Tag Archives: Seafood

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce #BrunchWeek

Welcome to the fourth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! Eight amazing sponsors are helping us host a GIVEAWAY of some incredible prizes for multiple winners. CLICK HERE to enter!

This is my first time participating in Brunch Week, so thank you for accepting me into the group! I’m thrilled to be here. We have some lovely sponsors for the week, including the one I’m highlighting today: Cabot Cheese.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

But, and I say this with one hundred percent seriousness, I had already committed to the idea of sharing a version of shrimp and grits even before finding out about Cabot’s participation. I absolutely adore shrimp and grits, in pretty much any form. Except maybe the overcooked shrimp versions. Those we can all do without. Anywho…

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

There are about as many variations on shrimp and grits as there are fiends for the dish, and while I have zero complaints about a well-executed stripped down version, for Brunch Week I decided it had to be a bit more complex and special. This particular recipe features spicy Andouille sausage mingling with the shrimp which forms a bit of a saucy topping for the firmer-yet-luscious grits, and then it’s drizzled with an even spicier yet creamy actual sauce on top.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

This was so delicious, so special and completely perfect to kick start Brunch Week. Stay tuned, there is much excitement to come! Enjoy!

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

Source: slightly adapted from Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp and Grits by Nathalie Dupree

Ingredients:

CREAM SAUCE:
1/3 cup green vinegar-based hot sauce, such as green Tabasco
¼ cup dry white wine
1 shallot, chopped
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and black pepper, to taste

SHRIMP:
Drizzle of olive oil, plus more as needed
8 oz. raw Andouille sausage, casings removed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ cup minced onion, such as Vidalia
4 tsp chopped garlic
30 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

GRITS:
5 cups water
3 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
8 tbs unsalted butter
2 cups coarse grits, not instant
8 oz. sharp white Cabot cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Start with the CREAM SAUCE: combine the green hot sauce, wine, shallot, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium-sized saucepan. Boil over medium heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Set aside.

Now make the SHRIMP: heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and crumble it with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cook, stirring frequently, until no traces of pink remain. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic and saute until veggies are tender. Add the shrimp, tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, and Old Bay seasoning. Saute, stirring, until shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Be aware of how much salt your Cajun and Old Bay seasonings may already have. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Now make the GRITS: bring the water, milk, cream and butter to a simmer in a medium-to-large stockpot. Gradually whisk in the grits. Stir frequently, until the grits are soft and thickened. This will take at least 15 minutes, and up to 1 hour depending on what brand of grits you are using. When the grits are ready, turn the heat to low and stir in the shredded cheese until it melts. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.

To serve, rewarm the cream sauce and shrimp. Spoon the grits into bowls and top with the shrimp and andouille sauce. Now top with the hot pepper cream sauce and serve immediately.

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Check out my fellow #BrunchWeek bloggers! Some very tasty recipes here!

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Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce #SundaySupper

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Welcome to a Meatballs-themed Sunday Supper!!! So much fun, so many possibilities of what to cook – I debated for a while but decided I wanted to showcase some seafood meatballs.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

So this is crab cakes meets meatballs in a delicious little appetizer that will likely remind you of being at the beach. If that sounds perfect to you, then you’re in good company. Bread-y seafood liberally dunked in tangy, creamy tartar sauce always wins in my book!

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

You may notice I do not call for salt in the meatballs – that is not a typo. Much of the binder is crushed kettle potato chips, and they provide plenty of salt already. As written, this may or may not provide an excess of tartar sauce, depending on your tastes and dipping style. I toss shredded green cabbage in my leftover sauce to make a very fast and quite tasty impromptu coleslaw.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Enjoy! And be sure you check out the meatball offerings of my Sunday Supper crew!

