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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

RECIPE: Grilled Shrimp Tandoori Salad with Mango Dressing

We really enjoyed this grilled shrimp salad recipe from McCormick, and can’t wait to make it again.

Similar to the tandoori oven cooking method, these Indian-spiced shrimp skewers are roasted on high heat on the grill. They are then added to a salad packed with bold sweet and sour flavors. A fresh mango dressing adds a splash of fruitiness and color.

RECIPE: GRILLED SHRIMP TANDOORI SALAD

Ingredients For 6 Servings

For The Mango Dressing

  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne red pepper, ground
  •    

    grilled_shrimp_tandoori_salad_mccormick-230

    A delicious twist on grilled shrimp salad. Photo courtesy McCormick.

    For The Salad

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 packages (5 ounces each) mixed baby greens
  • 1 cup halved small heirloom or specialty tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  •  

    garam-masala5276734GeorginaPalmer-230

    The components of garam masala. Photo by
    Georgina Palmer | IST.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the mango dressing: Process mango in blender or food processor until puréed (about 1 cup purée). Add lime juice, oil, garam masala, salt and cayenne; process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    2. MIX 1/4 cup of the mint, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, honey, garam masala, ginger, salt and cayenne in small bowl. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Brush with mint mixture. Thread mango onto skewers. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

    3. GRILL shrimp skewers over high heat 4 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink, turning once and brushing occasionally with mint mixture. Grill mango skewers 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly charred.

    4. ARRANGE greens, tomatoes and onion on 6 serving plates. Top with grilled shrimp, mango and remaining 3 tablespoons mint. Drizzle with 1/2 of the dressing.

    5. STORE remaining dressing in the fridge. Serve over salad greens, grilled or broiled shrimp or chicken, or toss with couscous or quinoa.

     
    WHAT IS GARAM MASALA

    Garam masala is an aromatic spice blend originating in northern India. It is like other spice blends in that the ingredients and proportions will vary somewhat by cook or manufacturer.

    The ingredients generally include black, brown and green cardamom pods; black and white peppercorns; cinnamon; clove; coriander; cumin; nutmeg and/or mace*; and turmeric.

    Other ingredients can include bay leaf, fennel seeds, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, mace, malabar leaf, mustard seed, saffron, star anise and tamarind.

    In Northern Indian cuisine, garam masala is typically used in powder form, while in Southern India it is often made into a paste with coconut milk, vinegar or water.

    In fine cooking, the spices are toasted and ground before use, to maintain the intensity of the flavor. But you can buy preground blends, like McCormick’s garam masala.

    If you want to blend your own, here’s a very simple recipe. Start with these proportions and then adjust to your particular preferences:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander (cilantro seed)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  
    *Nutmeg is the seed of the nutmeg tree, while the more mild mace is the dried reddish covering of the seed.

      

    Comments

    TRENDS: Chicken Up, Seafood, Pork & Beef Down

    shifting-appetites-trends-chart-wsj-500

    Chart courtesy The Wall Street Journal.

     
     

    While Americans are aware of the need to improve their diets, there’s been a decline in consumption of one of the healthiest food choices: fish.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2012, the last year for which figures are available, the average U.S. consumer ate:

  • 82 pounds of chicken
  • 57 pounds of beef
  • 46 pounds of pork
  • 14.4 pounds of seafood, down from 15 pounds in 2011 and a record high of 16.6 pounds consumed in 2004 (by comparison, the average Japanese consumer eats 120 pounds a year, while Spaniards consume 96 pounds)
  •  
    As you can see from the chart, chicken—affordable and versatile—is the big winner in growth, and the higher-calorie, higher cholesterol beef and pork have experienced some decline. But while the overall category experienced positive gains, the decline in per capita consumption is down.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s a combination of higher prices (quality fresh fish is $15 or more a pound while fresh whole chicken is 10% of that) and consumer hesitance, because they don’t know how to cook fish properly (and at those prices, who wants overcooked fish?).

    Is help on the horizon? Maybe not: The seafood industry is much more fragmented than the beef and pork industries, which organized major marketing campaigns to promote their products.

    Here’s a tip: Although it’s a treat, you don’t need to pay top dollar for fresh fish. Look for values in frozen fish and stock up. Defrost it slowly in the fridge.

