Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

There is a special fondness for shrimp cocktail in my family… starting from as far back as I can remember…Basically every recipe is the same .. the only difference is the  brand of cocktail sauce you used or how much ketchup you added to the chile sauce! So, when I saw Ina make this on her show one day I mentally filed it away because it amazed me how one simple step can transform such a plain jane dish!  Also, her cocktail sauce is wicked spicy on it’s own so don’t be alarmed when you taste it without the shrimp. Add the shrimp and it works together perfectly!! This picture shows the roasted shrimp cocktail and also Ina’s roasted pepper and gorgonzola bruchetta… I can’t remember if I blogged about it though… it’s awesome too….Enjoy!

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail… I’m tired so here is the link!

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Shame on me… I had the pleasure of choosing one of February’s recipes and I am soooo far behind! In my defense, I did have an oven incident which returned me to being “Queen of Microwave Cooking” for about 2 weeks….. more on that later when I post about Indonesian Chicken.

So what to say about this Baked Shrimp Scampi recipe except that it’s freaking awesome!! I’ve actually made it twice now, and will be making it again tonight. It is so easy to make and tastes so absolutely delish!  Shrimp scampi has always been one of my family’s favorite meals ever since I was a kid! My dad had some creative ways to making it (including a microwave version which sounds gross but is actually really yummy!) This is by far the best one I’ve come across, and it’s better than in the restaurants because you can choose to use the monster size shrimp and not be limited to just 4-5 measly little ones on your plate for $25+.

I served this a few different ways, once with rice and once over egg noodles. Both times, I made broccoli as a side dish. Just steaming it worked well because you can then just toss it into the scampi sauce! A few changes I made to the recipe was that I didn’t use the wine and I omitted the egg yolk. Wine doesn’t seem to last long in our house and every time I go to make this recipe I never seem to have any lol! And… egg tends to skeeve me out, so if I don’t think it’s needed I skip it.  I subbed lemon juice for the wine and it was great. Another time I didn’t have lemons, but I did have lime so I used lime for all the lemon and cilantro for the parsley… very yummy twist on the recipe!

It was so good, even my almost 4 year old little chicky ate it! She’s becoming very adventuresome lately with her food choices even branching out to her new favorite “sushi”.. or as she pronounces it “soooshi”… more on that in a later post!

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, by Ina Garten

Serves 6


  • 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

How to pull it all together:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
  • In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.
  • Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

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LOOK OUT!  IT”S THE OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS!  That just sounds scary,  but apparently it’s very good for you!  In an effort to branch out of the chicken rut my family has come to be in, I decided that we should try to eat some sort of fish at least once a week.  Now, I am not a fan of “fishy” fish so I was at first kind of iffy on salmon.  Every time I’ve had it at a wedding or at a restaurant it always kind of tasted the same.  No matter how it was prepared it always just had that “salmony” flavor.  So I decided to try this marinade.  It’s from The Joy of Cooking , All About Chicken book which was a Christmas present at some point from my mother in law (thanks by the way! we use it all the time!).  The marinade is very basic and easy and the most important thing is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, not the stuff from a bottle.  It WILL make a difference, and it won’t be a good difference either.  So spring for a couple of lemons.  Anyway, back to the salmon.  It is very, very flavorful!  It actually has a bit of flavor besides the ‘salmony” flavor!  We have finally found our way of getting those scary sounding omegas… and we eat it at least once a week.

Here is the marinade recipe:

Broiled Lemon Garlic Chicken 

(Just use the marinade on the fish, although it’s very good on chicken too!)

Source: The Joy of Cooking, All About Chicken by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker & Ethan Becker


  • 1/4 cup fresh strained lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons pressed or very finely minced garlic (I tend to use closer to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (you can add more if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I sometimes use less and then add it if it’s needed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salmon (I use @ 4 pieces usually and have plenty of marinade to spoon over rice etc)

How to put it all together:

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, whisk together
  • Add the fish, skin side up so that the fleshy fish part is soaking in the marinade
  • Spoon some of the marinade over the top
  • Let it marinate in the fridge for at least a few hours
  • Place in pan/broiler safe casserole and broil until the tops of the garlic bits  look golden and the fish is pretty much cooked in the middle. Let it sit for a few minutes because it will continue to cook

The extra marinade is tasty over rice or cous cous if you serve it with the salmon.  A simple cucumber salad is also nice on the side.


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