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Archive for Fish-Seafood-Caviar

TIP OF THE DAY: Sheet Pan Dinners

For its Fish Friday Favorites series, McCormick enlists food bloggers to develop easy recipes.

This week’s theme is “baked in sheet pans,” using McCormick’s packets of seasoning mixes.

McCormick makes 18 different seasoning packets: two each for Bag & Season (for meats), Chili, Gluten Free, Gravy, Home Style Classics, Italian, Mexican, Slow Cooker and Snacks & Dips. Here’s more about them (scroll down the page).

We thoroughly endorse these easy dinner ideas: fresh, nutritious home cooking in a half hour or less, with big flavors and minimal clean-up.

RECIPE #1: SHEET PAN SHRIMP-LIME FAJITAS

Who doesn’t like fajitas?

“Sheet pan chili lime shrimp fajitas make an easy, healthy, and delicious one-pan 20-minute meal—with tons of flavor the whole family will love,” says Tiffany of La Creme De La Crumb.

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

 
Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 pound large white shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 bell peppers, thinly sliced (go for a combination of red, yellow, and green)
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 packet McCormick Fajita Seasoning Mix
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus additional lime wedges for serving
  • 8-10 six-inch flour tortillas*
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Combine the first 7 ingredients (shrimp through lime juice) in a large bowl. Stir to combine and coat the shrimp and peppers well in the seasonings.

    2. SPREAD everything out on a large baking sheet pan in a single layer (note: line the pan with foil or parchment for easy clean-up). Items can overlap; just not heaped in a pile. Bake for 10-15 minutes until shrimp is pink, the tails begin to char slightly and the peppers are tender.

    3. DISTRIBUTE the shrimp and peppers on top of the tortillas along with avocado slices. Top with freshly shopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

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    *Traditionally, a fajita uses the smallest tortilla, 6 inches in diameter; a soft taco 8 inches; and a burrito 10 inches.
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    RECIPE #2: SHEET PAN SHRIMP SCAMPI WITH ASPARAGUS

    “Those of you who are observing Lent: Don’t let Lent have you fishing for flavor! This sheet pan meal is big on flavor—and you don’t have to sacrifice on taste,” says Alyssa, The Recipe Critic.

    “I love using McCormick’s seasoning mix packets in recipes. They make it so easy to put together flavors and bust out a complete meal that will your family will love.”

    Who doesn’t love Shrimp Scampi†? Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 8 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into two inch pieces
  • ¼ butter, melted
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 packet McCormick Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi Seasoning Mix
  • Garnish: 1 lemon, sliced
  •    

    Sheet Pan Fajitas

    Shrimp Scampi Recipe

    Sheet Pan Shrimp & Asparagus

    [1] Shrimp and lime fajitas (photo courtesy Le Creme De La Crumb | McCormick). [2] Seasoning the ingredients and [3] the final dish, emerging from the oven (photos The Recipe Critic | McCormick).

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a sheet pan and set aside (note: first line the pan with foil or parchment for easy clean-up).

    2. PLACE the shrimp and asparagus in a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter, olive oil and lemon juice on top, sprinkle on the seasoning packet and mix until combined.

    3. SPREAD the shrimp and asparagus on the sheet pan in an even layer (note: line the pan with foil or parchment for easy clean-up). Scatter the lemon slices on top. Bake for 8 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Serve immediately.
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    †FOOD TRIVIA: Scampi is the Italian word for a prawn. In the U.S., it became the name of an Italian-American dish, Shrimp Scampi: broiled butterflied shrimp that been brushed with garlic butter or oil (and sometimes a splash of white wine). It’s amusing among the cognoscenti that Americans request a dish that translates to Shrimp Shrimp. But that’s not all of today’s trivia:

    SHRIMPS VS. PRAWNS: THE DIFFERENCE. Prawns and shrimps are both crustaceans with 10 legs. They can be found in salt water and fresh water all over the world, and have similar flavors. While the terms are often used interchangeably, with prawns, the first three of the five pairs of legs on the body have small pincers; with shrimps only, two pairs are claw-like. In the U.K. and Australia, prawn is the name consumers and restaurants use for what is called shrimp in the U.S. Both crustaceans are found in a variety of sizes. More information.

