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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Fish/Seafood/Caviar

TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Oyster Shells

In this era of recycling consciousness, it’s important to re-use something at least one more time before it ends up in the trash. There are suggestions galore, from re-using plastic dry cleaning bags to wrap clothes for wrinkle-free traveling, to filling empty drink bottles with water for in-home or grab-and-go use.

Even if something must ultimately end up in a landfill, it’s surprising how many different items destined for the garbage can be re-purposed at least once.

We were feasting upon a mammoth plateau de mer* at a local bistro, wondering if we should ask to take the empty lobster and shrimp shells home to make stock. Then it struck us: If the larger scallop shells have long been used to serve Coquilles St. Jacques and other foods, we could find uses for the cast-off oyster shells. The solution was easy: Use them as replacements for appetizer spoons (also called amuse-bouche spoons or tasting spoons, and a popular way to serve at cocktail bites).

You can wash and refill the oyster shells ad infinitum; you can use scores of them at parties; and if you collect too many, you can give sets to your friends.

As we munched our way through the platter of seafood, we thought of the visual fun of using those half-shells to serve something other than oysters. Here’s our preliminary list, especially appropriate since today, August 5th, is National Oyster Day:

  • Fill with salmon, scallop or tuna tartare
  • Ceviche “shooters”
  •    

    tuna-tartare-oyster-shell-jamesbeard-230

    What would you serve in an oyster shell—besides oysters, of course?James Beard Foundation. This dish was created by chef Kyle Koenig of Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, New York.

  • Add a fried oyster, topped with tartar sauce, horseradish cream or spicy mayo, garnished with chopped chives
  • Serve anything topped with tobiko, from a hard-boiled quail egg to grilled cauliflower florets
  • The natural: Oysters Rockefeller or “Scallops Rockefeller,” substituting scallops for the oysters
  • As a “spoon” for smoky whitefish salad, chopped herring salad or any salad
  • Use for non-seafood purposes, such as stuffed mushrooms (you can serve the mushrooms chopped instead of filling the caps)
  • Use for anything you would serve in an appetizer spoon (this is often a repurposed ceramic Chinese soup spoon)
  •  
    *French for “plate of seafood,” a plateau de mer, or plateau de fruits de mer, is a seafood appetizer that consists of raw mollusks (clam, oyster, periwinkle, scallop) and cooked shellfish (crab, lobster, prawn, shrimp). The seafood is served cold on a platter, on a bed of ice. At restaurants, depending on the size ordered, the platter can be two or three tiers high and plated in silver for a grand presentation.

     

    /home/content/71/6181571/html/wp content/uploads/tasting spoons 1 libbey 230

    Why purchase tasting spoons when you can repurpose oyster shells to do the same thing? These spoons are from Libbey.

     

    NON-CULINARY USES FOR OYSTER SHELLS

    We traveled the Web to see how others were using empty oyster shells. Here’s what we found:

  • Crafts. Turn the shells into craft projects.
  • Gardening. Crush and mix them into your garden soil. The shell is 95% calcium carbonate and provides a slow release of calcium that de-acidifies and helps balance soil pH, loosen clay and improve drainage. That’s good news for tomato and other vegetable gardens.
  • Gardening. Similarly, use crushed shells in container gardening; the coarse texture of the crushed shells promotes drainage. Sprinkle them in the bottom of planting holes for vegetables and bulbs. Be sure to use crushed shells, not commercial oyster shell flour, for an even release of calcium throughout the growing season.
  • Gardens. Save enough shells to create a garden path. Oyster shell paths are a recycling effort that originated in Colonial times: If you’ve been to Colonial Williamsburg, you’ve seen them. They’re a charming alternative to gravel, and can also be used as a cover material for patios, courtyards and driveways.
  • Aquaculture. If you live near salt water, or are headed there, toss the dried oyster shells back into the sea. Young oysters will attach themselves to the empty shells, helping to propagate more oysters. The person who contributed this dip dumps the shells near her dock to create a mini oyster reef. “It creates a habitat for crabs, for which we have crab-pots (YUM!).”
  •  
    If you have other ideas, let us know!

