Category: Fish / Seafood

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

Salmon is always a crowd pleaser with family and friends. Prepare this recipe for Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon in advance and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes for a quick and easy dinner. Serve with our Israeli Couscous as the perfect side!

The herb crust is made with thyme, chives and parsley that impart a lovely herbaceous flavor to the breadcrumbs with a little lemon zest for brightness. I use Panko breadcrumbs, which have more texture than regular breadcrumbs and crisp up nicely providing a crunchy contrast to the soft-textured fish.

Order a center-cut portion of the salmon.

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

Ask the fishmonger remove the skin for you.

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

The center portion is the thickest part with only a little taper either at the side or one end. Keep the fish whole, it’s easier to spread the crumb topping on a whole piece of fish instead of individual portions and it makes a beautiful presentation on a platter. The fish slices easily with a cake server.

Make this for your next dinner party – everyone will thank you, I promise!

Setup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, line a medium-size baking pan with foil, and brush with a little oil to prevent sticking.

Method

Place the salmon on the baking sheet and sprinkle the top with the salt and pepper. Fold any thin ends or sides underneath. If the thin end doesn’t fold easily, cut a small piece off. 

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

Slide that piece of salmon under the remaining thin end. The salmon cooks evenly and the end doesn’t dry out.

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

 

Combine the breadcrumbs, thyme, chives, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir in the olive oil until thoroughly blended.

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon chopped herbs

Scoop the crumb mixture across top of the salmon, patting gently to set.

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

NOTE: The salmon can be held in the refrigerator at this point for one day. Take out 30 minutes before roasting to bring to room temperature.

Pop the salmon in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until the salmon registers 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Use the foil to lift the salmon onto a platter and then rip the foil in the middle and pull from the ends to side the foil from under the salmon.

Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

 

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Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 46 serings 1x
  • Category: Seafood/Salmon
Scale

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds center-cut salmon, skin removed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons chopped thyme
3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Garnish
fresh chopped herbs

Instructions

Setup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, line a medium-size baking pan with foil, and brush with a little oil to prevent sticking.

Method

Place the salmon on the baking sheet and sprinkle the top with the salt and pepper; fold any thin ends or sides underneath. If the thin end doesn’t fold easily, cut a small piece of and tuck underneath.

Combine the breadcrumbs, thyme, chives, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir in the olive oil until thoroughly blended.

Scoop the crumb mixture across top of the salmon, patting gently to set.

NOTE: The salmon can be held in the refrigerator at this point for one day. Take out 30 minutes before roasting to bring to room temperature.

Pop the salmon in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until the salmon registers 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Use the foil to lift the salmon onto a platter and then rip the foil in the middle and pull from the ends to side the foil from under the salmon.

Keywords: #salmon #herbcrustedsalmon #roastedsalmon #fish #roasting #quickandeasy roastedsalmon

Seared Sea Scallops

seared sea scallops

Scallops are not only easy to prepare, they make a very elegant presentation. Delicate and sweet, yet rich and satisfying. The key to success is to sear the scallops in a very hot pan, which creates a beautiful brown outer crust. These can be served solo, or with a butter sauce poured over. We often serve them on top of pasta with pesto sauce. The key to succulent scallops is not to overcook them because they turn into tough, chewy, unpalatable discs.

How to Purchase Scallops

Fresh, untreated scallops are slightly cream-colored and sometime with a pinkish hue and should smell fresh, never briny, sour, or like iodine. Bright white scallops have been chemically treated also known as “wet scallops,” which makes them too moist to get a golden-brown sear and gives them an unpleasant taste. There are also fake scallops sold, look for the muscle on the side of the scallop, if it’s missing, it’s probably an imitation. This mollusk is highly perishable and should be used within a day or two of purchase. Store in the package they come in and refrigerator immediately; the less you handle them until you’re ready to cook, the better.

Scallops are sorted by size. Sea scallops are large and thick, bay scallops are tiny and are more appropriate in a poach or quick sauté to prevent drying out. The sign “U-10” or “U-20” means that the scallops are “under 10 per pound” or “under 20 per pound,” etc. with bay scallops being the smallest.