    After all, if you order fish at restaurant chains, it’s likely frozen—and few people know the difference.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Choose Sustainable Seafood

    We were away last week on Earth Day and missed publishing this piece on sustainable seafood. But it’s important to be conscious of it every day of the year.

    Earth Day, initiated on April 22, 1970 and celebrated annually, is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.

    There are many things each of us can do to “save the planet” and its precious resources. Today, we’ll raise some awareness about your seafood choices.

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that 80% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, with the stock overfished, depleted or recovering from depletion. With seafood growing in demand, it’s critical to get on board to reverse this trend and build a more responsible seafood supply chain.

    You can do your part by purchasing sustainable seafood, both for home consumption and at restaurants. Here’s your best resource for understanding what’s sustainable:

     

    grilled-octopus-scarpettabeverlyhills-230

    Grilled octopus is a favorite of many, but it’s
    not a sustainable seafood. Instead, consider
    squid (calamari). Photo courtesy Scarpetta
    Restaurant | Beverly Hills.

     

    The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program works to transform the seafood market in ways that support ocean-friendly fishing and fish-farming operations. Seafood Watch provides science-based seafood recommendations through its website, pocket guides and phone apps to consumers, chefs and wholesale seafood buyers.

    Take a minute to download the app or a printable pocket guide
    , or simply check out your seafood of choice on the website.

    Some retailers and restaurateurs act sustainably, by offering only sustainable choices and/or displaying the color-coded sustainability ratings. Whole Foods, for example, does both and no longer carries red-rated species. Other retailers and restaurants give consumers what they want, regardless of how it impacts the environment or the future of the species. For the most part, it’s up to you to ask or look it up.

    FOLLOW THE RATINGS

    There are independent, nonprofit organizations (see below)that constantly monitor the species and rate them as to sustainability. What is sustainable changes on an ongoing basis, due to the wax and wane of the seafood stock and environmental conditions. These ratings apply to both wild-caught and farmed fish:

  • Green label means the best choice: The species is abundant and caught in environmentally friendly ways.
  • Yellow label is a good alternative: There are some concerns about the health of their habitat or catch methods for the species. (But you could act even more sustainably and go for the green.)
  • Red label means avoid: The species suffers from overfishing or the current fishing methods harm other marine life or habitats. Take a pass on these species for now.
  •  
    The guides also provide alternatives for red-rated species. For example:

     

    seared-ahi-tuna-ruthschris-230

    Seared ahi (yellowfin) tuna is extremely
    popular. That’s one reason why it’s
    overfished and on the “avoid” list. Photo
    courtesy Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

     
  • Instead of Atlantic halibut, choose Pacific halibut.
  • Instead of grey sole, choose the yellow-rated Dover sole.
  • Instead of octopus, choose calamari (squid), which is green-or yellow-rated depending on the fishery.
  • Instead of sturgeon, choose responsibly farmed trout.
  • Instead of imported wild-caught shrimp, choose domestic wild-caught shrimp, which are green- or yellow-rated depending upon the location.
  • Instead of red-rated swordfish, choose swordfish from MSC-certified fisheries, such as harpoon fisheries in Nova Scotia or the Florida handline/landline fisheries.
  • Instead of turbot, choose Pacific halibut.
  • Instead of yellowfin (ahi) tuna, choose green-rated tuna from Maldives.
  • Instead of skate wing, choose yellow-rated Atlantic flounder.
  •  
    So make ocean-friendly choices. By purchasing seafood that is green or yellow rated, you will enjoy something delicious and feel good that you’re doing your part to ensure the supply of seafood for future generations.

     

     
    Learn more about sustainability from these two rating organizations:

  • The Marine Stewardship Council is the world’s leading certification for sustainable seafood. It’s a non-governmental organization using a multi-stakeholder, international certification program to provide incentives for fisheries to address key issues such as overfishing and bycatch.
  • The Blue Ocean Institute focuses on conservation by studying ocean changes around the world, and what those changes mean for marine life as well as humans.
  •  
    Here are more ways to subtly change your diet to save our planet.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Crabtini, A Simple & Elegant First Course

    A delicious crabtini. Photo courtesy Ruth’s
    Chris Steakhouse.

     

    When you’re cooking a fancy dinner, there are tricks to shave time and effort. We typically do this by making first courses and desserts that are simple yet impressive.

