Creole Barbeque Shrimp

“Bon soir!  Bon appetit!  You’ gonna have the time from you’ life,  I garontee!” Justin Wilson”

This is another of the dishes I learned to make at the cooking classes I attended in New Orleans last March. Although not originally theirs, this recipe was provided by Crescent City Cooks as part of the materials they give to attendees. This is a simple recipe but with outstanding results!

Ingredients:

36 shrimp, large, whole
1 lemon, sliced
½ cup shallot, minced
½ cup garlic, minced
2 sticks butter, sliced
½ cup olive oil, EVOO
½ cup green onion
6 Tbsp each of crushed rosemary, oregano, thyme
Creole seasoning to taste

BBQ Shrimp served over cheese grits

1 Tbsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup beer
½ cup seafood or fish stock
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
Louisiana hot sauce to taste

Instructions:

1. Leaving the heads and the tails intact, peel the shells off the shrimp and set aside.

2. Put olive oil in a pan. Add shallot, green onions and herbs. Sauté for 3 minutes, add stock and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes. Add beer, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, pepper, salt, creole seasoning, and hot sauce. Cook 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add lemon and shrimp. Stir in butter and cook until shrimp are cooked through (about 3 to 4 minutes)

4. Serve with warm, crusty French bread and/or over cheese grits.

Roasted Tomatoes With Shrimp And Feta

“Live, Love, Cook.”

I can’t think of a better way to begin the new year than with a recipe this fantastic. Although I am sure that it will be good any time of the year, it is especially delicious served piping hot on a cold winter evening.

Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp and Feta

This recipe is posted dozens of times on the Internet so I will credit it to the earliest posting I could locate and that would be Real Simple magazine in September 2004 authored by Cynthia Nicholson.

INGREDIENTS:
5 large tomatoes, cut into eighths
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup Feta, crumbled
crusty bread or garlic toast, for serving

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 450° F. Place the tomatoes in a large mixing bowl and spoon the olive oil and garlic over them.
2. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss until the tomatoes are well coated. Pour the contents of the bowl into a large baking dish and roast on top rack of oven for 20 minutes.
3. Remove baking dish from oven and stir in the shrimp and lemon juice. Sprinkle with the Feta and parsley.
4. Return the dish to oven until the shrimp are cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with the bread.

Truly a 5-Star recipe !!

Honey Pecan Baked Salmon

“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” A. Bourdain

My wife found this recipe on a Facebook page belonging to Jen Hatmaker who is a well-known Christian speaker and author in Austin, TX. I changed nothing but the name from the original recipe so all the credit goes to Jen.

Ingredients:
1 ½ T yellow mustard
1 ½ T Dijon mustard
3 T honey
3 T melted butter
Pinch of sea salt
¼ cup bread crumbs, Panko or unseasoned
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 six-ounce fresh Salmon fillets
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fresh lemon juice

Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix together the first five ingredients. In another medium bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, parsley and pecans.

Salt and pepper the salmon fillets. Brush on the mustard honey butter pretty thick. Coat with the bread crumb mixture and pat down. Bake at 400-degrees (skin side down) for around 20 minutes. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the top if you have it.

The tangy mustard, sweet honey, crunchy pecan mix, and toasted bread crumbs are just delicious. Jen writes that this recipe also works well with chicken or pork chops. I plan to try it soon using catfish fillets.

Bloody Mary Salmon

“Vodka is made from potatoes. Potatoes are vegetables. Vegetables are good for you. You’re welcome.”

Salmon is my favorite fish and I have cooked it using dozens of recipes but I think this must be the best. The marinade, maybe it’s the Vodka, makes this so tender and moist to the point of being truly delectable!

Bloody Mary Salmon

Bloody Mary Salmon


When I got interested in this recipe I researched it and found it on literally dozens (or more) sites on the Internet so I really can’t credit anyone in particular and I certainly can’t claim that I created it.

Although the recipe is named Salmon, I prefer to use Steelhead Trout which is a cousin to the salmon with the same reddish-pink meat. Regardless of which one you use, try to find wild-caught as opposed to farm-raised and never use any edible product from China.