Searing Sea Scallops

An hour or two before cooking, open the package, place in a colander, peel away the small muscle attached to the side and discard. Rinse again and let drain in the strainer for a few minutes.

seared sea scallops removing the muscle

Line a plate or platter large enough to hold the scallops without touching with paper towel.

seared sea scallops prepped

Place the scallops on the tray leaving a little space between each one, cover with more paper towel and gently, very gently, press the paper towel onto the scallops. Store in the refrigerator.

seared sea scallops prepped

Drying the scallops of excess moisture makes it easier to sear them quickly and get a nice brown crust on the top and bottom without overcooking them.

Use a pastry brush dipped into a little olive oil to brush a non-stick skillet or griddle. Place over high heat.

seared sea scallops greasing pan

Fetch your scallops from the refrigerator and remove the top paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Once the skillet/griddle is hot, place the scallops seasoned side down and lightly sprinkle the tops with more salt and pepper.

Cook on high until the scallop has developed a nicely browned crust. Turn and cook another minute or two until that side has a nicely browned crust. The center of a cooked scallop should still be a little translucent and moist.

creamed kale and leeks with seared scallops

Serve these with our Creamed Kale and Leeks.

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Seared Sea Scallops

seared sea scallops

Sea scallops are low in calories, cook quickly, and go with a variety of sauces besides a butter sauce. Try pesto, tomato sauce, or salsa for variety.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Seafood
Scale

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds sea scallops
kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper
olive oil

Instructions

An hour or two before cooking, open the package, place in a colander, peel away the small muscle attached to the side and discard. Rinse again and let drain in the strainer for a few minutes.

Line a plate or platter large enough to hold the scallops without touching with paper towel.

Place the scallops on the tray leaving a little space between each one, cover with more paper towel and gently, very gently, press the paper towel onto the scallops. Store in the refrigerator.

Drying the scallops of excess moisture makes it easier to sear them quickly and get a nice brown crust on the top and bottom without overcooking them.

Use a pastry brush dipped into a little olive oil to brush a non-stick skillet or griddle. Place over high heat.

Fetch your scallops from the refrigerator and remove the top paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Once the skillet/griddle is hot, place the scallops seasoned side down and lightly sprinkle the tops with more salt and pepper.

Cook on high until the scallop has developed a nicely browned crust. Turn and cook another minute or two until that side has a nicely browned crust. The center of a cooked scallop should still be a little translucent and moist.

Serve these with our Creamed Kale and Leeks.

Keywords: scallops, cooking scallops, selecting scallops, scallop sizes, bay scallops, sea scallops

1 ½ pounds sea scallops
kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil

Shrimp Cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce

Shrimp cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce

We’re big fans of shrimp cocktail in our family and love the classic red sauce with enough horseradish to clear out your sinuses. Here’s a variation with a different kind of heat, one you feel in the back of your throat – Shrimp Cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce.

Yes, you can purchase precooked and cleaned shrimp at most grocery stores and fish mongers, but it’s pretty easy to steam the shrimp yourself. I like to use Old Bay Seasoning, but simply steaming over salty water will yield tasty shrimp.

How to Cook the Shrimp

Set up two bowls: a large one filled with ice and cold water and a smaller one set in the middle. Set the steaming basket aside for now. It’s best to put the shrimp in a cold basket to prevent sticking.

Bring 2 cups cold water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the seasonings, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Shrimp cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce

Place the shrimp in a cold steamer basket and lower into the pan.

Shrimp cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce

Cover and bring the water back to a boil and cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 4-8 minutes depending on the size and temperature of the shrimp. Don’t overcook or the shrimp become tough.

Slide the cooked shrimp into the small bowl in the cold water bath and toss the shrimp occasionally to cool evenly.

Shrimp cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce

Don’t place the shrimp directly in the ice bath. They lose flavor and texture is compromised.

Use immediately or refrigerator up to 2 days.

Whip up the Ancho Chili Cocktail Sauce

Whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice and chili powders. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

Shrimp cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce

For a large group, serve the dip in a bowl and surround with the shrimp and garnish with cilantro leaves.

To serve individual portions, scoop some sauce into individual cocktail sauce cups and place the shrimp around the rim.

Recipe doubles easily.

Shrimp cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce

Watch the Shrimp Cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce here.

