybe next summer.

NOTE: You won’t believe what I came across while looking for the Bellini recipe, a recipe for a “watermelon sandwich”.

See the surprise recipe I found at the end of the post!

*********************

Now my Goodbye to Summer lunch is ready.

Place Setting

Photo Sep 21, 11 30 10 PM PLACE SETTING

Bob and I will enjoy this lunch as I count the days until summer once again.

(If anyone is interested, it is 272 days as of September 22, 2018). 

to the first day of Summer.

Friday, June 21, 2019.

********************

Thank you for visiting my blog and letting me share my Watermelon Tablescape with all of you.

Here is a little extra helpful hint with your watermelon purchases…

 A video on how to tell if the watermelon is ripe...open the link

https://commonsensehome.com/tell-watermelon-is-ripe/

Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!

I decided to have a Watermelon Bellini after all, to send off Summer in style! 

Watermelon Bellini

 (with and without alcohol) 

(recipe at the end of the post).

Photo Sep 21, 11 52 22 PM BELLINI

Stay well, 

Diane

Ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com. and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments & emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

*******************************

RECIPES

Watermelon Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of Beth @ The First Year – blog

Ingredients

Cupcakes – makes 10-12 cupcakes

  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • leaf green food coloring by Wilton (or similar light green food coloring)

Buttercream

  • 2 sticks of butter, unsalted at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp of powdered watermelon Kool-Aid mix
  • small about of red food coloring, to give the buttercream a pinkish color
  • mini chocolate chips

Directions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Place cupcakes liners to muffin pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the egg whites, beat again.
  3. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract, mix by hand with spatula.
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gently mix with a spoon.
  5. Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
  6. Add in the green food coloring, mix to incorporate.
  7. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling each 1/2 full.
  8. Bake at 375º F for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º will keeping the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool before adding the buttercream.

Buttercream

  1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar, mix by hand with a spatula.
  3. Add in more powdered sugar as you see fit, up to 2 more cups, mixing first by hand then with an electric mixer.
  4. Add in the watermelon Kool-Aid powder and a small amount of red food coloring (to give the frosting a pinkish color), mixing one last time with an electric mixer.

How to assemble

  1. Place the buttercream in a large piping bag fit with a 1M Wilton piping tip. Push the buttercream down into the bag. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, starting in the center of the cupcake, swirling out, and then swirling back into the center, progressively stacking the frosting as you get to the center.
  2. Add mini chocolate chips on top of the buttercream.

**************************************

Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime

Recipe courtesy of Sara Foster of Southern Living

Makes about 3 dozen skewers

No time for skewers? Gently toss the ingredients in a salad bowl, or dice the tomato, watermelon, and cheese into small cubes to serve as a fresh relish for grilled meats.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups 1-inch watermelon cubes (about 1/4 of a 3-lb. watermelon)
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 36 (3-inch) wooden skewers

Directions:

Gently toss together tomatoes and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill 30 minutes to 1 hour. Thread 1 tomato piece, 1 watermelon cube, and 1 feta cube onto a skewer, and place in a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining skewers. Drizzle with remaining marinade, and serve immediately.

********************************************

Shrimp Salad

Courtesy of The Blond Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1-pound medium shrimp in shell
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery

Instructions:

  1. Boil 1-1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan and add shrimp. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes, or until pink and just cooked (do not overcook).
  2. Drain shrimp in a colander and rinse with cold water and allow to cool.
  3. While shrimp are cooling, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill weed and Old Bay Seasoning in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until shrimp are ready to be added.
  4. Peel and devein shrimp and cut in half (or chop, depending upon preference). Add shrimp, red onions and celery and stir well to coat with mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

**************************

Homemade Potato Chips

Courtesy of Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 7 unpeeled medium potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 quarts ice water
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • Oil for deep-fat frying

Directions

  • 1. Using a vegetable peeler or metal cheese slicer, cut potatoes into very thin slices. Place in a large bowl; add ice water and salt. Soak for 30 minutes.
  • 2. Drain potatoes; place on paper towels and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, celery salt and pepper; set aside.
  • 3. In an electric skillet, heat 1-1/2 in. of oil to 375°. Fry potatoes in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  • 4. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with seasoning mixture. Store in an airtight container.

