Been a Tad Crazy Around Here… Here’s Some Sushi.

Sorry for the bit of delay with posting (got a bunch which will be coming up throughout the week, but things have either been a tad crazy (i.e. work) or like the past 2 weekends I have not been around (one weekend to my brother down in Maryland and this past Father’s Day weekend we had visited my parents up in Northern New Jersey).

In the meantime, I had 2 separate attempts within the past week and a half of making some sushi. A combination of tuna, salmon, scallops, and a few other white fish.

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Enjoy.

Scampi with some fresh squeezed lemon

To be honest, I am quite unsure of the last time I had made a shrimp scmapi myself- I’ve had it out to eat at places or in the past when visiting my parents but making my own- hmmm, at least before I started blogging.

I started off with some uncooked shrimp (26-30 count per pound variety) and I took them out of their shells and placed on paper towel to get rid of some of the extra water weight. I then put them in a large bowl, zested 1 lime (yes a lime, not a lemon), tossed in some ancho chili powder, a little bit of salt, and some cilantro and mixed together.

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In a medium pan, I heated up 3 teaspoons of butter and 2 of olive oil. While slowly heating I diced up a couple of garlic cloves (4 or 5) and tossed this into the now hot butter/oil mixture. I sauteed the garlic for a minute or two and then tossed the shrimp in on top. I let them cook for a few minutes and then added in 1/3 cup of Rose wine (did not have a bottle of white open but this is just as good). I then simmered this mixture until the shrimp turned pink.

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Separately, I had a pot of water boiling and had tossed in some thin spaghetti. Once the spaghetti was ready i drained it out and tossed the shrimp/sauce mixture into the pot. I then squuezed the juice out of two lemons and tossed in about 1/2 cup of fresh diced parsley and mixed it all together.

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As you can tell, the wife was happy, so scampi was a success.

Enjoy.

Red Snapper on the Grill

Ahhh, so now with grilling season in full swing, it is time to have some fun and do some different things then the same old bbq chicken, hamburger (though I have made some insane versions), or steak (it does seem like this is something I can never get enough of). I do have a bit of a fondness for just about anything seafood (have not had the courage to try some raw oysters yet…possibly soon though), I decided to go with some Red Snapper.

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One of the things I love about shopping at Wegman’s is the vast variety of fish they start to bring in this time of year and it is not just filets but I can get the whole fish- and when it comes to grilling, the whole fish is the way to go.

On this particular day I was in the mood for some Red Snapper. After slicing it down the belly (and leaving it still intact as one piece) I seasoned it with some salt, peppercorn, sweet paprika, chili powder, diced scallions, and finished with some tangerine slices. I then closed the fish back up and coated the outside with some olive oil.

Before I tossed this on the grill (as it would not take too terribly long to cook) I had prepared some whole carrots which I peeled, cut slits into, and basted with a combination of brown sugar, honey, rum, and whiskey. This was wraped in aluminum foil and tossed on the grill to slowly cook and caramelize with the carrots.

While the carrots were on the grill, and then followed by the fish, I proceeded to make a simple mango sauce on the stove. I cut up a fresh mango into chuncks and hated on low. I proceeded to add in some diced sweet onions, some sherry vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and some salt and pepper. Upon completion of the fish, I then cut it into portions and topped with the mango sauce.

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Enjoy.

Some Quick Sweet-Potato Crusted Flounder

This is one of those meals that really embraces the concept of a quick dish- yet something so full of flavor and it beats eating out fast food if you are the type always in a rush. As with most “white-bodied” and mild fish, Flounder falls into the category where you can flavor it so many ways and its rather quick cooking time makes it a nice option for situation where you do not have a whole lot of time or if you do not want to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen.

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I initially coated the filets with some flour and then did an eggwash. With my microplane (you can utilize any type of a shredder) I took a peeled sweet potato and grated it. I tossed this in a bowl with some panko bread crumbs and some fresh chopped oregano. I then coated both sides of the flounder filets with the mixture._DSC0082

In a saucepan, I threw in a mixture of sesame (for flavor) and grapeseed oil (my normal frying type oil) and heated. I then tossed in the filets and let fry for a few minutes, then flipped the filets and did the same on the other side until the coating started to get a nice browness to it. I then added the optional soy sauce topping as well.

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I kept the side dish simple with some seasoned fries, but for a healthier take can just steam some vegetables (perhaps something along the line of brocolli would pair nicely with this dish.

Enjoy.

Pancetta Topped Shrimp

I wanted to do something with shrimp but couldn’t go overly spicy, so I did a slightly different take on a scampi.

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I started off with a teaspoon of olive oil, some orange/lemon peel and sauteed the pancetta until crisp. I put that one the side leaving the oil in saucepan and added in some white wine, chopped garlic, rosemary, and oregano leaves. After a minute or two of sauteeing the garlic I then added in the shrimp which I had pre-seasoned with salt and peppercorn.

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Upon completion of the shrimp being cooked I then warmed up the pancetta and placed over the shrimp. The sauce from the shrimp was then added to the pasta along with some fresh melted butter.

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Enjoy.

Surf and Turf

Always a good combination, you can never go wrong with surf and turf. Its the best of both worlds- a nice steak and some really great seafood. There are so many ways of doing this as there are many types of steaks and everyone has there own preferences when it comes to seafood so this is what I came up with for the occasion- in this case Valentine’s Day as it is the one day of the year I would rather eat in then go out to an overly crowded restaurant. I prefer peace and quiet when I dine.

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Start off with a nice lobster tail. Easy to cook/prep as all you need is some good old boiling water. Don’t forget in a separate bowl to melt some butter to dip it in as well 🙂

Now on to the steak. I like my filet steaks a tad thicker as they cook nicely and the juices stay in- less likely to dry out. Plus I just love cutting into a nice steak. I made a special addition to the turf side as I made a creamy-sherry sauce with sauteed bay scallops to top the steak. Overall a nice dinner presentation. Don’t forget the champagne.

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Cod Steaks with some Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

With the storm in full force (think we are at the part of lots of sleet/rain falling) and everything shutdown (including work) it allows me some time to share a nice dinner.

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The cod on it’s own was  a simple enough task as it just needed some oil in a pan and was cooked on both sides for a few minutes. The part that took time was making the flavor pairings for the fish.

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The spinach foam is a combination of sauteed spinach along with some cream which gets thickened and then gets filtered through a fine strainer. I then utilize my culinary whipper with a gas cartridge to charge which creates a “foam.”

The other accompanying sauce is a blood orange gastrique which is a combination of fresh squeezed blood orange, sugar, sherry wine vinegar, and stock. This then gets reduced to a thickened state.

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For the fries, I cut strips out of the sweet potatoes (about an inch thick) and a few inches long. You can do it with or without but I left the skin on the fries. I then tossed them in olive oil which I added some seasoning too and baked them in the oven.

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Enjoy.