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Shrimp Cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce

Shrimp cocktail with Ancho Chili Sauce
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
Scale

Ingredients

Shrimp

2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 pound large cleaned and deveined shrimp (~20 count)

Ancho Chili Sauce

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Garnish

Cilantro leaves

Instructions

Set up two bowls: a large one filled with ice and cold water and a smaller one set in the middle.

Set the steaming basket aside for now. It’s best to put the shrimp in a cold basket to prevent sticking.

Bring 2 cups cold water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the seasonings, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Place the shrimp in a cold steamer basket and lower into the pan. Cover and bring the water back to a boil and cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 4-8 minutes depending on the size and temperature of the shrimp. Don’t overcook or the shrimp become tough.

Slide the cooked shrimp into the small bowl in the cold water bath and toss the shrimp occasionally to cool evenly.

Don’t place the shrimp directly in the ice bath. They lose flavor and texture is impaired.

Use immediately or refrigerator up to 2 days.

Whip up the Ancho Chili Cocktail Sauce

Whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice and chili powders. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

For a buffet set up, serve the dip in a bowl and surround with the shrimp and garnish with cilantro leaves.

To serve individual portions, scoop some sauce into individual cocktail sauce cups and place the shrimp around the rim.

Notes

Placing the shrimp into a cold steamer basket and then into the hot pot to prevent the shrimp from sticking to the basket.

Recipe doubles well.

Seafood en Papillote

I used halibut, scallops, shrimp, and clams for this Seafood en Papillote and spooned a little sauce that’s got aromatics and acid to highlight the seafood.

Cooking en papillote creates intense flavor from steaming the ingredients in a tightly closed container. The parchment paper makes a dramatic presentation and when the diner rips it open that flavorful steam makes your mouth water.

Cooking en Papillote

En papillote simply means cooking “in parchment” in French. The Italians call it al cartoccio. Essentially, these are little packets of tender proteins with thinly sliced aromatics, herbs, spices and/or vegetables with a drizzle of acid, such as citrus or wine, a dollop of butter, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and tightly wrapped. The cooking method is a combination of baking and steaming. The enclosed package keeps the steam in, cooks quickly, infuses flavor, and keeps food moist.

The most important thing is to create a tight seal, so the bag puffs up. Using parchment paper can be a little tricky and aluminum foil is virtually fool-proof. The parchment paper, however, makes a more glamorous presentation – slightly charred paper that pierces easily releasing the aromas under the nose of the diner.

Folding the Parchment Packets

4 half-sheet parchment sheets (16 ½” x 12 ¼”)
Scissors
Large baking tray

Fold the parchment in half and trim to a 15″ x 12″ rectangle. Draw a half heart shape on each and cut with scissors.

en papillote

Open and lay the ingredients in the center, fold the paper over and crimp.

Crimping the Packet

en papillote

Start at the top of the packet and fold ½-inch over and crease well. Continue making ½-inch folds with a firm crease until you reach the bottom point. Crimp and tuck final pleat under the packet.

en papillote

The key to success is a tightly sealed packet to contain the steam.

Aluminum Foil Packets

Use either regular or heavy-duty foil that’s 20 inches wide. Pull 4 sheets that are 20 inches long.

Fold in half, open and place the food in the center of one side.

en papillote

Fold over and square off the side by folding the edge. Turn and fold each end, pressing hard to seal tightly.

en papillote

The advantages of foil is the ease of creating a secure seal and if you open the packet and the food isn’t cooked through, it reseals easily.

Watch the Seafood en Papillote video here.

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Seafood en Papillote

Cooking en papillote is fun to make and intense flavors are easy to create because of the cooking method. This Seafood en Papillote recipe uses halibut fillet, sea scallops, shrimp, and cherrystone clams.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Baking/Steaming
Scale

Ingredients

¼ cup white wine
¼ cup clam juice or fish stock
¼ cup minced shallots (2 small shallots)
1 tablespoon minced cloves garlic (3 medium cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper flakes
8  thin slices of fresh lemon
4  three- to four-ounce skinned white fish fillets, such as halibut or cod
8 cherrystone clams, thoroughly washed
8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 sea scallops, cleaned
8 fresh thyme sprigs
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces

Instructions

Parchment paper or foil wrappers.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the wine, clam juice or fish stock, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes in a covered container.