*****************************

Watermelon and Lemon Sorbet Cooler

Courtesy of Paula Deen       Servings: 10

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lbs (4 cups) seedless watermelon, sliced with rind removed, plus wedges for garnish
  • 1 cup lemon sorbet
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • fresh mint, for garnish

Directions:

In a food processor, blend watermelon, sorbet and lemon zest until very smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.

 

**********************************************

Watermelon Bellini

Recipe courtesy of  Virginia Willis of Southern Living

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. coarse sugar
  • 3 cups frozen seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup sparkling wine, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Additional sparkling wine
  • Garnish: watermelon wedges

Instructions:

Cut lime in half. Cut 1 half into wedges, and rub on rims of 8 (6-oz.) cocktail glasses; dip rims in coarse sugar to coat. Process frozen watermelon, 1 cup chilled sparkling wine, sugar, salt, and juice from remaining lime half in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared glasses; top off with additional sparkling wine. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

**NOTE- Any summer melon will work. For a nonalcoholic option, replace the sparkling wine with sparkling white grape juice, sparkling cider, or club soda.

******************************************************

Just had to share this, the surprise recipe I found.

It looks as though I CAN have a Watermelon sandwich.

Open Face Watermelon Sandwiches

recipe courtesy of FreshfromFlorida blog

Watermelon-Open-Face-Watermelon-Sandwiches-4 (1) for blog

Yield 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 medium-sized Florida watermelon, seeds and rind removed
  • 1 handful fresh Florida mint leaves, chopped
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 loaf of your favorite crusty bread, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation

Crumble chilled goat cheese into a small bowl. Lightly mix cheese and chopped mint. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper.

Cut bread into 8 small slices and drizzle with olive oil. Toast bread slices until golden brown and crispy on top. Let bread cool slightly.

Spread cheese mixture on the top of each slice of bread. Cut watermelon slices into fun shapes and layer watermelon on top of cheese. Lightly season the top of the sandwiches with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Photo Sep 21, 1 32 05 PM WATERMELON EXTRA

 

 

 

Linguine with Blue Claw Crab Sauce

Photo Sep 16, 1 18 46 PM LINGUINE WITH CRAB SAUCE

Hi Everyone,

I have been getting a lot of requests for this recipe since I posted a picture on my Instagram page on Labor Day, so instead of sending out individual responses, I am sharing this recipe with all of you.

Linguine with Blue Claw Crab Sauce

I used to go crabbing off the local pier with my dad when he was alive. It was a lot of fun for me as a child and dad and I got both a suntan and some quality time together.

We used to use chicken legs for bait and then wait and wait and wait for a crab to be interested. Periodically pulling up the trap to see if we were lucky. Some days the bounty was enormous, other days, plan on something else for dinner.     

Since I was a child, I always remember my dad going crabbing and my mother making the most delicious crab sauce with linguine or spaghetti. The entire family would gather around the picnic table lined with newspaper and eat crabs for hours after we had our linguine. We were prepared with our mallets, seafood crackers and picks. It is a little tedious to eat, but the reward was worth it . The most delicious sweet crabmeat.

We had the best summers!   

Since my dad passed, I no longer go crabbing and I buy my crabs along with my other seafood from a local fishmonger (Claws Seafood Market Crab Shack and Clam Bar- Sayville, NY – Great owner and staff. If you live in the area, I recommend you give them a try). 

I was fortunate to be gifted crabs this Labor Day and I had the best time making this meal. It always brings back great memories.

I still have all dad’s traps in the attic and maybe one summer I’ll start crabbing again in his memory.

This Blue Claw Crab Sauce isn’t just for the summer.

I make crab sauce every year as part of the Italian Christmas Eve, “Feast of the Seven Fishes”.

For Christmas Eve, I add a few clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari rings. It is my favorite part of the meal and so delicious.

Try the recipe and let me know what you think and have some patience eating the crabmeat, trust me, it’s worth it.

*********************

I purchased two dozen crabs. I wait until they are a good size and then I buy, clean and freeze most of them for Christmas Eve and some for the rest of the winter when I am craving crab sauce.

I used six crabs today for this sauce. Any less than that and you really don’t get a good flavor. 

Photo Sep 13, 7 17 09 PM BAG OF BLUE CLAWS

They look much better cleaned. It’s a little bit of work but you can have the fish monger clean them if your prefer.

I have been cleaning crabs since I was a child with my mom after my dad’s catch so this job doesn’t bother me.

Photo Sep 13, 10 26 03 PM CLEANED CRABS

So here is my recipe for Blue Claw Crab Sauce….

