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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Birthday Menu & Shrimp-Mango Salad

Posted by booksncooks on April 21, 2011

A while ago, I received a copy of Williams Sonoma’s Cooking for Friends as a gift. Every month or so, I take out the book and look through it, my mouth watering at the delicious-sounding recipes and the incredible photos. However, some of the recipes are a little fancier than my crowd is used to, so alas, I never got around to making any.

For my birthday last month, I decided to raise the bar and fancied-things up, to include a recipe from this cookbook. Hubby and I had about 20 people over the house for cocktails. I went all out and made two birthday cakes (I couldn’t decide which I wanted more and the vote to my friends was split), a cocktail, and three appetizers. Here’s what the menu included:

Amaretto Sours with Prosecco
Almond Cake with Raspberry Layers & Amaretto Buttercream
Toffee Brownie Torte
Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms
Shrimp-Mango Salad
Baked Fontina & French Bread

I was excited to try the shrimp-mango salad – a little fancier than the usual appetizer and elegantly served in these mini-martini glasses. Neither me nor my guests were disappointed. It was nice and light, tangy and sweet, the perfect addition to our cocktail party.

Modifications: I used all shrimp instead of a combination of shrimp and crab, as reflected in the recipe below. I skipped the avocado because mine didn’t ripen in time (plus allergies).

Shrimp-Mango Salad

Adapted from Shrimp, Crab and Avocado Salad in

Williams Sonoma’s Cooking for Friends (p. 62)

Makes 12+ servings in mini-martini glasses


  • 1 lb. cooked fresh shrimp, diced (or combination of fresh cooked crab and shrimp)
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, minced (plus sprigs for garnish)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 head butter lettuce, shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • lime wedges

In a medium bowl, toss the mango, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, and shallot until mango is coated. Season with salt and pepper. Add shrimp (and crab), tossing until coated.

In your serving glasses, line the bottom with some of the butter lettuce, followed by the mango-shrimp mixture. Top with avocado (I would have tossed it in with the mango and shrimp at the last minute) and garnish with lime slices and sprigs of cilantro.


Posted in Appetizers, Menus, Seafood | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Tomato & Feta Shrimp

Posted by booksncooks on April 13, 2011

I’m always looking for quick and easy weeknight recipes. Both the hubby and I work full-time, sometimes more than full-time, and either go to the gym or play some sort of sport almost every day of the week. As much as I love cooking and baking, it’s impossible for me to plan anything too ambitious for dinner with such a schedule. However, that doesn’t mean that I want dinner to be boring. I still want our dinners to be flavorful and different. This roasted shrimp recipe definitely satisfied those requirements. Ready in about 30 minutes, this shrimp recipe is packed with flavor from the oregano, tomatoes, and feta.

Serve with lemon slices, for a bit of freshness. I served it for dinner over rice, but this would also be phenomenal served over grilled slices of bread.

Roasted Shrimp with Feta (and Tomatoes)

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa,  How Easy Is That? (p. 146-7)

Serves 4


  • 4 Tbs. good olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbs. (3 cloves) minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs. jumbo shrimp (16-20 shrimp per pound), peeled and deveined (I remove the tails as well, but you can leave them on)
  • 5 oz. feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • 1 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbs. fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 lemons (for serving, optional)

Lighten It Up: Use a little less feta cheese and half the amount of bread crumb topping.

In a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add wine/chicken broth, cooking 2-3 minutes, until reduced by half. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, simmering for 10-15 minutes until thickened slightly.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 and in a small bowl, mix remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest. Set aside.

Turn off heat and layer shrimp, in a circle with tails up, over the tomatoes. Sprinkle feta and bread crumb mixture evenly over shrimp. Finish cooking in oven for about 15 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through and bread crumbs are golden brown.

Serve with slices of lemon.

