Sunday, June 27, 2010

Scallop and Shrimp Citrus Ceviche - week 26 of 52

Last week of “surfing” in June! About a month ago I had the pleasure of visiting NY & Connecticut for work and co-workers took us out to dinner at a fabulous Spanish tapas restaurant in Norwalk, Connecticut called Barcelona. The meal and company was great and the dish that really caught my attention was the Citrus ceviche, made of cod, citrus, peppers, tomato and cilantro. The flavour was excellent and as I am a huge fan of sushi, the texture of the fish was silky, reminiscent to sashimi, but firmer.

Ceviche is a Spanish dish where seafood is marinated in citrus juice. It is technically not “cooked” as cooking refers to adding heat to food. The citrus acids denature the seafood proteins, making it firm and opaque.

I found this recipe from Emeril and purchased some fresh bay scallops from St Lawrence market. As the scallops are not cooked, best to buy the best scallops you can afford (this is not the recipe where you want to get the best deal on scallops at the supermarket). The recipe turned out really well – refreshing and tasty! Nice and fresh - perfect for the summer. I would give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars!

I made some changes to Emeril’s original recipe below:
- I decreased the amount of cilantro to ½ tablespoon (I’m not a big fan)
- Added 3 green onions thinly sliced
- Increased marinating time to overnight, the hour that the recipe suggests was barely enough time to make the fish opaque.
- Garnished with lemon zest
- Halving the recipe will still make enough for 6 appetizer sized servings

This would be a great appetizer served in a martini glass or in tiny glasses.

Bonne appétit!

Shrimp and scallop ceviche – courtesy of Emeril Legasse

Rating (out of 5) ****

Cost $$


• 1/4 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
• 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1/2 pound bay scallops
• 2 lemons, juiced
• 2 limes, juiced
• 2 oranges, juiced
• 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
• 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
• 2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
• 1 cup seeded and diced tomatoes
• 1 Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus leaves for garnish
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Put a 4-quart stockpot over high heat and fill with 2 quarts of water. Season the water with 1/4 cup kosher salt and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the shrimp to the pot and immediately turn off the heat. Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the water and spread out on a sheet pan to cool.

Once the shrimp are completely cooled, chop into 1/2-inch pieces and put in a medium-sized nonreactive bowl. Add the scallops, lemon, lime and orange juices and stir in the cucumber, red onion and chiles. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Stir the tomatoes, avocado, chopped cilantro, and olive oil into the shrimp and scallop mixture. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then season to taste with kosher salt.

To serve, divide the ceviche between 6 chilled martini glasses, garnish with cilantro leaves.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Smoked Salmon in a Tomato Cream Sauce - week 25 of 52

Smoked Salmon in a Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta

One of my favourite meals is the Odessa at Grazie restaurant in Toronto – a smoked salmon in a creamy tomato sauce served over fettuccine. This recipe is inspired by my Grazie favourite. I’ve had little luck finding a great rosé sauce online so have decided to adapt something from Emeril.

The tomato cream sauce was a little bland, not as flavourful as the Grazie and could use a little spice. Once the smoked salmon was added to the cream, it added a little more flavour and made the sauce a little tastier.

The results this week were fine but will definitely need to tweak the recipe for Grazie perfection!

Bon appétit!

Smoked Salmon in a Tomato Cream Sauce – Serves 4



Adapted from Emeril Lagasse recipe

Tomato Cream Sauce:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 2 1/2 cups seeded, chopped tomatoes(I used a 28oz can of diced tomatoes)
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup chicken plus 2 tablespoons
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 8 slices of smoked salmon, diced
• Your favourite pasta


For the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and cook until the tomatoes give up their liquid, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and cook until reduced by half again, about 6 minutes.

Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the butter. Remove the thyme sprigs. With an immersion blender, or food processor, puree the sauce. Strain sauce through a fine-meshed sieve, if desired, to remove the tomato skins. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve

Dice the smoked salmon into small pieces and stir into the warm pasta sauce. Cook for 4-5 minutes until salmon is cooked. Serve over your favourite pasta and garnish with parsley.

Good eats!

There is nothing better in the world than good friends and good food! This weekend I celebrated my birthday with both! We went to a little restaurant, Politica, around the corner from my house. It was a beautiful evening and we sat outside on the patio for dinner. I had a delicious wild mushroom & truffle pasta - great flavour with a hint of truffle oil. After dinner we celebrated with cupcakes from For the Love of Cake. The cupcakes were incredible - moist, rich & flavourful! They have some really unique (and tasty flavours) like Guinness Chocolate, Chocolate Covered Banana and Salted Caramel - I am adding to my go-to list of great dessert places!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and here's to another year with friends & food!