 I hope you enjoy it…

(Obviously, this recipe can be doubled for a holiday meal).

Diane’s Crab sauce

Photo Sep 16, 1 18 20 PM LINGUINE WITH CRAB SAUCE FOR RECIPE

Ingredients:

2 shallots diced

5-6 cloves of garlic (or more) – diced

Olive oil

Parsley- roughly 3 tbsp- finely chopped

1 small can of anchovies with oil

6 cleaned blue claw crabs

2 cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes – blended in the food processor

Red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper – to taste

1 cup clam juice

1 cup white wine

Tomato paste (optional)

Directions:

Coat the bottom of an 8 qt pot with olive oil and heat on medium

Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes until translucent.

Add the garlic and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes until golden brown – be careful not to burn

Add one small can of anchovies with their oil and stir to dissolve –

(this does not make the sauce taste fishy. I add it in my white clam sauce as well).

Once dissolved add the parsley and fresh ground black pepper, salt and some red pepper flakes to taste and sauté

Now add the crabs and sauté for about 5-7 minutes until the claws become red. Mix well with the parsley mixture to get the oil and garlic in the nooks and crannies of the crab.

In the meantime, put two cans of san Marzano whole peeled tomatoes in the food processor and blend.

Add the tomatoes, wine and clam juice to the crabs.

Sauté on medium for approx. 20 minutes with the lid a jar. After 20 minutes if the sauce seems too watery add 1 tbsp of tomato paste and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Simmer on low until you prepare your pasta (usually linguine for this dish al dente- 7 minutes.-(I cook the pasta two minutes shy of being done).

Add your pasta to a large pot or saute pan and add the crab sauce, cook for two minutes so the sauce can be absorbed by the pasta. 

Serve with the crabs, or make the crabs a second course

Enjoy !!

 

Soft Shell Crab Recipes…

live-soft-shell-crabs in bucket 2

Click on the photos to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi everyone, 

Well, it’s that time again. The beginning of the season for soft shell crabs –  May through September. Outside of blue claw crab sauce over linguine, this is my favorite crab meal.

Soft shell crabs remind me of my Dad. He was always the first one to bring me a soft shell crab sandwich at the beginning of the season – never failed. It was piled high with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce and served with French fries and Cole slaw.

It was our tradition.

After our first soft shell crab sandwich of the season, there were many days that my Dad and I would go and have lunch at all the waterfront restaurants near my home and order soft shell crabs to see who prepared them the best. You would think we would get tired of them, but we never did.

Now you know just how much I love soft shell crabs. 

After all these years, I still can’t decide which way I like them better. I like a sandwich of fried soft shell crab with lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce on a kaiser roll (traditionally served on toasted white bread), and I like sauteed soft shell crabs in garlic, white wine, lemon and butter sauce with steamed vegetables.

For those of you not familiar, a soft shell crab is the blue claw crab in its molted state, when they shed their hard shells to reveal a paper thin shell. This thin shell hardens within 2-3 hours so there is a brief period to harvest the soft shell crab .

bal-bs-disc-1-023-20130605-- soft shell crab shedding shell photo judy brunk

Eating a soft shell crab is a little difficult for some people to wrap their head around, because you eat the entire crab. That includes claws, head, legs and shell (minus the eyes and the lungs). Your fish monger will clean them for you. Buy live, fresh crabs and have them cleaned before you prepare them. If you see crabs wrapped in cellophane in a grocery or fish store, pass them by, they were frozen. 

If you prefer to clean the crabs yourself, here are some basic instructions:

  1. Remember you are starting with a live crab…
  2. Get a good sharp pair of kitchen shears and cut across the front of the crab, behind the eyes and mouth to remove them (approximately a 1/2 inch cut). This will kill the crab.
  3. Squeeze out the yellow contents of the sack located directly behind the cut you just made. This yellow sack is part of the digestive system and can be eaten – personal preference. ( I choose to remove it. Research shows that chemical contaminants, such as dioxin and mercury can accumulate in this area).
  4. Once you get over the trauma of killing the crab, lift one pointed corner of the top shell and remove the gills by pulling them out of the base. The gills are beige and feathery. Now repeat on the other side of the shell.
  5. Turn the crab over and there will be a flap called the apron. Lift the apron with your fingers and pull it off the body.
  6. Rinse the entire crab removing any more yellow “mustard” from the crab and pat dry.
  7. You are now ready to cook your crab. Enjoy!