    One of our go-to first courses is a slice of store-bought pâté with a lightly-dressed mesclun salad, cornichons, pickled onions and some halved grape tomatoes for color. Another is a crabtini.

    A crabtini is a crab cocktail served in a Martini glass. Thanks so much to Lynne Olver of FoodTimeline.org, whose research indicates that the originator of the concept appears to be Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, circa 2005.

    The crabtini has inspired chefs to create even more elaborate preparations like this molded crab cocktail. But, seeking the quick and easy, we emulated Ruth’s Chris to make our own crabtini:

    RECIPE: CRABTINI

    Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

  • 1 pound lump or white crabmeat (types of crabmeat)
  • 1/2 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Herb vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • Romaine
  • Garnish: salmon caviar, red tobiko or tiny dice of
    red bell pepper; lemon or lime wedges
  • Preparation

    1. GENTLY toss the crab with capers, onion, parsley, Creole seasoning, salt and pepper and vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

    2. PLACE romaine leaves upright in a Martini glass. Place a mound of the crab salad in the glass.

    3. GARNISH with caviar and serve with lemon or lime wedges.
     
    RECIPE: HERB VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mixed leafy fresh herbs: basil, mint, parsley, tarragon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few shakes Worcestershire sauce
  •  
    Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
     
    WINE PAIRING

    Enjoy your crabtini with a festive glass of sparking wine—another quick and easy way to add glamor to a simple course—or a clean, crisp dry white wine.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Mussels Escargot Style, With Maitre d’Hotel Butter

    mussels-escargot-style-garlicparsleybutter-millesimeNYC-230

    Mussels, escargot style. Photo courtesy
    Millesime Restaurant | NYC.

     

    Escargots don’t have much flavor. What brings them to life is the vibrant garlic-parsley butter, known in French cuisine as beurre maître d’hôtel butter.

    It’s a popular compound butter that’s used on fish, meat, noodles, potatoes, vegetables and you-name-it. It’s delicious year around, and ushers in spring with its bright hue.

    Substitute the escargots for mussels, as this inspired recipe from Millesime restaurant in New York City shows, and serve it as a first course.

    The only challenge is to decide what dishes you have to serve it in—most of us don’t have escargot dishes. But as you can see in the photo, anything will work. Have Champagne coupes? Time to use them for other than Champagne.

    We’ve suggested extra toast, below, because most people will want to soak up every last drop of the butter sauce.

    Going forward, we’ll use the American name for the butter sauce, sparing those who don’t speak French the need to pronounce beurre maître d’hôtel butter (burr meh-TRUH doe-TELL).

     
    RECIPE: MUSSELS IN GARLIC PARSLEY BUTTER

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 30 mussels
  • Garlic parsley butter (recipe below).
  • 8 slices brioche or quality white bread
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the garlic parsley butter. Keep on the stove.

    2. REMOVE mussels and beards from shells; rinse and sauté lightly in butter.

    3. MAKE the toast and slice into quarters. Warm garlic parsley butter sauce as necessary.

    4. ASSEMBLE and serve: Fill dish with butter sauce, add six mussels and serve with toast points.

    5. REFRIGERATE any remaining garlic parsley butter for other use, including garlic bread.

     

    RECIPE: GARLIC PARSLEY BUTTER

    Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PULSE all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a microwave-safe dish or small pitcher.

    2. KEEP on or near stove if making the mussels for immediate consumption. Otherwise, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

    3. HEAT before serving.

     

    compound-butter-browneyedbaker-230

    Garlic parsley butter, a compound butter known in French cuisine as maitre d’hotel butter. Photo courtesy Brown Eyed Baker.

     

    WHAT IS COMPOUND BUTTER

    Compound butter is preparation that combines unsalted butter with flavorful ingredients: fruits, herbs, nuts, spices and/or other savory ingredients (anchovies, capers, mustard, olives, etc.).

    It is often used in French cooking to create an instant sauce for anything from grilled steak to sautéed chicken and fish to vegetables; it is also stirred into soups and stews for added flavor.

    In the U.S., popular compound butters include strawberry butter for muffins, chipotle butter for corn on the cob, and perhaps the most familiar, garlic butter for garlic bread.

    Here’s more on compound butter, plus recipes.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Asian Grilled Salmon With Edamame

    miso-glazed-salmon-edamame-chefRitaFrenchProvincePhoenix-230

    Delicious for dinner: glazed salmon and
    edamame. Photo courtesy Chef Rita French |
    Province Phoenix.

