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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

It was my day off so that meant it was my turn to cook dinner. Now I was not just going to make something plain and simple. This was my one opportunity each week to try and make something wild and different, while at the same time attempting to satisfy everyone in the house, which is never an easy task.

So I found myself wandering through Fairway Market trying to come up with something. Earlier in the day my sister had said she wanted some sort of seafood. So through a series of text I learned that scallops and clams would make everyone happy. Now what else to make?

I had bought black rice while at Eataly and had wanted to try it. I assumed it would not be much different than regular white rice, possibly a little more fibrous, like brown rice. Also I have been in love with shiitake mushrooms for months now so figured I would make a faux risotto with the rice and shiitakes.

I needed a green though. I’m tired for steamed or sauteed veggies though. Something I do love, but never have at home, is Asian cabbages. So I bought some small bok choy to make a raw salad with. I tossed it with some julienne kohlrabi, oranges, and a mirin and sesame vinaigrette. I found it delicious, no one else did.

Everyone did like the scallops and clams, which I cooked with lemongrass, ginger, and scallions. But the rice, was not a hit. I thought it had a lot of flavor, and though the texture was fibrous I didn’t find it over powering. The color was a shot though. It was dark red and turned the shiitakes dark red as well, making them impossible to find. My mom said it should have been mixed in with other rice. I totally disagreed because by doing so you ruin the texture that the rice has. Alone you get something new, something different, rice unlike rice. My argument was why does rice have to be the way we have always known it? Why can’t it be entirely different, in color, flavor, and texture?

So though everyone else hated my dinner, retiring to cereal after a few bites, I thought it was a success because I loved it, pushed the comfort zone in my house, and tried out a new ingredient.

Next I want to try and make my own rice noodles with the rice and turn the rice into flour and bread something with it.

 

 

 

 

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Every fresh water angler has caught them. Most likely more of them than any other fish. Whether you call them sunnys or bluegills they have robbed more bait than the Hamburgeler. But I recently found out these little spiny pests taste pretty good. So screw trying to go for the big guys when these guys are more fun to catch anyway.

So I headed off to the Mianus this morning, early, to head out to the spot far up stream where I had caught many sunnys in the past. On the first cast they were hitting the bait. But my hook was a bit to large so it took a few more tries before I hooked one. For a little fish a fun fight. Way more exciting than the small walleye I was also catching.

After snagging three okay sized ones, the little fish would be a bitch to clean I knew, I decided to head back but before I did I would try another spot up river a little to try and catch something larger. After a few casts and no hits I saw something jump from the water. A few casts over its way still yielded nothing. So I had my last worm on the hook and decided to give it one more cast before heading home and what do you know, a hit, and something big. It was a trout! Most had been fished out of the river by now but this one was far enough up no one had fished it yet. After a short fight I got him within feet of the bank, but had no where to put him. I was standing at the bottom of a steep drop off and was barely keeping my own balance. But he made the decision for me and a foot from the shore jumped hook. A beautiful rainbow trout lost back to the river.

Once home after spending what seemed like forever scaling, cleaning, and filleting the small fish I cooked them in butter and olive oil and also wilted some lambsquarters then put it all on whole wheat bread with mayo for a sandwich. The fish were really good, a clean tasting white fish, and the lambsquarter added just enough flavor to not overpower the fish. Didn’t take a picture because it didn’t look like much, just a flat sandwich.

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On my quest to cook everything, for when I’m on Chopped, nothing will scare me in the basket. So when I saw fish roe at the fish market I had to buy it. Did I know what to do with it? No idea. Asked the guy what kind of fish it was from, turned out to be flounder. I love flounder so figured it couldn’t taste that bad.

At home I took my Chopped basket of ingredients and went to work. Figured just cooking the roe in butter, slightly flouring it, would be the best way to understand the flavor and not screw it up. But I had other work to do. I grabbed myself a spaghetti squash, which I have never cooked before, and radishes.

Now what to do. Cooking the spaghetti squash required a call to mom. Boiling was faster than baking, I was starving post gym, so I threw it in a pot. Now for the sauce to top it. I sweat some shallots in duck fat and olive oil then added wild dandelion and radish greens to get soft. Then I added milk, wish I had cream, and pureed the mixture. Then added some tarragon for some more flavor. Was surprisingly good. Might have a new flavor combo on my hands.