Place 2 slices of lemon centered near the midsection of each wrapper.

Set one fish filet on each of the lemons, set 2 clams, 2 shrimp, and 2 scallops, and 2 cherry tomatoes around the fish. Top with 2 thyme sprigs.

Shake the wine sauce to combine and pour a quarter over each fish and top with a one piece of the butter.

Crimp each packet and cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Serve in the package and let each dinner open. The aromatic steam is part of the experience.

Notes

Folding the Parchment Packets

4 half-sheet parchment sheets (16 ½” x 12 ¼”)
Scissors
Large baking tray

Fold the parchment in half and trim to a 15″ x 12″ rectangle. Draw a half heart shape on each and cut with scissors.

Open and lay the ingredients in the center, fold the paper over and crimp.

Crimping the Packet

Start at the top of the packet and fold ½-inch over and crease well. Continue making ½-inch folds with a firm crease until you reach the bottom point. Crimp and tuck final pleat under the packet.

The key to success is a tightly sealed packet to contain the steam.

Aluminum Foil Packets

Use either regular or heavy-duty foil that’s 20 inches wide. Pull 4 sheets that are 20 inches long.

Fold in half, open and place the food in the center of one side. Fold over and square off the side by folding the edge. Turn and fold each end, pressing hard to seal tightly.

The advantages of foil is the ease of creating a secure seal and if you open the packet and the food isn’t cooked through, it reseals easily.

Lemon Dill Baked Salmon

sustainable fish

My mother and my girlfriend Lynn love salmon. They were talking about recipes at a recent dinner party and they both make a similar version of this Lemon Dill Baked Salmon. Not only is it quick, easy and delicious, but it’s makes a stunning presentation with few ingredients and very little work.

I have become very particular about seafood, questioning the quality and the health of farm-raised seafood, especially in locations where there are no protocols for ensuring that appropriate standards are set and used.

Whole Foods’ seafood department relies on “traceability from farm or fishery to store.” The goal is not only to know the source, but to verify that these sources are responsibly managed, whether it’s a fish farm or fishery. I rely on them for much of my seafood and the seafood is pristine and delicious.

I purchased a beautiful salmon fillet, about 1 1/4 pounds, including the skin, which I removed  (the fish monger will always remove the skin for you, just ask). This produced two thick fillets about 5 ounces each and a smaller, thinner piece, not quite 4 ounces, that I chopped up and made into a salmon burger.

High heat is the best way to cook fish. It’s quick and not much moisture is lost in the process. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lay the fillets on a lined baking tray, brush with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper.

sustainable fishPlace fresh dill fronds across the top.

sustainable fish

Cover each with 2 thin slices of lemon.

sustainable fish

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven for medium rare (warm, slightly translucent center) or 20 minutes for a more well done fillet.

sustainable fish

Don’t waste the lemons, give a little squeeze from each slice to brighten the salmon.

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Lemon Dill Baked Salmon

sustainable fish

A quick and easy preparation that is both eye and palate pleasing!

Scale

Ingredients

4 five-ounce center-cut skinless salmon fillets
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
45 dill fronds per fillet
1 lemon cut into 8 thin slices

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lay the fillets on a lined baking tray, brush with oil and season each with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Top with dill fronds and 2 lemon slices each.

Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes for medium-rare or 20 minutes for medium-well.

Squeeze the lemons over the fish.

Notes

Be sure to get center-cut fillets, these are the thickest. Tuck the skinny end under (after seasoning) for even cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto

Classic Pesto

This recipe for Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto didn’t start out with pepper flakes. It never even occurred to me to pair pepper flakes with pesto. However, when I was sautéing the zucchini and shrimp I forgot I wasn’t making a butter sauce and sprinkled in the spice. One of those “aha moments” – spicy pesto is delicious!

Sauté zucchini, shrimp and crushed red pepper flakes in olive; add pesto and combine, stir in cooked spaghetti and a little pasta water, if need to thin the sauce. Garnish with cherry tomatoes. Click here for the Classic Pesto recipe.