     

    Having just presented different ways to serve edamame as a snack or side, it’s time to move on to mains. Here’s a delicious grilled salmon dish, courtesy Euro USA.

    RECIPE: HONEY SOY GRILLED SALMON WITH EDAMAME

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 scallions (green onions)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 center cut skin-on salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1-1/3 cup cooked edamame
  • Optional garnish: snipped chives or parsley, lime wedges
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the grill over medium-high direct heat. Oil the grill grates. Finely chop the cilantro and scallion and mix in the oil and ginger. Season with salt and pepper.

    2. CUT two 3-inch long slits through the skin lengthwise on the bottom of each salmon fillet, going about halfway into the salmon. Stuff the slits with the herb mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

    3. STIR together the lime juice, soy and honey.

    4. PLACE the salmon, skin side up, on the grill and cook until well marked, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the salmon and continue cooking, brushing the tops with the sauce, until the fish is cooked through, about another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve with edamame and lime wedges.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Surf & Turf Sushi & More

    While meat and seafood have been served at the same meal since since the dawn of plenty, and Diamond Jim Brady (1856-1917) consumed platters heaped with steaks and lobsters, the pairing known as surf and turf originated in 1960s America.

    It became the darling of American steakhouse menus, combining the two most expensive items on the menu: lobster (surf) and filet mignon (turf). It has its own food holiday, February 29th, National Surf & Turf Day.

    But we can’t wait until the next leap year, 2016, to share this treat: surf and turf sushi.

    SURF & TURF HISTORY

    The earliest earliest print reference found by FoodTimeline.org, our favorite reference source on the history of all things food, was published in the Eureka [California] Humboldt Standard of August 14, 1964: “An entrée in restaurants in Portland [Oregon] is called surf and turf—a combination of lobster and steak.”

     

    sushi-tenderloin-lobster-maki-tenprimesteakandsushi-230

    Luxury sushi: a lobster-avocado maki topped
    with torched tenderloin, sweet eel sauce and
    a garnish of togarishi and rice crisps. Photo
    courtesy Ten Prime Steak And Sushi |
    Providence.

     

    Some sources claim that the concept originated on the East Coast, based on a 1966 print citation newspaper article in the Miami News. The columnist says that the restaurant La Hasta has created the best thing since lox and bagels—surf and turf; and that on some weekends the management had to take the dish off the menu, since demand exceeded supply.

    Sorry, East Coasters: 1964 beats 1966.

    Yet a third claim from a food writer couple, without printed proof, that the same dish by the same name was served at the Sky City restaurant in the Seattle Space Needle, at the 1962 World’s Fair. That may be, but documentation is required. If anybody remembers it from the World’s Fair: Please raise your hand. There’s a bonus if you have the menu.

    Fun fact: The beef-seafood combo is called “Reef and Beef” in Australia.

    THE NEW SURF & TURF

    The original may have been lobster and filet mignon; but as long as there’s something from the surf and something from the turf, you’ve got surf and turf! We “invent” a different combination for our monthly surf and turf dinner. The past year’s pairings have included:

  • Clam roll and a hot dog
  • Crab cake and lamb chops
  • Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and Canadian bacon
  • Fish and chips with sliced sausage “chips” (heavy, but fun)
  • Fried oysters with a burger (make it edgier with a fish stick and tartar sauce)
  • Fried oysters with steak (or, garnish the steak with a raw oyster on the half shell)
  •  

    sushi-surf-and-turf-10primesteakandsushiprovidence-230sq

    Two rows of raw tenderloin-topped sushi,
    plated with yellowtail, eel and other seafood
    sushi we had to crop out. Photo courtesy Ten
    Prime Steak And Sushi | Providence.

     
  • Lobster roll and a chicken sausage, both in brioche buns
  • Oysters wrapped in bacon (an oldie, but still “surf and turf”)
  • Panko fried shrimp with chicken-fried steak (too much fried food for us)
  • Salmon or tuna grilled rare with rare filet mignon
  • Salmon tartare and steak tartare
  • Scallops with grilled lamb chop or pork chop
  • Shrimp and beef stir-fry (good but not as festive as the other variations)
  • Shrimp and poached chicken cocktail
  • Shrimp kabobs with grilled skirt steak
  • Shrimp tempura and pork tenderloin
  • Sliced grilled tuna and sliced breast of chicken
  •  
    And now, we’ve discovered surf and turf sushi from Ten Prime Steak And Sushi in Providence.

