Category Archives: Seafood

Besh (Best) Jambalaya

We cooked this on one of our last dinner parties at our apartment in NYC.  It was amazing.  We made a huge pot of it, and I am pretty sure there were no leftovers.  People were stuffing their face and going for third helpings.  Chef John and I love “My New Orleans” cookbook.  Other then the obvious fact that his recipe’s are amazing, I also love this cookbook because John Besh describes the cooking process and why it is important to do certain things while you are cooking.   -ts

Chef John says: If you don’t have John Besh’s book, “My New Orleans,” than you need to have your head examined, go buy it. In my opinion, he’s easily one of the most talented and innovative chefs out there and best of all he likes to use pork… a lot. I’m trying to eat my way through his book at the moment but wanted to share with you his Jambalaya recipe. Prior to this, I’ve never tried to make it on my own and I was really surprised by how easy it was.  This is one of my favorite comfort foods and provides a great base for a long night out.

2 pounds bacon, diced
3 pounds andouille sausage, diced
1/2 cup lard (OPTIONAL- we did not use bc there is enough pork fat)
2 pounds fresh pork sausage, removed from casings
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, roughly cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 large onions, diced
4 bell peppers, seeded and diced
10 stalks celery, diced
12 cloves garlic, minced
9 cups converted Louisiana white rice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 dried bay leaves
3 tablespoons pimention de la Vera or smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon celery salt
6 cups canned crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
5 pounds Louisiana white shrimp or other wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 bunches green onions, chopped

  1. First, you’ll need to heat a very large pot 3-5 gallons) over high heat until it is hot, then reduce the heat to moderate.  This will allow the heat to be uniform all over, preventing those little hot spots that are likely to burn.
  2. Render the bacon with the sausages and the lard in the hot pot, stirring slowly with a long wooden spoon or a spade.  While the pork is rendering, go ahead and season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken to the pot, stirring, and cook until the chicken becomes golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. After the chicken as browned, add the onions to the pot and all them to caramelize, about 15 minutes.  Add the bell peppers, celery, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.  Continue stirring from time to time so that everything in the pot cooks evenly.
  4. Next add the rice, thyme, bay leaves, pimention, cayenne, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoons black pepper, and the celery salt to the pot and cook, stirring often for 3 minutes.
  5. Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes and chicken stock to the pot,  Bring the stock to a boil.  Reduce the heat do medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. While the rice is cooking in the covered pot, season the shrimp with salt and pepper and save them, along with the green onions, to be added at the last minutes.
  7. After the rice as simmered for 15 minutes, go ahead and remove the lid from the pot and fold int he shrimp and green onions.  Turn off the heat and let everything continue to to cook in the hot covered pot for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove the lid, fluff the jambalaya and serve.
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Filed under Cajun food, Chicken, Comfort food, Main Course, Party food, Pork, Seafood

Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette

So as it turns out, mangoes are kind of amazing. As in you know you like them but you’re not sure how much until they’re all dressed up in their killa heels and slinky black dress.

And I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but combining mangoes with the fresh scallops from Paradise Seafood is simply and surprisingly blissful. I don’t know how, but all of their seafood that tastes like tiny sweet little lobsters. You put a perfect sear on one and hit it with this vinaigrette and you are dunzo.

Mango Vinaigrette:
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and rough chopped
1 lime, juice and zest
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon, fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon honey
salt to taste
1/2 cup of olive oil

  1. Place all ingredients except oil, 1 mango in a blender or food processor.
  2. Slowly add oil. Once blended, you are good to go.
  3. Toss the chopped avocado and mango together and reserve to top scallops with.

Seared Scallops:

  1. Heat a non stick skillet on high heat.
  2. Dry off moisture from scallops. The Chef places them in between 2 paper towels.  Usually on Bonnie’s counter instead of a plate like a normal person, but it’s your life. Do what you need to do.
  3. Salt and pepper scallops. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of butter to the skillet.
  4. Add scallops to the pan and be sure not to mess with them or they will stick. Patience, my dear.
  5. Sear 2 minutes on each side for medium rare.  “Cook longer for you and Bonnie,” says The Chef. Yes, I will eat meat that is still mooing, but for seafood I prefer it well done.
  6. Top scallops with mango vinaigrette and serve with mixed greens. Refreshing and tangy. Nothing better.