     

    Sheet Pan Baked Salmon

    [4] After 5 minutes of prep time, baked salmon in orange-butter sauce is ready in another 20 minutes (photo courtesy Avery Cooks | McCormick).

     

    RECIPE #3: SHEET PAN ORANGE CHILI SALMON

    “This salmon is healthy, so easy, ready in 30 minutes, and has restaurant-quality flavor,” says Averie of Avery Cooks. “It’s so moist and juicy. I seasoned the salmon with McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix (Original) for a pop of heat, which is perfectly balanced by the honey and orange juice. The seasoning adds flavor without being spicy and it doesn’t overpower the fish.”

    Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 20 to 25 minutes.
     
    Ingredients For 2 to 3 Servings

  • 1 to 1.25 pounds skin-on salmon fillet
  • 1 orange, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons honey
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice from about half an orange (substitute packaged orange juice)
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix Original Flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F and place a piece of foil on the baking sheet to cover it completely. Place the salmon on the foil, skin-side down, with the longer side of the fish parallel to the longer side of the sheet pan. Pull the edges of the foil up 2 inches over the pan rim, or enough so that when you pour the butter sauce over the top, it will be contained in the foil.

    2. NESTLE the orange slices underneath the salmon, spaced evenly around the fillet. Set aside.

    3. PLACE the butter in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup or bowl and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Stir in the honey and orange juice. Pour or spoon about two-thirds of the mixture over the salmon; reserve the remainder. Evenly season with the seasoning mix, and add salt and pepper, to taste.

    4. ADD another sheet of foil on top and crimp or pinch both pieces together to get the seal as tight as possible. If you have time, set the pan aside to allow the fish marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes; you’ll get enhanced flavor. Bake for 15 minutes.

    5. REMOVE the pan from the oven and cut open up the top of the packet so the salmon is exposed (but the edges are still raised to contain the sauce). Set the broiler to to high. Spoon the reserved sauce over the salmon, if desired. Use your judgment: If there’s already lots of juice, you don’t need to add more (you don’t want it to start leaking). If you have extra sauce, pour it over the finished dish or bring it to the table in a pitcher.

    6. BROIL the salmon for 5 to 10 minutes, or until as golden as desired. The exact broiling time will depend on the size and thickness of the salmon, oven variances and personal preference. Keep a close eye on the salmon because all broilers are different and you don’t want to burn the fish.

    7. GARNISH with parsley and serve immediately. This recipe is best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Fried Oysters On Greens, A First Course

    Fried Oysters

    Fried Oysters

    Shucked Oysters Quart

    [1] We enjoyed these at a rooftop restaurant in Manhattan (photo courtesy McKittrick Hotel | NYC). [2] Just a taste, from Tsunami Sushi in Lafayette, Louisiana. [3] A quart of oysters from our favorite oyster grower, Willapa Oysters. They’re grown in the cleanest waters in the USA (photo courtesy Willapa Oysters).

     

    Every so often we pass a quart of shucked oysters in our fish store, and think: Do we have time to fry oysters tonight?

    We like to serve fried oysters as a first course, on a bed of greens with remoulade sauce, which also dresses the salad.

    There are different approaches to fried oysters. Some people dredge them in flour, then an egg wash, then bread crumbs.

    If the oysters are good, they should release their flavor as close to your palate as possible. No extra layer of breading is required…or desired.

    That’s also why we won’t turn the oysters into a po’ boy: The bread gets in the way of tasting the gems of the sea.

    The remoulade recipe is a spicier variation of the French classic: a version you’d find served with fried oysters in New Orleans.

    RECIPE: FRIED OYSTERS

    Ingredients Per Quart Of Oysters (32 Meats*)

    For The Oysters

  • 1 quart shucked medium-large oysters
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (or use 2 cups all purpose flour)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges
  •  
    For The Louisiana Remoulade Sauce

    You can make the remoulade 1 to 2 days in advance to let the flavors meld.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons Dijon or Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1-2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning†
  • 1 teaspoon pickle juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Salt to taste
  •  
    For Serving

  • Mesclun or other salad mix
  •  
    Preparation

    You can use a pot or a deep skillet to fry.