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Watermelon Sushi

    We just finished National Watermelon Month (July), but National Watermelon Day is coming up on August 3rd. Here are two ways to enjoy it that may not yet be in your repertoire.
     
    WATERMELON SUSHI ROLL

    Mango has been a familiar ingredient in sushi rolls for years. But it’s summertime, the season for for watermelon.

    In the spirit of eating seasonally, Haru Sushi substitutes fresh watermelon for the mango in a roll made with snow crab, green onion and mint. It’s topped with shrimp and served with a lemon dressing in addition to (or instead of) soy sauce.

    If you want to make something similar at home, cantaloupe and honeydew work equally well.

    Haru pairs the Watermelon Roll with Watermelon Lemonade, a sweet-tart blend of lemon-infused vodka, saké, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur (a NIBBLE favorite), fresh watermelon, lemon juice and thyme-infused simple syrup. The recipe is below.

       

    watermelon-roll-snow crab-greenonion-mint-shrimp-haru-230

    Watermelon combines with conventional ingredients in this sushi roll. Photo courtesy Haru.

     
    If you’d rather have someone make them for you, head to one of Haru’s five locations in Manhattan and one in Boston.

    And if you’d like to know the different types of sushi better, check out our Sushi Glossary.

    RECIPE: WATERMELON LEMONADE

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 5 fresh watermelon cubes
  • 1½ ounces Absolut Citron vodka
  • ½ ounce St.-Germain elderflower liqueur
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce thyme-infused simple syrup
  • Soda water to fill
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: thyme sprigs wrapped with lemon peel, skewered (see photo above)
  •  
    For The Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  •  

    /home/content/71/6181571/html/wp content/uploads/watermelon lemonade 230 haru

    It’s not so innocent: This watermelon lemonade has watermelon and lemonade, but also citron vodka and elderflower liqueur. Photo courtesy Haru.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the simple syrup: Combine the thyme, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Strain the thyme from the syrup and refrigerate in an airtight container.

    2. MUDDLE the watermelon cubes in a mixing glass. Add the remaining ingredients (except garnish) and ice, and shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds

    3. POUR into a tall, ice-filled glass. Garnish with thyme and lemon peel.
     
    THE HISTORY OF WATERMELON

    Watermelon, Citrullus lanatus, is believed to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa (it covers much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa). An ancestor of the modern watermelon still grows wild there.

    Watermelon is a member of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae. Its cousins include cucumbers, gourds, pumpkins and squash.

     
    Watermelons are about 92% water—that’s how they got their English name. In ancient times, travelers carried watermelons as a substitute for potable water, which was not easy to find.

    Watermelon was cultivated as early as 2000 B.C.E. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt. You can tell how much the Egyptians enjoyed watermelon: Seeds were found in the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen, so his farmers could grow it in the afterlife.

    Thirsty traders passing through the Kalahari, refreshed by the fruit, began to sell the seeds along the trade routes. The cultivation of watermelon spread throughout Africa.

    Most culinary historians believe that watermelon spread from Egypt to other Mediterranean basin countries on merchant trading ships. According to John Mariani’s The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, the word first appeared in English dictionaries in 1615. Watermelon seeds came to the U.S. with African slaves as well as with British colonists.

    Watermelon was cultivated in China and other parts of Asia by the end of the 9th century C.E. or the early 10th century. Today China is the world’s number one producer of watermelon, Turkey is the second-largest producer and Iran is third. The U.S. is the world’s fourth-largest producer of watermelon, tied with Brazil.

    Watermelons come in a variety of shapes and sizes: Oval, round, even square, developed in Japan for smaller refrigerators. The flesh can be red or yellow; botanists have also developed varieties with orange and white flesh and even this multicolored blue-green watermelon.
     