Classic Pesto

Watch the Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto Here:

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Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto

Classic Pesto

Spice things up with this spaghetti and shrimp dish with spicy pesto!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 37 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini cut in quarters lengthwise and then in ½-inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 pound large shrimp (1620 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • pasta water, as needed
  • GARNISH
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta liquid before draining.
  2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  3. Stir in the zucchini and salt and cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and crushed pepper flakes, cook stirring occasionally until shrimp are pink and firm – about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the pesto sauce and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta liquid. Stir to loosen. Add the pasta, stir to combine and add as much pasta liquid as need to coat the spaghetti evenly.

 

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Linguine with White Clam Sauce and Bacon

I frequently dine alone on weeknights as my husband’s work schedule is a little crazy. He was in Washington for a few days last week and again this week. Oftentimes, I don’t think much about what I’m going to eat. I clearly won’t starve, the pantry, refrigerator and freezer hold ample supplies that allow for a quick meal for one, such as Linguine with White Clam Sauce.

Linguine with white clam Sauce is one of my favorite pasta dishes and not one Eric cares for. When he’s out of town, it’s a golden opportunity to treat myself! By the time I think of making this, it’s too late to do the whole fresh clam thing, so I keep little 6.5 ounce cans of clams on hand. At 6pm when I begin to wonder what’s for dinner, I can cook up a single serving in the amount of time it takes to boil a few ounces of pasta. It’s quick, easy and very satisfying.

One night it occurred to me that clams and bacon go together in such a delicious way, why not chop up a little bacon, crisp it up and use it with he clams. Now I have two versions of this Linguine with white clam sauce!

Linguine with White Clam Sauce and Bacon

Putting it all Together

Gather and prep your ingredients while a large pot of salted water comes to a boil.

Put the pasta in the boiling water, stir and don’t forget to set your time for about 2 minutes less than recommended. The pasta finishes cooking in the skillet with the sauce.

Start the Bacon in a Cold Skillet

Place the bacon in a cold medium skillet over medium heat. Starting with a cold pan keeps the bacon from sticking and burning. Cook and stir until crispy. Remove and place the bacon bits in a small bowl. Skip this step if you don’t want bacon, but it’s really, really good!

Linguine with White Clam Sauce and Bacon

Add enough olive oil to the hot skillet with the bacon fat to make about 2 tablespoons of fat. Add the shallot, garlic, salt and pepper flakes. If you don’t want the heat from the pepper flakes, use freshly ground pepper instead. Cook and stir until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Turn down the heat if the garlic is browning too quickly.

Add the clam juice only and bring to a boil, let simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley.

Linguine with White Clam Sauce and Bacon

Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water, and add the pasta and the  bacon bits to the sauce with the clams; toss to combine. Cook until the pasta is al dente, a little firm, not hard, to the bite. The pasta soaks up the sauce, add a little of the reserved cooking liquid if needed.

Garnish with the grated Parmesan cheese.

 

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Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Linguine with White Clam Sauce and Bacon

Keep pasta and canned clams on hand for a quick and easy single serving of Linguine with White Clam Sauce. For a little variety add bacon!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
  • Category: Pasta
Scale

Ingredients

  • 34 ounces dry linguine, cooked according to the package instructions, reserve ½ cup cooking liquid
  • 12 slices smoky bacon, diced
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil, depends on how much bacon fat is left in the pan
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 can (6.5 ounces) clams with juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Garnish
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Gather and prep your ingredients while a large pot of salted water comes to a boil.
  2. Put the pasta in the boiling water, stir and don’t forget to set your time for about 2 minutes less than recommended. The pasta finishes cooking in the skillet with the sauce.
  3. Place the bacon in a cold medium skillet over medium heat. Starting with a cold pan keeps the bacon from sticking and burning. Cook and stir until crispy. Remove and place the bacon bits in a small bowl.
  4. Add enough olive oil to the hot skillet to make 2 tablespoons with the bacon fat.
  5.  Add the shallot, garlic, salt and pepper flakes. If you don’t want the heat from the pepper flakes, use freshly ground pepper instead.
  6. Cook and stir until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Turn down the heat if the garlic is browning too quickly.
  7. Add the clam juice only and bring to a boil, let simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice.
  8. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water, and add it along with the bacon bits and clams to the sauce; toss to combine. Add a little reserved cooking liquid if the sauce is dry.
  9. Garnish with the parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Fish Fillets

Roasted Fish Fillets

This is the final video in our Fish Master Class series: Roasted Fish Fillets topped with a couple of delicious compound butters.

