Tag Archives: seafood

Seared Scallops with Butternut Squash / Sage Puree and Prosciutto crisp

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Seafood is our go to  celebratory meal.  So when we were in Flagstaff, we picked up some beautiful fresh scallops from Whole Foods for a delightful seared scallop dish.

First I roasted a butternut squash in the oven at 400F until golden brown and tender.  I sautéed some onion and garlic, then added half the roasted butternut squash, cubed into chunks.  I seasoned with sage, thyme, and salt, then added about a cup of chicken broth to make a thick broth.  After that reduced a bit, I added just a splash of cream, then  puree’d it to a smooth consistency.

I sautéed prosciutto pieces to crispy…. and seared the scallops in the prosciutto oil.

To plate, I put a nice smear of butternut squash puree on the plate, added the scallops and topped with herbs and fresh tomatoes, garnishing with my prosciutto crisps.

Yum!  Worth of a celebratory meal.

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Poached / Glazed Salmon

I love this recipe… and it’s author for that matter.  Eric Ripert is a master of all things seafood.  His handling and respect for fish is unparalleled.  Some of my best fish recipes come from him.

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I am not a halibut fan, so I used salmon.  His recipe is ……   here.

This recipe is so easy to make, and so delicious to eat.  It’s a simple poach in a water, flour, vermouth, lemon & orange juice poaching liquid.  The recipe calls for 5 seconds… but my fish isn’t as fresh as his, so my poach was more like 8 minutes.

I love the simple sherry vinegar / dijon mustard vinaigrette that acts as a glaze and sauce over the top.  It provides such wonderful balance.  Definitely a repertoire recipe.  Enjoy.

Peach Shrimp

Years ago I had a friend that introduced me to this old appetizer.  I haven’t made it in forever, but it was at the time a go-to appetizer.  He started with a quick filling of pre-cooked bay shrimp (the small ones), mayonnaise, and chili sauce.  He put the filling in a halved avocado.  The avocado was pre-scored and easy to eat and went very well with the shrimp filling.

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It’s peach season, and I have lots of really nice peaches, so i resurrected this old appetizer, using yogurt instead of mayonnaise… and a peach that I enlarged the pit hole for the receptacle.  I dressed it with a bit of cilantro and sprinkling of oregano.  It was fresh, juicy, and delicious.  Definitely an easy make again.  Yum.

Mushroom Ragout

It’s mushroom season again on the mountain, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  We just love the idea of foraging for our food.  What’s not to like about a nice walk in the woods with something to quest for, or the excitement that results when you spot a fresh porcini, yelling out those now familiar words, “I found one!”.  It’s great fun, and makes for delicious meals and experimentation at home to make more and more interesting and amazing dishes.

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For our first mushroom feast, we made a super flavorful mushroom ragout using a mix of exotic mushrooms like oyster and porcini.  We started by sautéing onion and garlic, to which we added our diced mushroom medley.  We then deglazed with a bit of wine.  Once that was evaporated we added a cup of chicken broth and let that simmer until reduced.  Finally we added 1/2 c. whipping cream and a variety of chopped herbs.

We served the mushroom ragout over a bed of creamy polenta (4 parts liquid to 1 part polenta).  We simmer 1 c. milk + 1 c. chicken broth, then add 1/2 c. polenta and simmer, stirring constantly until the polenta starts to pull away from the side.  Then we add butter, parmesan cheese, whipping cream, and herbs.

Finally we grilled some shrimp to put over the top.  But honestly, the shrimp was overkill.  The polenta and mushroom ragout were enough… and with plenty of deliciousness of their own.

Madeleine Scallops

My friend Maureen turned me on to this new kitchen tool… a shrimp / scallop pan.  This pan goes in the oven, and had little divots for the shrimp or scallop to hold the garlic butter or other flavor agents.  It’s true I own a lot of kitchen gear and tools.  (I just can’t help myself.)  These days however I have to think twice before buying more gear.

I just got through making a batch of Madeleine’s (you know the little shell shaped cake-like cookies), with my special Madeleine pan.  When Maureen showed me this pan online, I thought maybe I could get another use out of my single-use Madeleine pan.  So I thought I’d try her baked scallops…. and while I was at, why not play in the kitchen.

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So I made a variety of different versions – 2 each, one for myself and my husband.

We had fun with combinations like:

  • jalapeno butter
  • chile sauce + mayo
  • garlic, parsley, lemon butter
  • tomato, yogurt, salsa verde
  • chili oil, cilantro
  • BBQ spice
  • yogurt, chili

The fun part was I could have done all kinds of other combinations I thought of afterward.  They were fun to make… and to eat.

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So… what did I think of the pan idea?  Truth is, it was kinda cool and very fun.

The part I didn’t like was I lost all those great juices when I transferred them to my serving spoons, as I didn’t want to serve in the pan.  If I tried to pour the juices out, I lost all the scallops.

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So instead, I wound up with no juice / dry scallops.  My favorite combinations were those where the juice ‘stuck’, like the yogurt based ones.  I’d definitely try it again, as I thought it was fun… but next time I’ll just bake them in my spoons. (I wonder if they are oven proof?).

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Salmon with Yogurt Sauce and Mango Salsa

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I must confess I enjoyed this dish more than I expected.

While I was going to make a salad side, I decided to use some of my wonderful very ripe fresh tomatoes in a new way.  I had plain yogurt in the fridge, so I smeared that on the plate, along with dollops of salsa verde, and then topped with sliced large and cherry tomatoes, that I well salted.

For the salmon, I seasoned it and cooked it on the grill on the skin side for around 8 minutes (dependent on thickness of salmon), with lid on grill closed to allow to bake.

I also had a mango, and fixings for a salsa.  So I diced up the mango, tomato, green onion, and jalapeno for fresh spicy fruit salsa to top the salmon.

Between the luscious salmon, spicy fruity salsa, and creamy yogurt with fresh tomatoes and garlicky herby salsa verde… it was a hit!  I will definitely make this again, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Jalapeno Butter stuffed shrimp

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When I first saw this recipe I thought, ‘ what a fiery mess this could be ‘.  Just think about it… you make a compound butter of jalapeno, butter, garlic, and lemon zest… then stuff it under the shell of the shrimp… then grill.  All I could think was that the butter would fuel the fire for our flaming entertainment.

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As it turns out, that wasn’t entirely the case.

So let me take pause and step back.

First, you clean your shrimp.. leaving the shells on, but cut at the top.

Make a compound butter:

  • 4 finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/2 stick softened butter
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • zest of 1 lemon

Stuff the butter into and under the slit shell, both sides.  Then refrigerate until ready to grill, at least 30 minutes.

Then salt the outside all over… and GRILL.

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The grilled shrimp were messy and had to peel at the table… but other than that, they were delicious, flavorful, fun, and yummy.  Definitely a make-again.