Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seafood, four ways

After a long hiatus from WeDine, I've become ridiculously behind on my posts and am finding it overwhelmingly daunting thinking of how exactly to get caught up. And with each week that passes, more meals are cooked, consumed, enjoyed, and the list just keeps on growing and growing! So, in the interest of killing two birds with one stone here (or more aptly, four recipes with one post), I'm doing some multi-tasking.

Please forgive the somewhat incomplete recipes that follow, as some of them were concocted a while back. Though I can tell you that all four were delicious, so I urge you to test them out soon.

1. Fisherman's Stew: a heartwarming meal for any day of the week

6 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
4 oz cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 lb canned whole tomatoes
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of dried thyme
430 ml water
2 lbs white fish fillets, cut into large pieces (we used a combination of red snapper, cod, sole, and also threw in a few large shrimp, for good measure)
140 ml dry white wine of your choice
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cook until beginning to look transluscent.

Add the pepper, mushrooms and the tomatoes and bring mixture to the boil.

Add thyme, salt and pepper and water and simmer about 20 mins.

Add all the fish (and shrimp) and the wine and cook until the fish flakes easily, about 15 mins. Stir in parsley.

You should serve this stew quite simply, either with toasted french bread, or as we did, atop a bowl of brown rice.

2. Steamed Mussels: summer decadence on a budget

This was the first time I'd ever attempted homemade mussels, and it was a true success! Unfortunately, I didn't record the recipe at the time, and am now at a bit of a loss. Here's what I remember:

Buy fresh mussels from your local fishmonger (we went to Seven Seas on 4th Ave in Kits). We bought approximately 1 lb of mussels per person (and if you can believe it, the cost was only about $20 total for four people).

Clean and debeard the mussels (if not already done). Throw away any that are open and that don't close when you tap them.

Put about 2 tbsp oil, 1 chopped white onion, and 2 crushed cloves of garlic into a large lidded saucepan and cook over low heat until onion is transparent.

Add 3 large diced tomatoes, 1 bay leaf, 1 finely sliced fennel bulb, and sea salt, and simmer for about 10 mins.

Pour in about 1 cup of white wine, bring sauce to the boil, and add the mussels. Cover with lid and cook for a few mins, shaking the pan a few times.

Check that all the mussels have opened (throw away any that are still closed) and spoon them into large bowls. Sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley and serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

3. Shrimp Tacos: a quick and easy weekday dinner

This one was a throw-together-whatever-I-had-on-hand recipe, so I'll try my best to remember what I threw in.

Essentially, all you have to do is sautee some shrimp in a bit of olive oil, and add salt, pepper, a few chili flakes, and a pinch of cumin. Remove the shrimp when they are pink throughout, and in the same saucepan, sautee some diced red pepper and mushrooms. Then, warm a couple of flour tortillas and spoon on the following: red pepper and mushroom mixture, tomato salsa, a few slices of avocado (or homemade guacamole if you're feeling especially motivated), fresh corn kernels (or canned if you don't have fresh on hand), cooked shrimp, and a squeeze of lime juice. Roll up and enjoy!

4. Coconut Prawns: a cocktail party pleaser

4 egg whites
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2/3 cup vegetable or peanut oil
1 to 2 lbs large raw prawns, peeled and deveined, tails intact (I used tiger prawns)
sweet chili sauce, for dipping
lime wedges, to serve

Whisk egg whites in a bowl until light and fluffy. Put flour and coconut onto two separate plates. Heat a deep pan and add oil. Toss prawns in flour, dip them in egg whites, and finally roll them in coconut. When oil is hot, fry prawns a few at a time until golden brown on each side. Drain prawns on paper towels and serve with chili sauce and lime wedges.


Meg Whetung said...

Welcome back Alisha! The blog missed you...

And I'm thrilled to have these recipes now. I have such delicious memories of the mussels and the fisherman's stew. Both seemed really easy to make, and tasted decadent and healthy at the same time – perfect.

I love the photo of the mussels – you can tell it's a relaxed summer night...

Your coconut shrimp are so tasty. And, I'll have to try the tacos – they look great.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Alisha! Wow, these all sound so good. I love seafood and I love recipes that are so tasty and not complicated. I want to try them all.
It was great to see you gals! Cathie