    Here’s more about watermelon history, nutrition and tips.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Salad Topping For Fish

    Today’s tip was inspired by this dish (photo at left) at The Sea Fire Grill, in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center.

    At its simplest, the tip is: Serve fish fillets—baked, grilled, pan-fried, roasted or sautéed—topped with a salad of baby greens, very lightly dressed in vinaigrette or olive oil and lime juice.
     
    ADD COLOR TO EVERY PLATE OF FOOD

    The salad adds vibrant color to a plate of beige, brown and/or white foods, a longstanding practice of chefs (even if times past, the color was a sprig of parsley). You can add even more color a side of yellow squash, carrots, sautéed heirloom cherry tomatoes or any of these “Rainbow Vegetables.”

    The Sea Grill adds fun and flavor by layering the dish with a south-of-the-border spin:

  • A house-made tortilla shell, filled with corn and bean salad (corn salad recipe).
  • A drizzle of basil olive oil under the tortilla shell.
  •    

    /home/content/71/6181571/html/wp content/uploads/salad topped sea bass theseafiregrillFB 230

    Salad-topped grilled black sea bass in a corn salad-filled tortilla bowl. Photo courtesy The Sea Grill | NYC.

  • Dots of balsamic vinegar reduction (or purchased balsamic glaze—check your local Trader Joe’s).
  • Chipotle aïoli (add chipotle powder powder to taste, to this aïoli recipe (aïoli is garlic mayonnaise). You can substitute chile powder for the chipotle, but it won’t have the signature chipotle smokiness.
  •  

    /home/content/71/6181571/html/wp content/uploads/sauteed cherry tomatoes leitesculinaria 230

    Sautéed cherry tomatoes are another
    easy way to add color and flavor to a fish
    fillet dish. Here’s a sautéed cherry tomato
    recipe
    from Leite’s Culinaria.

     

    You don’t need to make tortilla bowls: You can place the fish on top of the corn salad, or substitute cucumber salad, beans/legumes/bean purée, guacamole, rice or other starch, or vegetables/vegetable purée. But if you want to make the bowls, here’s how:

    RECIPE: TORTILLA BOWLS

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F. Lightly spray both sides of 8-inch corn tortillas with nonstick cooking spray.

    2. PRESS each tortilla over a custard cup, ramekin or other oven-safe bowl; crimp to form the fluted bowl shape. Place on a baking sheet.

    3. BAKE for 10 minutes or until the edges are browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 3 minutes. Remove the tortillas from the bowls and cool completely.
     
    For larger tortilla bowls that you can use for entrée salads, purchase burrito-size wraps and drape them over a 1-quart ovenproof bowl (we use Pyrex).

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pasta & Sardines, Pasta Con Sarde

    spaghetti-sardines-taste.com.au-230r

    Spaghetti with sardines is an Italian classic.
    Photo courtesy Taste.com.au.

     

    Pasta with sardines is a popular Italian dish. Pasta con sarde has been called the national dish of Italy. It is often served with capers, red pepper flakes and bread crumbs. The sardines are laden with heart-healthy omega-3s; and if you use a whole grain pasta, this is a truly better for you dish.

    You don’t have to use the linguine specified in the recipe. You can use spaghetti, other ribbon pasta or even short cuts (bowties, tubes, etc.—see the different types of pasta). This recipe was adapted from one on VitalChoice.com, which sells premium canned sardines.

    RECIPE: PASTA WITH SARDINES

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • ½ pound whole-grain linguine
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced (substitute shallots or
    other onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup radishes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (or pasta water)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 can premium sardine fillets or fresh sardines
  • Optional garnish: capers, fresh parsley, toasted bread crumbs
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COOK the linguine until al dente. Reserve some of the pasta water for the sauce. You can also use it to substitute for the white wine, if you don’t want to cook with wine.

    2. HEAT the olive oil on medium heat, then sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes until translucent. Add white wine, spinach, radishes and half the sardines, and simmer until spinach is wilted.

