Posts tagged seafood

Moroccan shrimp

Whoops. I guess I'll need to return my tangine.

Whoops. I guess I’ll need to return my tangine.

For my birthday, my hubby surprised me with a Moroccan tangine. It’s a baking dish with a high, cone-shaped lid (not pictured) that traps the cooking liquid and infuses the food inside with the flavor.

 

Yeah, I managed to crack it the first time I tried cooking with it. (In my defense, it didn’t come with any seasoning or cooking instructions.) Well, I’m now researching how to season and cook the right way with the tangine. But I still had all of my ingredients ready to go so I made this Moroccan shrimp dish in a skillet, instead of a tangine. I used a recipe I found on The Food Republic as a base and then tweaked it to mirror the flavors of a dish a Moroccan friend of mine made for me years ago.

 

 

Recipe

I plate the shrimp with purple kale, just cuz

I plated the shrimp with purple kale, just cuz

 

Prep time: 20 minutes + 20 minutes cooking

Servings: 4-5

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp, tails and shells removed

2 tbsp. oil (I used grapeseed)

1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes

1 raw tomato, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. tumeric

1 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular) + more for sprinkling

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

2 tbsp. parsley, chopped

2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp. chicken broth

1 lemon, sliced

 

Directions:

  1. Puree the tomatoes, tumeric, paprika, and garlic in a blender.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed skillet (no idea yet if this would also work in a tangine), bring the oil to medium-high heat.
  3. Add the tomato mixture to the hot oil and cook until the tomato color begins to darken (from bright orange to red), about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp into the tomato mixture and sprinkle with cumin, cayenne, white pepper, and fresh herbs. Cook for 3 minutes or until shrimp just begins to turn pink.
  5. Place the lemon slices on top of the shrimp. Pour over the chicken broth, then cover the skillet.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes until the shrimp is heated through and tender.
  7. Add additional spices, if necessary (I like to add more smoked paprika and cayenne).
  8. Serve over plain rice or Moroccan rice (recipe coming tomorrow).

 

Kids’ reactions: Thumbs up and clean plates all around. I would definitely make this again EXCEPT Mr. Squid seems to be having bad reactions to shrimp lately so I’m not sure whether we’ll have to cut out shrimp for awhile or altogether:(.

 

 

 

 

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Albonetti Seafood Trattoria in Monterey, California

Photo credit: MontereyWharf.com

There’s no better place to inspire your kids to try seafood that right where it’s caught. Sure, the Costco jumbo bags of shrimp are fine, but when you really want fresh fish, you’ve got to have an ocean nearby. So last week while visiting Northern California, I encouraged my kids to eat plenty of fish.

After spending the day at the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium we walked down to the Wharf for dinner. Seafood restaurants line both sides of the Wharf. They also compete for guests by claiming to have the best clam chowder. Each restaurant has a person posted outside during busy times to lure customers inside by giving them chowder samples. We must have sampled around five or six different chowders before settling on Albonetti’s.

While the creamy clam chowder at Albonetti’s quickly became my middle daughter’s favorite (seriously that’s all she had for dinner. The child who hates peanut butter loves clam chowder), their real specialty is squid. Albonetti’s uses squid caught in the Bay and then cleans them fresh daily. Albonetti’s is one of the few restaurants that cleans their own squid–some 1,000 pounds each week. Interestingly, much of the squid caught locally in Monterey Bay is sent overseas for cleaning and packaging before making their way back to area restaurants.

Marty's Special (Sorry for the dark shot, I didn't have on the flash.)

At Albonetti’s fresh squid is a passion (I didn’t realize until the waiter enlightened me that for many Italians, squid is comfort food). They have an entire section of the menu just for different varieties of calamari, from traditional to their own take on Buffalo-style squid.

But the best thing on the menu, and that we sampled during our week in No Cal, was Albonetti’s Marty’s Special. It’s been on the menu since the family-owned restaurant opened over 60 years ago. The waiter literally did a jump of excitement when my oldest daughter ordered it. The squid is prepared like veal Parmesan, breaded and fried and served along with eggplant in a rich marinara that simmers for 10 hours before topping this dish. The tender texture of the squid melds perfectly with the robust flavor of the red sauce and the smattering of melted mozzarella cheese. This is one dish I can’t even attempt to make at home. I did find one recipe for Albonetti’s Marty’s Special online.

Your turn–have you ever found a food that your kids were more willing to eat when you were on vacation? How do you find good places to eat while traveling?

