Sea Bass Stew

Its that time of year… winter is a great time to cook warm hearty soups. This one is quick and easy. Also Cherry Valley Market has been having Italian loaves on sale for $1.29 for a pair on Fridays.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 lb sea bass filets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of fresh chopped tomato (about 1 medium sized tomato)
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 8 oz of clam juice
  • 1/2 cup Duck Walk white wine
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • Touch of dry oregano, Tabasco, thyme, pepper
  • Salt

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté 4 minutes. Add parsley and stir 2 minutes. Add tomato and tomato paste, and gently cook for 10 minutes or so.

Add clam juice, dry white wine, and fish and simmer until fish is cooked through, less than 10 minutes. Add seasoning. Salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted Italian bread.

bluefish bikini

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Red Clam Chowder with a kick

Clam chowder is a wonderful dish this time of year. When the weather turns cold and blustery, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup. And with the added kick of minced jalapeno and Texas Pete’s hot sauce, this soup will open up those sinuses!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 5 drops Texas Pete, or other hot pepper sauce

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, place the vegetable oil, onion, carrots and celery. Slowly cook and stir 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Mix in the bacon, potato, clam juice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, white pepper, seasoning salt, parsley, marjoram, garlic powder, thyme, mustard, Cajun seasoning and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat and simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes.

Mix in the clams and cook approximately 5 minutes more. Serve with oyster crackers.roasted-tomato-soup

 

Bay Crab Chowder with Corn

As the weather turns cooler, thoughts turn to… chowder! Since I used one can of crab for the appetizer, I will use the other can of crab meat for… you guessed it, chowder! You can’t just buy one can of crab… or at least I can’t. Add it to some chicken broth and milk, with some corn, and a shake or two of Old Bay seasoning, and you can make a simple Chesapeake Bay style staple.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 teaspoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 leaf McCormick® Bay Leaves

Heat butter and oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add potatoes, onion, celery, bell pepper, Old Bay Seasoning and bay leaf; cook and stir 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and chicken broth. Bring to boil. Add corn and crabmeat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

corn-crab-chowder-finished-1

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

Basic Stuffed Stripe Bass

Strippers are running just off shore. And they seem to be plentiful when the boats pull into Babylon, the local fishmonger is running a sale on whole fish. So, one great way to cook these up for a bunch of friends is to keep that bass whole, stuff it, bake it, and bring it to the table.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 two pound whole striped bass
  • 2 cups of cubed bread for stuffing
  • ½ cup of diced tomatoes
  • ½ of a small red onion diced
  • ¼ tsp tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Sea salt

Combine the bread crumbs, tomatoes, onions, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Use this simple stuffing mix to stuff your cleaned and dressed striped bass. Use toothpicks or those fancy bamboo skewers to close the fish and place it on a baking rack. Brush butter on top of the fish and bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.

stripped_bass

Summer Citrus Grilled Bluefish

Summer on Long Island and the blues are running wild. It’s a nice way of spending a summer day out fishing, and the bluefish are plentiful. Now many people say they don’t like bluefish as it tends to be oily and has a very ‘fishy’ taste. Well of course it has a fishy taste, it’s a fish, and what did you expect it to taste like… mutton? But, be that as it may, there are many ways to add flavor to this fish while preserving the taste of the fish. One of my favorite ways to do this is be marinating the fish to displace some of its fatty oils. And the taste of summer citrus fruits on the open grill is one of the best things about the season here on Long Island.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 pounds of fresh bluefish
  • 1 cup of fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup Duck Walk white wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Chef Bill’s secret citrus spice rub

Place the fish fillets into a large bowl. Pour in the orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil and white wine. Stir to blend and coat fish. Leave the squeezed lemon and lime halves in the bowl too. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat a grill for high heat. When the grill is hot, oil the grate. Season the fish with salt, pepper and citrus rub.

Place fish fillets on the grill, and discard the marinade. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter, and remove the dark blue part of the fish before serving and let’s finish that bottle of Duck Walk!

bluefish bikini

Summer Salmon and Couscous Salad

As the weather warms up thoughts turn towards picnics. Yeah, picnic season is upon us and I’ve been working on a couscous and salmon salad just right for bringing to a spread out blanket. This is still early in the development stage. It combines a Moroccan style French couscous with an Israeli Tune Couscous salad. But for what it’s worth let head down to the lab and see what’s on the slab…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots3 cups water
  • 2 cups of couscous
  • 14 oz can of salmon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, medium-diced (4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 cup chopped scallions (6-8 scallions)
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the couscous and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the couscous is just tender. (I pull the pot halfway off the heat.) Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, combine the salmon, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, capers, olives, red peppers, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl. Pour the hot couscous into the mixture and stir well. Cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, basil, juice of the 1/2 lime, and 1 more teaspoon of salt. Taste for seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.

I like to garnish this with wedges if lime, so you might as well serve this with tequila coolers!

couscous01

Barefoot Smoked Salmon Spread

The time for outdoor picnicking is coming into full swing now and I’ve been going over some recipes for various salads and spreads. I came across a recipe from Ina Garten for making a smoked salmon spread. I think that her addition of dill and horseradish add a nice twist to the straight forward lox and cream cheese.

  • 1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve crackers, or toasted pita strips.

This spread goes nicely with the crab salad stuffed tomatoes I posted earlier.

So get out there and picnic already!

picnic02

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

Mushrooms stuffed with Crab

This makes a nice warm appetizer. A small serving tray of these will disappear in no time at all. Yes, agaricus bisporus, the common white, or button mushroom gets invites to all the parties because he’s a fungi… ok, it’s a notoriously bad pun, but, unlike crab stuffing,  I use it sparingly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 30 large mushrooms
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 2 lg. green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/8 c. parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened

Combine ingredients (except mushrooms) to make the stuffing mixture.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and sauté the stems in butter and add them to the stuffing mixture.

Stuff the caps with the stuffing. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool a bit before getting them on the tray and out to the guests.

crabstuffedmushroom