Category Archives: Seafood

Saffron Fregola with Clams, Mussels and Shrimp…

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well. Tonight I made a Lenten meal of clams, mussels and shrimp in fregola ( Sardinian pasta) with saffron and white wine. One of my favorite dishes and I posted it before with a different selection of seafood ( see directory for original post Dec/2017). Any combination works well.

I wanted to repost the recipe for all of you who need a few new ideas for Lenten meals. Enjoy every bite.

I purchased the Fregola at an Italian deli but it is also sold on Amazon if you can’t find it locally. This is my favorite brand and they are sold in a 3-pack on Amazon for $28.40.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do. The Fregola is a toasted pasta and it tastes like a nutty couscous.

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 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 lbs. mussels- scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 lbs. clams- scrubbed ( I used cockles)
  • 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
  • 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 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 and mussels, 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. Cover the pot tightly again and continue to cook just until the clams & mussels open and the shrimp 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).

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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 

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Salmon with Garlic Honey Mustard Glaze

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and are handling this deep freeze we are experiencing in most of the country. Stay warm and stay well.

I should rename this post- Dinner in a Panic….. Bob never panics about dinner and is very low key and would eat ice cream if I said that is what I planned for the meal (he never complains) but I am the one that panics because I like to have everything organized.

I am sure most of you have been in my shoes at least once without a plan for dinner and the clock ticking away.

Yesterday, Bob had the day off from work since it was President’s Day and we were busy working around the house and time flew by and I forgot to marinate the salmon we bought at the fishmonger.

Of course, I didn’t realize this until it got closer to dinner and I had planned on marinating the salmon in lots of garlic, soy sauce and maple syrup and at that point my original plan was out of the question.

First of all, I have to share with you that I am not a big fan of salmon at all. I do make it for Bob when he requests it because he loves it so much but I would rather have pasta or a chicken cutlet, anything but salmon. I usually make something else for myself on the “salmon nights” but I was just too tired last night and decided to bite the bullet and eat the salmon as well.

Since I didn’t have a plan, I had to come up with something quickly. I opened the cabinets and refrigerator and started to add a little of this and a little of that to make a glaze (Grandma would have been proud). It was as if I was on an episode of the Food Network show- Chopped.

I was praying as I prepared ingredients that the cooking Gods were with me to prepare something delicious and I am happy to report, we had success.

I am surprised to admit it, but I really enjoyed the salmon (chalk this up to something close to a Christmas Miracle).

I just have to share with you what I did, just in case you need a little inspiration one night…

I know a few weeks back I told you about a new product I found that you all loved and I received so many comments that you bought the Miss Vicky’s garlic honey; so that was my first ingredient.

But I have another foodie find to tell you about that was my second ingredient. This product helped me make the salmon glaze. A simple purchase from Trader Joes, their Sweet & Spicy Mustard Sauce. It was fabulous!

The ingredients in the mustard sauce are whole mustard seeds, red bell peppers, white distilled vinegar, green jalapenos and a touch of maple syrup, turmeric, sea salt and cloves. It was only $ 2.29 for the seven-ounce jar and I just bought it on a whim and I am so glad I did.

And before anyone asks…No, I do not get paid by Trader Joe’s to promote this product (I don’t work for them) and I do not have any sponsors on my blog, I just love sharing these foodie finds with you.

Here is a picture in case you want to look for it.

My two favorite jars in the kitchen…..

So, let me put this recipe in writing in case you want to try it…….

I served the salmon with a spinach salad and rice.

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Salmon with Garlic Honey Mustard Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6-7 oz.) skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Green onions/scallions – 2 stalks sliced
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. TJ sweet and spicy mustard sauce
  • 1 tbsp. garlic honey
  • Garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or cooking spray
  • Black sesame seeds (optional)
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  • Prepare a 9 X 13 baking dish with either 1 tbsp. of olive oil or cooking spray
  • Pat dry the salmon fillets and salt, pepper, and garlic powder both sides generously
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic honey, minced garlic and mustard
  • Divide the glaze evenly over the salmon fillets and let any extra drip into the pan
  • Dot each salmon fillet with a pat of butter (approx. ½ tbsp.) and a few black sesame seeds if using.
  • Bake in a preheated oven until salmon is cooked through about 15 minutes
  • After the 15 minutes, you can broil the salmon for 2 minutes to make it a little crispy (optional)
  • Top with sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges

ENJOY!

