Posts Tagged ‘Seafood’

It’s not sushi but…

October 19, 2011

I don’t trust myself to make sushi. I don’t trust myself to cook meat in general. It’s taken years of practice, dozens of animals, a few stomach aches and far too much patience for my taste to be comfortable cooking some meats. The problem is that I hate overcooked meat so I try to keep it on the rare side. The problem is that I usually don’t cook the meat enough. Fortunately with fish I can just call it sushi. This salmon filet might be a touch too rare though, which probably means I should include a disclaimer about how eating undercooked meat can make you sick. Cook it longer if you’re worried. Perhaps I should invest in a good kitchen thermometer.

Asian Salmon

So raw it's almost sushi!

Asian Salmon

  • 6oz salmon filet (sockeye preferred!)
  • 1T sesame oil
  • 1T teriyaki sauce
  1. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the salmon and let sit at about 5 minutes.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan.
  3. Place the salmon in the pan skin side down (if the skin is still on).
  4. Flip the salmon over after a few minutes when the side becomes transparent nearly halfway through.
  5. Let the salmon cook for a few more minutes until you can just see a bit of translucent (read: raw) meat on the side.

Last Days of Summer

September 10, 2010

Although I didn’t get to experience clam digging this year, I picked some up from the fish market. After tasting them at the shore, I couldn’t resist buying a dozen. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring home any produce after loading my bag with seafood. However, I remembered a small packet of bacon in the freezer and was able to create a wonderful steamed clam concotion.

Steamed Clams with Bacon

Steamed clams with bacon and onions served over pasta.

Steamed Clams


  • 1 dozen little neck clams
  • 2 pieces bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ onion
  • 1 c white wine
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 white peppercorns
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour

Special Equipment

steaming rack, to keep clams above the liquid when cooking

  1. Sautee chopped bacon in a pot until the fat is rendered (melted).
  2. Add sliced onions and sautee until soft.
  3. Add crushed garlic cloves and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add wine to loosen what has stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add stock, sage, thyme, and peppercorns and bring to a boil.
  6. Drop the heat to a simmer, add a steaming rack, and place the clams on the steaming rack.
  7. Steam for about 5 mintues, until the clams are open.
  8. Remove clams when done.
  9. Melt butter and stir in flour until blended.
  10. Add butter and flour mixture to liquid in the pot and stir to combine.
  11. Let the liquid simmer for a few minutes to thicken up.
  12. Serve the clams over pasta covered with the sauce and a side of bread to soak up the liquid.

This is the first time I have attempted to steam clams. Why? I’m not sure. Clams are delicious. This recipe is very easy. I suppose clams aren’t depicted as glamorous, like oysters, or precious, like crab. These omissions are great reasons to steam some clams before they hibernate for the winter. As for variations in this recipe? Pancetta or chorizo would be a great subsitute for bacon. This is such a standard combination of flavors in so many cultures that I think it is a bad idea to mess with a good thing, for once. However, if you discover another great combination of flavors, please share!

A Cheap Trip to France in a Bottle of Vinegar

January 24, 2010

Reims Champagne Vinegar

Reims Champagne Vinegar

It’s sale time and I always take advantage of this time of year at Williams-Sonoma, particularly to buy vinegar. This time around I am experimenting with some champagne vinegar. I have found two recipes which call for it in a cookbook called “Off Duty” (recipe adventures from that book are forthcoming!).

Vinegar always smells strong so I wasn’t too sure how to use it just by the smell. On an instinct of combining French Provence-style tastes, I added some to a tuna salad in the spirit of a lighter salad Nicoise. The champagne vinegar created a pleasant if standard taste but fit the bill so I’m happy. I’m open to suggestions for how to feature it in a dish!

Provence Tuna Salad

created on the fly by Sarah Johnson

1/4 c mayonnaise
1.5 T dijon mustard
1 T champagne vinegar
1 t sugar
dash of black pepper
1 t tarragon
2 T yellow raisins
1 can of tuna

  1. Mix mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and pepper.
  2. Add tarragon, raisins, and tuna.

There are endless variations on this recipe. I found this particularly pleasant and refreshing with some salad greens and a fresh tomato. It would make a good sandwich on some quality bread.

I used chunk light tuna in water. If I were being truly decadent I would use some fancy Spanish canned tuna. Although that type of tuna is so delicious on its own it might be considered sacrilege to mix it with mayonnaise.

My mother used to put raisins in tuna salad whenever she made it so I continue to do the same. I like using yellow raisins because they are juicy and light in flavor, but currants would be a good option for this salad as well. In my mind the yellow raisins matched the yellow of the vinegar as well as the mustard, but currants would make a good contrast. The sweetness of currants would also play well off the slight sweetness of the vinegar.