    1. MAKE the remoulade sauce: Combine the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    2. DRAIN the shucked oysters. Season the milk with garlic powder, paprika and hot sauce, and soak the oysters for 30 minutes before frying.

    3. PREHEAT the canola oil to 350°F. While the oil is heating…

    4. WHISK together the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper together in a separate casserole dish. When ready to fry, drain the oysters and dredge through the flour mixture, coating completely. Tap off the excess flour.

    5. FRY in batches of 4 or 5 (the oysters need space between them), using tongs to place the oysters in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes (“rare” is better for juicy, succulent oysters).

    6. DRAIN for a minute on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve hot atop the greens with a lemon wedge and ramekin of remoulade sauce.
    ________________

    *There are approximately 32 medium-large shucked oysters per quart (4″ across in the shell before shucking).

    †Creole seasoning is a mix of paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, dried sweet basil and other spices, depending on the producer. Cajun seasoning is a mix of garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes. If you don’t want a spicy remoulade you can leave it out; or mix some of the ingredients you have to get the 1-2 teaspoons for the recipe.
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Green Tobiko For St. Patrick’s Day

    Green Tobiko Gunkan

    Oyster With Caviar

    Caviar Potato Bites

    Grilled Salmon With Caviar

    Substitute green tobiko for roe of other colors. [1] Green tobiko, the eggs of flying fish roe, in sushi (a gunkan maki—photo courtesy Toria Sushi.[2] Oyster with caviar (photo courtesy Rebelle NYC). [3] Caviar potato bites; the same concept works with potato chips and cucumber slices (photo Fotolia). [4] Top grilled fish (photo courtesy FishStar). [5] In a simple butter sauce (photo KN Studios | Fotolia).

     

    Ready for some culinary adventure on St. Patrick’s Day?

    We look forward to our annual green bagel and corned beef and cabbage, but needed to find something green for hors d’oeuvre and a first course (not guacamole, not spinach dip, not green bean salad, but something special).

    Browsing through the market, we came across a large jar of green tobiko caviar and began to play with it.

    Tobiko (flying fish roe) is a popular sushi ingredient, as both a garnish and in a gunkan-maki or “battleship roll” (photo #1).

    The roe, or caviar*, if you will, comes from the flying fish of Iceland and the Pacific Ocean. Naturally orange in color with a delicate nutty taste (no fish flavor), it has eye appeal and a crunchy texture.

    Over the past 20 years, the roe has been colored black, gold, green or red—for colorful garnishes beyond the sushi bar.

    It can also be flavored; for example, spicy orange tobiko, green wasabi-flavored tobiko, yellow citrus- ginger-and yuzu-flavored tobiko and pale red ume (plum) tobiko.

    We’ve even had brown truffle tobiko!

    So garnish we will! Here’s what we came up with for green tobiko with everyday dishes, nothing haute cuisine.
     
    BREAKFAST

  • On eggs any style.
  • On plain yogur.
  • On a bagel and cream cheese, with or without the smoked salmon.
  •  
    APPETIZERS

  • On potato chips, a dab of sour cream or crème fraîche; or on cucumber slices.
  • Baby potatoes (cut in half, top with sour cream and garnish with tobiko—photo #3).
  • On eggs and deviled eggs.
  • On fish and seafood, from a plain grilled filet to ceviche and shrimp cocktail.
  •  
    FIRST COURSE

  • Caviar Martini (small Martini glass layered with guacamole, sour cream, and tobiko on top).
  • Ceviche or crudo.
  • Oysters on the half shell (photo #2).
  • Savory crêpes.
  •  
    DINNER

  • On scallops or fish fillets (photo #4).
  • In sauces (photo #5).
  • On mashed potatoes (you can garnish or mix it in).
  • Baked potatoes and sour cream, even chives.
  •  

    TOBKO VS. MASAGO: THE DIFFERENCE

    Even if you’re a sushi bar habitué, you may not know that there’s a difference between masago and tobiko.

    Both are small beads of roe, both are naturally orange in color.

