Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

When I go home to visit my Mom, I always ask for this dish, Chinese Steamed Fish. Mom lives in Los Angeles, where there is an Asian market on every street corner. Most have live fish tanks where you can choose which lucky fella gets to come home with you for a dinner date. Steaming is the purest and the most delicious way to cook fresh fish. We top it with soy sauce, cilantro, ginger, green onion slivers, and pour sizzling hot peanut oil all over the fish. You’ll taste the delicate, sweet flavor of the fish.

“Pick out your own fish to slaughter!?” you ask, squeamishly? Absolutely. My Asian friends know the routine. You arrive at the market early in the morning, when you are most alert and the fish are happy, having just eaten their breakfast. Stand in front of the fish tank.

But hold it.

Before you even start looking at the fish, you must do some simple, but essential calisthenic exercises to maximize your….

I’ve moved! Read the rest of this entry at my new home.

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Steamy Kitchen has moved!!

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Killer Cajun Shrimp
Ok, I’ve finally written down my recipe for Killer Cajun Shrimp – which is now the ONLY reason I would ever move back to California. (My other reason is no longer valid!)

Los Angeles is home to the famous, Killer Shrimp, a restaurant that only serves 1 dish…Killer Shrimp. But you do have choices. You can order Killer Shrimp with Bread, Killer Shrimp with Rice or Killer Shrimp with Pasta. Its a rich, divine broth spiced with the most ‘killer’ concoction of peppers and spices. Nestled in the broth is a mountain of massive shrimp that you peel, swirl in the brew and eat. Take a slice of french bread, dip it in the broth to mop up all the goodness. You don’t want to leave one drop behind.

How spicy is it? Hmmm….how to describe? Well, its not sharp spicy hot like biting into a habenero, this type of spicy is the slow, complex, lingering heat that you don’t feel until 10 minutes into the meal when you notice that your nose has little beads of sweat. Beware: its highly addictive and this will probably affect you for the rest of your life. Be prepared to acknowledge and satisfy your cravings for the next 15 years. Keep lots of napkins nearby and don’t expect to have table conversation. Have a few beers handy.

If one of your guests don’t like spice, well, then I suggest that they grab a Happy Meal on their way to your house. Don’t be scared off by the bright red broth – the color doesn’t come from the hot peppers, it comes from tomato paste. You can adjust the heat factor based on your taste by using less pepper (but why would you do that?!)

So, what would make this recipe even more KILLER? A version with Crawfish of course!

Killer Cajun Crawfish

The recipe itself is very simple. Active time is only 15 minutes, but you’ll want to simmer the concoction for 1 hour (or more if you have the time)

Killer Cajun Shrimp or Crawfish
Serves 4 hungry people

The Aromatics: Fry onion, celery, garlic in the butter until fragrant and soft
½ small onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 stick of butter

The Spices: place all in a morter & smash (or just quickly run knife through the herbs on cutting board) You want the herbs to still stay whole, but you need to smash them to release its flavors.

2 T Dried or fresh rosemary
2 tsp Dried thyme
1 T Dried fennel
2 tsp Celery seed
1 T Crushed red pepper flakes (less if you don’t like it too spicy, you can always add more later)
2 tsp Black Pepper (again, use less if you’re a wimp)

The Broth: Add the broth ingredients, simmer 1 hour

1.5 quarts Chicken broth (low sodium and organic – because you already got a whole stick o’ butter in it already, might as well add some sort of health benefit to this dish)
16 oz Bottled Clam juice
1/2 lemon (cut in half just throw both pieces in the broth)
3 oz. Tomato paste
1 cup White wine

The Shrimp or Crawfish: Just before serving, add and simmer until done (how long depends on how big your shrimp or crawfish are. start with 3 minutes for Shrimp and 7 minutes for Crawfish. Check and adjust with more time if needed)

2 lbs Shrimp or 4 lbs Crawfish

The Bread:
1-2 loaves French bread, sliced – you can make your own loaves very easily!
I always have 2 loaves on hand, 9 times out of 10 we grab the pot with leftover broth and dig in with the second loaf

