Tag Archives: Shellfish

Beer-Battered Soft-Shell Crabs Meuniere

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I’ll freely admit to you: I have trouble pinning down soft-shell crab season. Some years it seems to be early summer, other years it’s very late summer, almost into the fall. Some summers have fishmongers featuring these elusive beauties week after week, and other summers you miss them if you blink. I have not figured it out.

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What I have figured out though, is that soft-shell crabs are rather polarizing and can inject friction into otherwise happy marriages, like my own. I absolutely ADORE soft-shell crabs and my version of heaven would be waters with mutant crabs that never grew their shell back, so I could feast on them year-round.

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Matt, on the other hand, isn’t so much of a fan. He’ll be a good sport and pick at them when I insist on making them, but he doesn’t smile at all during those dinners and he described their texture as “soggy fingernails.” ???

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So, if you happen to agree with my darling husband, just click on, for this post may not be your cup of tea. If you are like me though, you most definitely want to make these babies, the sooner the better. I’ve made soft-shell crabs every which way, from grilled in a sandwich, to sautéed over pasta, to breaded and fried. And these beer-battered and deep-fried crabs are by far the best I’ve ever tasted. The batter gets so crispy in the hot oil, but it somehow melds perfectly with the moisture of the crabs when you take a bite. They were so insanely delicious, and even Matt admitted that they were growing on him as he ate.

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So if you are a soft-shell crab fiend such as myself, please make these as soon as you can. You’ll love me (and chef Donald Link) forever.

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Source: slightly adapted from Down South by Donald Link

1 cup cake flour (can sub in rice flour)
1 tbs all-purpose flour
About ¾ cup beer
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
4 medium to large soft-shell crabs, or up to 8 small crabs

Meuniere Sauce:
2 tbs unsalted butter, cold
3 tbs chicken stock
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp drained brined capers
½ tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

First make the beer batter: in a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, beer, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. The batter should be thin enough to barely coat your fingers.
Fill a medium pot with about 3 inches of oil and heat to 350 F.
Cut the crabs in half lengthwise, right down the midsection (make your cut where the chest cavity meets). Pat them very dry with paper towels.
Place the crab pieces in the bowl of batter and gently toss to thoroughly coat each piece. Carefully take each piece out of the batter and let the excess drip off for a second, then carefully place them in the hot oil. Fry until light golden brown, about 2 minutes, flipping once if needed. Do not crowd the pot – do this in batches if need be. Transfer the fried crab pieces to a paper towel lined plate.
Once the crabs are done, make the meuniere sauce. It goes quickly, but for best results, have everything prepped for the sauce before you start frying crabs, then throw the sauce together as soon as the crabs are done.
For the sauce, heat a small skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1 tbs butter and swirl to coat. When it starts to turn golden brown (and this will only take about a minute), add the chicken stock, lemon juice, capers, garlic and red pepper flakes. Slightly reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half, which again only takes about a minute. Remove from the heat and swirl in the remaining 1 tbs butter.
Transfer the crabs to a plate or platter and douse liberally with the meuniere sauce. Serve immediately.

Watermelon Gazpacho with Crab Salad

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It’s only been in the last decade of my life that I’ve even heard of gazpacho, let alone tasted it. I’ll admit, it sounded a little odd, but I learned of it in my New, Adventurous Eating Phase of Life, so I dove right in to trying it. And…. I didn’t like it. So I tried again. And once again, I didn’t like it.

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After another try or two, I simply gave up. I figured, no one likes everything out there, right? Until I put two and two together and realized it – I don’t like onions in my gazpacho. I’m just not a big raw onion person. They have their place, sure; don’t worry, I don’t pick them out of pico de gallo or anything. But when I tried gazpacho without any onions, I finally understood its appeal, and now I happily join its legions of fans!

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I picked up Donald Link’s new book a few months ago and was very excited to see a gazpacho recipe in there. Now that watermelons are in season (yea!!!), I thought it time to give his recipe a go. And as you’d expect, it’s insanely delicious. It’s so light and healthy, and extremely flavorful with perfect juicy watermelons.

