Tag Archives: shellfish

Cream of Scallop Soup

Due to a little accident in a swimming pool involving a flip, a misplaced hand, and a particularly vicious wall, I am current without use of one of my fingers on my right hand. If there are more than the average amount of misspellings for the next few days, let’s feel free to blame the injured finger.

Since I’m going to be exploring Ireland and Scotland both via books, and in person, I thought it would be interesting if I could produce a few of the recipes from the region that happened to strike my fancy. I’ve touched upon Irish food before, albeit briefly, so I may get a little more in depth.

The first recipe captured my attention for two reasons – First, it’s fairly simple to make and I didn’t wish to tax myself too much yesterday afternoon. Secondly, it contains scallops, also known as “nature’s perfect shellfish”.

I really enjoyed this dish. Yes, it’s a little simple for those of us who prefer chowders, but from my point of view, scallops are best when simplified. As an added bonus, this soup is very cheap to make, with all of the ingredients adding up to only a little over 12 dollars (we got the scallops for 7 dollars a pound).

I found this recipe in The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook, and altered it just a tad.

  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 6 cups light cream or whole milk, or any combination of the two
  • 1 Tablespoon Anchovy Paste
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • White pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb bay scallops, washed, drained and patted dry
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh Dill, chopped

In a medium sized sauce pan that has been placed over medium high heat, add the onions and butter. Allow the butter to melt and cook the onions until they just start to turn translucent, about five minutes. Add the flour and whisk together and allow to turn a light brown.

Slowly pour in the cream, just as if you were making a bechamel sauce. Cook between 8 – 10 minutes, ensuring that the soup is smooth. Stir in the Anchovy paste and lemon juice and add pepper to taste.

Add the Scallops to the soup and then immediately lower the heat to medium/medium low. Cook for another four minutes and remove from the heat completely. Add two tablespoons of the dill and mix in well, and save the remaining dill for garnishing the tops of individual servings.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6



Ah, fish stew. Not just fish stew but Italian-American fish stew (although there’s some mention that it may be Portugese in origin). It’s wonderul dish on a crisp October afternoon. Spicy and savory made exponentially better by a slice or two from a fresh baguette.

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups fish stock(although chicken stock can be used in its place)
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • 4 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbl Tobasco Sauce
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, de-veined and peeled
  • 1 lb cod, diced into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 lb crab meat
  • 1/2 lb calamari
  • 1/2 lb sea scallops
  • 1 lb mussels

Grind three cloves of garlic and the jalapeno with a mortar and pestle into a paste. Place into a bowl and whisk in the egg yolk. Drizzle all but two tablespoons of the olive oil into the egg and whisk into an emulsification. Cover and place in the refrigerator until later.

Place the remaining olive oil into the bottom of a soup pot placed over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic as well as the onions, peppers, and celery. Cook until the onions are translucent and then add the anchovies, Using a spatula, grind the anchovies into a paste, mixing well into the onions and peppers. Add the saffron, and pepper to taste.

Pour in the red wine, fish stock, clam juice and diced tomatoes. Cover the soup pot, and allow to stew for 40-50 minutes. Add the tomato paste.

Remove a tablespoon or two of the stew and temper it into the egg/olive oil emulsion. Then, in turn, add the emulsion back to the stew and mix in well. Add the Worcestershire suace, tobasco and the red wine vinegar. Add the fish, crab, shrimp and calamari and cook for 10 minutes. Add the shell fish and lower the heat to medium low. Allow the stew to simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve with bread and top with parsley and/or croutons.

Serves 6-8

Technorati Tags: Recipes, Fish Stew, Cioppino

The Lobster Misdirection

By now I am sure that many of you have heard that Whole Foods is no longer going to see live lobsters. Their stated reason is that it’s unethical to keep them out of their environment for an extended length of time.

And yet…something doesn’t sound right about this. To me, this is a decision based off of the worst of information, information that comes from us anthropomorphizing an animal.

Recent information from Norwegian research has shown that Lobsters do not feel pain. Bob Bayer, who heads the Lobster Institute and is a University of Maine professor, has said that “They have no brain, he said. Therefore, they do not feel pain. It’s a judgment based on the anatomy of the nervous system. No brain (means) a lack of processing system”.

As this Norwegian report has been around since a least Feburary of 2005, Whole Foods has most likely been aware of it. So what other motivation could they possibly have in discontinuing lobster sales?

Well, possibly profit margins for one. The sale and upkeep of the lobster tank would eat into the cost of what is arguably a low turnover item. Plus the tanks take up valuable real estate in a grocery store, space that can be used to sell items with larger margins and turn over in sales quicker. The one thing grocery stores are accutely aware of is how much money a foot of space can bring into the store on a daily, quarterly and yearly basis.