Sources: meatballs from The Meatball Shop Cookbook by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow; tartar sauce from 20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:

TARTAR SAUCE:
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped cornichons
2 tbs minced shallots
2 tbs minced green onion tops
1 tbs finely chopped capers
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp Creole mustard or other spicy mustard
½ tsp Louisiana style hot sauce
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp dried basil
Small pinch of kosher salt

MEATBALLS:
Olive oil, for coating the baking dish
1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat, picked over for shells
1 ½ cups crushed kettle-cooked potato chips
½ cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tbs Old Bay seasoning
Juice from ½ a lemon

Directions:
First make the TARTAR SAUCE by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate until needed. Ideally, make this about 30 minutes ahead of time so the flavors have a little time to marry together.
To make the MEATBALLS, preheat your oven to 450 F. Drizzle enough olive oil to coat a 9×13” baking dish and use your hand, a paper towel, or a pastry brush to brush the olive oil over the entire surface. Set aside.
Combine the crab meat, potato chips, mayonnaise, egg, bread crumbs, Old Bay, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Roll the mixture into ¾-inch balls, making sure to pack the mixture firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, lining them up snugly in rows. Roast for 10-12 minutes, until the meatballs are firm and golden on top. Allow the dish to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Meatball Appetizers:

Meatball Soups:

Main Dish Meatballs:

Meatball Desserts:

Plus Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and More Amazing Meatball Recipes  from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Salmon over Mustard Braised Brussels Sprouts

Salmon over Mustard Braised Brussels Sprouts

It’s done! Here’s hoping your Christmas was happy, safe, delicious, and free of heated political discussions. Now we all turn to spending gift cards and thinking about our New Year’s plans, right?

Matt and I tend to keep things low-key on New Year’s Eve, usually small gatherings and sometimes it’s just us. As much as I love seeing friends on NYE, I’ve found it can also be very fun to have a romantic night with your love, too. Sometimes we’ve gone to nice restaurants, but some years we’ve stayed in and cooked a fancy meal.

Salmon over Mustard Braised Brussels Sprouts

This recipe made me think of that. It could not be more perfect for a romantic date. It’s seasonal, mostly light and healthy with a little decadence thrown in for good measure; it’s fancy-sounding and gorgeous to look at – it’ll remind you of dining at a fine restaurant, only more intimate and much less expensive.

It’s so delicious. Salmon and Brussels sprouts may sound like an odd pairing, but it really works. Wonderful contrasts of flavors and textures here, and the best part is that it’s so easy and fast to throw together! I highly recommend this for a date night, whether it be NYE or any random Saturday. Enjoy!

Salmon over Mustard Braised Brussels Sprouts

Source: adapted from Tyler Florence Family Meal by Tyler Florence

Ingredients:
4 thin slices of pancetta, chopped
½ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 large shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy cream
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tbs yellow mustard
1 tbs whole-grain mustard
2 salmon fillets
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful of gourmet, kettle potato chips
Thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions:
Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisped. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Add the butter to the pancetta drippings, then the Brussels sprouts. Cook until the sprouts are tender and charred, then add the shallot and garlic. Cook 1 minute more, until softened. Add the cream, thyme sprigs, and both mustards. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat a smaller skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some olive oil. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the hot skillet, skin side down, and cook until crisped, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side another 2-3 minutes, until medium-rare inside. Remove to a plate.
To assemble, spoon half the Brussels sprouts mixture onto a dinner plate and place a salmon fillet on top. Place some potato chips on top of the salmon, then sprinkle the crisped pancetta over all. Garnish with thyme leaves. Repeat on a second plate. Serve immediately.

Viognier-Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

A few days ago, I noticed my body was absolutely screaming for some seafood and vegetables. And while I don’t really buy into the whole “intuitive eating” concept – sometimes my “intuition” is toddler-esque and wants to eat ice cream for dinner, and I have to say no to myself; and then of course, as any parent of a toddler does, try to ignore the ensuing anger, pouting and tears. But when my body yelps for something light and healthy, I do listen up.

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

Amidst all the holiday baking and heavier foods of the current season, I’ve been made aware of the need to balance it all out with some lighter fare. I’m going to take how wonderful this meal tasted, plus the way I was absolutely HORFING an arugula salad last night as confirmation that I did the right thing.

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

There is some wintry richness to this dish, but it’s really balanced. And just wonderfully delicious. There’s all the flavors and textures your palate could possibly want in one bowl. Briny and chewy clams, salty, crunchy bacon, sweet softness from the parsnips, and fatty richness from the cream base all come together for the perfect bite.

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

And if this isn’t enough to convince you, let me also say that this is the ideal weeknight meal, especially for this busy time. It comes together very quickly – the longest time-suck is roasting the parsnips, and that is mostly hands off and can be done days before. The rest comes together in one pot and very fast. Oh and if you can’t find Viognier wine, just sub in a dry Reisling. Enjoy!

