Grilled Littleneck Clams with Herb Butter Sauce

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Along with the lamb from the previous post I also grilled up some littleneck clams and made a nice herb butter sauce to go along with them. This was the surprise dish of the weekend and it turns out I should have bought more clams, these guys disappeared as quickly as they came off the grill. The butter sauce complimented the clams perfectly and grilling the clams made them come out tender not chewy. Give them a try this summer at a BBQ to impress your friends and family.

Grilled Littleneck Clams with Herb Butter Sauce

Cinco de Mayo Dinner

Shrimp tacos

Monday was Cinco de Mayo so I decided to get into the spirit of the day and made Shrimp tacos. This dish is light and refreshing and I will be making it quite a few times this summer as the heat sets in. Along with the tacos I also made the refried bean again which are fast becoming a go to side dish because of how easy they are to make and how delicious they are. Give these a shot some time this summer and enjoy them with a nice cold beer or margarita!

Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos

Refried Beans

Grilled Lobster with Garlic Thyme Butter

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I was in the grocery store the other day and saw they had lobsters on sale so I picked one up. This grilled lobster dish is a very quick and easy lobster recipe. Turn on or light your grill. Take a knife and kill the lobster then cut it in half. Grill lobster over medium heat for 4 minutes. Flip the lobster and baste with the Garlic Thyme butter (recipe below). Then move to indirect heat for three minutes and baste with butter again. It is a very simple dish to make and tastes incredible. The lobster I used weighed 1.5 lbs so if your lobster is larger the cooking time may vary. Enjoy!

Garlic Thyme Butter:

1 Stick Butter, melted
2 Cloves Garlic
Juice of Half a Lemon
2 Tbs Fresh Thyme or 1 Tbs Dried Thyme

Combine ingredients in small bowl.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

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Yesterday I tweaked the Cajun Shrimp recipe and served it over pasta. Like the original recipe I poached the shrimp in the water, wine, pickling spice mixture. I also sauteed up a bunch of veggies like peppers, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and spinach. You could add any other vegetables you want. To make the sauce I combined four tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup sherry, 2/3 cup shrimp stock, and 2 tablespoons Cajun spice; stirring until the butter melts and everything is incorporated. When you saute the vegetables use the Cajun sauce instead of butter or oil. Cook the shrimp, vegetables and pasta then mix together and pour sauce over. This was a last minute throw together dish last night that turned out surprisingly well. It’s relatively simple and allows for a lot of creativity, Enjoy!

Steamed Littleneck Clams in a Beer Garlic Broth

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This week has unofficially turned into shellfish week. I was in the grocery store and saw littleneck clams for sale and figured I’d give them a go. This is my first time ever cooking littleneck clams. I was debating on whether to cook them on the grill but in the end I decided to steam them. I used beer, garlic, lemon, Old Bay, and parsley to make a broth then steamed the clams in this mixture. I was surprised at how easy the clams were to prepare. You just throw them into the pot then check to see when the shells have popped open. These clams would go great with a beer on a relaxing weekend. Enjoy!

Steamed Littleneck Clams in a Beer Garlic Broth

Mussels Marinara

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Last night I decided to mess around and attempt to make one of my favorite appetizers, mussels marinara. Now I like my marinara sauce on the spicier side so I added jalapeno peppers to this batch. However if I were to make it again I would use Italian hot peppers instead of jalapenos. All in all the recipe was very simple to follow. Before cooking the mussels be sure to submerge them in ice water for a few minutes to get rid of any dead ones. After cooking them be sure to throw out any mussels that have not opened. You can serve this over pasta or use bread to dip into the sauce. Enjoy!

Mussels Marinara

Butter Roasted Halibut

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It is currently halibut season and I decided to take full advantage. Using the butter roasting technique I learned in the cooking class I made butter roasted halibut. The best part about butter roasting is that it keeps the fish moist. To make this dish the first thing you need to do is season your fish. I used kosher salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and dill. After seasoning the fist lightly sprinkle with canola or peanut oil, you need to use an oil that has a high smoking point. Next preheat the pan over high heat, then place a small amount of oil in the pan, enough to coat the pan. Place fish in pan and sear over high heat for 1 minute. Then turn down heat to medium high and cook until half way up the fish turns white. Flip the fist then add 3-4 Tbs of unsalted butter to pan. As the butter melts take a spoon and baste fish with butter for 3-4 minutes. With fish the cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the pieces, the ones I used were ~2 inches thick. Once fish is done remove from pan and place on plate, covering with tin foil. use leftover butter in pan to saute vegetables. Be sure to take full advantage of the halibut that is available now, it is a delicious fish. Enjoy!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

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This is a classic Italian seafood recipe. I modeled this sauce after the base of the vodka cream sauce. The first few steps are just the same. You add the onion to pan; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add Garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds.

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Then you add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, and wine and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the wine is reduced by about half.

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Then stir in 1 teaspoon salt, shellfish stock, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 8 minutes.

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Finally add Shrimp and cover sauce. Cook shrimp for 5-6 minutes or until done. By cooking the shrimp in the sauce you infuse more shrimp flavor into it.

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Pour sauce and shrimp over cooked paste and garnish with basil. This is an easy simple recipe so give it a try. Enjoy!

Smoky Poblano Mussels

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I have wanted to make a dish with mussels for the longest time. One of my future culinary goals is to perfect my own recipe for muscles marinara but I’m still working on developing a sauce that has the right mix of flavor and heat. In the meantime I wanted to make something just to get some practice with cooking mussels. I found a very simple recipe for muscles in a pablano pepper broth in Cooking light magazine and adapted to suit my tastes.

On important step in this recipe is to combine the ingredients for the broth and simmer then for 8-10 minutes before adding the muscles.

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This allows for the flavor of the sauce to develop and become more complex. After cooking the muscles you remove them from the pot and again reduce the broth until there is about 1 cup left then you pour it over the muscles. This recipe is very simple and is a great dish to try if you want to experiment with mussels.

Smokey Pablano Mussels

Cooking Class Week 5: Shell Fish

oysters

Tonight’s class focused on shellfish. I finally learned how to properly shuck an oyster. It took a few attempts but by the end I was able to pick up the technique. To shuck an oyster you hold it in a towel in your hand, cup of the oyster facing down. You then take the oyster knife and push it through the heel of the oyster. Once the knife gets through the heel you twist the knife to pop the shell. You then move the knife across the top shell to separate it from the oyster. Then after taking the top shell off you cut the oyster free from the bottom shell. I chose to cook Oysters Florentine tonight in order to practice the shucking technique.

The chef also taught us a few simple recipes for shrimp, clams, and crab that I will highlight in future posts