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and 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 and emails, 

I Love hearing from you.

Baked Cod and Cold Broccoli Salad

Hi Everyone,

I hope this weekend finds you all well.

I made another quick meal that I wanted to share with my members. I posted this to my personal Facebook page and received a lot of requests for the recipe so I wanted to share with all of you. It is simple and healthy and a break from pasta, beef or chicken.

I made a baked cod in butter sauce with blistered tomatoes garnished with lemon, scallions and parsley. And as a side dish I made an Italian style COLD broccoli salad with garlic and lemon. Two quick dishes to make one great meal.

I tweaked this recipe from the author Katya at the Littlebroken.com website a few years ago. Her original recipe called for 4 tbsp of butter and I cut that down and she used 1/4 tsp sugar which I eliminated and I added some dry herbs and white wine. I always tweak recipes to my liking.

So here is my version of Cod with Tomatoes and Herb Butter….

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of fresh Cod cut into 6 oz portions
  • 1 medium shallot- finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes- cut in half
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp of freshly chopped herbs (basil, parsley, chives) for garnish
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ lemons – 1 full lemon for juice / ½ sliced for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally

Add the cherry tomatoes, chicken stock, and red pepper flakes (if using). Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until tomatoes break down and release their juices. Add white wine and simmer a minute or two longer until the liquid has almost evaporated.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the butter and fresh herbs. The butter will make a velvety and thick sauce. Cover and keep warm while the cod bakes.

Drizzle the bottom of a casserole dish with the 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil. (Choose a dish where the cod will fit in a single layer with some room around each piece).

Pat the cod dry and place in the casserole dish in a single layer. Season with salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste. Drizzle the top lightly with the remaining ½ tbsp. of olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 12-18 minutes or until easily flaked. (Baking time depends on the thickness of the cod).

Remove from the oven and evenly spread the tomato butter mixture over the cod. Cover again with aluminum foil and let in stand at room temperature for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Garnish with additional chopped herbs and serve immediately.

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Now for the side dish… The beauty of cold Broccoli Salad is that it can be made ahead of time. I usually make this is the morning so the lemon & garlic have time to flavor the broccoli.

This salad is a staple for our Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve.

Cold Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heads of broccoli crowns
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the broccoli)
  • 2-3 larges cloves of garlic- chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (preferably from Italy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooks Note:

  1. whole broccoli can also be used too- just peel and slice the stalks into bite size pieces
  2. adding kalamata olives is also an option
  3. if you prefer, you can also sauté the garlic in the olive oil for an infused garlic flavor and pour over the broccoli once it cools. I do this step when I have extra time.

Directions:

Cut the broccoli crowns into bite size pieces

I steam the broccoli for approx. 6 minutes until a knife can be inserted easily and they are tender. I think this keeps a nice green color ( Boiling is another option if you prefer).

Once the broccoli is cooked put it in a large bowl and while still warm, add the lemon juice and toss well.

Add the olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and toss well to cover the broccoli with all the flavors.

Can be served warm or cold, but I usually chill this is the refrigerator and take it out 10-15 minutes before serving.

Cooks Note: can also be made with cauliflower or Romanesque.

I hope you try one or both of these simple dishes and enjoy. Leave me a note in the comments as to what you think of the recipes and include your pics of these dishes. Stay well.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and 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 and emails

I Love hearing from you.

“Garlic” honey and Soy Broiled Salmon

Hi everyone,

I couldn’t wait to share this with all of you today. I found a new product that I love that inspired this dish.

It is “Little Vickys Garlic Honey”

Among all the Christmas “foodie” gift baskets that we received, included in one of the baskets was this jar of honey with a flavor combination that we have never seen before, honey infused with garlic and I really wanted to try it immediately.