*******************************************************************************

There are many different recipes for preparing soft shell crabs, but this is how I prepare them, both fried and sauteed. 

Start both recipes with cleaned and rinsed crabs patted dry…

Photo May 11, 3 24 55 PM - DEEP FRIED SOFT SHELL CRAB

Fried Soft Shell Crabs

Ingredients:

1 cup AP flour

¼ cup cornstarch

Salt and pepper

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or homemade)

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. minced parsley

Grated cheese – to taste

To Serve:

Lettuce

Tomato

White toast or roll

Tartar sauce or mayonnaise

Cole Slaw

French Fries

Lemon wedges

Directions:

  • Heat 1-inch oil in a 12-inch skillet (I use olive oil, or you could use a neutral oil like canola or vegetable) over medium high heat until shimmering hot. Oil must be very hot, or the crabs will be soggy.
  • SET UP A BREADING STATION…
  • In a bowl combine 1 cup flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, salt, pepper, 1/2 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning – set aside
  • In another bowl, beat 2 eggs with ½ cup milk – set aside
  • In another bowl, combine 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or homemade), 1 cup panko bread crumbs, grated cheese, minced parsley, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Pat crabs dry
  • Toss in seasoned flour
  • Dip in egg & milk
  • Toss in bread crumb mixture
  • Repeat with remaining crabs
  • Place crabs in oil, shell side down
  • Be careful, the crabs can pop and spatter
  • Cook turning once, 3 minutes a side until golden
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle lightly with salt
  • Ready to eat…

********************************************************

 Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs

Photo Jul 19, 7 15 18 PM.jpg SOFT SHELL CRAB

Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil

1 ¼ cup AP flour

3 cloves of minced garlic

4 tbsp butter – divided

½ cup white wine

Juice of 2-3 lemons

2 tbsp minced parsley 

½ tbsp. Drained capers

SEASONING FOR FLOUR

1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. thyme

Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet (I use olive oil, or you could use a neutral oil like canola or vegetable) with 2 tbsp. butter over medium high heat until shimmering hot. Oil must be very hot, or the crabs will be soggy.
  • In a bowl combine 1 cup flour, 1 tsp of each: Old Bay Seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme- set aside
  • Pat crabs dry and season with salt and pepper
  • Toss in seasoned flour and shake off excess
  • Repeat with remaining crabs
  • Place crabs in oil, shell side down
  • Be careful, the crabs can pop, and spatter so stand back or use a splatter shield
  • Cook turning once, 3 minutes a side
  • Remove crabs from skillet and set aside
  • DO NOT clean out the pan.
  • To the skillet, add 2 tbsp. butter. Let the butter melt and turn a little brown
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute
  • Add capers and white wine and cook for 1- 2 minutes until slightly reduced
  • Add lemon juice and parsley and cook for 2 minutes
  • Pour sauce over crabs

*******************************************************

I hope you try one of these recipes and enjoy Soft Shell Crab Season.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to become members of DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments & emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saffron Fregola with Clams, Shrimp & Scallops

Photo Dec 11, 8 57 17 PM FREGOLA

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone,

I found another recipe I wanted to share.

If you are Italian, like me, then you know that Christmas Eve is a big culinary feast for all Italian families.

It is the Feast of the Seven Fishes or La Viglia.  Personally my favorite meal of the year.

La Viglia was held until the midnight hour when baby Jesus was born. It is an extensive seafood dinner and there has to be seven varieties of fish.

Every year I basically prepare the same menu……

  • linguine with crab sauce
  • shrimp cocktail
  • fried calamari
  • fried shrimp
  • fried eel
  • coconut shrimp
  • stuffed calamari
  • baked clams
  • crab cakes
  • baccala (cod) with tomatoes and potatoes
  • cold seafood salad (shrimp, squid, scallops, scungilli, celery, olives in a lemon olive oil dressing)
  • stuffed shrimp
  • scungilli in hot sauce
  • cold broccoli salad

This year I wanted to add something different to the menu and I started searching for recipes. I finally found a recipe that looked interesting that was on the Williams Sonoma website and decided to give it a test run. It was made with fregola pasta which I haven’t had in years so I was all excited.

WE LOVED IT and I want to share it with you today. Easy to prepare too.

It will definitely be on my table Christmas Eve.