    3. ADD the radishes, spinach and wine plus half of the sardines. Simmer just until the spinach was wilted, just a few minutes.

    4.REMOVE from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with the remaining sardine fillets and garnish as desired.

     

    sardines-ramps-abboccato-230

    If you’re lucky enough to find fresh sardines, grill them first. Photo courtesy Abbocatto.com.

     
    RECIPE: TOASTED BREAD CRUMBS

    Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup panko or other bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings as desired
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT a small amount of oil in a skillet. Add the panko and cook until toasted and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add an optional pinch of salt or fresh-ground black pepper, if desired. Stir as needed.

    2. REMOVE from the heat. If you won’t use them immediately, store the toasted bread crumbs in an airtight container for a day.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Smoke Fish On A Gas Grill

    grilled_salmon_tonyromas-230

    Smoky flavor from a gas grillPhoto courtesy Tony Roma’s.

     

    Mild hardwood chips add a delicious smoky flavor to grilled fish. Altough most commonly added to charcoal grills and grill-smokers, gas grills can easily be employed to produce tasty smoked (and grilled) fish.

    We’ve previously reviewed Savu Smoker Bags, an excellent way to add smoke Smoking Salmon on a Gas Grill

    Who says you need a gigantic smoker to get that great smoked flavor? Chef Bob of Tony Roma’s tells us how to use wood chips to smoke fish on a gas grill.

    Any fish can be smoked, but those that are high in fat are best because they absorb smoke faster and have better texture (note that the fat is heart-healthy, with omega-3 fatty acids).

    Lean fish tend to be dry and tough after smoking, although you can brine them to retain some moisture. Here’s how to brine fish.

     
    High-Fat Fish For Smoking On A Grill

  • Bluefish
  • Salmon: chinook, coho, pink and red/sockeye
  • Rainbow trout
  • Lake whitefish, sablefish, striped mullet
  • Tuna: albacore and bluefin
  •  
    What wood should you select? It depends on the delicacy of the fish and your preference for light versus heavy smoke flavor. Here’s a chart of the flavors imparted by different types of wood.

    In the recipe below, Chef Bob pairs salmon with hickory chips. Alder, apple, cherry and oak all work well for smoking fish.

     

    RECIPE: SMOKY GRILLED SALMON

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 salmon fillets, 4-6 ounces each
  • 1 1/2 size aluminum foil pan
  • 1 bag hickory wood chips
  • 1 whole lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Water
  • Aluminum foil
  •  

    trout_-morguefile-RoseVita-MF-230

    Trout, ready for grilling and smoking. Photo by Rose Vita | Morguefile.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the grill to 300°F (only preheat one side of the grill). Mix the seasonings in a medium bowl and season both sides of the salmon fillets.

    2. ADD 4-5 cups of wood chips to the pan, fill the pan with water and let the chips soak for 30 minutes. Drain and cover the pan with aluminum foil.

    3. CUT 6-9 holes in the top of the aluminum foil (while the foil covers the pan) to let the smoke escape. Place the pan on the preheated grill.

    4. WAIT 30 minutes; then check to see if the pan is smoking. If not, check your heat setting and wait until smoke appears before adding the fish. Don’t worry if the smoke isn’t billowing: Too much smoke can produce bitterness.

    5. PLACE the fish on the opposite side of the grill and close the lid. Cook the salmon until it is fully smoked and flaky, about 30-35 minutes. The smoke will envelop the fish and give it that delicious smoked flavor.

    Enjoy the flavor…and the aroma while the fish cooks.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Salmon Tostadas

    Norwegian-Salmon-Tostadas_salmonfromnorway-230

    Nutritionists advise that salmon and other fish make a healthier tostada or taco. Also substitute fat-free Greek yogurt for the sour cream! And substitute corn tortillas and shells for the white flour versions. Photo courtesy Salmon From Norway.