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Filed under Fruit, Salad dressings, Sauces, Seafood, Shellfish, Special Occasion, Toppings

Tuna Ceviche Tacos

Hey there Nummy Num Num; I feel that an apology is in order. I haven’t called or written or even as much as Facebook-stalked you, and you don’t deserve that. All I can say is  it’s not you, it’s me. I have been under the post-graduation stressfest of job-searching, and snarky-yet-succulent recipe-posting fell by the wayside.

Well, no more! A job has been procured and I can now get on with the incredibly important business of telling you all how to pile on the pounds in the most delicious fashion. So here goes.

The Chef, in his endless quest to make every type of taco imaginable, concocted a ceviche variety in order to take advantage of the amazing tuna Paradise Seafood sells at the Memphis Farmers Market. When it’s as fresh as theirs is, a few veggies and some fresh citrus are all you need to highlight the tuna’s fantastic flavor.

I’d suggest serving this alongside the highly addictive Mexican Corn and with Angie’s Salsa Fresca or Southwestern Slaw as topper options (three more recipes that will allow you to take advantage of MFM’s unparalleled produce). Top it all off with a Blue Ribbon Margarita and you’ve got the perfect summer supper. Bon Apetit!

1 lb of sushi grade tuna, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 poblano pepper, diced small
1/2 red onion, diced small
juice of 4 limes
juice of 1 orange
salt to taste
sriracha hot sauce to taste
crunchy tacos
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let marinate for 5 minutes. (Note: This is for rare tuna because The Chef likes it to still be swimming when he takes a bite of it. If you prefer yours a little more done, let it marinate longer.)
  2. Serve on crunchy tacos (crunch is key for ceviche, so don’t swap out for soft tortillas) and top with sliced avocados. Find a patio, pour yourself a ‘rita, and enjoy.

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Filed under Fish, Marinades, Mexican food, Seafood, Spanish food

Portuguese Littlenecks

The Chef will be happy to know this shellfish recipe is not for mussels, but it is close; it’s for clams!  Sorry I felt like that needed an exclamation point for some reason.  Recently Chef John and I had a lovely trip to Newport, RI.  While there I must have stuffed my face for every meal with clam chowda and lobster rolls.  It was amazing.  However, you can really go to just about any small town in New England and get amazing clam chowder or lobster rolls.  Two dishes we had (both clams of course) stood out as very Newport, very amazing and will always remind me of this trip, Portuguese Littlenecks and Clams Casino.  I had never had either before going to Newport and now I can’t get enough!  Below is a great recipe for Portuguese Littlenecks.  –ts

3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces dry-cured chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch coins
One 1/4-inch-thick slice prosciutto cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 medium yellow onions, cut lengthwise in half and sliced into thin half-moons
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, drained and chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
4 pounds littlenecks or any small clams, such as cockles, manila, or butter scrubbed and rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Bread for serving

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add chorizo and prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until touched with brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat to medium; drop in the onions and bay leaf, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomatoes and any accumulated juice, the wine, and paprika. Discard any clams that feel heavy (which means they’re full of sand), have broken shells, or don’t close when tapped. Add clams into the pot and turn the heat to high. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally until the clams pop open, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Discard the bay leaf and toss out any clams that refuse to pop open. Season with a few grinds of pepper, shower with parsley, and ladle the stew into wide shallow bowls. Oh, and have a big bowl on hand for the shells.  Serve immediately with a large piece of bread to soak up juices.

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Filed under Seafood, Shellfish

Citrus Steamed Mussels

Alright, alright we know – this is the fifth mussel recipe we have posted. The Chef thinks this is a problem but I, as a person who used to buy the same pair of shoes in 3 different colors, thinks it’s just dandy. Good is good no matter how many different ways you use the same ingredient, and the Brantley-Grosshans crew said these were not just good but awesome.

Contrary to our usual M.O., this recipe has no cream and is pretty light stuff, so let it never be said we don’t give you idiots who want to be healthy some choices.