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A few recipe notes: as written, this makes a lot! Feel free to cut the recipe in half. If you make the whole thing, my recommendation would be to chop everything and mix it up in a large mixing bowl, then blend it in batches. Also, a note about the crab salad. Chef Link instructs to place a spoonful of salad on top of the bowls of soup. Initially, I couldn’t do the math on that. I mean, the crab salad has mayonnaise, which I just couldn’t picture blending well with gazpacho. So I put the salad on toasts and we ate them alongside. Well, I was wrong and Chef Link was right, which I know is really not surprising. Skip the toasts, guys. I’m serious, it’s so delicious the way he intended it.

And lastly, I scaled down the amount of crab salad, because the day I went shopping, crabmeat was horrifically expensive. So I chose to cut the recipe down to save my wallet. You can certainly scale up to as much as 1 ½ lbs.  of crabmeat. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Jerk Chicken “Tostadas” with Cabbage-Jicama Slaw}

Source: slightly adapted from Down South by Donald Link


4 cups chopped ripe tomato
4 cups chopped seedless watermelon
1 small fennel bulb, cored and chopped
3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and chopped
¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves
¼ cup loosely packed torn basil leaves
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste if needed
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste if needed
2 tbs olive oil, plus more for drizzling

6 tbs mayonnaise
½ tsp lime zest
Juice of half a lime
1 small serrano chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
4 large basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of sugar
8 oz. jumbo lump crabmeat

Make the crab salad first. Spread the crab on a plate and pick it free of shells and cartilage. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, lime zest, lime juice, serrano, basil, pepper flakes, salt, and sugar. Add in the crabmeat and gently stir to combine. Let it sit in the refrigerator while you make the soup.
To make the gazpacho, combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until pretty smooth. A little chunky is good. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice and salt, if needed.
To serve, divide the gazpacho in wide bowls. Top each with a dollop of crab salad and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Steamed Mussels with Lemon and Bay

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Longtime readers here know that seafood wasn’t a big thing in my house growing up (save for catfish), and that I didn’t become a seafood fiend until after I married one in my mid-twenties. Upon thinking about what to write for this post, it occurred to me that I really and truly do not remember how Matt got me to try mollusks. I wish I did, but after thinking about it for several days, I’ll have to conclude that that memory has just flown the coop.

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All I do know is that he did convince me to try mussels and clams in the shell, and I fell head over heels in love. A big bowl of steamed mussels, a hunk of bread, (not forgetting to put out the kill bowl,) and some chilled white wine makes for one fine romantic evening. We try to have such an evening at least once a month or so. It’s good stuff. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Cherry Streusel Muffins}

Source: slightly adapted from Food and Wine

2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 tbs unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 shallots, minced
2 fresh bay leaves
Crusty bread, for serving

Heat a large pot. Add all of the ingredients except the salt, pepper and bread and cook over high heat, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally, until the mussels open, about 7 minutes. Some mussels will open sooner than this, so keep an eye on them. When the early mussels open, quickly grab them with tongs and remove them to a large serving bowl. Once all the mussels have opened, immediately shut off the heat and pour the remaining contents of the pot into the bowl. Discard the bay leaves and serve right away with crusty bread.
Serves 2. Double the recipe exactly for 4 servings.

Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee

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Yesterday was Matt’s and my wedding anniversary (NINE years, y’all!) so it seemed apropos to blog something Cajun today, seeing as our whole relationship wouldn’t exist but for a fateful trip to New Orleans we both individually made eleven plus years ago. Happy Anniversary Matt! I love you!

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Oh, and try this etouffee, it’s insanely delicious! It’s spicy as all etouffee should be, with loads of those beloved Cajun flavors, including the holy trinity, cayenne, and beautiful shellfish. This recipe is restaurant quality, and I’ve eaten in enough NOLA restaurants over the years to know, lol!

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It’s crawfish season right now, so try and find some even if you don’t live near the Gulf Coast. If you can’t find any, no biggie, just use all shrimp. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: DrPepper Cocktail}

Source: adapted from Real Cajun by Donald Link

8 tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 bell pepper, your choice of color, seeded and chopped
1 poblano chile, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs plus 1 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 lb. crawfish tails, out of the shell, cooked or raw, thawed if frozen
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off, cooked or raw, thawed if frozen
4 cups seafood stock
2 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley
Cooked white rice, for serving
Louisiana hot sauce, for serving

Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Melt 4 tbs of butter. Once melted, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, poblano, jalapeno, garlic, 1 tbs salt, paprika, black pepper, dried thyme, chile flakes, cayenne and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened and cooked through. Add the remaining 4 tbs butter, and when that is melted, add the flour. Stir continuously for 1 minute, to cook out the raw flour taste. If your seafood is raw, add it now and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until it turns pink and firms up. It doesn’t need to cook all the way through though.
If your seafood is already cooked, do not add it now. Either way, now add the stock and bring up to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let it thicken up for 15-20 minutes. If your seafood is already cooked, add it now, when the sauce is ready to serve. Let them warm through for a minute or two, then stir in the scallion whites and parsley. Reduce the heat to low. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
To serve, spoon some rice into a deep or very shallow and wide individual bowl. Ladle the etouffee on top, then garnish with scallion greens. Serve with extra hot sauce.

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

Queso flameado with Chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

So the other day I’m trying to decide what to make for dinner, and I realize that I am craving fried shrimp something fierce. I mean, fierce. So I try to talk myself out of it. Because swimsuit season is approaching, and fried shrimp can be quite detrimental to the waistline. And I don’t really need them, it’s just a craving. But I tell myself that I can absolutely have shrimp for dinner, I just can’t fry it.

So. I put it on top of a bunch of melted cheese instead. Because that’s soooo much better and healthier than frying it. It is! Why are you laughing? Okay, fine…

queso flameade with chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

I can’t tell you this little dish is low-cal, but it is insanely delicious. I found it on one of my favorite food blogging sites, The Homesick Texan.

A+, Lisa. Seriously, A+. This is incredibly tasty and satisfying. If you’re unfamiliar, queso flameado is the Tex-Mex version of the Mexican appetizer dish queso fundido. Queso flameado is popular around Houston and closer to the Mexico border; growing up in Dallas, I’d actually never heard of it as a kid. But, it’s so delicious. I mean, it’s melted cheese! How bad can it possibly be? So good, y’all….

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

{One year ago: Tin Roof Ice Cream}

Source: lightly adapted from The Homesick Texan

1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 very small yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and thickly sliced
1 chipotle in adobo chile
1/2 cup cilantro
Kosher salt
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
3 tsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
Tortilla chips, or warmed tortillas, for serving

Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a medium pot. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the onion, garlic and jalapeño are softened. Turn off the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the queso flameado, lightly grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and add all the shredded cheese to the skillet. Set aside.
Meanwhile, as the salsa is cooling, toss the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne. After the salsa has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor, along with the chipotle and cilantro, scraping the sides of the pan to get out all of the salsa. Pulse the salsa until roughly chopped. Add salt to taste.
At this point, place the skillet with the cheese in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
While the cheese is baking, in the same pot that you used for the salsa, heat up the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and shrimp along with any marinade juices, and cook the shrimp until they are pink and firm, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat to low as soon as the shrimp are cooked. Pour the ranchera salsa into the shrimp and stir to combine. Let it go for a couple more minutes or until the sauce has warmed up again. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove the cheese from the oven and spoon on top of the cheese the shrimp and ranchera salsa. Serve warm with tortilla chips or warmed tortillas. You’ll need a spoon for scooping the dip. Enjoy!

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.

Crab Macaroni and Cheese

Crab Macaroni and Cheese

Hey y’all! So this week’s theme is Pasta with Seafood! I’d love to say that this comes from a place of deep creativity and immense thought, but in reality it’s a result of trying to clean out my pantry and finding several boxes of dried pasta in there. And since Matt and I love seafood and felt like we didn’t eat much of it over the holidays, here we are. Exciting, I know. It will be tasty, though!

crab macaroni and cheese

I found this recipe on my good friend Aimee’s blog, which I profiled here, and it was a perfect excuse to use up some dried penne that was taking up space on my pantry’s bottom shelf.

Crab Macaroni and Cheese

This dish is delicious!! It’s so cheesy and creamy, but you can really taste the crab – it’s not hidden at all. And for that reason, you should definitely make sure you get quality crab meat.

crab mac and cheese

I had to make a few minor changes to the original recipe posted on Aimee’s site, simply because I found myself lacking a few ingredients at the last minute. Instead of lemon zest I used lemon pepper, and though I could’ve sworn I had some panko when I began cooking, I quickly found out how wrong I was, so fresh bread crumbs saved the day. Also, I added some chopped shallot and garlic, simply because I had some laying around and thought, “why not?” All in all, extremely tasty. I highly recommend!

