Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Poached "Crazy Water" Sea Bass

Pesce all'Acqua Pazza or "Crazy Water Fish" originated in Capri and was a very popular recipe in the 1960's. Why is it called "crazy water" fish? The term originates from peasants who had the job of making wine for their landlords and the small amount of wine they had leftover they used for themselves and as resourceful as they were, was kept to ferment with grape stems and seeds mixed with large quantities of water and the result was basically water colored with wine thus the term crazy water.  

So how does this apply to the recipe? The original "acqua pazza" recipe was made by taking the fresh catch of the day and poaching it in seawater, olive oil and cherry tomatoes, turning the color of the water similar to the watered down wine mentioned above.  

It's a very simple and light recipe and it really only takes about 20 minutes to make. 

I took two medium sized European Sea Bass but you can use any type of white fish you have for this recipe. Gut the fish...I know gross...but someone's gotta do it! Put a large clove of garlic cut in half in the belly of fish along with some parsley and a pinch of salt. 

Add water to the pan covering only half of the dish as well as 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a cup of white wine.  Cut about 5 cherry tomatoes in half and add to the pan along with a handful of green olives. 

Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 220°C.

At this point the fish has absorbed the water and is super moist, You will find that the skin detaches from the meat very easily and cleaning it is not at all difficult.  

Clean the fish placing the meat in a separate plate and add the tomatoes and olives along with some of the extra water that was left in the pan for more flavor. 

Serve with a salad on the side and you have yourself a healthy omega-3 packed meal :-)

Hope you enjoy this easy and very Mediterranean recipe! 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spumante Poached Salmon Steaks

I wanted to share this recipe with you because it was so incredibly good when I first tasted it and I had to try making it again. My father introduced me to this when he came to visit me in February.

He found the recipe here. In reality it's a champagne poached salmon recipe by Emeril Lagasse. I switched up some of the ingredients to accommodate what we have readily available here in Italy. Spumante is Italy's champagne (it's also a lot cheaper) and I had a real tough time finding dill as well which is fundamental to Emeril's recipe so I ended up substituting the dill with Italian parsely.  My dad said I need to get a dill plant from the States next time I fly over LOL. We'll see if I make it through customs! j/k

Anyways, I have never had poached salmon before and it was a very new technique for me. It has such a delicate and sophisticated taste that I just could not get enough of and I had to share it with you in the hopes that you give it a try if you have never made this type of salmon before.

The poached salmon is accompanied by a creamy vanilla sauce that is just perfection and goes so well with the delicate taste of the salmon.

Here is my version of Emeril Lagasse's recipe:

For the salmon

 - 2 salmon steaks
 - 1 bottle of spumante
 - 1 shallot
 - 1 tablespoon of butter
 - 6 parsley sprigs
 - 1 teaspoon of salt
 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the vanilla sauce

 - 2 shallots
 - 1 cup spumante
 - 1 cup heavy cream
 - 4 tablespoons of butter
 - 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
 - 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
 - 1 teaspoon of salt
 - 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

I began with the sauce since that is probably the trickiest part. Start by adding the butter and shallots to the saucepan and heat on medium.

After heating for about 5 minutes add the cream and lower the heat. 

Next I added the Spumante, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and pepper and left that to simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes. 

In the mean time, in a wide skillet heat the butter and add the bottle of Spumante, parsley and shallots heating on medium. 

Add the salmon steaks and poach until cooked through. I would say about 5 - 7 minutes on each side depending on the size. Salmon easily over cooks so be careful to check on it often. 

While the salmon is cooking, I strained the sauce so as to remove the shallots. 

And now your delicious Spumante poached salmon is ready to be served!!  I probably should have added another half a bottle of Spumante to the skillet because most of it evaporated during cooking and so I guess it wasn't technically "poached" at that point but it was still really, really, really good :-) 

Have a spectacular weekend and a Blessed Palm Sunday 


Monday, February 22, 2016

Fisherman's Risotto

Good morning and Happy Monday to you!!!

Today I am excited to share my favorite recipe of all time with you! This is what I usually order whenever I go out to an Italian seafood restaurant and is a big favorite of mine.

I really enjoy making risotto's and I've shared some recipes with you before. Here is my pumpkin risotto recipe and here you can find my asparagus risotto.

Using just one main ingredient for a risotto (like porcini mushrooms, asparagus or even spinach) makes things a lot easier because the cooking time doesn't vary; but when you're using more than one ingredient and especially when using seafood, you have to be extra careful with the different cooking times.