This honey is good with grilled meats, cheese platters and I will try it on a homemade pizza, just fabulous!

Since it was raw, (a definite restriction for a transplant patient), I normally couldn’t have it but it smelled so delicious that I called my transplant nutritionist to ask if I could try it. Her reply was as follows ” I can only use 1 tbsp. and cook it well.” That was all I needed to hear and now for a recipe.

I have two recipes that I use when I make salmon, one with honey and one with maple syrup. I will post both for you today but obviously I used the honey recipe with the new garlic honey and it was amazing !!!!

Below is the recipe from the Eating Well website that I use. I found this recipe years ago and I have tweaked it to my liking. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did.

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Honey & Soy Broiled Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 scallion, minced (Save some for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey (garlic honey if you have the opportunity)
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-pound salmon fillet (skinned and cut into 4 portions). See cooks note below how to skin salmon.
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Cooks Note: to toast sesame seeds….heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add seeds and stir CONSTANTLY for 2 minutes until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Cooks Note- How to skin a salmon fillet– Place salmon with skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip a long knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30-degree angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.

Directions:

Whisk scallions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey dissolves

Place the salmon in a sealable plastic bag, ADD 3 tbsp of the sauce. Seal the bag and let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce.

Preheat the broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil and either coat with a thin layer of oil or use cooking spray.

After 15 minutes, transfer the salmon to the baking dish, “skinned side” down. (Discard the marinade).

Broil the salmon (4-6 inches from heat source) until cooked through, 6-10 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sauce and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

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This is the Maple Syrup & Soy Glazed Salmon Recipe from a previous post….click on the link below to open.

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2016/04/16/maple-soy-glazed-salmon/

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and 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 and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto

Hi Everyone,

 I hope the new year is off to a great start for all of you.

To me, it felt like this Monday was officially the start of the new year instead of last Friday since Bob and I lounged around most of the weekend after we put away all the Christmas decorations and Christmas dishes and platters and cookie tins.

Everything is back in its place in the attic, except for the Christmas tree. The tree will stay up until the Feast of the Epiphany or Little Christmas on January 6th and then we take the tree down and hope for a blessed year with much happiness, love, good health, and beautiful memories until we see the ornaments come out of the box and the tree go up once again.

I am getting back in the swing of things and starting a new routine for 2021 and the first item on my agenda is cooking and preparing healthier meals.

I am not starting a diet because that is always short lived but I am getting back to not giving in to all the sweets and treats around the house that arrived during the holidays. You know, the 37 days between Thanksgiving and New Years Day when caution is thrown to the wind and pounds add up on the scale. The cookies are now a memory.

Of course, I had to keep the Italian tradition of sausage and lentils for New Years Day to bring good luck. I made lentil soup with pancetta, carrots and spinach for New Years Day and sausage and peppers for New Year’s Eve so we were covered for good luck (I hope & pray).

The official old school Italian meal is lentils with a particular sausage called “Cotechino”– (see the photo below). I have substituted the Cotechino sausage because Cotechino is too fatty for me and I never liked the taste so I used sausage with broccoli rabe -which happens to be another good luck food.

Now back to regular weeknight meals.

I wanted to share a recipe I prepared today that was delicious and 30 minutes to cook and approximately 15 minutes to prepare. Today I made Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto. It is both, filling and easy.

I absolutely Love risotto of any kind and years ago I copied a basic recipe from Williams Sonoma and have tweaked the ingredients for different varieties like pumpkin, butternut squash, mushroom and now shrimp and asparagus.

I know, you think I would be tired of fish after the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner for Christmas Eve but shrimp is a weakness that I could have every night. I hope you try the recipe and enjoy.

Risotto with Shrimp & Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups low sodium stock (chicken, vegetable, or seafood)
  • COOKS NOTEwhen making seafood I lower the stock to 5 cups and add 1 (8 oz.) bottle of clam juice to = the 6 cups (this substitution is optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups medium grain rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup grated cheese (locatelli or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 bunch asparagus (washed and diced)

Directions

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a simmer. Reduce the heat to keep warm.