Wild Alaskan Cod Tenderloin

The first fish is a wild Alaskan cod tenderloin. This is a mild-flavored, flaky fish. The texture and flavor of this fish is best when cooked through. It’s a forgiving fish; the natural cod oil keeps the fish moist and even if you happen to overcook it a little. I chose to top this with the Garlic Herb Compound Butter.

Wild Sockeye Salmon

Baked Salmon Filet with Lemon Dill Compound Butter

Our second fish is a wild sockeye salmon also from Alaska. This is a leaner salmon and shouldn’t be overcooked. This fish is medium rare to medium. The taste and texture are excellent at any temperature point. The lemon dill compound butter is perfect for this fish.

Roasting Method

Roasting fish fillets is simple. Cut the fillets into individual portions before cooking, it has a neater look. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with a little olive oil. Season both sides of the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Lay on the baking sheet, rub and turn to coat with the oil.

Roasted Fish Fillets

Baking time depends on the depth of the fish, at a minimum a thin fish like the sockeye no less than 6 minutes and the thicker cod could be 12-15 minutes.

Roasted Fish Fillets

Watch our video here.

How to Skin Fish Fillets

fish fillet

Removing the skin from fish is optional. You can certainly cook the fish skin on and serve it that way. You can also remove the skin after cooking, but it disturbs the delicate meat and doesn’t make a very nice presentation.  We demonstrate here how to skin fish fillets before cooking.

Remember, too, that any fish monger will do this for you, you just have to ask.

I also like to cut the fish into individual portions before cooking. It’s easier and much neater.

How to Skin a Fish Fillet

It’s always a great teaching moment when things don’t go smoothly. My knife didn’t stay the course (the knife, not me) and a strip of skin stayed in place. A mistake when teaching is always a golden opportunity to show how to correct it.

See how to fold the thin portion on a salmon fillet to cook evenly.

We roasted these beautiful cod and salmon fish fillets and used these compound butters to create a quick and easy sauce.

Watch the video here.

Check out our Fish Master Class on YouTube.

 

How to Select a Fresh Fish Fillet

fresh fish fillets

This is another segment in our Fish Master Class on how to select a fresh fish fillet.

A reputable fish monger keeps a very clean store, it’s odor free and has lots of fresh ice in the case with the fish on top and good drainage below. Look for a busy store, which means quick turnover and fresh fish.

Qualities of Fresh Fish

Good quality, fresh white meat fish is moist, no cracks in the flesh, somewhat opaque, and has a fresh clean smell. Avoid any fillets that appear dry, cracked, have pooling water, a funky/fishy smell or the flesh is turning a chalky white.

In a dark-fleshed fish, such as salmon or tuna, look for the same qualities as above, but with vibrant color, tuna is almost red and salmon a bright orange to somewhat of a melon color. Avoid any fillets that appear dry, cracked or the flesh is turning a dark color.

Purchase your fish fillets the day of or day before cooking. Keep wrapped in the back of the refrigerator on the bottom shelf.

See our post on roasting these beautiful cod and salmon fish filets.

Watch the video here.

Next week, we demonstrate how to remove the skin from a fresh fish fillet.

Identifying Fresh Fish

Characteristics of Fresh Fish

We had lots of fun making this Fresh Fish Master Class video. I had my first guest, Aust Martin
from thisishomesteady.com. Aust stopped on the way over, on a rainy, gray day, to catch a trout for the show. You can’t get any fresher than that!

It’s really important to purchase your fish from a pristine fish monger. The place should sparkle, have a very fresh smell, like seawater. The cases should be filled with lots and lots of ice, but the fish should not be in any water. Another important key to freshness is turnover, which means frequent purchases and replenishment

Fresh Fish Characteristics
Eyes

Yes: Crystal clear, plump, moist
No: sunken or cloudy

Characteristics of Fresh Fish

Gills

Yes: Clean, cold and bright color
No: Slimy and dark color

Fins

Yes: wet and whole
No: dried out, torn or broken

Flesh

Yes: cold, wet, slippery and resilient when poked
No: sticky, finger indentation remains when poked

Characteristics of Fresh Fish

Smell

Yes: Clean, fresh
No: funky, fishy

Watch the video here.