Ingredients for 4 people:

 - 300 grams of uncooked white rice
 - 500 grams of mussels
 - 500 grams of clams
 - 1 fresh calamari
 - 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
 - 1 shallot
 - 1 tablespoon of butter
 - 1 litre of vegetable stock
 - one  spoonful of fresh chopped parsley
 - pepper to taste

Start by preparing the calamari. Rinse it well and cut into small pieces. You don't have to be precise here but keep in mind that they shrink a bit while cooking.

Next prepare the mussels and clams by cooking them on medium heat as done in my Seafood Cavatelli recipe.   Remove the shells and filter the juice with a sifter and napkin to catch any sand that is inside the fresh clams. Set aside.

Now that you have prepared your ingredients, you can heat the chopped up shallot in olive oil until translucent. 

Next add the calamari and let that cook for a couple minutes making sure to stir continuously. Then add the rice.

Let the rice heat up a bit in the skillet then proceed by adding a couple ladles of stock. When you see the rice start to dry up add another ladle and so forth.

Again, the secret to a great risotto is to give it time and let the broth absorb into the ingredients. Check the cooking time indicated for the rice you are cooking with and at the half way point add the mussel and clam juice. 

Taste the rice as you add the broth so you make sure not to overcook it. When the rice is almost done and you can feel it is still a bit firm (usually after 12-14 minutes) add the mussels and clams. Turn off the heat and add the butter and parsley. Keep stirring and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Add some pepper if you wish...but no salt is necessary.

If you like seafood, I hope you'll give this a try. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

I wish you all a great week ahead :-)

Linking to:

Friday, January 8, 2016

Baked Salmon Fillet with Veggies

Good morning my friends! How's the first week of the new year going for you? Mine is turning out to be pretty good. I'm sticking to my healthy eating plan and have been pretty productive. I've been quite the busy bee (as my grandmother used to call me when I was little hehe).

I wanted to share with you the dinner I made last night that was a real hit. I don't consider myself an expert cook and I don't think I'm any better than the next person that likes to cook but I do like to eat with good quality ingredients and I like to make sure I don't put (too much) crappy food in my body. So as I said in my last post I'm trying to eat better and eliminate most carbs. 

Usually when I come home from work I would break out the cheese and crackers and snack on them while preparing dinner. It was just becoming a really bad habit for me and once I started tracking my calories on my Fitness Pal app I realized just how many extra calories I was adding to my daily intake. I don't want to become a slave when it comes to counting calories either but I realized that I didn't NEED those extra calories so now what I do is either have a glass of cranberry juice that really curbs my cravings or a hot tea when I get home from work. 

Last night I had a salmon fillet in my fridge along with some fresh veggies that I had stocked up on. So I decided to oven bake everything just because I love the crispiness of oven baked veggies. 

The first thing I did was marinate the salmon for about 30 minutes in olive oil, apple cider vinegar and some Ariosto spices for fish. 

I let this marinate covered in the fridge. Then I washed and cut 3 medium sized zucchini, about a cup and a half of squash, and a cup of champignon mushrooms. I coated everything in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and let bake at 200° C for about 15 minutes.

I baked the veggies first because they take longer than the fish then I made room for the salmon fillet and continued baking for another 20 minutes. 

After the 20 minutes baking time, I broiled for about another 10 minutes making everything nice and crispy which is how I love it!

This meal (for two) left us feeling full and satisfied. It was a low calorie dinner that didn't leave me feeling hungry. I was quite pleased!

Do you like salmon? How do you prepare it? 

I hope you all have a fantabulous weekend :-)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Fresh Start

Well, break is officially over for me as of today and this is my first post of 2016. I am back at work and back in the rhythm of things. This holiday season wasn't the greatest for me. Usually I go to the States for the holidays because I want to be with my sister who I don't get to see very often and I know that when she sees me she is happy and the world is right again. This year however we were apart. We were all apart actually. My father was in the south, my brother was east and my mom was in the west and I was in Italy...  

Strangely I'm very happy to be back to normal life.  Knowing that your family is far away can be quite sad and the holidays are great but if you don't get to spend them with those you love they can suck pretty bad. 

Apart from that...I decided I wanted to start the year off right and hopefully it will be a positive auspice for the rest of the year. I decided not to drink a lot on New Years Eve as I usually go out and celebrate but this year I wanted to feel good on New Years Day and not hung over so that's what I did and it felt great. 

I stocked up on fresh veggies and am making an effort to eliminate dairy from my diet and cut down on the carbs that I have been eating too much of. I also have been on the tread mill almost every day for about 45 minutes. Even if I don't run for the whole 45 minutes I'll power walk with light weights. I'm making sure to take my daily multivitamin and I'm just getting back on track with my overall health. I'm feeling much better than I have in a long time and I have found that a healthier lifestyle is good for the mind as well. 