In a large saucepan over medium heat melt 2 tbsp of the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp and asparagus and cook stirring for 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside and leave the asparagus to continue to cook.

Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains are hot and coated with the oil and butter, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and continue to cook, stirring often until the liquid is absorbed.

Add the stock ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. The risotto is done when the rice grains are creamy on the outside and firm yet tender to the bite, 20 -25 minutes.

Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tbsp of butter and cheese. Add the shrimp back in to the risotto and mix well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.

(can be drizzled with a good finishing olive oil).

Serves 4-6

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and 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 and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta

Click on photos to enlarge and back arrow to return to normal size.

Hi Everyone,

This past week my house was all about shrimp recipes. Bob picked up 2 lbs. of shrimp and I was planning on making a big pot of gumbo; some for now and some to freeze and then I stumbled upon this recipe for a shrimp appetizer on Pinterest that looked interesting.

I discovered this recipe during one of my late night recipe searches. It called for very few ingredients which is one criteria I need when making any appetizer so I thought that I would give it a try for a quick lunch for Bob and I.

I have to be completely honest with all of my members regarding this recipe…

The taste of this appetizer was great but for my personal tastes it was a little too salty because of the cheese I chose to use. I used a regular white cheddar and I think that next time I would definitely buy the lower sodium variety.

In addition, I would ease up a little on the mayonnaise and make more of the shrimp taste shine through. It was still enjoyable but I have to tweak most of my recipes and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

We made it for a quick “taste test” lunch but if you were to serve it for guests I would cut the bread more evenly into perfect squares.

Here is the recipe from Pinterest

courtesy of Jamhands.net

Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta
Makes about 16 slices when cut

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound cooked shrimp, tails on is fine
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 large loaf ciabatta bread, sliced in half like a large sandwich
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of cheddar jack cheese

Oops, I almost forgot the dill …

Directions:

  1. Remove the tails from the shrimp and set aside. In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp and old bay seasoning. Cook just for a minute or two until coated well with the seasoning. Remove from heat and let cool. When cooled, chop into small pieces.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl with the mayo, garlic, chives, dill, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread onto the cut ciabatta bread. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 10-13 minutes. Ovens vary so check it at 10 minutes to see if it looks completely warmed through and that the cheese is melted. Slice into sticks. Serve warm.

Adapted from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen.

Ready for the oven …

Final product ……

The post and recipe for the most delicious gumbo will be coming soon… watch for it.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and 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 and emails, 

I Love hearing from you.

Seafood Recipes

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

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with your family and friends.

My holiday was wonderful because my son was able to come for the holiday for the first time in four years. (He is usually working).

I followed the Italian Christmas Eve tradition and had the “Feast of the Seven Fishes”. This has to be my favorite meal of the year!

I have been getting a lot of requests for the recipes on my personal Facebook page and decided to post all of the recipes that I use to the blog, so you can all enjoy them.

Some recipes are so old that I don’t remember where I got them from, some are a combination of my recipe tweaks over the years and some are fairly new from various websites that I will give credit to when I know the author. 

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

I wish you peace, happiness, love, health and many blessings in 2019!

Stay well, 

Diane

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Thank you for visiting my blog and please 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 and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

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Crab Meat Stuffed Shrimp

(I do not remember where I got this recipe).

Photo Dec 25, 8 16 42 PM STUFFED SHRIMP

2 dozen jumbo shrimp
1 med onion finely chopped
1/2 med green pepper diced fine
1/2 cup of celery finely chopped
1/2 cup of butter melted and divided
1 lb. of lump crab meat *
1 large egg beaten
3/4 cup of cracker crumbs (saltine or Ritz – your choice)
1/2 cup of mayo
1 tbsp. mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp ground red pepper

paprika and lemon for garnish

*Cooks Note: I use Phillips lump crab meat in the black can. Sold in Costco.

Peel shrimp leaving tails in tack, cut slit almost through back of shrimp using paring knife. open shrimp to flatten and place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray or drizzled with olive oil and set aside.