     

    According to Cabo Flats Cantina & Bar, there are 54,000 Mexican restaurants in the U.S., and $39 billion is spent each year on Mexican food.

    You can keep some of that restaurant money in your pocket by making these tasty salmon tostadas at home.

    Simple mesquite-seasoned salmon tostadas are a tasty Tex-Mex meal. You can grill the salmon or cook it on the stove top.

    RECIPE: FRESH SALMON TOSTADAS

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 each 5-6 ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce
  • 4 teaspoons mesquite barbeque seasoning
  • 2 tablelspoons canola oil
  • 8 tostada shells
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • Optional garnish: sour cream (substitute plain Greek yogurt)
  • Optional garnish: fresh cilantro leaves
  • Preparation

    1. SHRED the lettuce.

    2. SPRINKLE mesquite seasoning on each fillet. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Carefully place the salmon into the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned.

    3. TURN over carefully and cook for another 4-6 minutes or to desired temperature.

    4. HEAT the refried beans in a saucepan while the salmon finishes cooking.

    5. ASSEMBLE: Place 3-4 tablespoons of beans on each tostada shell, and place two shells overlapping on each plate. Mound lettuce on top of the beans and sprnkle with the cheese. Place a salmon fillet on top. Garnish with salsa and the optional sour cream and cilantro.
     
    Find more salmon recipes at SalmonFromNorway.com.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: One Pot Clambake

    One-Pot-Clambake-WS-230sq

    No sand pit on the beach is needed for this
    one-pot clambake. Photo courtesy Williams-
    Sonoma.

     

    The clambake has long been a popular New England summer festivity. Sand pits are dug on the beach to steam the seafood. It’s not only delicious food—it’s a fun event.

    But you don’t need a beach to enjoy the deliciousness. This recipe from Williams Sonoma’s One Pot of The Day Cookbook will do the trick.

    Get out or borrow a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot (16-20 quarts) and fill it to the brim with everybody’s favorite clambake ingredients: clams, corn, lobsters, mussels, potatoes and sausages.

    Advises Williams-Sonoma: Just provide plenty of napkins, a bowl for the discards and crusty bread to soak up the broth.

    We’ll add: bibs and a clam chowder starter!

    For vegetables: Prepare a green salad without adding dressing. If anyone’s still hungry after the main course, dress and serve the salad. Otherwise, keep it for the next day.

    TIPS

  • While traditional clambakes serve cold beer, you can pour your favorite white wine or rosé.
  • If you want everyone to have a lobster, get four. Otherwise, detach the tails of the two lobsters prior to cooking, so two people will have tails and two get the upper body with the claws and legs.
  • If you have large bowls, consider using them instead of plates. Then, each person can have as much broth as he prefers with his/her meal.
  •  
    RECIPE: ONE-POT LOBSTER CLAMBAKE

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped, any fronds reserved for garnish
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound kielbasa or other smoked sausage, thickly sliced
  • 2 one-pound lobsters
  • 2 ears of corn, each cut into 3 pieces
  • 24 mussels*, scrubbed and debearded
  • 24 clams*, scrubbed
  • 12 large shrimp in the shell
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  •  
    Plus

  • Crusty bread, sliced
  • Absorbent napkins
  • Bibs (we use hand towels)
  •  
    *Discard any clams or mussels that are cracked or open before cooking. Mollusks should be closed before cooking and open afterward.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oil in the stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, fennel and thyme. and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the fennel is soft, about 8 minutes.

    2. ADD the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and then layer the other ingredients on top in this order: the potatoes, the kielbasa and the lobsters. Cover the pot tightly and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and nestle in the corn, clams, mussels and shrimp. Cover tightly and cook for another 10 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels or clams.

    3. TRANSFER the corn, potatoes, sausage and seafood to a large platter, using a slotted spoon. Season the broth in the stockpot to taste with salt and pepper and spoon it over the top of the seafood (we pour the excess broth into a pitcher for the table and reserve whatever is left for to enjoy next day). Garnish with fennel fronds and lemon wedges, and serve immediately.