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Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze

I spent 6 years of my childhood living in North Platte, Nebraska during the 70’s when the local census guy officially determined there were 4 Asians living in the town – me, my brother, mom and dad. Really. Like tax dollars could have been spent on something more useful, like building a cultural center to attract more than just red necks to the town. So, what did the 4 Asian people in the town do for fun? Going cow tipping just seemed so useless to us, plus my parents didn’t let me drink beer until I was 8. (that was a joke, Ma)

We went fishing almost every weekend in the summertime. We caught Yellow Perch, Crawfish, Striped Bass, Walleye, Bluegill, and Northern Pike (my parents have a dead, stuffed 5 ft Northern Pike hanging above their 60″ flatscreen TV to remind us of our humble days in the Midwest)

We ate fish stew, steamed fish, baked fish, fish curry, fish balls, fried fish, fish lollipop on a chopstick…anything you could imagine. Despite eating all my Mom’s variations of fish dishes, I still love fish. My two toddlers love fish. My husband….not so much. So it was a challenge to come up with a non-fishy fish dish

non-fishy fish dish
non-fishy fish dish
non-fishy fish dish
non-fishy fish dish

hee hee!

that my husband would like. I’m also cooking for a family who doesn’t eat fish. Their Mom just asked if I could make a non-fishy fish dish for her 3 girls to try. So I needed something mild, and to totally disguise the fish so that it looked like chicken. But just because my husband can be easily tricked, the 3 girls wouldn’t be. I needed something sweet to coat the fish too. The result was scrumptious. My husband actually liked it! I’ll let you know next week if the 3 girls like it too. (for the family, I’ll be substituting Blue Agave for the honey since they are on a no-sugar diet)

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze

You can serve the Tilapia over pasta (see photo above), Basmati rice or Couscous. *Note – for Gluten free, serve over gluten free pasta.

4 whole Tilapia fillets, cut in half lengthwise – you should have 8 pieces about 6″ x 2.5″ each

3 T organic honey

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or Gluten free breadcrumbs)

1/2 cup crushed pecans (I used a mini food processor)

salt & pepper

3 eggs, beaten in bowl

Honey Glaze: 3 T organic honey mixed with 2 T hot water

3 T olive oil, for frying

1) Wash Tilapia and pat dry. Using a brush, brush both sides of the fillet with honey. Generously salt & pepper both sides of the fillet.

2) Combine the Panko and crushed Pecans. Lay out your ingredients in this order:

Tilapia – Egg mixture – Panko/Pecan

Dip the fish in the egg, coat with panko/pecan on both sides, set aside. Repeat with all fillets.

3) Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, turn the heat down to low. Add the fillets to the pan, make sure the fillets don’t touch each other. You may have to do this in separate batches. Fry on low for 2 minutes until the underside is golden brown. Turn. Fry another 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Pour the honey glaze over the fish.

Note: if you don’t fry on low heat, the panko/pecan coating will burn before the fish is cooked through.

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Crispy Shrimp Springroll

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Grilled Salmon with Rice
Sometimes I just want something so simple for dinner (or I’m just too lazy to cook). This is a healthy dish that only takes a few minutes of real cooking time. No fancy sauce, no fancy prep work. But it is so so so so good, especially when the salmon is fresh at the market. If you don’t want to make rice, you could use boxed instant couscous, which is even easier and faster to cook than rice.

Grilled Salmon with Rice

(serves 4)

(4) wild Salmon fillets

4 cups cooked organic Jasmine rice

salt, pepper

4 T soy sauce (or teriyaki sauce) – use Organic Tamari for gluten free

strips of nori (seaweed) – optional. You could also top with sesame seeds or sliced almonds

1. Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat large fry pan on medium-high heat. Add canola oil. When hot, carefully place salmon in pan. Fry 2 minutes. Turn fillet. Turn heat to low. Fry 3 minutes until done. This should give you a medium cooked salmon. If you like medium rare or well done, adjust cooking time.