Viognier Steamed Clams with Bacon and Parsnips

Source: slightly adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, October 2006

Ingredients:
½ lb. parsnips, peeled
2 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 oz. thickly sliced bacon, chopped
¾ cup Viognier
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbs snipped chives
Oyster crackers, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Cut your parsnips in half crosswise, so you have skinny pieces and fatter pieces. Cut the skinny pieces in half once lengthwise and quarter the fatter pieces lengthwise. Place the parsnips on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the parsnips, turning once or twice, until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then slice them across ¼-inch thick. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until well browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon strips with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Add the Voignier, butter, shallots, and garlic to the skillet over medium heat. Add the clams and turn the heat to high. Cover the pot and cook until they open, 6 to 8 minutes. Use tongs to transfer each clam to a large bowl as they open.
Add the cream to the clam broth in the skillet. Boil until reduced by half, a couple of minutes. Add the roasted parsnips, bacon, chives, and the cooked clams in their shells to the skillet. Season generously with black pepper.
To serve, spoon into shallow bowls and garnish with oyster crackers. Serve immediately.
Serves 2-3 people.

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Like many other Gen X Americans, my first experience of squid was in the form of fried calamari with the cocktail dipping sauce. I’d heard of this restaurant appetizer in my teens, but unsurprisingly, I was incredibly reluctant to try it, given the squeamish picky eating and all. Also unsurprisingly, it was my then-boyfriend and now-husband who convinced me to give it a taste.

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

And so I fell down the rabbit hole. Needless to say, I loved fried calamari and started ordering it whenever I got the chance. It wasn’t until some years later that I thought that maybe I should try squid in non-breaded, non-fried states as well.

We’ve grilled it many times, which is harder than it looks to get the perfect texture, and possibly why I’ve yet to blog grilled squid. I’ve also got in mind a stuffed squid dish I want to try, and rest assured squid is delicious in paella or over pasta.

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

But (pseudo) stir-frying the squid, I’m very happy to report, is probably one of the easiest methods of cooking this type of seafood out there. It takes almost no time to cook, and a primarily Asian cooking method yielded this beautiful Italian-style quick and healthy dinner. The tomatoes are bright and acidic, yet slightly sweet, and their soft texture plays well against the firmer squid pieces. However… don’t forget the bread. You’ll want it and sorely miss it if you forget to pick any up from the store. Don’t ask me how I know this. Enjoy!

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Source: Food & Wine, August 2013

Ingredients:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 ½ lbs. mixed cherry tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ lbs. small squid, cleaned, bodies cut into 1/3-inch rings and tentacles halved
1 ½ tbs white wine vinegar
1 cup lightly packed basil leaves

Directions:
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes just start to blister, 4 minutes. Stir in the squid and cook over medium low heat, stirring, until the squid turns opaque, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Barbecue-Sauced Shrimp with Crème Fraiche Dressing

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Finding simple, weeknight meal recipes that can be thrown together without much planning and that can be on the table in under an hour is not at all rare. Finding such a recipe in a Bobby Flay cookbook, however, is quite rare. No matter how many Food Network shows he does, Flay will always be a restaurant chef at heart. His recipes tend to be complex, involving many steps and many more ingredients. Which is fine, of course. Many, many home cooks, myself included, love a good kitchen project.

Barbecue Sauced Shrimp with Creme Fraiche Dressing

But, not the other night. The other night was weary and hungry and impatient, and demanded a flavorful dinner to hit the table right now. I really didn’t think the answer would be found in a Bobby Flay book, but I certainly won’t complain about my find, as this dinner couldn’t be simpler.

Barbecue Sauced Shrimp with Creme Fraiche Dressing

Heat the grill, toss the shrimp in a good-quality barbecue sauce, store-bought or something you already made, either works, and let them hang out for a few minutes. Make the dressing while the grill is coming up to temp, then throw the shrimp on the grill. Of course they cook very quickly, so you’re done in no time. Throw together a simple salad, or whatever side dish you prefer, and you have a perfect, light dinner.