Makes Two Servings

Ingredients:

¾ to 1 lb of Salmon, fresh, wild-caught (I prefer Steelhead Trout)
2 cups Bloody Mary mix
2 oz Vodka

Instructions:

In a baking dish or pan combine the Bloody Mary mix and Vodka. Next, place the fish fillet in the dish (skin side down) and spoon the liquid over it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Thirty minutes before broiling, flip the fillet to skin side up and allow it to continue to marinate. After the 30 minutes, place the fillet on a broiler pan lightly greased with olive oil spray. Broil for five minutes, remove and spoon marinade over the fillet, then broil for another five minutes or until the meat begins to flake with a fork. Garnish with wedges of lime or lemon.

Smoked Salmon Mousse

“Good food is all the sweeter when shared with good friends.”

Back in about 2010 we vacationed in Napa Valley with our friends, Marianne & Dana Havron. We stayed at the Villagio Inn and Spa in Yountville and we were amazed at the unbelievable breakfast/brunch buffets they offered us daily. One dish in particular, the Smoked Salmon Mousse, kept me returning to the buffet bar. By the time we departed, I’d somehow convinced the Executive Chef to share the recipe with me….

Ingredients:
1 pound of smoked salmon sliced
1 pound of cream cheese
1/4 cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon of fresh dill chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

Directions:
1. Using a small mixer, mix the cream cheese until it gets creamy.
2. Chop all the smoked salmon, discarding any brownish pieces.
3. Process the smoked salmon in the food processor until it binds together. Add 1/2 of the cream cheese to the the salmon mixture while it is getting process in the food processor. So it can be smooth and creamy.
4. Transfer the salmon mixture back to the mixer and combine it with the rest of the cream cheese.
5. Add the Dijon mustard, sour cream and dill. Mix it just enough to get all ingredients bonded. Do not over mix.

I like to serve this after chilling it in a copper food mold (in the shape of a fish).

(NOTE- Photos will be posted asap.)

Shrimp and Scallop Lasagna

“Today I plan to be as useless as the ‘g’ in lasagna.”

This recipe was inspired by a similar dish that Paula Deen prepared on one of her television cooking shows … thank you Paula.

Ingredients:
12 each lasagna noodles, cooked
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups half and half
1 cup romano cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound bay or sea scallops, halved or quartered if large
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and uncooked
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 10-inch aluminum foil pan or baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until they are just done, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet and cook the onion over low heat until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more. Over medium-low heat, stir in the flour with a whisk, then gradually add the half-and-half, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly before adding more. When the sauce has thickened to about the consistency of whipping cream, add the cheese and stir well. Add the salt and pepper and stir again. Add the scallops and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or just until the shrimp turn pink. Turn off the heat.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the sauce (no seafood) from the skillet into the prepared pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with 4 noodles, placing them side by side. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce over the noodles, distributing half of the seafood evenly. Layer 4 more noodles, 1/3 of the sauce, and remaining seafood. Cover with the last 4 noodles and the remaining sauce. (For the top layer, do not spoon any seafood on top of the noodles; just use the sauce.) Top with the Parmesan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, uncovered, until bubbly. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

(NOTE- Photos will be uploaded asap.)

Crawfish and Rice Casserole

“Keep calm and cook a casserole.”

It’s Cajun seasoned but not too spicy … best of all, it’s extremely simple and easy to prepare. This recipe also comes from the Koenig Family Cookbook.

Makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients:
2 pkgs. (ea. 12oz. frozen, cleaned and peeled) Crawfish meat
1 pkg. Zatarain’s Long Grain and Wild Rice
1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/4 cup whole Milk

Directions:
Allow crawfish meat to thaw. Cook rice according to box instructions (it’s already seasoned). Place cooked rice in large mixing bowl. Add crawfish, cheese, and soup to rice. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard and milk. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spoon mixture into a baking dish (approx. 9″x13″) and bake at 375-degrees for 45 minutes. (The crawfish meat can be found in the grocer’s frozen fish area. I prefer Bernard’s Brand. Depending on availability, you can substitute 2 lbs of shrimp (cleaned and uncooked) for the crawfish.)