Saffron Fregola with Seafood

A bit of culinary exotica, fregola is a type of pasta from the Italian island of Sardinia. The more common Israeli couscous may be substituted. Serve this hearty stew with a refreshing butter lettuce and pear salad and plenty of crusty bread for dipping.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb. medium scallops, tough muscles removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fregola (Sardinian couscous) or Israeli couscous
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. clams, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Crush the saffron in a small bowl and add the wine. Set aside.

In a large, heavy pot over high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add the shrimp and sear for 1 minute per side (do not cook all the way through). Transfer to a bowl. Add the scallops to the pot and sear for 1 minute per side, also without cooking all the way through. Transfer to the bowl with the shrimp.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the saffron mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the fregola and stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pot tightly and steam for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and quickly add the shrimp and scallops. Cover the pot tightly again and continue to cook just until the clams open and the shrimp and scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Discard any clams that failed to open. Ladle the stew into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011).

************************************************

I hope you try this dish and enjoy it as much as we did.

 

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

 

 

Coquille St. Jacques- with a twist

Photo Oct 24, 12 02 52 AM COQUILLE 1

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi everyone,

Here is another recipe that I would like to share with you. A flashback for me.

Back in the day when my sister Linda got married, I was 11 yrs old and missed her terribly once she moved out. Her new home wasn’t that far away from my parents house and on certain days she would pick me up to have a “sister day”, which was shopping and lunch. Just the two of us hanging out and having a lot of fun.

Linda would always find nice restaurants to go to- no fast food for us. One day we went to a French restaurant and I decided to order something I had never tried and it was “Coquille St. Jacques”. I liked all the ingredients individually and together they must be terrific. The dish was scallops and mushrooms in a cream sauce with a crispy topping.

I remember it coming to the table and I was so excited. One bite and I was hooked. I loved it. It soon became one of my favorite entrees.

When my sister Linda suddenly passed away at the age of 25 yrs old, I could never order this dish again because it always reminded me of Linda and how my life would never be the same without her.

Recently, I read an article about updated time honored recipes and there was Coquille St. Jacques on the list. This version adds shrimp to the basic recipe and I decided to give it a try (with a few twists of my own) in Memory of Linda.

It was fantastic. Bob loved it and it brought me back 48 yrs to my “sister days”. I want to share this with you now.

Give it a try. The recipe is very easy and takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

*****************************************

Coquille St. Jacques

Author: Adapted from Coup de Pouce

Serves: 4 portions

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups small scallops
  • 2 cups small shrimps shelled and deveined
  • 12 oz. (375 g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 small onion, chopped –  I used a shallot*
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp. butter
  • 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half cream (or 10%)
  • ⅓ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne *

Cooks Notes:

*I used a shallot instead of an onion

*I added 1/8 tsp. cayenne for a little kick

*I used heavy cream instead of half an half

Possible variation – add mushroom risotto

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large pan, combine scallops, shrimps, mushrooms, wine, onion, parsley, lemon juice and a pinch of salt
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes (don’t overcook)
  3. Transfer to a strainer set over a pot to reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid
  4. In the pan, melt ¼ cup of butter and add flour, mix well
  5. Pour in the reserved liquid and the cream in one shot and cook, whisking for about 3 minutes or until boiling and thick
  6. Remove from the heat and add cheese, stirring until melted
  7. Add seafood mixture and mix well
  8. Transfer in 4 shells
  9. In a bowl that can go in the microwave, melt 1tbs. of butter and then add the breadcrumbs, mix well
  10. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over shells
  11. Cook under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes or until golden and bubbling (watch this carefully- it could burn very quickly).

 

Mussels – Four Ways

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi everyone, 

Before I start making pumpkin bread and beef stew for the fall, I decided to have one of my favorite summer meals once again – mussels.

After the summer, I personally don’t make mussels again until Christmas Eve and the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

There is no set rule for this. It is just what my mother did and I can’t seem to break the family tradition.

I prepared “Drunken Mussels” in garlic, white wine, lemon and butter and then I set out to find a few more mussel recipes to add to my repertoire.

So I bought mussels and mussels and more mussels, and began to test recipes. After 10 lbs of mussels, I wanted to share my results with all of you. I hope you find a recipe that interests you and give it a try.

Here are my recipe choices for Mussels, Four Ways.

**************************

Before you start, here are instructions to properly clean and debeard mussels.