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Shrimp tacos

Use lime shrimp for tacos or tostadas

Yesterday I explained how to make your own corn tortillas at home, well today I wanted to give you an idea for a tasty, fast filling: lime-spiked shrimp.

The shrimp filling takes all of 15 minutes to make (an extra 15 if I need to thaw the raw shrimp and remove the tails). Here’s how I do it:

  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon canola or grape seed oil in wok or heavy bottomed skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Add 20-30 medium-sized raw shrimp to the hot oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and garlic powder; you can even add 1/4 cayenne if you want more of a kick.
  3. Cook until the shrimp are just beginning to turn pink (about 2 minutes) and squeeze all of the juice of a fresh lime during the final minute of cooking. Add salt to taste.
  4. Serve in toasted, corn tortillas with fresh salsa or as a topping for tostadas.
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30 minute Italian shrimp

My youngest used to love shrimp but now she’s going through denial. So we’ve been having shrimp a lot lately. Even with our ‘you’ve-got-to-eat-at-least-a-bite’ rule around our house she hasn’t budged to sampling more than she has to. I have hope: As a kid, I didn’t like shrimp either.

Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 pound spaghetti

20-30 medium raw shrimp

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 lemon (optional)

1 jar spaghetti sauce

Directions

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Prepare the shrimp. Note: I usually add half a bag of the medium-sized shrimp from Costco into warm water while I’m making the pasta. By the time the pasta is done, the shrimp is thawed. I removed the tails and dry off the shrimp before sauteing.
  3. Bring the olive oil to medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  4. Place the shrimp and garlic in the pan and cook until the shrimp begins to turn pink, about 3 minutes. Add a squirt of fresh lemon juice and the cayenne pepper, then pour the spaghetti sauce (Barilla is my fav) into the pan and cook until heated through, about 4 minutes.
  5. Serve the shrimp over the spaghetti.

Kids’ reactions: Well, you know what my youngest said. My teen gave it two thumbs up; my tween was mediocre on this one. She ate it, didn’t love it. But Mr. Squid (not technically a kid) was a fan and even finished off the last three shrimp left in the pan.

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Cajun fried shrimp po’ boy sandwiches

Pickle juice. Who knew that was the secret ingredient to make a really great shrimp po’ boy sandwich?

To me a shrimp po’ boy needs three things:

Plenty of crispy shrimp
A crusty roll that’s soft on the inside
A rockin’ sweet and spicy mayo-based sauce

Looking through shrimp po’ boy recipes I decided to ditch the regular shrimp coating with cornmeal and go for panko instead (Japanese-style bread crumbs). That took care of #1.

As far as the bread, I went with a ciabatta roll so the bread would have enough heft to hold up to piles of crispified shrimp.

And the sauce. Thank you Annie’s Eats for the idea of mixing both Cajun spices and a hit of pickle juice in with the mayo. (I skipped the horseradish though.)

Is your mouth watering yet? It’s seafood time.

Recipe

Servings: 4 large sandwiches

Prep time: 20 minutes + frying


Ingredients

4 cups raw shrimp, thawed, tails removed

1 1/2 cups flour

3 eggs

3 cups panko

Tabasco (optional)

Vegetable oil

4 ciabatta rolls

Thin tomato slices

Shredded lettuce

Sauce ingredients

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2-1 Tbsp. pickle juice

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Cajun spices

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Begin heating about 1 1/2″ vegetable oil in a wok to medium high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, pat the raw shrimp with a paper towel to make sure they’re dry.
  3. Create a dipping station with the flour in a shallow bowl, the eggs (whisked with a drop or two of Tabasco sauce) in another shallow bowl, and the panko in a third, shallow bowl.
  4. With the shrimp, dip them first into the flour, then the egg followed by the panko and place on a wire rack until you’re finished coating all of them.
  5. Add the shrimp in 3 batches to the hot oil. Fry for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Prepare the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together and adjust the seasonings by adding more Tabasco or pickle juice.
  7. Slice the rolls 3/4 of the way through, slather with sauce on both sides then place several pieces of shrimp inside along with tomato slices and shredded lettuce.

Kids’ reactions: My teen declared the sandwich “so good” but was stuffed after about a half. My tween wanted hers sans sauce and finished the whole thing (she’s my shrimp girl). My youngest took one bite of the shrimp and reminded me, “I just don’t like shrimp, Mom,” and returned to her ham and cheese sandwich. Ah well, I’ll keep trying with her.

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