     

    one-pot-of-the-day-ws-230

    Find more easy one-dish dinners in this cookbook by Kate McMillan. Order yours online. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     
    CLAMBAKE HISTORY

    A lobster clambake is a 2,000-year-old tradition that began with Native Americans in what is now New England. The Pilgrims first learned about it by watching them gather the seafood from the water and prepare the community meal on the beach.

    Native Americans did not have large cooking vessels. Instead, a sand pit was dug and lined with hot rocks and coals. The seafood was set into the pit and covered with wet seaweed and more hot rocks, steaming the food in seawater. (Today, a tarp is added to keep the steam in.)

    What was a subsistence meal for the Native Americans of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island has evolved into a modern-day festive beach dinner, often held at sunset.

    At some point after the Europeans arrived, seafood was not considered sufficient protein source for the men working hard to dig the pit and gather the seafood. Meat was added as an energy food—first as hame or bacon in clam chowder, and then in the “bake” itself.

    The only “given” in a clam bake are the clams; but if you don’t eat seafood you can include different fish fillets.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Nut-Crusted Fish

    Coating fish with nuts and baking or sautéeing is an easy, foolproof way to prepare an elegant entrée. The nutty flavor of this simple but rich coating pairs beautifully with flaky white fish fillets.

    Nuts add even more protein to your dinner, as well as these health benefits.

    You can use any nut you like (pistachio is one of our favorites), along with a mild white fish like cod, flounder, halibut, sole or tilapia.

    There are more affordable white fish, too: Look for orange roughy, walleye pike or other species recommended by your fish monger. Fillets should be about 1/2 inch thick.
     
    TIPS

     

    almond-crusted-eatingwell-230

    Coat your favorite fish with your favorite nuts. Photo courtesy EatingWell.com.

  • If breadcrumbs are recommended, try panko.
  • Instead of a sauce, place the cooked fish on a bed of steamed spinach or other green, tossed with a light drizzle of garlic olive oil. Good, good for you, a win-win.
  • Trade the conventional lemon wedge for lime.
  • For a starch, try parsley new potatoes–the parsley will complement the fish.
  •  
    RECIPES

  • Almond & Lemon-Crusted White Fish (recipe)
  • Macadamia-Crusted Mahi-Mahi (recipe)
  • Nut Crusted Fried Fish (recipe)
  • Roasted Halibut With Walnut Crust (recipe)
  • Pecan-Crusted Fish Fillets (see recipe below)
  • Walnut & Lemon-Crusted Cod (recipe)
  •  

    pecan-crusted-fish-fillet-bettycrocker-230

    Pecan-crusted fish fillet. Photo courtesy Betty
    Crocker
    .

     

    RECIPE: PECAN-CRUSTED FISH

    Turn the catch of the day into delicious dinner in only 25 minutes, with this recipe from Betty Crocker. Hot pecan-crusted fish fillets are cooked easily on stove top and are served with lemon wedges.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (not ground)
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 pound delicate white fish fillets, about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Garnish: lemon or lime wedges
  • Preparation

    1. MIX the pecans, bread crumbs and lemon peel in shallow bowl. Beat the egg and milk with a wire whisk or fork in another shallow bowl.

    2. SPRINKLE both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Coat the fish with the egg mixture, then coat well with the pecan mixture, pressing slightly into the fish.

    3. HEAT the oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the fish. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook 6 to 10 minutes, turning once carefully with 2 pancake turners, until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is brown.

    4. SERVE with lemon or lime wedges.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Summer Salad With Salmon

    We first made this recipe from Maille with leftover poached salmon from the fridge. Subsequently, we made it as specified, with warm poached salmon. Both are equally delicious.

    The recipe serves four as a first course, two as a main course. Prep time is 5 minutes, cooking time is 15 minutes.