In a skillet, cook onion, pepper, and celery and 1/4 cup of butter, stir often and cook until soft.

Combine crab meat, egg, cracker crumbs, mayo, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper in a bowl. Stirring gently add in the cooked veggie mixture and mix well.

Top each shrimp with approx. 2 to 3 tbsp. of crab meat filling…and sprinkle with paprika and drizzle remaining 1/4 cup of butter over top of stuffed shrimp.

Bake uncovered at 350 for about 30 minutes and then put under the broiler for about 5 minutes till tops are nice and browned …basting with pan juices while broiling, serve with lemon

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Saffron Fregola with Seafood

(This recipe is courtesy of Williams Sonoma)

Photo Dec 25, 8 24 45 PM FREGOLA

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

Cooks Note: I add mussels and cockles

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 saute 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 and mussels if using, 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 shellfish that failed to open. Ladle the stew into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

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Cod with Tomatoes and Herb Butter

(This recipe is courtesy of –Author: Katya @ https://www.littlebroken.com)

Photo Dec 25, 8 30 18 PM COD WITH TOMATOES

INGREDIENTS

Tomato and Herb butter

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1-pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped herbs (basil, parsley, chives, cilantro), plus extra for garnish

Cod

  • 2 – 2¼ pounds fresh cod fillets, cut into 6-8 oz. portions*
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Tomato and Herb Butter

  1. In a small saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté shallot and garlic for 4-5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-17 minutes or until tomatoes break down and release their juices and liquid has almost evaporated.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter and fresh herbs. The herb butter should be velvety and thick. Cover and keep warm while the cod is baking.

Cod

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle the bottom of a casserole dish lightly with olive oil. You want a dish big enough to fit the cod in a single layer with some room around or you will get too much juice during baking.
  3. Pat dry the cod really well and place in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper to taste but be generous. Drizzle the top lightly with olive oil and squeeze of fresh lemon. I used about ½ lemon. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 12-18 minutes or until easily flaked. Baking time will depend on the thickness of the cod.
  4. Remove from the oven and evenly spread the tomato butter over the cod. Cover back with aluminum foil and let stand at room temperature for 1-2 minutes before serving. You just want all the flavors to come together.
  5. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs, if desired, and serve immediately.

NOTES

*I used about 2¼ pounds of cod that I was able to cut into six (6-8 oz.) individual portions
**This cod serves really well with cooked rice, quinoa, or crusty bread to soak in all the juices.

Serving size: 1 (6-8 oz.) cod fillet with butter sauce

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Stuffed Calamari

(This recipe is mine from a combination of different recipes over the years).

Photo Dec 25, 8 44 34 PM (1) STUFFED CALAMARI

  • 1 lb. calamari tubes & tentacles (purchase squid already cleaned)
  • 2 ½ cups Italian style breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • ¼ cup fine diced parsley
  • ¾ cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup milk & 1 egg (lightly beaten) OR 2 eggs
  • ½ cup olive oil OR LESS
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 oz each: diced shrimp * chopped calamari * crab meat
  • ½ cup chopped onion sautéed in 2 tbsp butter
  • Splash of white wine
  • GenovaTonno tuna in oil (optional- gold can)
  • Pointed toothpicks
  1. Sauté chopped onion in 2 tbsp butter and set aside
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, cheese, 1 cup milk, 1 egg, lemon zest, diced fish, splash of white wine, salt, pepper, onion and butter mixture and olive oil.
  3. The mixture should me slightly mealy but hold together if you squeeze it in the palm of your hand. (a little loose- needs more breadcrumbs).
  4. Take a small amount of stuffing and fry to test for seasoning before stuffing the tubes.
  5. Stuff each calamari tube halfway full, using your fingers to stuff the mixture well into each calamari tube. (When the calamari cook, they blow up, so you can’t fill them too full of stuffing or they will split open).
  6. Close each calamari tube with a toothpick
  7. Add to the fish sauce in the last ½ hour of cooking

Alternate directions is to bake calamari in tomato sauce in a separate baking pan.