Crab macaroni and cheese

{One year ago: Coffee Rubbed Bacon}

Source: slightly adapted from See Aimee Cook

1 lb dried penne, or other short cut pasta
1 lb lump crab meat
10 oz crumbled feta cheese, divided
1 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 cup panko, or fresh bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
5 tbsp butter, divided and 1 tbs melted
1 large shallot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp all purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
8 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish and set aside.
In a large pot, boil the pasta in salted water for 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain well and transfer back to the large pot, or to a large mixing bowl. Add the crab to the hot pasta and toss to combine. If this is going to sit for a few minutes, I’d recommend stirring in a drizzle of olive oil too, to prevent sticking.
In a medium bowl, toss together a handful of feta, 1/4 tsp lemon pepper, panko or bread crumbs, 2 teaspoons chopped parsley, and 1 tbs melted butter. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, or until light golden brown in color. Slowly stir in the milk until no lumps remain. Bring to a simmer and let it thicken, stirring frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan. This should take 5-7 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the remaining feta, lemon pepper, and parsley as well as the dill, Gruyere, salt, and pepper. Stir to melt the Gruyere. Pour this sauce over the pasta and crab in the large pot and stir well to coat.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved feta and bread crumbs mixture evenly over top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sides are bubbly and the top is evenly browned. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas #SundaySupper

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas

It’s time for another Sunday Supper!! Is it just me, or does it feel like I *just* posted last week’s SS recipe? What a week!

Anyways, our theme this week is Tapas Party, which makes me all kinds of happy, seeing as visiting Spain is quite high on my bucket list. I haven’t gotten myself over there quite yet, but I very much hope to within another year or two.

link of Spanish chorizo

I’m dying to stroll into a Barcelona tapas bar and encounter bartenders and servers who speak not a word of English (and I do not speak any Spanish, mind you) and just let them bring me small plate after small plate of tapas and sangria. I imagine noshing and sipping the night away with my significant other, basking in the romance of being in a foreign land, and then of course returning to a lovely hotel to sleep that deep sleep that magically cures jet lag. I love the flavors of Spain, and have yet to hear of a tapas type dish that doesn’t sound appealing.

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas

I kept it simple for today. We all know Spaniards love their shrimp, as well as their chorizo, so when I found a recipe that was basically just sautéed shrimp and chorizo, with some onion,  a lot of garlic, and some smoked paprika, I jumped at it. As expected, it’s simple, clean, wonderfully fatty, and delicious.

shrimp and chorizo tapas

Now, usually when I post a recipe calling for chorizo, I will caution you to use Mexican chorizo. I explain that’s the raw kind in the refrigerated meat case or butcher counter, and then I say don’t use the cured Spanish kind. Well, guess what? Today you must use the Spanish chorizo! Today I am telling you, do not get the raw Mexican stuff from the meat case; you must get the cured, firm Spanish kind of chorizo. You’ll probably find it near the deli, and as you saw from the picture, it’s a U-shaped cured sausage usually with a rope attaching its ends together. You can peel the casing away if the casing wants to cooperate and is easy to peel off. But if it’s being all stubborn, I say let it and leave it on there. It’s not going to hurt anything.

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas

Enjoy this one, guys! Pour some wine or sangria, serve it on a tiny little plate and pretend you’re in Barcelona or Madrid!

{One year ago: Cotija Rice}

Source: slightly adapted from 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast by Emeril Lagasse

1 tbs plus ¼ cup olive oil
1 lb. firm, cured Spanish chorizo, cut into ½-inch slices on the diagonal
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
½ dry white wine or sherry
1 ½ lbs. medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbs smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbs minced fresh parsley
Sliced baguette, for serving

Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1 tbs olive oil, then the chorizo slices. Sauté, turning as necessary, until they start to brown and crisp at the edges, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. I found you really need to time the onions, because the chorizo fat turns the oil a delicious orange-red color, which does make it hard to tell by sight when the onions are cooked.
Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup of the wine or sherry and cook 1 minute.
Add the shrimp, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Again, the shrimp will turn that lovely orange-red color from the chorizo fat, so you can’t really tell when they’re done by sight. Tap them with your finger or the back of your cooking spoon to determine doneness – they should be firm and springy, not mushy.
Now add the remaining ¼ cup wine or sherry, the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Serve immediately on small plates, with the accumulated cooking juices poured over top. Pass the bread at the table, and may I just say that dunking the bread into the pan juices is one of the best things you’ll do all year.