Posted in Barefoot Contessa, Seafood | Leave a Comment »

Renner’s Tilapia with Cardamon & Basil

Posted by booksncooks on February 23, 2011

Every other year, my husband’s extended family all come home for the Christmas holidays. It’s an awesome time, with 50 of the clan in town to celebrate Christmas and catch up with each other. This past year, a couple of us were hanging around the table, talking about our favorite meals to make, favorite new ingredients, etc. It’s a fun conversation, since my hubby’s family is all from the south, and I grew up in New England, so our favorite meals are pretty different. Anyway, I was telling everyone how I really love cardamom, but it’s not used in many of my recipes – my mom and I discovered it when we made a cranberry-pear tart one year. Ever since then, I’ve been seeking out new recipes to test out this spice. Renner, the soon-to-be newest addition to the family, was telling me about this baked tilapia recipe he makes using cardamom. First I heard of it – I had to have the recipe. Well, Renner apparently cooks like I do – he must do a little of this, and a little of that, because in lieu of a recipe, I got a list of ingredients (Thanks Renner!) The first time I made the tilapia, I measured, using the below proportions (skipping the fresh rosemary just because I didn’t have any in the house). Ever since then (and I have been making this weekly since we tried it out), I throw on a little of everything until I’m satisfied. This recipe has become a hit in our house – hubby and I both love the fresh basil, the slightly crunchy Parmesan, and the smoky hint of the cardamom. Quick and easy, this is has become one of our regular weeknight dinner. Enjoy!

Renner’s Tilapia with Cardamom & Basil

Yields 3 filets (2-3 servings)


  • 3 tilapia filets
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh basil
  • 3 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.

Set tilapia filets on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and rub in.

Combine salt, pepper, and cardamom in a small bowl. Sprinkle on tilapia.

Combine basil and Parmesan in a small bowl. Sprinkle on tilapia.

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until tilapia is cooked through. For a slightly crispier coating, broil for last 3 minutes of cooking.

Posted in Seafood | Leave a Comment »

Herb Grilled Chicken & Shrimp

Posted by booksncooks on July 29, 2010

Last week was crazy, but I still got a few precious minutes of tv time. And how did I fill it? Food Network, of course!

I was watching Giada de Laurentiis do a picnic menu, and thought her Chicken and Shrimp with Pancetta Chimichurri sounded like a great recipe for the grill this weekend. I prepped the chicken and shrimp, and got started on the chimichurri early in the day, and went to taste the chimichurri to make sure it was good. Not such a fan. I found it very acidic. To salvage the chimichurri, I decided to use it as a marinade instead of as a post-grill sauce. This ended up working out great – the chicken and shrimp were flavorful and moist (definitely use fresh herbs for this marinade and not dried herbs).

Serving Suggestion: I would recommend serving this with a flavorful tomato or fruit salsa.

Herb Grilled Chicken & Shrimp Marinade

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Yields enough marinade for 2 lb. shrimp and 2 lb. chicken


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 c. fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until smooth.

Marinate chicken and/or shrimp for 2+ hours before grilling.

Posted in Giada, Poultry, Seafood | Leave a Comment »

Grilled Herb Shrimp

Posted by booksncooks on May 28, 2010

As the temperature goes up, I spend less time cooking and the hubby spends more time grilling. We’ll grill just about anything – meat, seafood, veggies, fruit – and are always looking for new recipes to try out. We ended up bringing these shrimp over a friend’s house a couple of weeks ago and they were a huge hit! We had these as part of the main dish, with burgers, but they would also be great as a hot, room temperature, or cold appetizer, or in a salad.

Thanks to Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen for choosing such a nice light dish for this month’s Barefoot Bloggers.

Grilled Herb Shrimp

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa‘s Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Serves 2-3 as a main dish


  • 1 lb large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined (see note)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, small-diced
  • 1/8 c. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/8 c. minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp.  Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp.  kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 c. good olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

If grilling on skewers, don’t forget to soak any wood skewers in water for 30 minutes. These can also be grilled in a grill basket.

Combine all ingredients except shrimp and set aside.