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

Seafood Salad

(This recipe is courtesy of Deborah Mele from Italian Food Forever. I have admired all of her recipes for years. She is fabulous.)

Photo Dec 25, 8 44 53 PM (1) SEAFOOD SALAD

Antipasti di Mare ~ This is a wonderful Christmas Eve appetizer but is tasty year round. This seafood salad often contains octopus as well as shrimps, scallops, and calamari, but if you prefer, you can certainly leave the octopus out.  The octopus requires a much longer cooking time, so if you choose to include it, you will need to add an additional hour or so to your preparation time.

Serves 6

3 Cups White Wine

5 Bay Leaves

2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed

2 Lemons

1 Pound Calamari, Cleaned And Cut Into Rings

1 Pound Medium Shrimp, Cleaned And Deveined

1 Pound bay Scallops 

1 Cup Black Olives

Chopped celery

Dressing:

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Lemon Juice

3 Large Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced Br

1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley

Dash Red Pepper Flakes

Salt & Pepper To Taste

In a stockpot, combine 3 quarts of water, the wine, bay leaves, and crushed garlic. Slice the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the mixture. Drop the lemons into the pot. Bring the mixture first to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium low.

First cook the shrimp, cook 2 minutes and remove from the pot. Cook the calamari 1 ½ minutes and remove from the pot as well. If you are cooking scallops, cook in the same manner for 2 minutes. Mix the seafood together and set aside.

Place the seafood in a bowl and add the chopped celery. Add the dressing ingredients and mix well. Cover and let marinade a minimum of 12 hours. Just before serving, adjust the seasonings, and add the black olives if you are using them. Serve
Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2002

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

Coconut Shrimp and Fried Calamari

Photo Dec 25, 9 27 12 PM CALAMARI AND COCONUT SHRIMP

Fried Calamari

(Recipe courtesy of  theforkbite.com).

Ingredients

Calamari:

  1. 1 lb. calamari, bodies sliced into 1/2-inch rings, tentacles left whole
  2. 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  3. 1 cup flour
  4. 2 tsp paprika
  5. 2 tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp black pepper
  7. 1 tsp garlic powder
  8. 1 tsp cayenne
  9. 1 tsp red chili flakes
  10. oil for frying
  11. chopped parsley for garnish
  12. lemon wedges to serve

Lemon aioli:

  1. 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  2. zest and juice of 1 lemon
  3. dash of Tabasco
  4. salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prep 15 minutes * cook 45 minutes * ready in 1 hour

  1. Prepare lemon aioli – whisk together mayo and tabasco- season with salt and pepper
  1. Soak calamari in buttermilk for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Preheat frying oil to 350 degrees F.
  3. Combine flour with seasonings from paprika – red chili flakes.
  4. Dredge calamari in seasoned flour, tossing evenly to coat.
  5. Carefully drop a handful of the calamari into the hot oil.
  6. Cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to a paper lined baking sheet.
  8. Repeat with remaining calamari.
  9. Sprinkle parsley on top. Serve with lemon wedges and lemon aioli.

Notes:  Why buttermilk instead of eggs? The acidity in the buttermilk helps keep the calamari tender and helps create a lighter, crispier batter.

So, adding eggs or breadcrumbs is not necessary.

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

Coconut Shrimp

(This recipe courtesy of a friend, Marcia Haynes Bohle).

Coconut Shrimp

1/2 tsp salt

 2 ½ C flour divided

1 tsp white pepper

1/2 C cornstarch

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1/2 tsp minced garlic

 1 ½ C sparkling water

1 tsp paprika

 2 C panko bread crumbs

2 ½ C shredded coconut

Vegetable oil for frying

1 lb. Raw Shrimp- peel/de-vein, leave tail on.

Directions:

In a gallon zip lock bag: 1/2 C flour & 1/2 C cornstarch

In a shallow mixing bowl: 1 C flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, 1 egg, 1 ½ C S. Pellegrino or other sparkling water.

On a foil lined jelly roll pan: 2 C panko bread crumbs, 2 1/2 C shredded coconut, 1 C flour (toss together).

