Shrimp Piccata

Looking for a fabulous lemon shrimp pasta recipe?  This is it!  It bursts with fresh flavors (lemon, sundried tomatoes, parsley) and is really quite easy to make.  It’s also wonderful if you also add scallops to the recipe.

They key to making this dish a simple undertaking is to have all the prep work done prior to cooking (have the capers, tomato, parsley, etc. measured and ready to add to the recipe).

Shrimp Piccata

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 (8 oz.) bottle of clam juice
  • 3 Tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp. drained, small capers
  • 1/3 cup diced, drained oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (at least) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lb. linguine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese to pass around the table
  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot for cooking the pasta.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil and 1 Tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Once melted and pan is hot, add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 15 seconds over high heat.  Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until just opaque, about 1-3 minutes (depends on size of shrimp and how hot your pan is).  Remove shrimp to large plate.
  3. Add wine to the pan and increase the heat to high.  Simmer until liquid is reduced and syrupy, about 2 minutes.  Add clam juice and lemon juice, bring them to a boil, and then cook until mixture is reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 8 minutes.
  4. Drain pasta (reserving 1 cup of liquid if needed) and return pasta to the pot.  Add shrimp to clam juice mixture for about 30 seconds, then pour contents over  pasta.  Add the capers, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and lemon zest, mix gently to combine.  Add remaining 3 Tbsp. of butter in three portions.  If still too dry, add reserved cooking liquid, 1 Tbsp. at a time, as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Plate and serve with grated cheese to pass.

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Mango Salsa for Fish, Chicken…..Even Chips!

Mango Salsa Fish

I came across a mango salsa recipe soon after we married and it was my first ‘fancy meal’ for company! 17 years later I still make it when I want to impress.  It’s a very easy fruit salsa recipe that takes about 15 minutes to throw together.  Mango salsa is delicious on most fish, chicken and pork.

Feel free to add/change ingredients to this mango salsa.  And although the recipe above calls for cilantro, it is equally as good with parsley.

Blackened Fish with Homemade Blackened Seasoning

My husband and I love blackened fish, however, the store bought versions of blackened seasoning leave a lot to be desired.  So the hubby began to tinker with seasonings and  in time developed this stellar recipe.  Unlike purchased versions that have way too much salt, or salt-free versions that have too little flavor, this recipe is wonderfully balanced and fully flavored.  This recipe makes enough for 2 to 3 meals; just keep stored in an air-tight bag or container. Fish that are particularly good blackened include tilapia, grouper,  and red snapper as a start.

Keys to success: 1) You’ll want to get your pan very hot so that the fish is seared and a good crust develops.  We always cook ours in a caste iron skillet but any pan that can get really hot can be used (I don’t recommend non-stick because the non-stick finish could be damaged at high heat).  If you aren’ using caste iron then you may want to spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray prior to heating.  2)  Tilapia, grouper and snapper are typically thin and at high heat they don’t take long to cook, just 2 – 3  minutes per side.  A quick test to see if the fish flakes when cut into will let you now when it’s done.

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Red Curry Chicken & Shrimp

I had never made curry before, but thanks to an article in Fine Cooking magazine I had great success the very first time.  They teach, as I’ll show you below, how to make a flavorful curry base.  From there, simply add your choice of protein (meat, chicken, seafood or Tofu) and vegetables.  I chose chicken, shrimp, asparagus and mushrooms but it is really up to you as to what you want to use.

Let me also say upfront that I quickly gave the chicken, shrimp and vegetables a quick stir fry because I wanted them to develop more flavor (and browning does that) than just by cooking in the curry base but you definitely don’t need to do that.  If you choose not to, just add to the broth (I’ll tell you when in the recipe below) and simmer until cooked through (approximately 3- 5 minutes for the protein and vegetables).

Keys for success:  1)  Have all your ingredients prepped and chopped prior to any of the cooking.  This will make the entire cooking process much easier and organized. 2) If you are going to stir-fry your ingredients first, before adding to the curry base, make sure your pan is very hot.  You want to quickly brown them a bit – but not necessarily cooking 100% through – you can finish them off while simmering in the curry base.

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Scallops With Orange Sauce

I’ve been eying this recipe for quite some time but didn’t make it because my husband doesn’t care for scallops.  But when my friend Sally from the Bewitching Kitchen blog posted it and raved about it – I knew my time had come.  I love an orange sauce for fish, seafood and chicken and this recipe didn’t disappoint.  Further – it is simple to make, taking only minutes.  And you can even make it ahead of time.  And, because of the way the sugar in the sauce is cooked, it also has a hint of caramel taste to it.

