Tag Archives: Mr. B’s Bistro

Freeform Crawfish Ravioli

Freeform Crawfish Ravioli

OMG, you guys. We are ending Pasta with Seafood week on a hugely delicious note. Wow, was this ever so, so good. Utterly amazing and flavorful. Living where I do, I don’t find crawfish in the fish section of my grocery store very often, and though I can hunt it down, due to convenience’s sake, I don’t do so all that often. And thus, I sometimes can forget how much I adore crawfish. They’re so yummy! But, small shrimp can be subbed in with no problems.

Freeform Crawfish Ravioli

As per usual, here’s our recap from the week!

We began with a decadent Crab Macaroni and Cheese. So delicious and the leftovers only get better.

crab macaroni and cheese






Secondly, we went all Asian and healthy with Soy-Ginger Salmon over Asian Veggie Noodles. The whole thing was so flavorful and so easy to pull together on a busy weeknight.

Soy salmon over Asian veggie noodles






And then yesterday I showed you an alternate pasta carbonara, where we used anchovies instead of the bacon/pancetta. It was super tasty, and quite perfect for a romantic date night!

Anchovy Pasta Carbonara






And here’s a recipe round-up of seafood pasta dishes from the food blogosphere. Enjoy!

Decadent Crawfish Mac and Cheese from Call Me PMC
Lemon-Ricotta Pasta with Seared Scallops from Crumb Blog
Linguine with White Clam Sauce from The Texan New Yorker
Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce from See Aimee Cook
Shrimp with Lemon and Garlic Sauce over Pappardelle Pasta from Melangery
Squid Ink Fettuccine with Shrimp and Chorizo from The Texan New Yorker

Freeform crawfish ravioli

{One year ago: Cuban Black Bean Soup}

Source: adapted from The Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook

8 lasagna sheets
2 tbs plus 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a large)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 lb. cooked, shelled crawfish tails
1 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes, or more to taste
2 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
Snipped chives or scallion greens

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then salt it generously. Add lasagna sheets one at a time, so they don’t stick together, and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Remove with tongs and transfer to a cutting board. Cut each in half crosswise.
While the pasta is cooking, preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the 2 tbs butter. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until cooked and softened. Now add the crawfish, Creole seasoning, and chili flakes. Saute about 5 minutes, until the crawfish is heated through. Add the tomatoes and saute until few minutes until the tomatoes are soft and starting to break down.
Cube the remaining 1 1/2 stick of cold butter. Add the butter cubes to the crawfish, a few at a time, stirring constantly, letting them melt before adding the next batch of cubes. When all the butter has melted, shut off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, place a scant amount of sauce in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Add a pasta sheet, then a good spoonful of sauce, then another pasta sheet, and more sauce. Garnish with scallions or chives and serve immediately.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Happy Hump Day everyone! I’m still battling some cold virus thing that is really getting on my nerves. Matt and I are leaving for vacation Friday afternoon, and there’s still so much left to do to prepare and pack, little of which has been accomplished thus far. Oh, well, I trust it will all get done one way or another…

making strawberry salad

My dream last night is certainly an indicator I’m a bit under the weather – I dreamed I was on a “Chopped” episode and my competitors were Marcus Samuelsson, Marco Canora, and Shakira. The basket was themed “mystery meats” and the only recognizable ingredient was a bagged stir fry starter kit. And yes, I was the first one chopped…

tossing strawberry salad

I’m still a bit fatigued and fuzzy, and thus not really feelin’ it on the whole Write Creative and Articulate Blog Posts thing, so I’ll largely spare you. I had wanted to write a post about the whole Paula Deen fiasco; I do have some opinions (me? Have opinions? Never!), and I’d love for you to weigh in as well. But I think that will wait.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Instead, I’ll share this delicious, simple side salad in the hopes that strawberries are beautifully at their peak wherever you live. This was just wonderful – it would work as a side to a nice dinner or at brunch.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Source: adapted from Mr B’s Bistro Cookbook

2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups baby spinach
½ cup sliced and hulled strawberries

In the bottom of your salad serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Add spinach and strawberries, tossing to coat, and lightly season again with salt and/or black pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Cajun Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Tartar Sauce


Quite early into our dating relationship, Matt and I discovered that we are both cat people, so when things turned serious, it pretty much went without saying that we would be adopting cats at the first opportunity. That opportunity came shortly after we got married. One weekend we ventured to a wonderful no-kill shelter and brought home two six-month-old male tuxedo kitties. At this point I should tell you that I have an undergrad in biology and Matt is a chemist for a pharmaceutical company. So we named our cats after the scientists who discovered DNA: Watson and Crick.

This is Watson

This is Crick

A year and a half later, we got their crystallographer, Rosalind Franklin.

