Duck Walk Shrimp

Its a nice day for shrimp, and yes, I have no idea what exactly that means, but it popped into my head none the less. I have shrimp on my mind, which is better than the alternative, having wine on my mind which is probably just as likely. So, let’s open a fresh bottle of Duck Walk white and talk about shrimp, and pasta, and vino.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of medium shrimp drained peeled and deveined
  • 1 ½ cups Duck Walk white wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and fresh ground peppercorns
  • 1 package of linguini cooked and drained

Melt the butter and toss in the garlic and get that browning. Deglaze with a little wine and add the shrimp and the rest of the wine. Cook until the shrimp are done, nice and firm, about six minutes or so. Then remove the shrimp for the pan and set aside. Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and reduce this down to a little thicker sauce. Then add the linguine and get tit well coated with the pan sauce, and then add back the shrimp. Warm every thing and serve it up shaved Parmesan cheese and with some garlic toast…. And wine!

shrimp2

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Spring Little Necks

Spring is a great time to go down to the docks and pick up a couple of dozen clams. The smaller littleneck clams work very well in pasta dishes where they are tossed in and served whole, being steamed in the sauce. This method also works well with mussels. I find the smaller clams to be the sweeter ones

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 dozen littleneck clams
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1 (28- to 32-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, coarsely chopped, reserving juice
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Heat oil in a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic with red-pepper flakes, stirring, until pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes.

Cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, add whole clams to sauce and cook, covered, shaking skillet occasionally, until clams open wide, 6 to 10 minutes (discard any clams that remain unopened after 10 minutes). Transfer clams in shells to a large shallow bowl. If sauce is too watery, boil until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Drain spaghetti. Return clams to sauce and add pasta, tossing

Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce

Spicy Spinach Mussels

One of the signs of spring around here seems to be the big bags of spinach that the produce guy is throwing at me. I don’t know what makes him so mad… spinach makes a wonderful ingredient in salads and stuffing, as well as a stand-alone side. So lets put those bags of spinach to good use.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 40 Prince Edward Island mussels or other high-quality mussels
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 baguette, sliced on the diagonal into eight ¼-inch-thick pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes with their juice, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup Duck Walk white wine
  • ½ bunch fresh spinach, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Clean the mussels by scrubbing well under cold running water and removing any beards. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, and refrigerate.

Pour 1/2 cup of the olive oil into a shallow baking dish. Lay the bread slices in the oil and turn once to coat both sides. Toast the bread for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer the croutons to a plate to cool.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil into a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the mussels, tomatoes, and pepper flakes and season with salt to taste. Stir well and cook for about 15 minutes.

Add the wine and spinach, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until all the mussels open. Discard any that do not open! Really, no joking here… bad mussels go bad in a bad bad way.

Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large serving bowl. Garnish with spinach leaves and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Stud the bowl with the croutons and serve.

spinach-mussles

Caldo de Gallina (Dominican Chicken Soup)

We just can’t seem to let go of winter’s chill out here on the island. Perhaps some Dominican style chicken soup will be good for the soul. A bit of red pepper flakes adds just the right amount of heat to this fairly straight forward broth.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds cooked chicken (skinned, boned, cut into small pieces)
  • 2 medium potatos (cut into cube-like structures)
  • ½ cup of Yucca (cut into cube-like structures too)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup celery stalk (chopped into cubes)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro (if not available, substitute dried parsley)
  • 1 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 10 cups water
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add chicken, bouillon cubes, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, and dried cilantro. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water, potatoes, yucca. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Break up the angel hair pasta and add to the pot. Stir frequently until noodles are tender. Remove from the heat and serve.

dominican chicken soup

Spring Trout with Dijon Mustard

April first is opening day for trout fisherman in the Finger Lakes tributaries. Catherine Creek which runs into Seneca Lake being the most famous, but any tributary to any of the larger finger lakes is likely to host a run of spawning rainbows. Lake fishing gets back in gear with many people running planner boards along the shore line of Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes looking for hungry trout and salmon. So, what to do with some spring caught trout?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 medium trout fillets
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard ( I prefer the stone-ground)
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt

Extra-virgin olive oil

In a wide flat dish, combine the bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt, to taste.

In a small bowl, mix together the mustard and the juice of 1 lemon. Brush both sides of the trout with mustard mixture. Then coat the fish on both sides with the seasoned bread crumbs and press firmly to adhere the crumbs to the fish.

Coat a large skillet with about 1/4 to 1/2-inch of olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Add the fish to the pan and cook about 6 to 7 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over and cook the other side until the fish is brown and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. This is where those long thin fish spatulas come in handy. Trying to do this with small spatulas usually breaks the fillet.

