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Posts Tagged ‘mussels’

Did I mention that I prepare my posts well in advance? Here’s proof!

I know I’m a (lot) late for St. Patrick’s Day, but perhaps you will bookmark it for next year or any time. The Friday before St. Patrick’s Day I saw a lovely post for Beef and Guinness Pie at my friend Karen’s Back Road Journal and even though I can’t tell you how tempting it was, I had to resist making it as we’d already had beef a few times that week and I usually like to keep it to once per week, maximum three times per month. So when she suggested we pop over to Colin Bofin’s blog, an actual Irish dude in Ireland, I was all over it! Colin prepares a Guinness Stew that has the most irresistible dumplings and I’m certain that his home has incredible aromas when he prepares this dish. Still having had too much beef that week, I started to wonder through Conor’s blog and I came across a lovely Irish Seafood Chowder and Scones. I couldn’t help but think that I had found my St. Patrick’s Day recipe. Thanks Conor, I’ll be stopping by your blog for inspiration again.

Colin made his own prawn stock from scratch (actually, they look more like our langoustines) but I remembered I had a bag of lobster carcass in my freezer and I knew I had the ingredients for my stock. At the time, we were still off eating fresh salmon because I wasn’t sure what the influenza implications were, so I used a tin of salmon instead. I also omitted the potato and cut down the carrot just because I’m still trying to reduce my carbs. The broth is a luxurious, creamy, velvety broth with much resemblance to the Provençal Fish Soup I made in October 2011; I cannot resist adding tomatoes and saffron to fish soup, it’s such a compelling flavour combination for my taste.

Irish Inspired Fish Chowder_4313

Don’t be fooled, there is an incredible amount of flavour in the carcass of a lobster, even if someone already ate all the good bits!

Irish Inspired Fish Chowder_4307

An incredible smooth, creamy fish velouté

Irish Inspired Fish Chowder_4308

A few chunks of seafood added to the centre spices up the soup and adds an incredible texture and flavour; the Shrimp was so sweet.

“Irish” Fish Chowder

Makes ~1.5 litres of stock

Ingredients:

  • ~542 g lobster carcass (or you can use the actual beast with the meat). Use only larger bits of shell (the smaller one’s may jam up your blender) or wrap the entire carcass in cheese cloth to contain
  • 260 g celeriac, chopped finely
  • 250 g onion, chopped finely
  • 160 g carrot, grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tomato
  • 200 g skinless, boneless canned salmon (or use fresh)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 2 L water
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp canola oil
  • 50 g per serving mixed seafood, such as shrimp, calamari, crab, whitefish, mussels and such

Directions:

  1. Soak the saffron in 1/2 cup of white wine. Set aside.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large stock pot. Sauté the onions, garlic, carrot and celery root. Turn the heat down.
  3. Add the lobster carcass, bay leaves, salmon and saffron wine and stir well.
  4. Drain the oil or water off the salmon and add it to the pot.
  5. Cover with 2 L of fresh cold water and turn the heat up.
  6. Gently simmer for about 1 hour or until vegetables are soft and the broth is fragrant with the ingredients.
  7. Strain the liquid into a large bowl with high sides.
  8. Remove all the bits of shell from the strained vegetables. Return the vegetables to the broth and blend until smooth and creamy with a good heavy duty immersion blender. Strain through a fine sieve, reserving the pulp. Add cup of the strained soup to the pulp and blend again with the immersion blender, you will be surprised how much more of this pulp can be blended down fine enough to be pushed through the sieve. Press through the fine sieve again into the reserved strained soup. Return this liquid to the soup pot and begin to boil it down to reduce to about 1.5 L. What you want to end up with is a thick, flavourful chowder.
  9. When you have the consistency you want, add the mixed seafood (about 50 g per person) and cook through. Ladle the hot chowder into lovely rimmed bowls and pile 50 g of mixed seafood into the centre of each bowl, serve with warm oat scones and butter (pop over to Colin’s blog for the scone recipe).
Irish Oat Scones_4312

The oat scones were wonderful with a small pat of butter oozily melting into them.

Irish Oat Scones_4310

The oat scones had more texture than a regular scone and was perfect for dipping into the soup.

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Today is Wednesday and it is my first day at the courthouse for jury duty. We don’t live far from the core, so taking the subway is the most efficient way to go, plus parking would set me back about $20 per day (pretty cheap considering it could be as high as $60 per day in the financial district)! Our transit system is called TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), and the subway is often called The Rocket! I’m taking The Rocket downtown. Yes, it is as lame as it sounds! I have to be there at 8:30am. I am not looking forward to it. I hope there is wifi, but then again I do have the 3G network, so I can be in touch. I will take a book, perhaps a title that will make me undesirable to be a juror. Any suggestions?

I have made this paella before, calling it cottage paella, but I thought I would reiterate the recipe, it turned out very well on the weekend.

Seafood Paella

The smoked paprika really adds a nice flavour to this dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice (because it is gluten free)
  • 400g halibut cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 12-16 Black tiger shrimp (25-30/lb is the best size so you can just pop them in your mouth) (I like to peel and remove tails so you are not having to dive into the food with hands and feet to eat!)
  • 400g bay scallops
  • 12-16 mussels, cleaned
  • 1 tsp saffron, in about 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt
  • 3 finely minced cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper (into 1/2″ cubes)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
  • 1 can mini corn cobs
  • 2-3 tbsp EV olive oil
  • 1-2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • Lemon and lime slices for garnish
  • hot pepper flakes if you dare!

Directions:

Steps 1-4 may be done 2-4 hours in advance.

  1. Soak saffron in in the white wine for about 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the smoked paprika on the halibut and return to refrigerator.
  3. Cook rice in saffron soaked wine and water until almost done – you will finish cooking during the assembly stage.
  4. Assembly Stage:
    Just before you wish to serve, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté onions until translucent. Add  garlic and stir just until you can smell its aroma. Add all the vegetables but the parsley and the green onions and lemons and limes.  Stir well, if too dry, add a bit of the about 1 cup vegetable stock until a desired wetness is achieved.
  6. Add halibut and shrimp and put into the hot oven for about 8-10 minutes. After about 10 minutes, add the mussels and scallops and stir well. Return to oven for an additional 5-10 minutes. Stir a couple of times.
  7. Stir in chopped parsley and serve with lemon and lime wedges. Serve hot.
  8. Enjoy!

Brown rice is very nice

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