    However, the do differ:

  • They are the roe of different fish: capelin for the masago, and flying fish for tobiko.
  • Tobiko has larger eggs. We find them to be ore flavorful and crunchy, and the eggs are larger.
  • If you tasted them side-by-side, you’d taste a difference; but since their roes are used mostly for color and crunch…
  • Tobiko is the roe that is most often colored (green, red, yellow, etc.) and flavored.
  •  
    ________________

    *For centuries, “caviar” referred only to sturgeon eggs; all other fish were “roe.” However, the barriers have broken down, and no one should look askance at you if you call tobiko, ikura, and any other fish eggs “caviar.”

     

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Find A CSA & A CSF

    Oops: We missed National CSA Day, which was held this year on February 24th.

    It’s a floating holiday, the last Friday in February, so it’s a different day each year. Our calendar of food holidays, first created in 2005, doesn’t accommodate variable dates, so it served up today’s date.

    Still, CSAs deserve as much attention as they can get, so today’s tip is:

    Head to the CSA DAY website and find a CSA near you.

    You can also check on LocalHarvest.org.

    If you currently browse farmers markets for the best local produce, the next step is to join a CSA and have the farmers market come to you (not literally).

    WHAT’S A CSA

    CSA stands for community supported agriculture, which is a direct-to-customer business model for farmers.

    The concept originated in Europe and Asia in the 1980s as an alternative financing arrangement, to help sustain small-scale farmers.

    It was first adopted in the USA by a some biodynamic farmers in Massachusetts, in the mid 1980s. They coined the term CSA.

    The concept spread, and more and more food enthusiasts became excited to have the freshest produce while supporting local small farmers.

    In a CSA, farmers and consumers bypass commercial supply lines (middlemen, warehouse storage) and deal directly with each other.

    HOW A CSA WORKS

    In a CSA, the consumer buys a share of a farm’s output in the form of a weekly (or biweekly) box filled with freshly harvested produce.

    In the traditional CSA model, participants pay for a season’s worth of produce (called a membership or a subscription), in advance. The CSA member then receives a box of fruits and vegetables every week throughout the harvesting season.

    This model helps stabilize the farm’s income. It’s a boon for small family farms, which get ash in hand to run the farm when they most need it (in advance having something to harvest and sell). The farmer commits to give the best a committed set of customers.

    In return, members receive a weekly box of locally-grown produce. The contents differ each week and members never know what they’ll get, but seasonal harvests root vegetables in the fall, tomatoes and berries in the summer, etc.

    Some people join a CSA for the freshest fruits and vegetables, to support local farmers and to know where their food comes from. Each farmer selects his/her own model, but in general:

  • You can buy a whole-share or a half-share.
  • You can get weekly or biweekly boxes.
  • With some farmers, the members can pick and choose what they wants in the box).
  • Some farmers offer add-on farm products like bread, eggs, honey and flowers.
  • Members can cancel at any time.
  • Some farmers invite members to visit and help work the farm.
  • Some farmers drop off the boxes at central locations in the community; others can deliver to homes and offices.
  • Shares are reasonable, generally about $30, depending on region.
  •  
    CSF: A CSA FOR SEAFOOD

    There are also CSFs—community supported fisheries—that use the CSA model to support their small, local fisheries. Use this locator to find one near you.

    Members support sustainable, transparent supply chains of ethically sourced or captured fish.

     

    CSA Box

    CSA Box

    CSA Box

    CSA Box

    Fresh-Caught Fish

    [1] Farmers pick what’s ready, shortly before delivery (photo courtesy Halas Farm). [2] Boxes get packed and labeled at the farm, then trucked to the delivery spots (photo courtesy Driftless Organics). [3] and [4] You open the box, and decide what to make with the week’s bounty (photos courtesy Urban Tilth and The Chef’s Garden). [5] A similar concept for fish delivers the fresh catch (photo courtesy Inhabitat | Shutterstock).

     

    As with CSAs, you get the most local, most fresh products: “from dock to dish,” as the motto goes.

    Here’s more about CSFs.