Remove the fish from the pan and drain on paper towels. I recommend the Duck Walk white with this and since the trout is packed with strong flavors with the Dijon mustard, I keep the sides simple a spring greens salad and rice.

spring trout

Hurricane Sandy Sauasage and Peppers

When hurricane Sandy struck a neighbor had these two packages of sausages in her fridge, one hot and one sweet. So, to keep them from going bad (and we know how bad sausages can get when left on their own) I brought over one of my large pots, a couple red peppers, a couple green peppers, a couple of onions, a bottle of Duck Walk red, and a cheery disposition. And hour or so later and an extra neighbor with a pot of spaghetti and a delightful evening ensued.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two packages of sausage
  • Two red bell peppers
  • Two green bell peppers
  • Two medium onions
  • One cup red wine
  • One tablespoon sea salt
  • One tablespoon oregano
  • One tablespoon basil
  • One teaspoon red pepper flakes

Slice the peppers and onions into strips. Combine all these items in a large stockpot over a low heat and wait about an hour and a half… serve with pasta and the rest of the wine.

What did you make after the hurricane?

Rosé Summer Mussels

Every Mediterranean country has its version of shellfish in a tomato-based broth, and the wine of choice for each is an earthy, full-bodied pink wine. Here, seek out a nice sweet rosé, I sever these with a bottle of Martha Clara Vineyards sweet rosé.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 5 oz can v-8 juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, v-8 Juice, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now, when it comes to the canned tomatoes and the v-8 juice, I use the low sodium option here. Too much sodium is not good for you and around here I’m all about cooking things that are good for you… most of the time. So lets get back to the mussels.

Discard any mussels that have broken shells or that don’t clamp shut when tapped. Add the mussels to the pot. Cover; bring to a boil. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, just until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Remove the open mussels. Continue to boil, uncovering the pot as necessary to remove the mussels as soon as their shells open. Discard any that do not open.

Stir the black pepper into the broth. Taste the broth and, if needed, add salt. Ladle the broth over the mussels and serve with the garlic toast.

mussles with tomato broth

mussels with tomato broth

Roast Red Pepper Sauce

I’m going to grill up some sea bass this week. Yup, that’s on my fourth of July list of things to make, and with that sea bass I will be making something red, something white, and something blue. Why should I be different from everybody else making red white and blue things lol. So, one thing that I enjoy with sea bass,  and which takes some prep time, is a roasted red pepper sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 – 4 large red peppers
  • 1 small red onion quarterd
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp sour cream

Pre-heat oven to 450 toss peppers and onion with 1 tbsp olive oil on baking sheet. Roast about 20 minutes, until peppers have blistered and onion is golden brown. Romove peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let set about 20 minutes or till cool enough to handle. Remove skin and seeds, and place into food processor with roasted onion. Process until smooth. Set aside. In a skillet sauté crushed red pepper flakes and garlic in remaining 2 tbsp olive oil until garlic begins to brown. Deglaze with red wine and cook for 1 minute. Add pureed red-pepper mixture and simer 1 minute. Add cream and tomato puree. Bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer until mixture reduces by one third. Strain sauce and blend in sour cream.. season to taste…

Simple Shrimp Sauce and Pasta

Shrimp and pasta… did I mention that Stop and Shop has a sale on shrimp. Well, here’s a nice quick shrimp and pasta dish that works best when the shrimp are of a medium size rather than those super-jumbo ‘revenge of the shrimp’ size crustaceans they are farming these days.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 lb peeled and deveined medium shrimp
• 4 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled and forced through a garlic press
• 1/2 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
• 1/2 cup Duck Walk white wine
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3/4 lb linguini
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• Romano and / or Parmesan cheese for garnish

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of water to a boil with a shake or two of sea salt.

Now, heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté shrimp, about 2 minutes, and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, wine, salt, and pepper to oil remaining in skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, about a minute or so. Then, add the butter to skillet, stirring until melted; this is the sauce to which we will add the shrimp. So, stir in shrimp, combine thoroughly and remove skillet from heat.

While making the shrimp sauce, cook pasta in boiling water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Toss pasta well with shrimp mixture and parsley in large bowl, adding some of reserved cooking water if necessary to keep moist. Plate it up and garnish with shaved Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Serve this with the rest of that Duck Walk wine, and enjoy a sunny dinner out on the porch.

Anchovy Pasta Sauce with Olives

Well, getting back on track here with the recipes! Today we’ll be whipping up a little pasta and sauce. The sauce features on of best, healthiest, most under-appreciated, sustainable seafood choices…. Anchovies! With a healthy dose of olives, this sauce is perfect for meatless Friday meals.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  4 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tin of anchovies packed in oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 1 can black olives chopped
  • Two dozen green olives sliced
  • 2 tsps capers drained
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 2 tsps oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 16 ozs can of crushed tomatoes
  • 6 ozs tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup marsala
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

In a medium saucepan combine olive oil and anchovies. Cook them over medium heat, stirring to mash them, about three to five minutes. Add garlic and onion and cook until tender, five minutes or so. Then stir in remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, half an hour or so. It will take a while for the flavors to coalesce into a unified sauce.

As the sauce is cooking, start your pasta. I like to use the mezze penne, and take a moment or two to call up some friends and invite them to lunch.

Pop the top of a bottle of local Long Island red wine and serve up some home entertaining.