Be sure to check out the rest of the fabulous Sunday Supper team!

Here’s what’s on the Table:
Stuffed Green Queen Olives with Garlic Infused Olive Oil from MarocMama
Cheesy, Tortellini Tapas & Spicy Bacon Ranch Dip from Daily Dish Recipes
Black-Eyed Pea Cowboy Caviar from Shockingly Delicious
Goan Beef Croquettes from Masala Herb
Giardiniera Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Bacon Wrapped Calamari from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Patatas Bravas from Supper for a Steal
Caramelized Onion & Gruyere Bites from The Foodie Army Wife
Agave Truffles from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Pear, Brie, and Honey Crostini from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Tomato Bread from girlichef
Clams in Green Sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde) from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Roasted Tomato-Basil Flatbread from Take A Bite Out of Boca
Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives from Magnolia Days
Smoky Paprika Peppers from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Balsamic Raspberries with Mascarpone Cream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Gambas al Ajillo from Manu’s Menu
Squid in Garlic Chili Olive Oil from Food Lust People Love
Tortilla Española from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Croquetas de Pollo from Cookin’ Mimi
Low-Carb Salmon Croquettes from Yours And Mine Are Ours
Bruschetta Topping from What Smells So Good?
Herb Roasted Almonds from Curious Cuisiniere
Artichoke Heart and Manchego Spread on Fried Garlic Bread from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Tortillita de Camarones from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Patatas A La Riojana (Rioja-Style Potato & Chorizo Stew) from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Gambas al Ajillo y Clementina (Shrimp with Garlic and Clementines) from FoodieTots
Tortillas De Papa y Atun (Tuna and Potatoes Tortilla) from Basic N Delicious
Pocky Cake Pops from NinjaBaking.com
Chorizo Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon from I Run For Wine
Manchego-Stuffed Spanish Meatballs from The Weekend Gourmet
Roast Onions with Blue Cheese and Pine Nuts from Healthy. Delicious.
Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas from The Texan New Yorker
Blueberry and Lemon Yogurt Quesada from In The Kitchen With KP
Chorizo with Spicy Sweet Potato Tapas from Soni’s Food
Chorizo and Manchego Toast Tapas from Family Foodie
Roasted Bone Marrow with Citrus Salad from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Mushroom Chevre Crostini from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimenton Aioli from My Other City By The Bay
Krab Filled Avocado Tapas from from Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
Polenta Crostini Bites with Caramelized Mushrooms: Cicchetti – A Venetian Tapas Tradition from La Bella Vita Cucina

And you know you can’t have a party without wine ~ at least you certainly can’t in my house. Martin Redmond is here to give you the perfect recommendations: Best Wines To Pair With Tapas from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter every 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. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Rosemary Skewered Chipotle Shrimp

Rosemary Skewered Chipotle Shrimp

Welcome to October! It’s finally *really* fall, it’s the time when I’m now allowed to cook with pumpkin (I don’t permit myself to use pumpkin before October 1), and it’s definitely apple and pear season.

marinating shrimp

So what’s happening? Indian summer! Of course. As I type this, I’m currently running the air conditioner in my office, I’m wearing a tank top, and it’s near sweltering outside. Good times! We are definitely grilling this weekend.

making rosemary skewers

rosemary shrimp skewers, before grilling

And with that, I thought a grilled shrimp skewer was appropriate for today. These are so cool. Instead of wooden skewers (which have to be soaked beforehand) or metal skewers (which get hotter than hell on the grill), these shrimp are skewered on rosemary branches. How awesome is that! It’s an all-natural skewer for the crunchy hippie in all of us, lol.

Chipotle Shrimp Skewers on the grill

I should warn you, these shrimp are very spicy. They do not mess around. That said, they are so flavorful, and we just love them. And, they can easily be adapted to an indoor grill setting, so you can eat them year-round! Enjoy!

