Saturday, March 26, 2011

Something's Fishy....or Bivalve-y?

I meant to post this sometime last fall and just found it in my drafts folder when I went to look for the mussels recipe to make with oven-baked frites.

I've always been a little intimidated to cook seafood.  I blame this on growing up in Kansas, minimally 700 miles from an ocean.  I did catch a catfish once!

Me with Granddad Bill (and a catfish)

As my taste in seafood has grown, I feel like my culinary skills should grow as well.  So these are my attempts to branch out beyond my salmon in parchment paper stand-by.  My first effort was Ina Garten's Scallops Provencal.  I love scallops but had never cooked them myself.  I believed them to be horribly prone to being overcooked and that the Top Chef judge in my head (the mean British one from Top Chef Master's) would sneer at me for ruining an expensive meal.  Turns out, scallops aren't that pricey, or that difficult to cook.  These will be making an appearance again!

Seared Scallops with Roasted Beat and Goat Cheese Salad

Emboldened by my scallop coup, I decided to follow my friend Laurel's advice and make mussels at home.  Laurel has been telling me for years (literally) that mussels are the easiest thing to make at home - just cook some shallots in butter, add wine and mussels, cover for 5-7 minutes, eat with bread.  And it turns out, she was right, very easy!  I tried out a saffron-infused broth from Barefoot Contessa and they were delicious. 

These are the most recent moules with oven-baked frites.

Seeing as I was on a bivalve roll, I decided next to tackle pasta with clams sauce.  Also, I really wanted to use more of the fresh cracked pepper fettuccine I buy at our local farmer's market.  Unfortunately, it was pouring rain on Tuesday and I just couldn't motivate myself to go down there.

The linguini in clam sauce was okay, but I couldn't help but think how much more delicious the mussels would be over pasta - mmmmmm.

As an added bonus, all of these bivales can be sustainably produced.  Having overcome my shellfish phobia, what next?  Maybe seared tuna steaks?  I know I want to whole fry a fish.  Anyone have some suggestions?

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