This is Rosalind

At first we said we would be good cat parents and not feed them any people food. This rule lasted  a few months, until I accidentally dropped a piece of raw chicken on the kitchen floor, one of the cats immediately snapped it up, and from that point on, it was all over. The begging in earnest began, any time either of us is in the kitchen.


We’ve been rather indulgent over the years; as a result, Watson and Crick have developed quite sophisticated and frankly, quite snooty, palates. (Rosalind is one of those odd cats who doesn’t care for people food). But the boys have literally gotten to where they will only eat squid, lobster, crab, and imported cured pork products. They turn their nose up at everything else. I wish I was kidding.


They really love their crabmeat, and they get very loud and demanding excited when I make crab cakes, because it means that after I sift the meat for cartilage, they get to eat the scraps and flecks of meat left on the plate. And they lick it clean. As in, literally licking-the-plate-across-the-floor clean, which is why I had to switch to a plastic plate for sifting the crabmeat. Ceramic plates make a horrid screeching sound when being pushed across a tiled floor. *shudder*


So I guess you could say my entire family enjoyed this meal! I made these last week while still on my New Orleans vacation high, thus why they are Cajun. 🙂 We did love them. Despite being Cajun, they are not too spicy, although the jalapeno tartar sauce made up for it aplenty. Omit the chiles if you want it milder.


Source: adapted from Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced dill pickles
2 tbs capers, plus 3/4 tsp of their juice
2 tbs diced poblano chile
2 tbs diced red onion
1 tbs diced jalapeno, with seeds
1 tbs sweet pickle relish
1 tbs hot sauce
1 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste

1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 medium red bell pepper, diced fine
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 scallions, sliced thin
Juice of 1/4 a lemon
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbs unsalted butter

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until needed. This will make about 2 cups as written.

In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, bell pepper, mayonnaise, panko, scallions, lemon juice, hot sauce, and Creole seasoning, being careful not to break up the crabmeat too much. Using a round biscuit cutter that is 2 1/2 inches in diameter, fill the cutter with the crab mixture and form into 8 cakes. Place the cakes on plates and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour to help set.
Combine the flour, salt and black pepper on a plate. Lightly dust both sides of the cakes in the seasoned flour. Gently tap off the excess.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tbs butter over medium to medium-high heat. When the skillet is nice and hot, add 4 crab cakes and cook about 2 minutes each side, until evenly browned and crisped on the bottom. Adjust the heat as necessary – you don’t want them burned, but you do want a golden brown crust. Remove the first batch of cakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining 4 cakes.
Serve 2 cakes per person with the tartar sauce on the side.

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp


After having had such a fun and delicious time in NOLA with Matt last week, I kind of want to keep the good times rolling at home, at least in the kitchen. So I’ve been doing a bit of Cajun/Creole cookin’ this week!

I began with a classic that I’ve never actually sampled on its home turf, New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp. Actually, I wasn’t even sure what this dish was until I made it last weekend. I saw it on tons of menus in New Orleans, but I assumed, incorrectly, that it was either grilled shrimp, or maybe shrimp tossed or basted with barbecue sauce. Truthfully, it sounded a tad boring.


Well, I was wrong on all counts. I’m not sure why it’s called barbecued shrimp because the grill is not involved. Instead, it’s shrimp tossed in a buttery, tangy sauce and usually eaten peel-n-eat style with plenty of soft French bread for mopping. It’s hardly dull, and pleasantly messy.


I should warn you, this sauce calls for an absolutely OBSCENE amount of butter. I swear my cholesterol rose five points just by reading the recipe. And don’t kid yourself into thinking that some sauce will remain in your bowl; you will mop up every, single last little drop with your bread, because it’s so unbelievably yummy.


Okay, here goes – the recipe calls for … three STICKS of butter. For two servings. Yeah… I actually wish I had stopped with two sticks though, and that’s what I would recommend. My sauce started breaking on me a little after I started in on the third stick, and two sticks is still plenty rich and decadent. Unless you’re Paula Deen, I doubt you would notice the difference. So that’s what I’ll recommend.


I made one other change – I decided to make this dish with peeled shrimp, so it wasn’t really a peel-n-eat meal. But still quite tasty and I think it worked. I hope all you shrimp-lovers will make this one soon, it’s freakin’ awesome! Crack some cold Louisiana beers, grab a very tall stack of napkins, put on some jazz, and have yourself a wonderful evening – Cajun style!


Source: adapted from Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook

1 ½ lbs. large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp Creole seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic
2-3 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cubed
French bread or a French baguette

In a large skillet combine the shrimp, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, Creole seasoning, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until shrimp are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove the shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon. Take care to leave all the sauce in the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring constantly and adding more butter only when the previous batch has completely melted. When the butter is added, remove the skillet from the heat. Place shrimp in bowls and pour the sauce over top. Serve with the bread for dipping and mopping.