Peel & de-vein the shrimp. Leave the tail on.

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place in the zip lock bag with flour & cornstarch. Shake to coat.

 In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, garlic, spices, egg, sparkling water. This should make a batter, just a little thinner than pancake batter. Holding by the tail, dip each shrimp into the batter an onto the jelly roll pan which has a mixture of bread crumbs, coconut and flour. Coat well with the coconut mixture and chill the breaded shrimp for 30 min.

Deep fry for 2-3 min in vegetable oil. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sweet & sour sauce, sweet Thai chili sauce or whichever sauce you like. I’m guesstimating the measurements so feel free to tweak it any way you like.

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

Baked Clams Oreganata

(This recipe courtesy of CookingItalianComfortFood)

Photo Dec 25, 8 36 15 PM BAKED CLAMS

  • 18 little neck clams with reserved clam juice
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil plus more to drizzle over clams
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

lemon wedges for garnish

Unless you have worked at a clam bar, shucking clams is not an easy task. Here is an easy way to get the clams opened and save your fingers from shucking.

 Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. After you washed and scrubbed the clams, place in a single layer on a Focus Foodservice Commercial Bakeware 13 by 18 Inch 18 Gauge Aluminum Half Sheet Pan
Place in the oven for only 2-3 minutes. This will be enough to loosen the clams up so they will be easy to open.

Take the clams out of the oven and with a butter knife or other thin knife without teeth, pry open the clams. I open the clams over a bowl to make sure I catch all the juice that comes out, you will use it in the stuffing. Open up the clam, get rid of the top shell, and loosen the clam in its shell by sliding the knife under the clam.

In a medium bowl mix together the bread crumbs, oregano, parsley, garlic, grated cheese, 2 tablespoons of reserved strained clam juice, olive oil, and black pepper.

Take the clam and hold it over the bowl with the stuffing. Top the clams with this mixture, but don’t pack down the bread crumbs. Drizzle with some olive oil.

Place them under the broiler until the clams are done and the bread crumb is crispy and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges.

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Shrimp Cocktail

(This recipe courtesy of Food Network)

Photo Dec 24, 7 12 56 PM SHRIMP COCKTAIL

Court Bouillon:

  • 10 cups cold water
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Shrimp:

  • 1 pound medium or large shrimp, in the shell, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Cocktail Sauce, recipe follows
  • Lemon wedges

Directions

Put the water, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, lemon, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, set a cover on top slightly ajar, and cook for 10 to 30 minutes.

Drop the shrimp into the liquid and turn off the heat. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until they curl and turn pink, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for medium shrimp, 3 minutes for large ones. Drain and cool to room temperature. Peel the shrimp and remove the vein along the curve of the shrimp, if desired. Refrigerate if not serving right away. If refrigerated, bring the shrimp to room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

To serve put the cocktail sauce in a medium bowl and surround with the shrimp, or loop the shrimp over the edge of an individual cocktail glass and top with the sauce. Garnish with the lemon and serve.

Optional Tip: To de-vein the shrimp before cooking, hold a shrimp between the thumb and forefinger with the rounded side of the shrimp upward. Place the pointed end of a wooden skewer at the junction of the second and third segments of the shrimp shell, about 1/8-inch down from the top. Gently push the skewer through the shell and then lift up to remove the vein.

Cocktail Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 4 teaspoons prepared horseradish, or to taste, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce, to taste

Combine the ketchup, lemon zest and juice, horseradish, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Add hot sauce, if desired. Mix well, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

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

Crab Sauce (usually served with linguine for Christmas Eve)

(This recipe is mine combined from various recipes over the years).

Photo Dec 24, 7 41 49 PM LINGUINE WITH CRAB SAUCE

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 (your fish monger will clean them and just rinse them when you get home).

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

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And to end the meal, a platter of Christmas Cookies

Photo Dec 26, 10 06 03 AM CHRISTMAS COOKIES 2018

(recipes posted for the cookies in the following link)

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2017/12/22/christmas-cookies-recipes-2017/

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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…

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 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

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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

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