ROCKFISH……HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE!

I don’t know about you, but as we “mature”, I find it more and more difficult to give my husband a birthday present. What I mean is, something other than the standards. Things like socks, shirts, or his favorite meal. I still do all of those things but wanted to do something he would really enjoy.

We went to a beautiful vineyard with fantastic wines in Eden, Maryland. Bordeleau Vineyards and Winery.    It was fantastic! Our close friends and our children where on hand to make it a party. He got some wonderful cards and gifts and drank some great wine. Our daughter brought the most amazing marshmallow doughnuts from a bakery in Baltimore. It was a fantastic day and he loved it. I still had one other card up my sleeve.

http://www.bordeleauwine.com/

I just happen to know the captain of “0 Dark Thirty” and his wife. He charters fishing trips from Taylors Island, Maryland.  A beautiful boat, and he knows these waters like the back of his hand. I contacted his wife and she had him contact me. A fishing trip was born. This information I didn’t divulge until the day of his birthday. He was so excited, but I was too.  I found a birthday present he would always remember and would definitely enjoy. No boring socks here….haha!

That’s Captain Bruce Abbott and my husband Joe, holding our dinner for today!

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https://www.facebook.com/O-Dark-30-Fishing-Charters-1401113283537277/?ref=br_rs

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The bottom right is my husband kissing his fish. One of our friends came from Connecticut just for this trip. I think it is safe to say, he and his buddies had a fantastic day. Many thanks to Captain Bruce Abbott. Check out his Facebook page. I added the link above. If you find yourself in this area book a fishing trip with the “0 Dark Thirty”. You’ll have memories to last a lifetime and a fantastic day.

I have a beautiful rockfish fillet;  I am going to cook it on the grill. It’s simple and very tasty. Should you find yourself the beneficiary of a rockfish fillet you might want to give this one a try. By the way, rockfish are also known as striped bass. Striped bass or “stripers” are also called rockfish because they like to nestle in the nooks and crannies of reefs and ledges.

Here’s the recipe. I can not wait for dinner! I am going to have it with a salad and a stuffed artichoke casserole. My friend Barbara gave me that recipe, and it just so happens, it will be my next blog. So don’t forget to come back y’all!

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GRILLED ROCKFISH FILLET

INGREDIENTS:

  • Rockfish or Striped Bass fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line a large sheet pan with non-stick foil. Use plenty of foil and you will be using it at the end to encase the entire fillets.
  2. Place the fillet or fillets on the sheet pan, skin side down, after rinsing and patting dry with paper towels.
  3. Lightly brush the meat side of the fillets with olive oil.
  4. Put small thin pats of unsalted butter across the top of the fish. (These will melt and distribute over the fish during cooking.)
  5. Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning across the fish. Keep in mind that too much can be overpowering. I like to see it but not completely cover it.
  6. Sprinkle lightly, the herb de Provence over the fish
  7. Place very thinly sliced lemons on top of the fish. (If you aren’t a lemon lover you can omit this step)
  8. Lightly add some fresh ground pepper
  9. Bring the foil up and over the fish to cover it. You will want to do this loosely, but completely enclose it, so you can check the process easily
  10. Place on a hot grill, checking after the first 15 – 20 minutes.
  11. When the fish flakes easily and is opaque, it’s done. (Ours took about 18 minutes.)

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

 

 

 

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SHRIMP SCAMPI OVER ZOODLES

I promise I won’t zoodle you to death. This one was too good not to post though. It’s like a new toy at the moment. I am truly fascinated with my new spiralizer by Kitchen Aid.

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I love shrimp scampi. What I don’t like about it is all the butter and oil dripping from it. This is a healthy alternative. It is also made in one pan so clean up is a breeze.

I will suggest that you gather and prepare all of your ingredients prior to cooking this. It goes really fast. You will be throwing everything into the pan in  a matter of minutes.

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My zucchini were approximately  (*9-10 inches) in length. I washed them, left the skin on, cut off the ends, and spiralized them.