On a personal note. I always soak my mussels in cold water with sea salt for 20 minutes to release some of the sand and grit before cleaning.

Cleaning Mussels (courtesy of serious eats)

“Farm-raised mussels are thankfully quite clean to begin with and don’t require the rigorous individual scrubbing-under-water that wild mussels do, but you’ll still have to give them a quick once over.

20141026-mussels-how-to-food-lab-02.jpg

Mussels attach themselves to stable surfaces using thin, sticky membranes referred to as “beards.” Again, most farm-raised mussels will come debearded already, but the odds are good you’ll find a couple of stubborn beards left over.

20141026-mussels-how-to-food-lab-03.jpg

When you find one, grasp it between your thumb and forefinger and pull it downwards towards the hinged-end of the mussel shell. Pull firmly until it comes out and discard. If you have trouble gripping the beard with just your fingers, a dry paper towel can help.

Mussels, clams, and other bivalves tend to gape open when they’re dead, but not all gaping mussels are dead yet. Some of them are just relaxing

20141026-mussels-how-to-food-lab-04.jpg

If you happen to spot any gaping mussels in your bowl, you can check for signs of life by picking them and squeezing them a few times or knocking them with another mussel, clack clack clack. The mussel should slowly close itself back up. If it doesn’t, you’ve got a dead one on your hands. Toss it in the trash and move on with your life.

20141026-mussels-how-to-food-lab-05.jpg

And that’s it! Your mussels are ready to cook in any number of recipes.”

***************************************

STORING FRESH MUSSELS
  1. Remove from plastic bag and store either loose or in mesh bag.
  2. Place in bowl or unsealed container.
  3. Cover with clean damp cloth or paper towel. …
  4. Store in fridge (up to a few days and make sure they smell like the ocean)
  5. Drain daily any water that collects in bowl/container.

***********************************************

Recipes

Drunken Mussels

I always serve this with spaghetti with the broth from the mussels.

Photo Sep 13, 6 58 44 PM DRUNKEN MUSCLES

Recipe By: Chef John ( allrecipes.com)

“This seriously delicious drunken mussels recipe is one of the quickest shellfish preparations known to man. Bring a flavorful, wine-based broth to a boil, add mussels and cover; cook until they open, and eat. That’s it!”

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 cups white wine
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 slices bread, grilled
  • 2 lemon wedges for garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and let sizzle for about 30 seconds. Season with red pepper flakes and lemon zest, stirring for about 45 seconds.
  2. Quickly pour in wine into the pan and season with black pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, stir in mussels, and cover immediately. Shake pot and let boil for 1 minute.
  3. Stir mussels, replace cover, and let boil for 2 more minutes. The shells will begin to open. Stir in parsley, cover pot, and cook until all shells are open, 1 to 3 minutes.
  4. Serve with grilled bread and lemon wedge.

**********************************************

Beer-Steamed Mussels with Bacon

Photo Sep 12, 11 45 07 PM - USE THIS PHOTO- M- IN BEER, BACON AND MUSTARD

Recipe by: (serious eats.com)

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup Belgian-style ale, or witbier
  • 2 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed clean and beards removed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Cooks note: I reduce the mustard to 1 tsp. so it wasn’t that strong a flavor.

Directions:

Place the bacon in a large stainless-steel skillet set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set bacon aside.

Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots soften and the garlic just begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the thyme to the pan and stir in the beer, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the beer begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cleaned mussels to the pan in a single layer. Place a lid on the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, check the mussels. Using a pair of tongs, remove any mussels that have opened and transfer to a large bowl. Cover the pan again and simmer for another 5 minutes, transferring any opened mussels to the large bowl.

When all the mussels are opened and transferred to the bowl, whisk the Dijon mustard into the sauce in the pan. Taste the sauce and season with salt and black pepper. Keep in mind that the bacon, as well as the liquor given up by the mussels, are both salty, so not much additional salt may be needed.

Pour the finished sauce over the mussels, then sprinkle on the reserved bacon, as well as the chopped parsley. Serve the mussels with crusty bread and cold beer.