IMG_9416

Flavors are strong, with the sweetness of the shrimp, the spiciness of the barbecue sauce and the bitter tang of the crème fraiche playing together quite nicely. Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Cherry Crumble Pizza; Avocado Milkshakes; Banana Pudding Ice Cream; Peanut Butter Ice Cream; Reisling Ice Cream; Rocky Road Ice Cream; My Mom’s Taco Salad; My Mom’s Blackened Catfish}
{Two Years Ago: Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette; Cornmeal Biscuits with Cheddar Jalapeno Butter; Cheddar Risotto with Smoked Paprika; S’Mores Whoopie Pies; S’Mores Ice Cream; Cinco de Mayo Recipe Round-Up; Green Gumbo; Better Than Taco Bell Mexican Pizza; Cream Cheese Kolaches; Mango Liquado; Rhubarb Crisp; Salted Honey Pie; Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding; Fattoush Salad; Orrechiette with Heirloom Fingerlings and Asparagus Pesto}

Source: Boy Meets Grill by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
2 cups good-quality barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade
48 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups crème fraiche or sour cream
2 tbs finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbs fresh lime juice
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.
Combine the shrimp and barbecue sauce in a large bowl and refrigerate until the grill is ready, no longer than 30 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the barbecue sauce and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill until cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. Discard the used marinade.
While the grill is preheating, make the dressing by combining the crème fraiche, onion, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Store in the refrigerator if not using right away.
Pile the shrimp on a large platter and drizzle some dressing over them. Serve with the remaining dressing.
Serves 6 to 8 people, depending on appetites and quantity of side dish(es). I halved the recipe, served with a side salad, and it was good for 2 people.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Welcome to another Secret Recipe Club reveal day!! This month I was assigned The Kitchen Witch, a lovely food blog run by Rhonda. Rhonda is a beautiful straight-shooter, motorcycle-riding gal who has “retired” to Montana from a distinguished military career. She’s also a wife, mom, grandma, dog mom, professional photographer, freelance writer, and a master gardener. When do you sleep, Rhonda??!

spiced saltine crackers

spiced saltine crackers

I’ve been craving dips lately, and fortunately Rhonda’s blog can easily come to my rescue, offering tempting goodness like Garam Masala and Preserved Lemon Hummus, and Green Onion and Dill Dip. But, seeing as I have an extreme weakness for creamy seafood dips, yet for some strange reason have never shared one on the blog, my decision became an easy one.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

I was quite impressed with this family recipe of Rhonda’s. Quite. The saltines are what makes the whole thing, but not to neglect the shrimp dip – it was everything you want it to be. Crab would make a lovely substitute too, I think. I have to admit, I didn’t let the crackers sit in their little bath as long as the recipe instructs – I was too impatient and running short on time, but I did marinate them for about 5 hours, and it was perfectly delicious that way.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Be sure you check out The Kitchen Witch! And please do try this recipe, it’s a wonderful little appetizer.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

{One Year Ago: Salade-aux-Lardons Pizza; Steakhouse Pizza; Hamburger and Onion Bread Pizza; Roast Leg of Lamb with Parsley-Walnut Pesto}
{Two Years Ago: Glazed Donut Muffins; Caramelized Onion, Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza; Red Kidney Bean Curry; Three Cheese Beer Bread; Battered and Fried Merguez Sausages}

Source: slightly adapted from The Kitchen Witch (both the Dip and the Saltines)

Ingredients:

SALTINES:
1 1/3 cup canola oil
1 pkg Ranch mix
3 tsp crushed red pepper
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp dried thyme
3 sleeves saltine crackers

DIP:
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
8 oz sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 green onions
2 (4 oz) cans tiny shrimp, drained and rinsed well
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
First make the crackers. In a medium bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, combine the oil, Ranch seasoning mix, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Whisk thoroughly and make sure it’s well combined. Arrange the saltines, standing up domino style, in a baking dish or a food storage container that will fit them in snugly. Pour the oil and spice mixture over all. Close the container with a tight-fitting lid and store at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 24 hours. If you can, flip the crackers halfway through (though I must confess to skipping this step and it was fine).
Just before you plan to serve, make the dip. Add the cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice to the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed (that lemon juice can really splatter!) until the mixture is smooth. Add the green onions and shrimp and mix about 1 minute more on medium low to medium speed. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately with the saltines.


Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Around six or so years ago, Matt and I decided to embrace seasonal eating. We were convinced of all the compelling yet, well, preachy arguments in favor of it, like reducing carbon footprints and all that, but I think my favorite part about it is admittedly quite self-serving: in-season produce just plain tastes better and is more pleasurable to eat.