You can use fresh or frozen shrimp that have been thawed. Mine was frozen because that is what I had on hand. Either, will work well.

I don’t like big chunks of garlic in my sauces. I started using a microplane to grate it. I find it requires little to no cooking time. It will appear to melt right into your sauce. Just be careful not to burn it. As soon as you smell it, add your other ingredients. You could use a food processor or a knife. Any method would be fine. It all depends on how you like your garlic! You just don’t want it burned!!!

This really pairs well with a bottle of white wine. A loaf of crusty French bread is good for dipping in the sauce.

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SHRIMP SCAMPI OVER ZOODLES

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp of finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated with a microplane
  • 1 lb of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 C of chicken stock
  • 1/4 C of good white wine
  • Zest of one lemon and it’s juice
  • Zucchini noodles from 4 zucchini (*see note above)
  • 6-7 Basil leaves, julienned
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano/Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Assemble and prepare all of your ingredients.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the onion and cook until softened.
  4. Add the garlic, shrimp, red pepper flakes, and salt and black pepper to taste. Saute until the shrimp are just starting to turn pink but still translucent.
  5. Add the chicken broth, white wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook until the shrimp are pink, and opaque.
  6. Stir in the zucchini noodles and toss with the shrimp and sauce until everything is well coated with the sauce.
  7. Cook until the noodles are al-dente (slight crunch). DO NOT OVER COOK them or they will be too soft and no longer the consistency of a noodle.
  8. Remove from the heat and taste for seasonings. Sprinkle the basil and the grated cheese on top and serve.

Manga!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

SPIRALIZED ZUCCHINI & CARROTS WITH PAN FRIED SALMON

Well slap yo Momma, hush my mouth, and call this one a new favorite. My husband said “make sure you write this one down”. I of course am doing that right now.

I just purchased the spiralizer attachment for my Kitchen Aide. Of course my friends at QVC had a special so what’s a girl to do? I love QVC! If I purchase something and it doesn’t meet up to my standards, back it goes. I will admit, I have sent some things back but not many. It’s a great company and they stand behind their products. This one is definitely a keeper. It was very easy to use and clean up was quick.

http://www.qvc.com/KitchenAid-Spiralizer-Attachment-with-Peel%2C-Core-%26-Slice.product.K43772.html?Slice_20180202_DesktopMobile_CA=&cm_cat=AD&cm_ite=KIT_SKNNBR_K43772_ai%3AKITCHENAID_SPIRALIZER&cm_pla=KAK_20180201_id%3AKITCHENAID_SPIRALIZER&cm_ven=FB&cvosrc=social+network+paid.adparlor.QVC_CLEARANCE-KitchenAidSpiralizerAttachmentwithPeel%2CCore&TZ=EST

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I spiralized some carrots, and zucchini. With the addition of some tomatoes, garlic, onion, and white wine a wonderful zoodle dish was created. Topped with pan-fried Salmon filets, dinner was born.

This dish was very flavorful with great texture. A glass of Chardonnay was just the ticket to round out the flavors. I am really excited because there is one portion left. So, we shall see who gets to it first tomorrow! All is fair in love and leftovers…..if ya know what I mean. Here is the recipe……..

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Spiralized Zucchini & Carrots w/Pan Fried Salmon

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 zucchini  (or enough to make about 4 cups of spiralized noodles) skin on, ends cut off, cut in half, spiralized, set aside
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and ends cut off, cut in half, spiralized, set aside
  • 1/4 C chopped sweet onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (I use a microplane)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of fire roasted, diced, tomatoes with their juice (I used Hunts)
  • 1 Tbsp of dark agave
  • 1/4 C of good white wine
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Salmon filets, seasoned with lots of salt and pepper, bring to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Chili Powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter  til melted.
  2. Add the carrots and onion and cook until just softened.
  3. Grate the garlic into the pan with a microplane and add the tomatoes, cook until the garlic is fragrant, just a few minutes.
  4. Add the Agave and the white wine and stir to combine.
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper and add the crushed red pepper if using.
  6. Add the zucchini noodles and toss, cook for about 10-15 minutes, you want to keep the zucchini al-dente. It does not take them long to cook, they are best when left with a slight crunch.
  7. When cooked removed the pan from the heat and place it on a burner to keep warm while your fish cooks. (Literally minutes)
  8. In another pan over medium high heat, add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  9. Take the seasoned filets, place skin side down and cook for 3 minutes and turn over and cook for an additional 3 minutes. (You can cook them more or less, it depends on how you like your fish cooked.)
  10. Take your cooked filets and place them on top of your zucchini mixture.
  11. Dust with chili powder.
  12. Bring your goodies to the table and serve from the pan.