Considering the fact that lobsters are still going to be sold in Whole Foods, most likely flash frozen along with hundreds of other packed together brethern. And considering that it will be most likely fish that takes over the space left empty by the departed tanks, fish that are killed by suffocation and in some instances gutted and bled whilst still alive, it’s hard for me to swallow this “ethical treatment of lobsters” argument.

tags technorati : Whole Foods Lobster Food

Salted Shrimp – v.1

This is Tara’s version of Salted Shrimp, one that I was only partially aware of. My own version, which will be posted at a later date, will demonstrate quite clearly our perspectives on food.

(HINT: She takes a far more healthy approach than I).

  • 1/2 lb of 12-16 shrimp (those are the medium sized ones)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

De-head, de-vein and de-shell the shrimp.

In a medium stock pan, bring 1-2 cups of water (enough so the water is about 1/2 inch deep) to a boil. Lower to medium heat. Add shrimp and red chili pepper flakes. Boil until they get that beautiful orange/ pink color, flipping them after 3-5 minutes. Drain.

Sprinkle the juice, salt, and pepper (in that order) over the shrimp. Toss lightly.

Serves 2

Technorati Tags: Food, Recipes, Shrimp

Cozze al Limone – Mussels and Lemon

Cozze al Limone

The first official Sicilian recipe on this site is perhaps the easiest…Lemon and mussels.

I think I’m in love with this dish. Firstly, I’m already well acquainted with mussels, as there’s a fair amount available right here in the Puget Sound area.

Secondly, this is one of those dishes that take absolutely no time to make. On a busy day, this is a perfect dish to finish off the evening.

Quick note: You want to bring out your higher quality olive oil, as it plays an integral part in the flavors.

  • 2 lbs fresh mussels
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

Steam your mussels over boiling water. As they start to open, whisk together in a small bowl the juice of the lemon, the olive oil, salt, pepper and the parsley.

When the mussels are cooked, remove the top part of the shell and place on a plate. Drizzle the lemon/olive oil over top.

Serves 6

Technorati Tags: food, recipes, mussels, Italian Food, seafood

Spicy Crab Cakes with Tomato-Onion Sauce

Crab Cakes

This is the last potato recipe for the time being, having successfully demonstrated several uses for the tuber. I made this recipe because I wanted to do a potato based dish where the pototo was used more as a binding agent rather than for the potatoes taste. A crab cake is as good as an example as any of this.

For those of you who like cooking on high heat, this is the recipe for you. The quicker you can fry these up, the crispier they seem to be.

Crab Cakes

  • 12 oz crab meat
  • 6 oz mashed potatoes
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard, mild
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 habenero pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp fresh oregeno
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Flour, for dredging

Tomato-Onion Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can of whole tomatoes, drained
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Malt Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
  • 2 Tsp dried red pepper flakes

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crab meat with the mashed potatoes. Add the herbs, spices and peppers. Mix in the egg and the egg yolk and combine well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For the sauce, place a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Place in butter and allow to melt. Add the onions, tomatoes and garlic. Cook until onions just become soft, about 5 minutes. Add the water, vinegar coriander and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

Puree the sauce, either with a stick blender or food processor. Pour into a bowl and serve either chilled or warm.

Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Heat a high smoke oil (vegetable will do nicely) in the skillet. Meanwhile, remove the crab mixture from the refrigerator. Shape a spoonful of the mixture into a patty. Dredge in the flour and tap off any excess. Place in skillet and fry until the bottom has a orange-rust colored crust (about 2-3 minutes). Flip and cook to completion. Repeat this process for each crab cake, adding more oil to the skillet when necessary. When each crabcake is done, allow to drain on a paper towel.

Serves 4-6

Technorati Tags: Food, Recipes, Crab+Cakes, Crab

Crab and Avocado Salad

I think I’m in love with this recipe. Short and easy to prepare (under 5 minutes after you set your ingredients), and also very tasty. If you want a bit of kick to this, leave the seeds in the jalapeno peppers.

  • 1 cup Crab Meat, Cooked (approx 1/2 lb)
  • 2 Jalapeno Chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 Red Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Tomato, Chopped, 1 small
  • 2 tbl Cilantro, Fresh, Snipped
  • 2 tbl Olive Oil
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • Ground Pepper (to Taste)
  • 2 Avocados, Peeled & Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice

Place the Crab meat in a medium glass mixing bowl. Add the jalapenos, Onion, garlic, tomato and cilantro. Mix well. Add the oil, salt and pepper.

Fold in the chopped avacados, being careful not to smash the salad. Mix in the lime juice. Either serve immediately, or cover and chill.

Serves 6

Technorati Tags: Food and Drink, Recipes, Avocado Salad, Crab Meat