    RECIPE: SUMMER SALAD WITH POACHED OR GRILLED
    SALMON

    Ingredients

  • 12 ounces salmon fillets
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed (substitute sugar snap peas)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice and peel of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup arugula
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  •    

    poached-salmon-salad-maille-230

    Poached salmon salad: a taste of summer. Photo courtesy Maille.

     
    Preparation

    1. POACH salmon in large skillet filled with lightly salted water until salmon turns opaque, about 10 minutes. Remove salmon and keep warm.

    2. COOK the green beans in medium saucepan filled with lightly salted water until tender, about 5 minutes; drain and keep warm.

    3. WHISK together the mustard, lemon juice, lemon peel, olive oil and salt and pepper; set aside.

    4. PEEL the skin from the salmon, then flake the salmon into large pieces. Toss the arugula with the green beans, then add the salmon.

    5. ADD the dressing and toss lightly. Plate, garnish with almonds and serve.

     

    dijon-jar-230

    A fine food staple since 1747. Photo courtesy Maille.

     

    MUSTARD TRIVIA

  • Mustard is a cruciferous vegetable. Mustard greens are the leaves of the mustard plant). It is part of the genus Brassica, which also includes bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, radish, rapeseed, turnips and other vegetables.
  • Whole mustard seeds have no heat. Mustard seeds, from the flower of the mustard plant, don’t have heat and pungency until they are cracked and mixed with a liquid. This causes a reaction between two components of the seed (the enzyme myrosinase and the mustard oil glycosides), which produces a sugar and several chemical irritants.
  •  
    MORE MUSTARD

  • The history of mustard
  • The different types of mustard
  • More Mustard Trivia
  •  

      

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    DELICACY: Maatjes Herring From The North Sea

    If you like the herring that comes in jars, in wine or cream sauce, we’ve got something so much better for you: nieuwe maatjes herring.

    Through Friday, July 3rd, New York City’s Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant is celebrating the Holland Herring Festival.

    For 35 years, this has been the first American tasting of the season of nieuwe maatjes haring, the wonderful Dutch herring.

    Herring lovers wait all year for the delivery of the cream of the catch to the Oyster Bar. The herring arrives air-expressed from Scheveningen, The Netherlands, a town on the North Sea where the herring fleet makes its home.

    This year, fans had to wait an extra week for the catch, due to stormy North Sea waters that made fishing difficult, and herring with very low fat content. An absence of adequate sunlight meant that there was not enough plankton for the herring feed on, so fishermen waited for conditions to change.

       

    nieuwe-maatjes-herring-brined-takeaway-wiki-230

    A dish of nieuwe maatjes herring fillets. Photo courtesy Takeaway | Wikipedia.

     

    But arrive they finally did; the Oyster Bar began serving them yesterday. We were invited to taste them, and we’ll be going back this weekend for more! The catch is limited: Even in The Netherlands, the fish are only available for a month.

     

    brined-herring-fudder.de-230

    Herring soaking in brine. Photo courtesy Fudder.de.

     

    Succulent and toothsome delicacy known as nieuwe maatjes herring. At the Oyster Bar, Chef Sandy Ingber serves the herring filets with hard-boiled egg, chopped sweet onion and chives.

    The herring filets are priced at $7.00; the herring with garnishes is $7.95 per order. You can walk in and enjoy yours in the bar area, or reserve a table at 212.490.6650.
     
    WHAT IS MAATJES HERRING?

    Nieuwe, pronounced NEE-wuh, means new in Dutch. Maatje, MAH-tyeh, means fermented or brined. The Dutch word for herring is haring.

    After the herring is caught, it is brined* for up to two days, typically in oak barrels. Then, for delivery to the Oyster Bar, it is gutted and the head is removed, The result is a fillet, about five inches long, consisting of both sides of the fish, attached on the non-slit side.

     
    *It is brined in salt water. Raw herring pickled in vinegar is called a rollmop.

     

      

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