Skewer the shrimp, using 3-4 shrimp per skewer. (I removed the tails, but feel free to leave tails on.) Pour marinade on shrimp and allow to marinade for 1 hour at room temperature, or covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Heat grill on medium heat, and brush grill with oil to prevent shrimp and herbs from sticking.

Grill shrimp, bout 90 seconds per side. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature

Posted in Appetizers, Barefoot Contessa, Seafood | 1 Comment »

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Posted by booksncooks on February 25, 2010

This month’s Barefoot Blogger’s recipe was chosen by Jill of Insanely Good Food.  And what did Jill chose? She chose the Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Shrimp Scampi, a tasty and easy dish that has become a new staple recipe in my house. I had made this recipe a couple months ago (blogged here) but wanted to take a minute to once again, encourage you to try it. I skip the butterflying and arranging to make it even easier – I buy the frozen peeled and deveined shrimp. Simply defrost, remove the tails, marinade and make the crumbly topping, and bake. A super easy and flavorful weeknight meal. Serve over pasta or rice.

Posted in Barefoot Contessa, Seafood | Leave a Comment »

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Posted by booksncooks on November 12, 2009

Baked Shrimp Scampi 009-1

Served over pasta for a quick weeknight meal. I added a bit of extra panko breadcrumbs and parsley for some extra crunch. It was really good; there was a great layering of sweet and salty flavors, with just a hint of spice from the red pepper flakes. Next time, I’ll probably try to mix it up a bit, and add in some Parmesan cheese.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Source: The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten

Serves 6


  • 2 lb. (12-15 per pound) shrimp in the shell; peeled (tails on) and deveined
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 c. minced shallots (I used 1/8 c. dried onion flakes)
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425.

Place shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, wine, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.

Baked Shrimp Scampi 001-1In another bowl, mix softened butter and all other remaining ingredients, except the lemon wedges.

In a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer, cut side down, with tails pointing up. (Ina recommends beginning at the edge and working towards the center.) Pour what’s left of the olive oil and wine mixture on top of the shrimp. Spread/crumble butter mixture on top of the shrimp.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Then, broil for 1 minute, until top is slightly browned.

Baked Shrimp Scampi 006-1

Posted in Barefoot Contessa, Food Network, Seafood | Leave a Comment »

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Posted by booksncooks on October 29, 2009

This is a favorite appetizer of ours (the photo doesn’t do it justice at all!). We’ll serve this both warm or cold (grill and keep warm in the oven, if you prefer).

Spicy Grilled Shimp

Source: Emeril Lagasse’s Spicy Barbecued Shrimp Skewers


  • 1/4 c. vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar or honey (I’ve made it with both)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled


If using bamboo skewers during grilling, soak skewers for 30 minutes, prior to threading the shrimp. We have also skipped the skewering and put shrimp directly on grill.

In a large sealable baggie, combine all ingredients except for the shrimp. Once combined, add shrimp and toss to coat. I let the shrimp sit in marinade for an hour or more, but the original recipe says “while you prepare the grill.”

Grill shrimp / shrimp skewers until pink and lightly charred on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve warm or cold.

Posted in Appetizers, Emeril Lagasse, Seafood | Leave a Comment »

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

Posted by booksncooks on October 15, 2009

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

Fix It & Forget It Cookbook

Makes 4-5 servings

I made this a couple months ago for some friends. I don’t actually eat clam chowder and have no idea what it tastes, so this was an experiment for me. The entire pot was gone, so I guess it went well!


3 – 10 ¾ oz cans cream of potato soup

2 – 10 ¾ oz cans of New England clam chowder

½ c. butter

1 small onion, diced

1 pint half-and-half

2 – 6 ½ oz. cans clams, chopped

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Original instructions say to cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours.I added 1-2 tsp of black pepper to the above for a bit more flavor.  I found that it was ready in closer to 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Posted in Seafood, Soups | Leave a Comment »