(NOTE- Photos will be posted asap.)

Catfish Parmesan

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about finding fish.”

I really enjoy finding an old recipe that turns out to be a gem. Although it drives my wife crazy, I make it a practice to pick up local, and especially OLDER local, cookbooks whenever I can, wherever I am. I’m referring to the ones that are usually about 6 x 9, spiral bound, and authored by civic, church, and other area groups. One of my all time favorites is a book published by a nursing home filled with recipes of the residents.

Catfish Parmesan

Catfish Parmesan

I first spotted the recipe for Catfish Parmesan in church cookbook from NE Louisiana published in the early 1980s. I’ve since found it online from Southern Living (1999) and Taste Of Home (2010) among half a dozen or so other websites. With only a few subtle modifications from the sources named above, here’s how I cook Catfish Parmesan.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp each of black pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil
4 fresh catfish fillets 5 to 8 oz each
½ cup butter, melted

Catfish Parmesan and Roasted Potatoes

Catfish Parmesan and Roasted Potatoes


Instructions:
In a shallow bowl or dinner plate, mix together the first 6 ingredients. Pour the melted butter into a second shallow bowl. Dip each of the catfish fillets in butter and dredge it through the breadcrumb mixture. Place the fillets on a rack in a roasting pan (or baking pan). Bake at 375-degrees for 25 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Garnish, if desired, with lemon wedges and parsley.

Baked Scallops

“Keep calm, there’s nothing a little butter can’t solve.”

I honestly cannot remember where I got this recipe but I have this feeling that it is one that I carefully and quietly tore out of a magazine in a doctor’s office waiting room … my wife always cringes when I do this (which just prompts me to continue the practice). The original recipe called for dry white wine and I switched to Dry Sherry for the bolder taste. I’ve cooked it with both the large sea scallops and the small bay scallops and I prefer the sea scallops because they stay tender whereas the smaller scallops get rubbery if you cook them just a tad too long.

Baked Scallops

Baked Scallops


Ingredients:
2 pounds sea scallops
1 cup dry sherry
1 pinch salt
6 tablespoons butter,unsalted, separated 3 and 3
1 small onion, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup fine dry Panko breadcrumbs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place scallops in a medium saute pan. Add the wine and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 4 minutes … NO LONGER. Remove the scallops to a 1.5 quart casserole baking dish. Pour off the cooking liquid to a separate container and reserve.

Heat 3 Tbsp butter in the saute pan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, a couple minutes.

Slowly sprinkle the flour and add the cooking liquid over the butter onion mixture, whisking vigorously while you do so. As soon as the sauce is thickened, add it to the scallops in the casserole baking dish. Stir to fully incorporate the scallops into the sauce.

Sprinkle bread crumbs over the scallops and dot with the remaining 3 Tbsp butter. Bake in the oven at 400°F until bubbly and brown, approximately 15 minutes.

Garnish with lemon slices.

Broiled Balsamic Salmon

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.” O. Wilde

Several years ago when I first discovered the wonderful taste of real Balsamic Vinegar, I knew I had to use it to compliment my favorite seafood and this was the results.

Basted, seasoned and ready to go under the broiler.

Basted, seasoned and ready to go under the broiler.


Ingredients:
4 each salmon fillets, fresh (see note)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp coarsely ground sea salt
lemon wedges for garnish

(note- when available, I prefer Steelhead Trout, or wild-caught Sockeye Salmon … always fresh)

Ready to eat.

Ready to eat.

Directions:
Heat broiler. Place salmon skin-side down on broiler pan greased with olive oil. Combine vinegar and olive oil and brush onto fish. Sprinkle evenly with lemon pepper. Broil about six inches from source of heat for 7 minutes or until fish just flakes when tested by fork. I like to pull the pan out briefly about half way through and baste the fillets one more time. Remove and sprinkle immediately with salt to taste; garnish with lemon wedges.