Then I cooked the roe in butter and fried some radishes in duck fat and olive oil for another side. On top of the roe I put crispy dried prosciutto. The roe was alright. I was expecting more flavor. It was pretty bland and a bit dry. Also had a strange grainy texture from all the little eggs. One of them though was not cooked all the way through so the center was a little moist.  If I had a good cream sauce with the prosciutto in it, or possibly used the roe itself in a sauce, could have been mind blowing.

Maybe they’ll have roe at the fish market later in the week. Might want to give this another shot.

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Back at school now the first thing I did after class today was head down to the butcher and fish market. At the butcher nothing really jumped out at me. Cuts of meat can get boring after a while and I don’t have the money to buy the bigger cuts or a big piece of meat. So I headed over to the fish market to see what he had in store. 

Nothing out of the ordinary but one fish did catch my eye; black sea bass. I had never eaten it before so I figured I would give it a shot. The red snapper I cooked last week came out really good and I figured this would be similar.

At the market I also found two big plump shiitake mushrooms, currently my favorite, and for the first time in a while went for endive. Then endive would be a salad tossed with a vinaigrette of anchovy, white balsamic vinegar, the vinegar from a jar of pepperoncini, and olive oil. It was absolutely delicious and got me just a bit more hungry for the fish.

After filleting the fish I noticed a section of dark meat on the collar. The meat looked like the oyster of a chicken, I could not throw it away. So I salt and peppered them and fried the in olive oil. To die for. Again, making me more hungry.

I chopped my shiitake and found a poblano pepper in the fridge that I figured would go and chopped that up. I put some oil in a pot to get it hot then sweat some diced shallots before adding my rice to brown a bit. The beginnings of a faux-risotto. I didn’t have arborio but I did have medium grain. I hit it with a dash of Madiera wine then simmered it slowly in chicken stock.

After sauteeing my shiitake and poblano with some more shallots I removed them from the pan. I covered my fish in salt, pepper, and some steal cut oats which I ground up more with a mortar and pestle. I then fried them in a mix of olive oil and butter. Finally I tossed my shiitake and poblano on high heat to give it a bit of a brown. Then added grated Parmesan cheese to my risotto.

My finished plate. I thought the ying-yang look of the J cut fish interlocked looked really cool. A dish and a presentation method I might use one day in my restaurant. I just loved the sweetness that the shiitake mushrooms have and the oats had a bit of sweetness of their own that worked great with the fish and the savory risotto. One of the better dishes I have made in a while.

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Every time I make mullet I get a hair joke by someone. But the hairstyle is about as ugly as the fish so I guess its okay. Despite its ugly exterior mullet is an alright fish, and super cheap, which is why I enjoy it. It does not have much flavor though and nothing spices up a fish like pork. So for dinner this time I covered the mullet fillets with guanciale then broiled them. For my side I had Yukon gold potatoes baked with celery leaves, garlic, and leeks. Good dinner just not filling enough for me and I was back in the kitchen making a snack an hour later.

 

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This was a pretty simple dinner. I had the rest of the eel left over from the night before so I figured I would use it up. But didn’t have much time. So I simple just cooked it in a pan with clarified butter. For my sides I baked broccoli raab with olive oil and cornbread crumbs and just made plain rice with butter.

A pretty simple okay dinner. Eel though needs more complex preparations in my opinion to taste its best.

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Craving seafood I headed to the fish market looking for something that would really have a strong seafood taste. I would have really liked to make something with clams but they cost a lot so I’ll save that for a special day. What I did see was blue crabs on sale. I saw a chef online make a cream sauce by using the legs, and other bits that hardly have any meat in them, of a lobster by slowly cooked in a pan with butter and aromatics to flavor it. I also grabbed an eel which wasn’t too big and fairly cheap to use.

So I took out the clarified butter and placed the crab legs in it with leeks and garlic. Cooking it on low until it started to smell nice and aromatic. Meanwhile I roasted the bodies and then got all the meat out of them. I also cooked the eel pieces in another pan. Then I hit the crab with some white wine and added the cream before adding the other meat. I then put the sauce over fresh pasta.

It was all good except for a few things. I severely over cooked the crab and it gave the whole sauce an off taste. Also I should have used regular butter. This would have given it a richer flavor and would have forced me to keep the heat even lower. Something I will attempt again though. Maybe when I have enough money to afford a lobster!

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