Not a shortage of veggies in this dish!
Love shrimp, love pasta? Love veggies? You’ll love this dish.
I’m trying to work my way through bags of pasta I bought over the last several months. When I get out of town to larger grocery stores and see so many beautiful pasta shapes, I can’t resist buying a bunch. Well I have enough to feed an army in my tiny pantry.
I can’t wait to have a whole pasta section in my new pantry. NEWS: Our slab is being poured this Thursday so once I see those walls go up, I’ll be measuring off my 10×7′ pantry to see what all I can get in there. Presently in our 800 sq. ft house we have been renting for almost three years I have what use to be a broom closet that GA did a great job making shelving in almost every square inch minus room for a broom. So to have a big pantry plus a butler’s pantry and wet bar with storage I will not know what to do with all that space. I will do my best to fill it all up.
All Shrimp or scallops or both and with or without pasta.
This recipe can be made as a first course appetizer or you could add some pasta for a main course.
The scallop shells I used to hold this recipe came from a friend who was cleaning out things she never used and I volunteered to take them off her hands. I will have a perfect place to put them when I get my very large pantry (top on my list for things I wanted in our new home); but for now they are in a under the bed box until I’m ready to use them again.
There are all kinds of cute little dishes hiding under my two beds right now (until we get out of this 800 sq ft house) that I want to use for dinner guest; especially my cute little glass espresso cups that will hold some kind of yummy decadent dessert and my tiny stemmed glasses that would be a great vessel for my date nut shake or mini chocolate martinis.
My first thought for these shells was to use them for a first course appetizer with one very large scallop with some kind of sauce poured over it. There are several other sauces I want to try once I can get larger scallops. Since I couldn’t find the extra large scallops, I had to settle for sea scallops so then decided to add shrimp to the recipe.
And…Red Pepper Sauce!
So, what does one do with a large package of smoked salmon that wasn’t eaten because of COVID. This was going to be on one of my appetizer trays for Christmas when all the kids were here but Covid happened and the week cut short and this package of salmon found itself thrown into the freezer.
We had plans to go to the movie the day I made this recipe and I knew we would eat ourselves sick on popcorn and by the time we got back I wouldn’t want to cook and a day’s diet of nothing but popcorn wouldn’t be that healthy. So, I got busy that morning and made my salmon cakes, my red pepper sauce and even made a Mardi Gras colored slaw for a side dish (since Mardi Gras was coming up). The slaw was beautiful, the cakes laid in the refrigerator just waiting to be cooked that night. Even if it was a late dinner, we had a “proper” meal.
Redfish with lots of butter!
I guess by now you know if you don’t want to read a bunch of text you can simply scroll through this “no ads” food blog and find the recipe. I, too, get tired of scrolling forever trying to find a recipe and seeing an ad every other paragraph. I have no ads for two reasons, first, I could never figure out how to get them on the blog and secondly I do this purely as a hobby. When, I’m not baking at Lollitop Sweet Shop with son, Paul I may actually find time to fire up some new dishes at home.
This recipe I found while searching for New Orleans fish recipes (nola.com). I love looking at different city’s newspapers that I can find on line for their regional cuisine recipes. I usually pick cities like Louisville (lived there), San Francisco (been there), NYC (been there too) and southern cities like Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans. It’s also fun to come across really good restaurants and I will pick through their menu to find something I might want to recreate. I still have an idea for a dish we had in Aux Baux France in 2012 at Le Varietes (and it is still on the menu; must be a favorite) for Poulet Sauce Tapenade Verte. It was a beautiful chicken dish with stacks of green and black tapenade and served with a tower of red rice (which I have).
Another one of those recipes I told you about from vacation.
The most special thing about this recipe, I thought, was the truffled bean puree on the plate. Below is my plate from Sky at Beaches in Turks and Caicos.
The above bean puree is a little thinner than what I used on my plate and the salmon at Sky didn’t have the crunchy coating AND I didn’t have the broccoli and cauliflower. But like I said the truffle bean puree was what got my attention.
I use to keep truffle oil but I never really used it that much except on shoestring french fries (and those are fantastic). I feel like after a year it was old and threw it away and while on a trip somewhere I had purchased a small jar of truffle salt. This worked perfect in the bean puree; just enough truffle flavor without overpowering the dish.
My bean puree should have been a little thinner but since I really liked the flavor I wanted more on my plate. I think it would be much easier to smear on the plate had it been thinner.
Good and bad from Poppycocks…
So, the bad I will get out of the way first. We had dinner one night at Poppycocks in Traverse City, MI and my husband had the worst meal ever. It was cold, the plating didn’t make sense, vegetables looked raw and even after sending it back it still wasn’t good or even hot. In almost 50 years of marriage I don’t think he has sent anything back. The fish had no color and looked steamed and who puts a big chunk of cold tomato under a cooked piece of fish.
Now to the good. I really felt quilty eating my delicious Key Lime Shrimp and Pasta dish. It was so good and the lime flavor was so refreshing. I offered him a bite (only one) which he refused because he was waiting on his plate to be reheated. I think maybe they took the plate back and just looked at it and brought it back. So much for the SPECIAL of the evening.