2. Serve on top of rice. Top with nori and a little soy sauce.

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Moroccan Grilled Shrimp

Moroccan Grilled Vegetable Skewers

I purchase my spices at www.spice-appeal.com. Their spices are high quality and come in beautiful containers.

The spice blends are my favorite – a teaspoon totally transforms a dish from ordinary exotic.
For these skewers, I used Ras El-Hanout, a Moroccan blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, rosebuds,
pepper, ginger, allspice, turmeric, cloves, cardamom, chilies, lavender and other spices.

Moroccan Grilled Shrimp & Vegetable Skewers

Serves 6

1 lb shrimp, shelled, leave tail on

1 whole roasted red bell pepper from jar, cut 1″ squares

3 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ chunks

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1 pint mushrooms

Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Shrimp Marinade

3 T low-fat yogurt

2 tsp Ras El Hanout

salt & pepper

Vegetable Marinade

3 T olive oil

2 tsp Ras El Hanout

salt & pepper

1. Marinate both shrimp and vegetables for 1 hour. In meantime, make sure the bamboo skewers are soaked so that they don’t burn.

2. Shrimp: Alternate shrimp and red bell pepper on skewer. Pre-heat BBQ grill. Grill 1 minute each side on med-high flame.

3. Vegetable: Alternate vegetables on each skewer. Grill 2-3 minutes each side on med-high flame.

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This is my favorite way to eat prawns! It only takes 15 minutes to make and the brandy adds unexpected sweetness and depth of flavor. By the way, prawn and shrimp are one and the same. Mom taught me how to make this.

Prawns vs. Shrimp: Its the same thing. No difference. I just like calling big shrimp “prawns” – just a fancier word for $4 more a pound.

Garlic Brandy Prawns

1/2 lb prawns, shelled leaving tail on
1 t cornstarch
½ t salt
1T garlic, minced
1T butter
1 stalk green onion, cut on diagonal ¼” strips
1 Tbs brandy
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

1. Clean & marinate the prawns: Rinse prawns, pat completely dry and marinate in cornstarch and ½ t salt for 5 minutes.

2. Heat wok and add oil. Once oil is barely smoking, turn down heat to med-high. Add prawns. Fry until they are half-done, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from wok, leaving the oil in the wok.

3. Add the garlic, fry for 10 seconds. Add the brandy, salt, sugar, butter. Cook sauce for 1 minute so that it slightly thickens. Add the prawns and green onion. Stir fry until prawns are cooked through, about 2 minutes (depends on size of your prawns)

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To celebrate my husband’s 23rd birthday 🙂 we had a small, informal dinner party with close friends. I let him choose the menu, and I couldn’t help myself….I had to add 3 other dishes…one of them Asian Salmon Burgers.

Asian Salmon Burgers

1 lb Salmon Filet, minced into 1/4″ dice or smaller
1 tsp Ginger, grated
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 Tbs Soy
2 Tbs Hoisin
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Red Onion, minced
1 Egg, beaten
Additional 1 T Hoisin sauce to brush on burger

4 Burger buns, lettuce, tomato slices, mayonnaise

Makes 4 patties.
1. In a small bowl, combine ginger, garlic, soy, hoisin, sesame oil, and egg.

2. In a large bowl, combine the salmon, red onion and 1/4c of the Panko. (Set aside the remaining Panko in a shallow bowl.)

3. Add the liquid ingredients to the salmon mixture. Shape the salmon into 4 burger patties. Carefully dredge each burger in the remaining Panko.

4. Cover and refrigerate burgers for at least 1 hour up to 4 hours.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Fry burgers (don’t overcrowd!) 2 minutes on first side, Turn. Fry second side 1 minute. Brush a small amount of Hoisin on the tops of the burgers.

6. Bake in oven for 3 minutes, or until cooked through. If you like your salmon medium rare, only bake for 2 minutes. Serve with buns, lettuce, tomato slices.

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