Like asparagus. Years ago, I mistakenly thought asparagus could and should be eaten year-round, so I did just that – solely for the health benefits – and for years I found it to be mostly bitter and soggy. Let’s just say that asparagus and I turned our relationship right around when I discovered that duh, if you only eat it in the spring when it’s locally grown and in-season, it tastes kind of amazing! What a concept, right?

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Since we now eschew it at least eight months out of the year, when it is in its tasty prime I go a little nuts with it, cooking and eating as much as I can before it goes back to its sad, flaccid, not-in-season-anymore state. And I must admit, I’m generally not terribly creative with it. I find that it serves as a perfect side dish for any number of proteins, and all it needs it a roast in the oven, or a trip to the grill or a hot sauté pan. Some salt and black pepper and a small pat of butter.

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

I wouldn’t blog such unoriginality though – I didn’t tell anyone anything they didn’t already know. Instead, I do make sure some of my asparagus cooking is less mundane, and this one I’m happy to share with you. I’ve always found salmon and asparagus to be a perfect pairing whenever possible, and apparently I’m not alone. Ottolenghi. The guy knows what he’s doing. This is beautiful. Enjoy!

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

I made this recipe twice, the first time with fat asparagus and the second time with the pencil-thin stalks. With the fat version, I used a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus stalks, then tossed them with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. The thin asparagus version is written below, which is basically blanching the asparagus quickly in salted water, then tossing in a bowl with the same salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil and splash of lemon juice.

{One Year Ago: Pork Neck Bone Stew; Nocello-Spiked Carrot Cupcakes; Vegan Carrot Soup; Carrot Pie; Whiskey Glazed Carrots; Carrot Cake Pancakes; Banana Chocolate Whoopie Pies; Crispy Cornmeal Waffles with Spinach Queso Sauce; Joanne Chang’s Perfect Waffles with a Lemony Twist; Fudge Chocolate Waffles; Chicken and Waffles for Two}
{Two Years Ago: Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Ice Cream; “Old Fashioned” Snickerdoodles; Greek Salad with Chickpeas; Meatless Muffulettas; Easy Adobo Chicken; Malted Waffles; Chicken Pot Pie}

Source: slightly adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
Olive oil
12 oz. slab of salmon fillet, skin on
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
4 juniper berries
½ cup rose wine, or another light red wine of your choice
1 lemon, halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced thickly
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled but not smashed, cut in half lengthwise
5 oz. pencil-thin asparagus spears
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
Lemon wedges, or torn parsley, or torn chervil for garnish, if desired

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Drizzle a small (8×8”) baking dish with olive oil. Place the salmon skin side down in the dish, then add the bay leaves and juniper berries. Pour the wine over the salmon, then squeeze half the lemon over the salmon as well. Sprinkle the flesh of the salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the salmon flakes with a fork but is still a little pink in the center. Remove the foil and let cool – not all the way to room temperature, but you definitely want it warm, not hot.
Meanwhile, lay the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil if desired, then toast in the oven about 10 minutes. While they are still hot, rub the bread slices with the cut side of the garlic. Let the bread cool down a little bit too.
Trim off the woody ends of the asparagus, then cut into roughly 2-inch lengths. Drop those lengths into boiling salted water and blanch for about 1 minute. Drain in a colander and run them under cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer the asparagus pieces to a small bowl and hit them with a splash of lemon juice and a small drizzle of olive oil. Toss to combine.
When the salmon has cooled enough, flake it into nice chunks with your hands and spread it out on a plate.
Spread the toasts liberally with the cream cheese. Place some salmon chunks on top, then arrange a few asparagus pieces on top of the salmon. Finish with a grind of black pepper, and you can garnish with chopped herbs or serve with lemon wedges if you like.

Lobster Bruschetta #SundaySupper

Lobster Bruschetta

Welcome to Sunday Supper! Today we bring you a theme of Red Carpet Party, in honor of the Academy Awards airing tonight! This event happens once a year, is undoubtedly a bigger deal to some than others, but it can be seen as a very fun excuse to gather with friends and eat fancy, elegant food. And you know, my friends, they would *never* do this, but I’ve heard that *some* groups of friends might well, be catty and pass harsh judgment upon *critique* some of the fashions strutting up and down the red carpet, and maybe even have a money pool and get really competitive over who picked the most winners. See, it can be extremely fun! (From what I’ve heard, nudge nudge wink wink).