Toronto Foodie Girl

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pan Seared Scallops with Leek and Tarragon Creme - week 24 of 52

Week 2 of "Surf"ing in June brings scallops! This week I made scallops with leek and tarragon creme. I got this recipe from "Dish Entertains" by Trish Magwood.

This was an incredibly easy recipe and would make a great app! One thing I would change - the greens didn't add to the dish. The scallops were perfect on their own. Next time I would serve in little chinese soup spoons for bite sized apps. Make sure you don't cook the scallops too long otherwise they become tough and chewy (like most other seafood). The time that the recipe recommends is perfect.

Pan Seared Scallops with Leek and Tarragon Creme




• 3 large or 5 small scallops per person
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (25mL)
• Salt and pepper
Leek and Tarragon Creme
• 1 tablespoon butter(15 mL)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil(15mL)
• 4 shallots, sliced
• 2 leeks, white part only, sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup white wine (250 mL)
• 1/2 cup 35% cream (125mL)
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (25mL)
• 1 bunch fresh tarragon
• Frisée greens for garnish
• 1 baguette
• 1/4 cup olive oil (50mL)
• Salt and pepper


1. In a large heavy skillet, heat vegetable oil until almost smoking. Season scallops with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Pan sear on each side for 3 minutes or until golden. Remove scallops.

Leek and Tarragon Creme
1. In a large heavy skillet, heat vegetable oil until almost smoking. Season scallops with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Pan sear on each side for 3 minutes or until golden. Remove scallops.
2. To the pan, add butter and a dash of olive oil. Sauté shallots and leeks until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add white wine, scraping up any stuck bits. Add cream and cook, reducing liquid to about half. Finish with parmesan and freshly chopped tarragon leaves. Season again with salt and pepper.
4. Lightly toss frisée with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
5. Place greens in center of plate, top with cooked scallops. Drizzle with tarragon crème and garnish with 2 crostini per person.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Coconut Shrimp - week 23 of 52

Week one of "Surf"ing in June, I decided to make Tyler Florence's Coconut Shrimp. I've had a great coconut shrimp at St Lawrence Market at Buster's Sea Cover and wanted to try to make some at home. It just takes a couple of ingredients and is really quite easy to make.

Tyler Florence's coconut shrimp is great! I didn't make the peanut sauce and served instead with a sweet chili sauce instead, which I bought in at the grocery store. The sweet shrimp and coconut combination is amazing - make sure you don't deep fry for too long otherwise the shrimp gets a chewy texture. I used my candy thermometer (see week 4) to ensure I had the right oil temperature.

These coconut shrimp would be great apps for a party but requires prep before hand. You could probably deep fry ahead of time and pop into the oven before serving.

Bon appétit!

Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce



Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup hot water

Coconut Shrimp
12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
1 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 head Bibb lettuce, separated
1 English cucumber, cut into sticks
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 bunch snow pea shoots


1. For the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, pour sesame oil in a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Add the ginger and garlic; cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Combine the remaining sauce ingredients in a blender; blend to combine. Add the warmed sesame oil mixture to blender. Blend until light and creamy, adding more hot water, if necessary, to achieve a smooth dipping consistency.

2. Lay the butterflied shrimp flat on a cutting board. Place the flat side of a chef's knife on the shrimp; gently pound to flatten. Thread one butterflied shrimp onto each bamboo skewer, so shrimp lays flat. Set aside.

3. Place flour on a large shallow plate; season with salt and pepper. Place beaten eggs in a shallow bowl. Place coconut on a large shallow plate; season with salt and pepper. Coat the shrimp in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip shrimp in egg, then coconut, coating both sides. Place on a baking tray and set aside in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow the coating to set before frying.

4. Pour about 4 inches oil into a large heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F. Place the shrimp end of each skewer in hot oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden and crispy. Remove with tongs.

5. To serve, arrange Bibb lettuce leaves, cucumber sticks, lime wedges, and snow pea shoots on a large plate. Serve with coconut shrimp and dipping sauce so wraps can be assembled as desired.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Coming soon!

June will be dedicated to seafood - "Surf"ing in June! There's something about the sweet briney taste of seafood and I absolutely love! I have yet to meet seafood I didn't like (well, with the exception of butterfish/white tuna, which has a very rich butter taste - which works only for butter, not fish in my opinion). The next four weeks will be a different seafood recipe. I have a feeling scallops will make an appearance!