Rosemary Skewered Chipotle Shrimp

{One year ago: Apple Hatch Chile Cobbler}

Source: slightly adapted from Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid

6-7 fresh rosemary sprigs (pick sturdy sprigs as much as possible)
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp chipotle chile powder
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb. raw medium shrimp, peeled but tails left intact, deveined
Lime wedges, for serving

Preheat your grill to high.
Remove the leaves from about three-quarters of each rosemary sprig, and set the sprigs aside. Chop enough of the rosemary leaves to make 1 ½ teaspoons. Discard the rest or reserve it for another use.
Combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, chipotle chile powder, and chopped rosemary in a medium bowl. Season the marinade with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the shrimp and toss until coated. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then skewer the shrimp onto the rosemary sprigs, 2-3 shrimp per sprig.
Transfer the skewers to the grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are just cooked through. Transfer the skewers to a platter, garnish with lime wedges, and dig in.

Pan-Roasted Clams with Bourbon, Bacon and Jalapeno

Pan-roasted clams with bourbon, bacon and jalapeno

Two of my favorite websites for recipe perusal are Food52 and Food & Wine Magazine. I scroll through and save the recipe I want to make to one of my Pinterest pages. And of course, you know that Pinterest saves a picture of that recipe along with its title, origin, and if it’s been liked or repinned.

making pan-roasted clams

And every now and then, thankfully it’s infrequent, but every now and then you’ll pin a recipe and for whatever reason the picture you specified does not appear on your Pinterest page. Instead, it’ll be this little box with the title and origin of the recipe and then a blank box where the pretty, appetizing picture should go.

clams with bourbon, bacon and jalapeno

I suppose it displays my anal-retentiveness for all to see, but I must confess that I really hate it when this happens! It bugs me. I go to look at my Pinterest page and see all these pretty, scrumptious looking food photographs, and then there’s this ugly blank. It just messes up my page.

This was one such recipe. I pinned it from Food & Wine, and no picture appeared. I figured, the best way to fix this problem was to make the recipe, so then I can substitute my own pic. And why yes, I am quite the Type A personality with plenty of neuroses to go around, thank you for asking! 🙂

Pan-Roasted Clams with Bourbon, Bacon and Jalapeno

But, that’s honestly why I made this recipe last week. Well, that and because it looked great. Fortunately, the recipe was fantastic, so maybe there’s a benefit to me being so weirdly obsessive?

clams with bourbon, bacon and jalapeno

I warn you, it’s hot and spicy. The jalapenos are not kidding around! I adapted this recipe a bit; the original said to add the sliced (and thus, still seeded) chiles at the end, but that would essentially mean eating a bunch of raw jalapenos. And those have their place, I’m not saying otherwise. But if you’re not careful, they can really blow out your palate on the first bite and I didn’t want that. So I added them earlier to make sure they were cooked (read: tamer in heat level), and I think it made the dish more cohesive. The heat, though – definitely still there!

Pan-Roasted Clams with Bourbon Bacon and Jalapeno

Source: adapted from Food & Wine

24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
3 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup very finely chopped shallots
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons very finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup bottled clam broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Crusty bread, for serving

First, prep the clams. Immediately upon coming home from the store, place the clams in a large mixing bowl. Fill with cold water and sprinkle with a spoonful of cornmeal. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour, longer if possible. When ready to cook, pour the contents of the bowl into a large colander or strainer and run under cold water to get rid of any cornmeal or other dirt lingering on the shells. The water-cornmeal treatment is to rid the clams of any grit and sand. They “eat” the cornmeal and this purges the grit within the shells.
Now you are ready to cook. Preheat a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the bacon bits and cook until the fat has rendered and they are crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
To the skillet, add the shallot and jalapeno. Sauté for a few minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Now add the drained clams and bourbon. Simmer over medium-low heat until the bourbon evaporates.
Add the clam juice. Raise the heat to medium and cover the skillet. Cook until the clams have opened, about 5 to 7 minutes. I always keep a close watch on this process. I keep tongs and a clean bowl nearby and retrieve the clams as they open. I’ve found that they don’t all open at the same time, and some can overcook if you leave them in. This isn’t the pain that it sounds like, honest.
When the clams have all opened, transfer them to a clean bowl. If any do not open, then discard them – they’re not safe to eat.
To the skillet add the cream, parsley and crisped bacon. Cook to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low, then swirl in the butter and let it melt. Add the clams back into the skillet and shut off the heat. Toss to coat, then serve with crusty bread for mopping up sauce.