Love at first bite! Sadness at last!
What I remember about this dish the first time I tasted it; well it was love at first bite. My son, Paul, made it one weekend when they were visiting The Woodlands. Anything he cooks is always delicious. But this particular dish brought sadness too.
The sadness from eating this dish came when there was one bite left on my plate and I knew that was going to be the last. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way about anything I’ve eaten before but the redfish along with the corn maque choux and topped with lump crab meat was just so good and it’s always such a memorable experience watching/helping/being a sous chef to him.
Weekend with the Michies..
Oysters have never been high on my list for seafood and “raw” seafood for sure. But, this past weekend our son Paul with Brooke, Milo, Donovan and little Ellie (dog) came to visit Gran and Papa G for the weekend and their friends the Hatleys came also with their daughters.
So, what was the plan for food? Well the guys went to the seafood market and came back with blue crab, shrimp, corn, potatoes, mushrooms (all for crab/shrimp boil) and Paul had some fresh oysters. Since I was out of horseradish (I had a tiny bit) Paul suggested a mignonette sauce and I had all the ingredients for making up some pretty quickly.
Thai food anyone?
A lot of recipes I do come from things I’ve eaten at restaurants and have tried to recreate, some recipe are things I have cooked over years of being married and some are recipes I try of other peoples. Usually I’m tweaking with things I want to change in the recipe.
In the case of this recipe I only made one change or maybe two. I added sugar snap peas which I tninkadd a needed crunch factor to the recipe and also some color to lighten the dish up. I did also add some soy (or Tamari) sauce with the fish sauce only because I hate the smell of fish sauce but know it adds a lot of flavor to Asian recipes. My only other recommendation would be to only use one Fresno pepper. Even though we like things really hot around here, two peppers make for a pretty steaming hot dish. If you can’t find Fresno peppers substitute a jalapeño.
There are all types of noodles you can serve along with this dish. I made my husband Udon noodles but you can use rice noodles, ramen, or soba noodles. I made my dish with black rice so if you are wanting rice try the black (not wild or brown rice or some good old white rice even though it’s not as good for you as the black or brown rices.
Don’t you love, crisp, thin, crunchy things?
Ya know how you get an idea stuck in your head and can’t stop thinking about it? Well, I do that all the time. Five or six years ago I was watching one of Giada’s cooking show and she made this turkey sandwich with crisp pieces of puffed pastry. The puffed pastry wasn’t baked the normal way where it gets about two inches high (I am not a fan) but was sandwiched between two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and baked until crisp and brown.
I started thinking about doing this sandwich for a “back to school” post but then what kid is going to take a puff pastry sandwich to school. Maybe same kid that would have a pig roast for his first birthday (grandson Donovan). He might not like puff pastry either but I’m sure you will like this “bread” with either a spread or just put some freshly sliced lunchmeat with some avocado and mayo and have the crunchiest flakiest sandwich ever.
When my kids were in school seems like all they wanted for lunch was either pbj or turkey on white bread of course, plain, no mayo or mustard. When I was growing up my favorite sandwich was probably a thick slice of bologna on white bread with mustard or an egg sandwich made like a toad in a hole but with two slices of bread.
Do you want something cool for dinner on a hot summer night?
I cook all the time it seems like whether it is summer, fall, winter or spring. Soups are not as appealing in the summer months as the other three seasons and I don’t like eating a lot of cold foods in the cooler months when all you want is some good comfort food. But, when it is 100° outside with the “feels like” temperature even higher than that I do occasionally go for something easier and cold for dinner.
The day I bought this salmon, it wasn’t even on my grocery list. But, when I happened by the seafood section and saw this beautifully arranged salmon fillets, I had to buy some. We are lucky here in our part of Texas to have a great assortment of seafood year round. This salmon was a beautiful orange and was a wild caught fish which makes it even better.
The recipe I came across for the marinade for this dish used soba noodles. I decided to make it “pasta” free and make my noodles from zucchini, cucumber, carrot and onion. Remember, I don’t want to call this zucchini pasta because it isn’t fooling anyone saying that. I wouldn’t want my tastebuds set for some good pasta and get a mouth full of vegetables but, if you know in advance that this is a very healthy dish, you will not mind at all that it’s carb free.
Great use of leftover crab meat.
My son and his family were here recently and he made a wonderful Grilled Redfish on Half shell with Crab Macque Choux (corn) and a Carrot Habanero Burre Blanc Sauce. It was delicious and even though I could not begin to top his dish (see below) I did have 1/2 pound of crabmeat leftover from his Macque Choux .
So, one night we had some friends over and I decided to make a tuna tartare appetizer (recipe coming soon) we had tried at the Harvest Grill in Meridian, Mississippi when on our way to a family wedding in Alabama. And I wanted to come up with a crab dish to use that left over crab. I debated over either a crab spread (hot or cold) or crab salad but when I found this crab cake recipe I decided to try it because it used some avocado on the plate as a resting place for the crab cake and a red pepper sauce smeared on the plate. Visually, it just jumped off the page and I think I actually had all the ingredients to make it.