Lobster Bruschetta

But, everyone over at #SundaySupper agrees, you need some fancy-pants food to get the party started right. So I’m doing my part with this amazing Lobster Bruschetta. This is sort of a play on a lobster roll, but more sophisticated and a touch spicier from those serrano chiles. I seeded my chiles, and the heat level was surprisingly mild – so if you want some real heat, I’d highly suggest leaving those seeds in! The flavor is so delicious, with sweet tender chunks of lobster meat nestled in creamy mayonnaise and there’s a pop of fresh herbs in every bite.

lobster bruschetta

Tonight it’s just me and Matt watching the Oscars. We’ll likely have a contest between ourselves on who can pick the most winners. And then we’ll reminisce about taking a little weekend getaway to Los Angeles a few years ago, where we strolled down Hollywood Blvd, mostly to say we’d seen it, but we did stop at Kodak Theater and seriously could not believe how small it was!!! There seem to be some insane camera tricks involved when they air the show, because the red carpet looks so much grander on television than in person. So I’m sure we’ll make jokes about that. 🙂

Lobster Bruschetta

Everyone enjoy this elegant little appetizer! Your guests will be very impressed; and shrimp could easily be subbed in for the lobster if you want. It will still be quite delicious! Oh, and make sure you check out the Red Carpet Party the rest of my Sunday Supper group is throwing, it’s sure to be incredible and fit for the occasion. Enjoy!

Lobster Bruschetta

{One Year Ago: Margarita Meringue Pie}
{Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Fritters; Sloppy Joe Pot Pie}

Source: Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet by Padma Lakshmi

Ingredients:
8 (1 inch) slices of crusty sourdough bread, grilled or toasted on both sides with a generous amount of olive oil
2 large ribs of celery, finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh chives
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
2 tbs good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
About 1 lb. cooked lobster meat, cut into chunks

Directions:
Place the grilled bread slices on a platter.
In a large bowl, combine the celery, chives, parsley, chiles, mayonnaise, olive oil, black pepper, and salt. Whisk or stir to combine and work out any lumps the mayonnaise may have to offer. Now add the lobster meat and gently fold in until combined.
Top each bread slice with 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the lobster mixture. You can of course garnish with either chives or parsley, but I found it wasn’t necessary, for taste or looks. Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.

Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:

Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:

Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:

Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:

Nominees for Best Dressed Table:

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Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

What is it about shellfish that is just so freakin’ sexy? Is it that all shellfish get lumped in with oysters – actual aphrodisiacs – or is it something else? Is it the whole slightly messy eating-with-your-hands thing, which makes consuming the food more primal and sensuous?

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Whatever the reason, I find a huge bowl of flavorful shrimp accompanied by hunks of bread and glasses of wine to be extremely sexy, date night food; and since Valentine’s Day is this weekend, I thought I’d give you an idea of what to make for your date!

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

This took two tries to get just right, but here it is in all its light, sumptuous, delicious glory. This dish is Creole, not Cajun, so it’s really not spicy. But it is garlicky and lemony and hugely flavorful. Don’t worry about the garlic on a romantic evening – you’re both eating it, so you cancel each other out!

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Instead of worrying about the garlic, just think about perfectly cooked plump shrimp that give that lush snap when you bite into them, accented with Creole flavors and bright lemony goodness. A sip of wine, a bite of bread mopping up that luscious sauce… Sounds like a great Valentine’s Day to me! Oh, and as an added benefit – this couldn’t be easier and comes together in mere minutes! I hope y’all enjoy it!

Creole Garlic Lemon Shrimp

{One Year Ago: All-Purpose Mexican/Tex-Mex Spice Mix; Curry Powder; Pecan-Crusted Coconut Custards with Brandied Banana Sauce}
{Two Years Ago: Gin and Orange Juice Braised Endives; Beans and Greens Soup}

Source: adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, January 2008

Ingredients:
1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs Creole seasoning
Kosher salt, to taste
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tbs unsalted butter, cold
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the garlic, Creole seasoning, salt, and bell pepper. In a large skillet, add the oil and preheat over medium-high to high heat until very hot. Add the entire contents of the bowl of the shrimp mixture. Saute, stirring frequently, until the shrimp is just cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the lemon juice and the butter. Stir quickly to melt the butter. Once melted shut off the heat, stir in the parsley, and serve immediately.