    CSAs: HOW YOU BENEFIT

  • You get the freshest food: pulled from the ground or off the tree right before you get. It hasn’t been sitting in cold storage or traveling for weeks by boat.
  • You get organic produce (not all farms are organic), and non-GMO varieties.
  • You become more green by keeping down your total food miles.
  • You make a conscious choice to support the small farmers, which keeps open farmland in your area.
  • You become part of a community with reverence for the land.
     
    The fun aspects include:

  • The surprise of what’s in the box.
  • The impetus to try foods you normally don’t buy.
  •  
    And if there’s something in the box that you absolutely won’t eat, score points by gifting fresh produce to a neighbor, teacher, etc.
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Olive Salsa For Fish, Vegetables & Eggs

    Baked Salmon With Salsa Verde

    Cauliflower With Olive Sauce

    Castelvetrano Olives In Bowl

    Cerignola Olives

    [1] and [2] Fish and cauliflower with salsa verde (photos courtesy Good Eggs). [3] Castelvetrano olives (photo courtesy Musco Food) and [4] cerignola olives (photo courtesy Miccio), our favorite green olives..

     

    Many Americans think that salsa is a spicy tomato and chile dip for tortilla chips.

    In fact, salsa is the Spanish word for sauce of any kind. Salsa de chocolate, for example, is chocolate sauce.

    The Spanish word salsa derives from the Latin salsa, meaning salty, which itself derives from the Latin sal, salt (most Spanish salsas are not salty, however, but spicy).

    Not all salsas are Mexican in origin; in fact, each Spanish-heritage country has its own variety of salsa (Mexico has dozens, a different specialty in each state).

  • Chimichurri, a spicy vinegar-parsley sauce, is the leading condiment in Argentina and Uruguay.
  • Mojo, in the Caribbean, typically consists of olive oil, garlic and citrus juice, and is used both to marinate meats and as a dipping sauce.
  • Peri peri or piri piri sauce is considered the national condiment of Peru: a base of vinegar and oil, garlic and lemon juice with hot birds eye chiles. As with mojo, it is also used as a cooking sauce.
  •  
    The list goes on. Check out our Salsa Glossary for different types of salsa.

    Today, we’re yet another variety of salsa. This one is a salsa verde* (green sauce) featuring green olives. It can be used over fish, chicken, rice, eggs, and in the recipe below, vegetables.

    RECIPE: SALSA VERDE WITH OLIVES ON FISH & VEGETABLES

    Not your typical salsa verde, this recipe is chunky with olives and almonds. Any leftovers are equally good at room temperature for lunch the next day.

    Ingredients For 2-3 Servings

  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • A handful arugula roughly chopped
  • A handful parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • A handful toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon capers
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound fish: char, salmon, trout or anything that looks good
  • 4 lemon or lime wedges
  •  
    OLIVE TIPS

  • Use good olives: the type you would be happy to nibble on from the bowl. Pitted olives are preferred, unless you don’t mind removing the pits from your mouth at the table.
  • Type of olive: You only need one variety of olive, but found a pitted green olive mix from an olive bar, which included castelvetrano, cerignola, gordal, manzanilla and picholine. Since we left the olives whole, we could taste the different flavors.
  • Chopped versus whole: We like olives so much that we left them whole (or were we too lazy to chop them?).
  • Substitute: You can substitute black olives if you don’t like green.
  • Olive Glossary: Check out the different types of olives.
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Spread the florets in a single layer on one half of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    2. PLACE the fish, skin-side down on the other half of the sheet. Run your fingers over the flesh to check for pin bones and remove them with kitchen tweezers. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    3. BAKE until the florets just start to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes (longer if you prefer a softer texture or more well-done fish). While the food is baking…

    4. MAKE the salsa verde. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chopped greens, olives, almonds, vinegar and enough olive oil to bind without. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    5. REMOVE the baking sheet from the oven. Plate and spoon the salsa over the cauliflower and the fish and. Serve with a lemon or lime wedge.
    ________________

    *Salsa verde is typically made with green chiles, tomatillos and cilantro. Used primarily as a garnish rather than a dip, it is much thinner than a tomato-based salsa roja/red sauce (this recipe, laden with olives and almonds, is an exception). A salsa verde can be fresh or cooked.

     
      

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