    Our maki-rolling skills are rusty, but we’ll try it right after we master our March recipe, surf and turf meat loaf. (So far, ground chicken and whole baby scallops are the mix of choice.)

    MIX & MATCH

    You could fill every day of the year with a different option and not run out (and if anyone decides to start a restaurant based on that concept, send a hefty ideation fee here).

    Pick your favorite seafood and meats: crab cake, crab legs, scallops or shrimp with lamb chops or pork chops, for example.

  • Surf: any fish or shellfish. Think outside the lobster box to caviar/roe, clams, crab, crawfish, eel, escargot, grilled tuna, mussels, octopus, oysters, shrimp, squid, sushi/sashimi, uni (sea urchin). Grilled cod or halibut stand up well to beef and pork.
  • Turf: bacon (and the bacon group: Canadian bacon, prosciutto, serrano ham, etc.), beef, bison, exotics (boar, elk, ostrich), lamb, ham, poultry, pork in their many forms: grilled, roasted, ground, ribs, sausage, etc.
  •  
    And props to Allen Brothers, purveyor of prime meats to restaurants and the public, for the idea of creating the surf-topped filet mignon. The company topped filet mignon with a crown of lobster “stuffing” (chopped lobster, fresh herbs (try tarragon or thyme), scallions, cream, butter, sweet onions, bread crumbs and a touch of garlic), as well as a lump crab meat version with mozzarella, chopped spinach, garlic and rosemary. (You’ll have to make your own, though; the company has updated the product with new, non-surf, toppings.)

    Try your own hand at the new surf and turf and let us know your favorites.
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Crab Stuffed Flounder

    Print

    Crab-stuffed flounder is actually easy to
    make. Photo and recipe courtesy Westside
    Market | New York City.

     

    February 18th is National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day. The recipe is easy to make, and gives the appearance of a “fancy” preparation. You can stuff any white fish filet with crab meat.

    Before buying crab, note that there are four grades of meat. In order of expense, they are:

  • Jumbo lump crab meat, the largest, snow-white lumps.
  • Lump/backfin crab meat, the same color, flavor and texture of jumbo lump, but is in slightly smaller pieces
  • White crab meat, smaller white pieces ideal for recipes where the size and shape of the crab flake becomes indistinguishable, such as crab cakes.
  • Claw crab meat, the reddish-brown claw and leg meat which is actually more flavorful and is preferred by many (who also and appreciate the lower price) and is the best to use in spicy dishes, where the flavor best holds up to the spices,
  •  
    So the best crab meat to use is this recipe is claw or white, depending on preference and availability.

    Here’s more on the different types of crab meat.

    Thanks to the Westside Market in New York City for this easy recipe.

    RECIPE: CRABMEAT STUFFED FLOUNDER

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley or dill plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces crab meat, picked over
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 tablespoon cayenne
  • 4 8-ounce flounder or tilapia fillets
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4-8 toothpicks
  • Optional garnish: lemon slice or wedge, parsley or dill sprigs
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Lightly oil 9 x13-inch ovenproof dish.

    2. MELT butter in skillet. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft. Stir in parsley or dill. Remove skillet from heat and stir in breadcrumbs, crab meat, lemon juice and cayenne.

    3. DIVIDE crab meat mixture among fillets and roll up. Hold together with toothpicks. Place fish seam side down in baking dish. Sprinkle paprika over fish.

    4. BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with dill and lemon before serving.
     
    CRAB MEAT OR CRABMEAT?

    You’ll see both uses. Which is correct?

    “Crab meat” is more correct, although the incorrect “crabmeat” has eased into acceptance over time (spell or pronounce something incorrectly enough and people accept it as right).

     

    claw-meat-phillips230

    Claw meat and leg meat are darker but more flavorful and less expensive. Use it in recipes where the crab gets fully blended with other ingredients. Photo courtesy Phillips Crab.

     

    Whenever you’re confused about how to write something, think of other uses. For example, lobster meat is the correct form; you’d never write “lobstermeat.”

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

    Looking for “gourmet” Super Bowl fare? Try this recipe from Dietz & Watson. Just a bit of fresh basil elevates bacon-wrapped shrimp to new flavor heights.