This is impressive enough to serve to guests. Don’t forget to add a good bottle of white wine. I hope you enjoy!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Skillet Scallops

Let me say this…….we LOVE scallops. Recently we found out that we/I had been overcooking them. That is, until we had them cooked properly. What a treat to have them cooked to perfection. I was cooking the love right out of them.

One of our local grocers had them on sale so I decided to try my hand at them again. Once cleaned and prepped it took seconds to turn those little pearls into tasty morsels. Moist, translucent, centers with a seared crust on the outside.

I made a caesar salad and served them on top. I ate every mouthful with a renewed feeling of accomplishment and joy. In my opinion there is no other way to cook them and I will forever continue to use this method.

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They would also be nice served over wild rice or pilaf.  Certainly, they are good on their own as well.

When you try this one, let me know your thoughts. Enjoy!

PAN SEARED SEA SCALLOPS

  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1/4 lbs of fresh scallops

Directions:

  1. Wash the scallops under cold water, make sure you remove the muscle on side of it. It peels off very easily and is very firm to the touch. Not all of them had one present.
  2. Pat dry and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. In a heavy skillet at high heat combine the olive oil and the butter making sure the butter is melted.
  4. Add your scallops to the pan, making sure you do not overcrowd them or they will not brown but steam instead. If they don’t sizzle immediately your pan is not hot enough.  *(cast iron works well here)
  5. Cook for 1 minute and 15 seconds, flip and do the same on the other side.
  6. Remove to a platter and bring to the table or plate them with a salad or over rice.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

MY LEAKY DINNER

Funny story this one! Odd name too, I suppose. Let me explain………

My dear friends owned a bar fondly known to all of us, as Leaky’s. Some of the best food I have eaten anywhere. All prepared in a kitchen the size of a closet. It was truly my favorite place to eat and play. I will admit to dancing on the bar, but just this one time!  As with all good things, they come to an end. I am fortunate enough to know the chef and actually had the opportunity to work with him for a while. Lucky me!!!! As for the chef, he’s moved on to bigger and better things.

Whenever we went to Leaky’s my usual was steamed shrimp and a wedge salad. I don’t know if you know this or not but, all shrimp are not created/cooked equal in the land of food. Leaky’s was and always will be my favorite.

Shrimp are also a highly favored food when you are watching your weight. Not only are they said to boost your metabolism but, they are low on the points scale for me. A half pound of shrimp adds up to a total of 4 Smart Points. Throw in a salad and bingo, it’s a great, filling, meal.

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There really isn’t a recipe for this one. I buy a pound of shrimp, rinse them and throw them in a steamer pot. I add some chopped onion, and lemon wedges and toss all of it in Old Bay seasoning. I use 2 cans of beer in the bottom of the pot to steam them. It takes minutes. When they turn pink and they are no longer translucent, they are done. So don’t walk away, there is nothing worse than over cooked shrimp. I like them with cocktail sauce on the side for dipping.

My wedge starts out with half of a romaine heart. Traditionally, it’s a wedge of iceberg lettuce. Then I top it with chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of my favorite bleu cheese dressing, (Lighthouse for me). I add some crumbled center cut bacon and some chopped scallions. Truly a great salad!

If you like shrimp and you like quick meals, this is one to remember. Give it a try!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo