Tag Archives: Seafood

Seared Tuna with Kalamata Olive Tapenade

22 Apr

This recipe is super easy and so full of flavor! In a mini food processor, blend together 1 cup of pitted Kalamata Olives, a few sprigs of Parsley, a clove of Garlic, a couple of Tablespoons of Olive Oil and Black Pepper to taste. Optional: add 1 or 2 Anchovies and/or 2 Teaspoons of Capers. You could also use other kinds of olives, but Kalamata are one of my favorites.

Spread a generous amount of the Tapenade on one side of your Tuna.  Then, in a hot cast iron skillet (or nonstick pan) pour a couple of Tablespoons of Olive Oil, place the fish (Tapenade side down) in the hot pan and cook for about 4 minutes. Turn it over with a spatula and cook for another 4 minutes (or less if you like your Tuna rare in the middle).

Serve on a bed of Arugula that is lightly tossed with Lemon juice/Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and some thinly sliced cucumbers, dressed with some seasoned Rice Vinegar (seasoned Rice Vinegar has salt and sugar added). Enjoy!

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Crab Louie Salad and Spud Point Marina

20 Feb

There is nothing like freshly cooked Dungeness Crab, dipped in garlic butter! I also like to make a second dipping sauce from Mayonnaise, Lemon Juice and some Curry Powder. The flavors pair very well with the Crab and a simple shaved Fennel & Apple salad (tossed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt & Pepper), along with some crusty bread, can’t be beat. By the way, family members, please note for my “Last Supper”!

We wanted to cook up some live Dungeness Crab for dinner a few weekends ago, so took a drive out to Spud Point Marina in Bodega Bay in Northern California. It’s just a few minutes north of Lucas Wharf. Lucky for us, Seafood Watch considers this type of crab sustainable and Paisano Brothers Fisheries had a holding tank full of them–being well into the season, we were surprised by the large size of 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. It’s a good idea to take an ice chest since they only have plastic garbage bags, which are easily punctured by their claws, making your trunk wet and possibly having them escape!

If you’re not up for cooking them yourself, Spud Point Crab Company is across from the Marina and serves Crab sandwiches and Clam Chowder, among other things.

We had plenty of leftover Crab, so I made a salad with a “Louie” style dressing (including Mayo, Sweet Pickle Relish, Ketchup, Lemon Juice, Chopped Capers).

Hopefully, we’ll do this again at least one more time this year! The season begins in Mid-November (perfect for a pre-Thanksgiving meal) and runs to June, but it’s best to get them in the winter months. Do you have a favorite Crab recipe to share?

Calamari Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

14 Jan

It’s the New Year and eating healthier is definitely on my mind. Have you tried Calamari? It is sustainable, delicious and tender when cooked properly.

One of my favorite ways, other than grilling it, is to gently steam it for several minutes, in a vegetable steamer, over simmering water infused with a few strips of Lemon Zest and 1-2 Bay Leaves. It cooks very quickly over steam so don’t walk away from it. It won’t take long to become firm and will continue to cook even after you have it off the heat. Then, throw it into the Vinaigrette, which will help stop the cooking process.

Salad for 2 people:

  • 4-6 Calamari, depending on the size (steamed and sliced into rings)
  • 1 Carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Romaine Lettuce (I suggest using the heart and keeping the leaves whole, or Butter Lettuce would be nice too)
  • Arugula, 1 handful
  • 1/2 Bulb Fennel, shaved thinly
  • Olives, about a handful, cut in half (I had green ones on hand, but Kalamata would also work well)

 For the Vinaigrette:

  • 3 Parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
  • 1 Part Lemon Juice*
  • Juice of 1/2 an Orange*
  • 1/2 Shallot, finely chopped (or thinly sliced Red Onion)
  • Parsley, a few sprigs, finely chopped
  • Red Pepper Flakes (1-2 pinches or to taste)
  • Salt, to taste

*Note: if you prefer a sharp dressing like I do, use 2 parts Oil and 1 part Juice . You could also use the leftover 1/2 orange, cut  it into segments, and add them to the salad.

  1. Combine the ingredients of the Vinaigrette in a Salad bowl
  2. Toss in the steamed Calamari and let it marinade for about 10 minutes
  3. Combine the rest of the salad ingredients with the Vinaigrette and Calamari and enjoy!

I first heard about the technique of steaming Calamari while watching one of Lidia Bastianich’s cooking shows, Lidia’s Italy, on PBS. You can view her recipe here and for instructions on how to clean them, here is a link from Monterey Fish Market.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

7 Oct

You’ve probably heard that seafood is healthy for us and should be part of our diet (although there are some concerns about elevated levels of Mercury in certain fish, like Tuna and Swordfish). The Monterey Bay Aquarium provides valuable information about seafood recommendations to promote sustainability. They offer a seafood watch program suggesting what seafood to buy and what seafood to avoid. Download the pocket guide or get it on your iPhone or Android via Apps.

One sustainable fish is the Anchovy. You probably love ’em or hate ’em! If you like them but haven’t tried Anchovies in recipes other than topping a Pizza or in a Caesar Salad, I highly recommend the House-cured anchovies at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco or create your own version at home, although the House-cured Anchovies are more mild than canned.

Try this simple appetizer with a few staple ingredients:

Good quality anchovies (note, a small bottle 0r can of anchovies will be more salty than Zuni’s house-cured so I would suggest rinsing then drizzling Extra Virgin Olive Oil over them and let them marinate about 10-15 minutes before eating. Save the oil to drizzle over the dish)

Celery, sliced thinly on a diagonal

Nicoise olives (Kalamata would be a suitable substitute if you can’t find Nicoise)

Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced

Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

Lemon juice, to taste (optional)

Serve with sliced Acme Levain bread (or other Artisan Sourdough) and a glass of Champagne or Sancerre. It’s great for  a light lunch too!