****************************************

Mussels with Spicy Sausage and Tomatoes

* this was a favorite

Photo Sep 12, 7 23 32 PM MUSSELS A USE THIS PHOTO -USE THIS PHOTO

Ingredients:

2-3 hot sausages – casings removed and broken into 1 inch pieces

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

4-5 garlic cloves- sliced

 1 container cherry tomatoes – sliced in half (or 1 cup san marzano tomatoes- roughly chopped)

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 stalk celery or fennel – diced (optional)

1 tbsp. flat leaf parsley – chopped

1 tsp red pepper chili flakes

Lemon slices

1 cup white wine

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

2 lbs mussels – cleaned and debearded

Directions:

  1. Heat a large stainless steel pan over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil into the hot pan. Add the butter. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Remove from the oil and set aside.
  2. ADD the garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, thyme (and celery or fennel-optional). Cook for a few minutes. ADD the wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated. ADD the broth, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil
  3. ADD the mussels, cover and cook until the mussels have opened- approximately 2-4 minutes
  4. Plate the mussels in a bowl
  5. ADD the heavy cream, sausage and parsley to the sauce and mix well. Pour over the mussels and garnish with lemon slices

Serve with toasted ciabatta bread

Clams and shrimp can also be added to this recipe.

********************************

Mussels Marinara or Fra Diavolo

Photo Sep 13, 7 21 45 PM MUSSELS MARINARARecipe by: (tasteloveandnourish.com)

INGREDIENTS:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 – 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry, crisp white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio
  • 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • pinch of sea salt and a few cracks of black pepper
  • about ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes if you’d like Fra Diavolo
  • 4 pounds mussels (I use Prince Edward Island Mussels)
  • ½ bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 baguette, warmed, for serving

Cooks note: I used 2 pounds of mussels

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic for about 2 minutes, being careful not to brown it. Add the wine and bring the heat up to high. Bring the wine to a boil and simmer for another two minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the tomatoes (I crush the whole tomatoes out of the can by hand, removing any hard stem end and discarding those. Then, pour the remaining sauce from the can into the pot as well). Add the salt and the peppers.
  2. Once the sauce is at a light simmer, add the mussels, give them a stir, raise the heat to medium and cover the pot. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until all of the mussels have opened, then stir in the parsley.
  3. Serve with the warm baguette or over pasta, if desired.

***************************************

Oh, and for the record, from Sydney Seafood Market health and safety questions…

Is it OK to eat Mussels that don’t open when they’re cooked?

When cooking Mussels, there are often a few stubborn shells that don’t open regardless of how long they’re cooked. Traditional wisdom was to discarded these (as they may have already been dead prior to cooking), you can, however, pry them open away from the plate of food, and if they smell good, they’re good to eat. If they are bad, your nose will tell you!

It’s still important however to discard any Mussels prior to cooking that aren’t closed and don’t close when gently tapped, as they’re not alive and it’s impossible to tell how long they’ve been dead for.

And remember to remove Mussels from the pan as soon as they open so as not to overcook them.

Scallops Provencal with Lemon Orzo

Photo Aug 22, 8 00 06 PM SCALLOPS PROVENCAL

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi everyone, 

Today I posted a photo on the DishingwithDiane Instagram page and received an overwhelming number of emails for the recipe.

The Instagram posts can be seen here on the blog in the right hand column.

Included with the blog photos, I also include some personal pics (mostly food) on the Instagram page, to use as a reference for future recipes that I will feature on the blog.

The scallop photo was a photo from last night’s dinner.

I was quite surprised to get such a response.

I decided to make scallops for dinner last night because I have been wanting to try Ina Garten’s recipe from Foodnetwork for Scallops Provencal. 

I recently purchased scallop shells from Sur La Table just for this recipe.

So after a morning full of email requests; I am sharing the recipe with all of you.

It was delicious, quick and extremely easy. Just make sure to have all of your ingredients ready.

I made this dish along with Lemon Orzo and I will include that recipe as well.

Have fun cooking!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

*******************************************

Scallops Provencal

From Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh bay or sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced …( I used two cloves)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, cut in 1/2

Directions

 

If you’re using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you’re using sea scallops, cut each 1 in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

Cooks Note: I kept the sea scallops whole.

In a very large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in 1 layer.

Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on 1 side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes, total.

Melt the rest of the butter in the pan with the scallops, then add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and saute for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Add the wine, cook for 1 minute, and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

Pairs well with Pinot Grigio

************************************************

Lemon Orzo

from All Recipes website

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray … Cooks note: I used 2 tbsp butter instead
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Coat pan with cooking spray. Cooks Note: I used 2 tbsp butter.

Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in pasta, broth, wine, and thyme; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente. Stir in chopped chives and lemon juice. Keep warm.