Quick enough for a week night dinner and elegant enough for weekend company!

 

 

 

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Crispy Salmon

Crispy Salmon Recipe

My all time favorite way to cook salmon is what I call “Crispy Salmon”.  As you can see, the flesh forms a succulent, crispy crust that is also incredibly flavorful.  The amazing part of this pan-fried, healthful salmon recipe is that there is no oil (olive or otherwise) in this recipe.  The only ingredients are salmon, salt and pepper!  How can this be?  Salmon is an oily fish (good oils!) and because of this, the oil exudes as it is cooked and the salmon actually cooks in its own juices.

fried salmon recipe

Also – its a cinch to cook.  The method employed also works for chicken and pork.  Read on…..

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Glazed Salmon Recipe with Asian Flare

I’m always looking for new ways to cook Salmon.  Glazes are a quick way to add a lot of flavor and this glazed salmon recipe does exactly that.  It combines many ingredients from the Asian aisle of your supermarket, as well as a bit of ketchup and brown sugar.  Instead of the ketchup you can use all Hoisin sauce (4 Tbsp. instead of 2) if you’d prefer.

This recipe comes from Cooks Illustrated magazine and the original recipe includes searing the salmon first on the stove top and then finishing it in the oven.  Searing the salmon creates a wonderful crisp crust but, quite honestly, you can skip that step, streamline your efforts and still serve a terrific dinner by just covering the salmon with the glaze and broiling it.   That’s what I’ve done here.  In a future post I’ll introduce crispy salmon that is best served on its own (no glaze or sauces).

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Orange Glazed Salmon with Carmelized Onions

We had this orange glazed salmon last night and it was a feast for the eyes and mouth!  The caramelized onions, which sit atop the crispy fish, are so easy to make as well as the perfect accompaniment for the fish.  Although easy enough for weeknight fare, I know this will fast become one of my ‘company dishes’.

This recipe, from 2008, came from a magazine called Cooking Pleasures.  The recipe needed a few changes to give the glaze more sticking power and deeper flavor.  The recipe below is the one I’ve adapted.

Keys to success for this glazed salmon recipe:  1) Caramelized onions are sweeter than sauteed because of the caramelization process which brings out an ingredient’s natural sugars.  Sweet onions will work best in this recipe because of their naturally higher sugar content.  But you can use regular cooking onions too. Simply taste it after they’ve been cooked and if they aren’t sweet enough add 1 tsp. of brown sugar to the pan, stir and cook for another minute or two, and then taste again.  2) Reducing the sauce is important, otherwise it will not be thick enough to adhere well to the fish.  Reducing, like caramelization, is another technique to concentrate flavors.

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Parmesan Lemon Tilapia with Capers

Diva Entertains Lemon Tilapia

We have tilapia quite a bit in our house.  It is relatively inexpensive, the frozen fillets are usually of excellent quality and the mild flavor of the fish is complimented by whatever sauce is served with it.

This is a pan sauce meaning that it is quickly made right after the tilipia is pan-sauteed.  You remove the fish, make the sauce, and then serve the fish with the sauce spooned over it.  Or, after you make the sauce, you can return the fish to pan so that it is ‘sauced’ in the pan.  I like to serve this meal with rice and spoon any remaining sauce over the rice.

Instead of dipping the fish in butter or an (whole) egg before dredging it in the Parmesan-flour coating, this recipe calls for dipping it in an egg white.  Egg whites produce an incredibly crispy coating which is why I employ this method so often while pan-sauteing fish.  Although this is a wonderfully quick dish for a weekday meal, it is also a great dish for entertaining.   Simply double or triple the quantities listed below.

*I save the clear, plastic bags that I put fruit and vegetables in at the grocery store and use them for times like this. Anytime that I need to dredge something in flour (typically fish or chicken) I mix the coating in the bag and then add the the fish (or chicken) to the bag and shake to have the coating adhere to it.

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Salmon with White Wine Caper Sauce

Diva Entertains Salmon in White Wine Sauce

I wish I were a food stylist/photographer so that I could convey how incredible this recipe is.  But alas – I never took a ‘real’ picture before this past January when I decided to blog and, well, my presentation skills are not the best.  But this recipe is!

This recipe, from Erath Vinyards, has long been a favorite with the recipe group I’m a part of.  But I never got around to trying it until recently.  Dumb move.  Because this could easily be one of the best fish recipes I’ve had.   Perfect when you are having company and want a meal that your guests will take pleasure in (and hopefully rave about, at least a bit:).

The original recipe calls for Pinot Gris but any dry white wine will work beautifully.

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