This is what I had last night for dinner. I made a stir fry with zucchini, onions and mushrooms. I felt so full afterwards, but a healthy full, you know what I mean?

When I eat better, I'm in a better mood.  I'm calmer and less irritable. It might be all in my head but I just feel better all around. Don't ask me how long this will last because I have no idea.  I'm hopeful that it will last through the year and that I can make it a lifestyle change rather than a temporary "new years resolution". I really don't like that seems like when I call something a new years resolution it's bound to fail sooner or later so I don't want to call it that. I want to call it a fresh start. I like that better :-)

So what's new in my home....let's see. I bought some new art work for my living room that I LOVE! I kept eyeing this piece but it cost too much so when I saw it on sale I snatched it up and hung it in my living room. I just love it! What do you think? I know I know, there's a hole in the wall that needs patching up...I'll get around to it eventually. 

Then I bought some new lamps for the night stands in the bedroom which were on sale as well.  I really like these and I was able to get them at 80% off!! 

We had a little New Years Eve party at my house with just a small group of people. It was a nice New Years Eve with lots of good food and good people. What more can you ask for right?

This was our table setting. 

It was a seafood dinner and I made lobster linguine, European sea bass and stuffed mussels. The lobster was alive when my Mr. brought it home....I almost passed out when I saw it because I knew I would have had to kill it. Oh was not easy at all. I was watching YouTube videos for about an hour watching all of the "how to humanly kill a lobster" tutorials.... Basically you have to jam a knife in the head to kill it humanely....yeah....I'll let you imagine. It was not fun. But I did it and this is the lobster after it was done cooking. 

Cute little guy, huh? 

This is the lobster linguine that we had as a first course meal. It was fantastic! It was my fist time cooking a lobster. This linguine was soooo good!

Then we made oven baked stuffed mussels with bread crumbs, herbs and spices.  These were our appetizers and they were so yummy!!

As our second course I prepared three big European Sea Basses cooked in the oven with cherry tomatoes, olives and white wine. A very light second course that didn't leave us feeling too full. 

That was pretty much our meal. I didn't take other pictures because I didn't want to be the antisocial one that was always on the phone but we had lentil soup as a starter as well as pig's trotter (which I really don't like) but these are the "Italian good luck foods" that you must at least taste on new years eve or else it's bad luck for the whole year. Sooo I had a little taste. 

What did you guys do on New Years? Whatever you did I want to wish you all a year of Peace and Serenity. Because I truly think that if there is peace and tranquillity in one's heart, that means that all the other stuff is where it should be... The other stuff being Love, Health, Prosperity and so forth.... so on that note...

I wish you a Happy 2016 dear friends. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Spaghetti in Garlic Clam Sauce

Ahhhh Spaghetti alle Vongole (vongole means clams in Italian btw)! One of my favorite dishes to both eat and prepare. Whenever I go out to eat this is a usual order for me. This dish and Fisherman's Risotto (recipe coming soon). I love to see how different Italian restaurants make this and I have noticed that each restaurant makes it a little differently. Some of them have a creamier sauce others use a little spice in theirs but however this is made, it usually is fantastic either way!

Spaghetti alle vongole is a very popular dish in the southern central part of Italy. I would say from Rome down into Naples. Obviously you want to make sure the clams are fresh and left to flush out the sand for a period of time. I usually put the fresh clams in a bowl with salt water and let them sit for about an hour or so. If they are fresh you will see them spit out the sand that they have in their bellies LOL. Don't laugh...

Once this is done you can just rinse them off with clean water and open them up in a large pan on medium heat. I used one kilogram of clams for two people. 

So once they have opened up you can turn off the heat. This usually only takes about 5 minutes. Don't overcook them because they will be cooked again with the pasta. 

You will see that they release some water once they have all opened up. Save the water and filter it using a sifter and a napkin to catch any more sand that wasn't flushed out previously. 

Remove about half the clams from thier shells and leave the other half in their shells. Set aside. 

Now bring some salt water to a boil and cook your spaghetti. Cook about 300 grams of pasta. 

In the same pan that you heated up the clams in, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and two cloves of garlic cut in half. 

I like to tilt the pan on it's side so that the garlic heats up all around and the olive oil is able to capture the flavor of the garlic cloves. When the edges of the garlic cloves have browned lightly (do not let them burn) remove the cloves.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain it and add the clams, clam juice and pasta to the pan. I also like to add a half a cup of water from the pasta in order to make the sauce creamier. 

Once the sauce has reached the consistency that you like (more or less creamy) you can sprinkle some freshly cut parsley on top and serve with a nice glass of white wine. My favorite! :-)

Enjoy and buon appetito!