    Serve the shrimp on a platter for game-watching, with cocktails or as an appetizer or first course for dinner.

    RECIPE: BACON-WRAPPED SHRIMP WITH BASIL

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 16 jumbo shrimp (thawed if frozen), peeled and
    deveined
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 slices bacon
  • 16 flavorless wooden toothpicks
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces barbeque sauce
  • 4 teaspoons grated horseradish
  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • Garnish: lemon wedges, basil leaves
  •  


    Fresh basil elevates the flavor of bacon-wrapped shrimp. Photo courtesy Dietz & Watson.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F and butterfly the shrimp: Make a deep slit along the back of each, but not all the way through.

    2. RINSE the shrimp and pat dry. Place one basil leaf inside the slit in each shrimp. Wrap each shrimp in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

    3. HEAT the oil over high heat to 350°F in a medium stockpot or saucepan. When hot, carefully add the shrimp, a few at a time. Deep-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the oil and place on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

    4. COMBINE the barbeque sauce, horseradish and hot pepper sauce in a skillet. Add the shrimp to the sauce and heat, basting the shrimp for 5 minutes, until they are heated through. Serve on a platter garnished with lemon wedges and sprinkle with a chiffonade of basil.
     
    HOW TO MAKE A CHIFFONADE

    A chiffonade is a cut that creates long, thin strips. Stack the leaves, roll them tightly and slice perpendicular to the roll. See the photo above.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pan-Seared Fish, Crispy Skin

    Sear that skin until it’s crisp! Photo courtesy
    Pollen Restaurant.

     

    Fish is healthy, low-fat protein; we all should eat more of it. Grilled or pan-seared fish is at the top of the list many nutritionists suggest for making better changes in your diet.

    This is not news.

    The news is: the fish doesn’t have to be dull. You can prepare it exciting without a cholesterol- and calorie-laden butter sauce.

    Here’s how to keep it health and delicious.

    1. Sear the skin. Crispy skin is a treat, without being a no-no. Yes, there’s some fat—but far less than chicken skin.

    2. Use a very light sauce. Serve the fish in a bowl of broth (just a half inch or so). You can use clear stock, tomato-based broth or even vegetable soup. Another option: tomato sauce, like a chunky pasta sauce. Better brands, without added sugar, are very low in calories. We often use diced San Marzano tomatoes, straight from the can with some fresh herbs.

     

    3. Top the fish with healthy vegetables. Steam the vegetables or lightly sautée them in olive oil. Combine three different vegetables for more arresting color and flavor. Don’t forget the super-healthful cruciferous group, including, among others, bok choy, chard, kale and Napa cabbage. Or instead of a topping, use vegetables as a base with the fish on top (spinach is great as a bed), and hold the broth.

     

    4. Serve with whole grains, beans or legumes. A bed of barley, beans, brown rice, lentils or quinoa hits the trifecta: attractive, healthful, tasty. Or with a dollop of yogurt seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe some grated cucumber, radish, and garlic. Perch it on a bed of greens with an assertive vinaigrette.

    5. Garnish with something artistic. Consider edamame, microgreens, snipped fresh herbs, sprouts, thin slices of baby radishes. Celery leaves are great for this purpose. Most people toss them out, but they’re an attractive and tasty garnish.
     
    HOW TO GET CRISP SKIN

    Crispy skin on a fish filet is a treat. Here’s how to do it.

    1. HEAT a heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron is great, nonstick doesn’t work as well) until it gets very hot; then reduce heat to medium-high heat for several minutes before you start cooking.

     

    Get rid of the butter- or cream-based sauce. Photo courtesy Nobilio.

     

    2. PAT the skin fry with a paper towel before seasoning (season both sides). If the skin sticks to the skillet, either the skin is too damp or the pan isn’t hot enough.

    3. BRUSH fish with oil (canola or grapeseed) and apply an even coating of oil to the pan. It will smoke; that’s when you add the fish, skin side down. When the fillet curves upward, use a spatula to press it once and it will flatten out, ensuring full skin contact.

    4. COOK until you see a golden brown color on the edge of the skin. The fish will be about 70% cooked. Then, gently slide the spatula under the fillet and flip it; cook for a few more seconds. You want to flip it just once; flipping it back and forth impedes proper cooking.

    5. PLATE and serve.

      

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