5 lbs of mussels
2 shallots, minced
4 leeks, diced small
1/2 bottle of white wine
5 garlic cloves, sliced
3 oranges, (2 zested, 1 sliced)
3 lemons (2 zested, 1 sliced)
3 limes (2 zested, 1 sliced)
1 tablespoon of oil
few sprigs of thyme
3 tablespoons of butter

  1. Heat a big pot on medium high heat and add oil.  Add leeks, shallots, and garlic. Cook until caramelized and then add thyme.
  2. Add mussels and citrus slices. Add wine, turn heat to high and cover.
  3. Once mussels are all open, remove with slotted spoon and cover with foil.
  4. Remove citrus slices. Add butter to sauce, zest and citrus juice.  Serve up. Crusty bread of course.

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Filed under Fruit, Main Course, Sauces, Seafood

Thai Lemon Chili Shrimp- Goong Maa Now

Last night’s dinner…Asian SCRIMPS!  This may have been the easiest quickest recipe ever; start to finish including marinating time was about 20 minutes.  Next time I think I will make my own sweet chili sauce, but this time around I just used the pre-made stuff.  If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves lime zest is ok. I served this with summer rolls and lemon herb quinoa on the side to be healthy.

I think serving with a fresh baguette to soak up the sauce would be ideal.  Back to the shrimp tails debate from this post, I am all about keeping the tails.  Good looking food always tastes better.  Oh and chef Katie, get on this recipe because you will love. -ts

1 pound shrimp shelled and deveined
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
1 lemon- juice and zest
3 kaffir lime leaves sliced, substitute 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¼- 1/3 cup coconut milk
Siracha (optional as this is spicy on its own)
1/4 cup cilantro chopped for garnish

  1. Marinate the shrimp in the sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, kaffir lime leaves, chili sauce, fish sauce, garlic and sugar for 10 or more minutes.
  2. Heat a pan.
  3. Add the shrimp, the marinade, siracha (if using) and the coconut milk and simmer (not boil) until the shrimp are cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and mix in the cilantro.

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Filed under Asian food, Main Course, Marinades, Party food, Seafood

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I make these rolls pretty much every time I make Vietnamese, which is a lot.  A well-known fact about me is that love Asian food, pretty much all Asian with Chinese takeout style as the exception.  When it is nice out, I like to head to Chinatown to discover new and exciting produce/dried seafood stuff/weird sauces pretty much Zimmern type things.  I love cooking with fish sauce and recently have been researching on all the different kinds out there.  If you are using it in a recipe, it really changes the flavors so it is important to stick to one kind that you like.  I prefer Vietnamese fish sauce over Thai.  Since there are tons of brands just look for ones that have “nhi” or “thuong hang” in the title.  Also, make sure it is a light amber color instead of dark.

Back to the recipe, these shrimp summer rolls are simple, delicious, healthy, and pretty.  You can add or take out whatever ingredients you like (sometimes I use shrimp and pork), but don’t overstuff your rolls!  They are finger foods and should not be drooping.  You should be able to find most ingredients at your grocery store, but may need to trek to the ethnic pet store for the rice paper.  I serve these with Nuoc cham sauce which I also use as a dressing when making vermicelli dishes.  You could also use a peanut sauce.  – ts
My tip: when rolling these make sure you have the imprinted side of rice paper roll facing up

Makes 6 rolls

1 ounce dried vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 sheets (8 1/2-inch) rice paper- keep more on hand in case of tears
6 cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
Fresh mint and/or basil
Shredded Boston or Butter lettuce
1 bunch fresh chives

Dipping Fish Sauce:
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
1 red chile, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  1. Cook noodles in boiling water per package instructions, about 3 minutes, then rinse under cool water.
  2. Fill bowl with warm water. Dip rice paper in warm water for about 3-4 seconds, until rice paper becomes moistened with water.
  3. After dipping your rice paper in warm water, lay wrapper onto your dry work surface. Allow rice paper to soak up water and become soft and pliable (about 30 seconds to 1 minute) before you start to roll.
  4. Layer with a small amount of shrimp, noodles herbs, and lettuce.  Layer your filling ingredients on the edge of the wrapper closest to you, shrimp first.  I like to drizzle a little hoison sauce and siracha over the fillings.  To form the roll, first fold the sides into the center over the filling, then fold and roll, just before you complete the roll add 2 pieces of garlic chives so that they stick out at one end.
  5. For dipping sauce just combine all ingredients together in a small bowl.

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Filed under Appetizers, Asian food, Sauces, Seafood, Side dishes, Veggies