Tag Archives: Seafood

New Year with New Recipe — Garlicky Shrimp Scampi

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Happy New Year!! After a whirlwind of traveling and meetings during the holiday season, my schedule is finally calming down for once; it is finally allowing me to sit down to write again after a long hiatus on the blog…. I can’t be happier, this is all I want to do during this chill weekend at the ranch.

Because of all the traveling, I didn’t get to exchange presents with Chris till New Year’s Eve, and guess what I got as one of my presents – cookbooks with 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year!! I love to cook, so I’m very excited about the gift, but how brilliant of him to give me cookbooks? I’d say it’s more of a gift that “keeps on giving” for himself than a gift to me….. well played, I say, well played!

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The cookbooks are “Salad of the Day” and “One Pot of the Day” from Williams Sonoma, they are really awesome in the sense that all the recipes are mapped out according to the seasons, so you get to use to the proper ingredients that are actually in season, and they are all fairly easy and straightforward. Most importantly, they are all practical enough for modern day busy women like me!

Surprised and not surprised, he already picked out recipes that he wants me to make for New Year’s Day – Garlicky Shrimp Scampi. It is a recipe for May, but since we happen to have some fresh shrimp from the market, I decided to give it a go. This is a recipe for 4 people, but we didn’t find any problem finishing the dish with just the two of us…

Garlicky Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients

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1 ½ lb (about 24-28) jumbo shrimp, deveined and peeled with the tails intact

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp Salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

12 Tbsp unsalted butter (I only used about 8 tb)

3 cloves garlic (we like garlic, so I doubled it and used 6)

¼ cup dry white wine

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp of lemon juice

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)

Direction

1). In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Toss the shrimp in the flour mixture to coat evenly, shaking off the excess.

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2). In a large frying pan, heat the 2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to pan and cook, turning occasionally till opaque throughout, about 3 minute. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm on the side.

IMG_29873). Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 2 Tbsp of the butter and the garlic to cook, stirring frequently until the garlic softens and is fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, lemon zest and juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute.

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4). Reduce the heat to very low, whisk in the remaining butter, I Tbsp at a time, letting each addition soften into a creamy emulsion before adding more.

5). Return the shrimp to the sauce and mix gently to coat well. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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Shrimp Scampi is often served over pasta, which makes a very hearty and comforting dish. We didn’t bother to make pasta; we simply served it as it is with some freshly based French baguette – nothing beats tearing apart that crusty bread with the steam still coming out from the soft center and dipping it into the garlicky butter sauce – ahh, need I say more? Pair the dish with a bottle of crisp white wine to cut the grease, it is amazing how simple flavors can bring such high satisfaction!

The amount of butter in this recipe can be a little bit overwhelming for those who want to maintain a healthier lifestyle. To make a lighter version of the dish, use 2 Tbsp to cook the garlic till fragrant, add about 2 Tbsp of flour to the pan and stir constantly till it forms a smooth uniform paste (the so-called white roux). Slowly add the wine, lemon zest and juice and stir constantly to avoid lumpy texture. Instead of another 6-10 Tbsp of butter, use chicken stock instead to finish the following steps. The end product (obviously) won’t be as buttery as the original scampi, but flavors holds up pretty well, and it contains a lot less guilt! Scallop are good with this sauce too, if you want to change things up a little.

We love this recipe, it’s easy enough to make at home after a workday, and it’s a good dish to impress the guests, too, if you like to host dinner parties! I give it a two-thumbs up, what a good way to kick off a new year!! Just got one recipe down from my new cookbooks… 364 recipes to go…. What are we making next?…

Cheers,

Alicia

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Happy New Year!!  After a whirlwind of traveling and meetings during the holiday season, my schedule is finally calming down for once and allowing me to sit down to write again after a long hiatus on the blog…. I can’t be happier, this is all I want to do during this chill weekend at the country house.

Because of all the traveling, I didn’t get to exchange presents with my man till New Year’s Eve, and guess what I got as one of my presents – cookbooks with 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year!! I love to cook, so I’m very excited about the gift, but how brilliant of him to give me cookbooks? I’d say it’s more of a gift that “keeps on giving” for himself than a gift to me….. well played, I say, well played!

FullSizeRender

The cookbooks are “Salad of the Day” and “One Pot…

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Mediterranean Roasted Fish with Potato

Exactly a year ago from today, we took some time off for a sailing trip in Croatia. During our one week vacation, we sailed around the Dalmatian Coast.  Once we settled into our island of the day, we would explore the area to find the best restaurant in town and reward ourselves with a local feast. Usually we’d find a seaside restaurant, watching the sunset while sipping some local wine, and then following up with a hearty dinner.  Seriously, life can’t get any better from there. We didn’t have a bad meal throughout he whole trip, but some were definitely better than others which we will never forget. Besides the more common staples such as steak and lamb dishes, the fish dishes are definitely to die for. In Croatia, almost all the fish were served whole, as in from head to tail. Some restaurants even bring over a tray of fish for you to choose from.

Whole fish on the plate in Croatia!

If you don’t mind deboning the fish (I grew up in Taiwan eating fish like that, deboning a fish is almost second nature to me, no big deal at all!), these are the dishes that you don’t want to miss. There is this particular dish we had on an island called Hvar, a whole fish baked in herbs with sliced potatoes. With just a few simple ingredients, this fish is so unexpectedly light but flavorful… here’s the picture of it:
When we got back from Croatia, we could not stop think about that dinner. We’d sail back to the town of Hvar to order this dish again, but in reality, recreating something similar in the kitchen would be the fastest way to have a little taste of Croatia again.
Mediterranean Roast Fish with Potatoes 
Serves 2-3 (depending on the size of the fish) / Prep-time: 45 min
Ingredients:
  • 1 big red snapper ( I think the one we got was about 2 and a half pound)
  • 3 or 4 small potatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 1 leeks (thinly sliced)
  • olive oil
  • garlic (minced)
  • fresh parsley (chopped)
  • capers
  • lemon
  • dry white wine
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven 375F
Rub the fish with olive oil. Combine garlic, parsley, capers, wine and lemon juice, and pour the mixture over the fish. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour yourself  a glass of wine and take a sip, we’re recreating the Croatian lifestyle here. Mix the sliced potatoes and leeks, season it with olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. In a baking dish, arrange the potato-leek around the fish. Bake for 20-30 min or until done.

Ready to put in the oven.

You’ll have to debone it at the table before eating, if you don’t know how, you might have to invite a Chinese guest to share the dish and help you with that!!

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