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Posts from the ‘Seafood’ Category

Crab Cakes


I make crab cakes once a year, not sure why only once but it’s sort of a tradition with me although it’s at no particular time but whenever I think of it or feel like having them. This recipe is from one of the older Martha Stewart cookbooks and is the only recipe for crab cakes I have ever used. It calls for jumbo lump  or lump crabmeat, has very little filler and is really delicious. As an aside I recommend lump not jumbo lump it makes it easier to form into patties and stays together better.  You can make your own bread crumbs by first grinding bread in a food processor then drying in the oven or use dried breadcrumbs from your supermarket. This is a super simple recipe that comes together very quickly.  They are not coated with bread crumbs although you could if you wish,  they have a nice amount of vegetables in them and are delicious served with cole slaw.

The recipe made exactly 12 nice sized cakes so my friends got a crab cake sandwich on fresh ciabatta rolls slathered with a dressing made from mayo, sriracha, pickle relish and ketchup then piled high with a homemade traditional cole slaw. I made a few changes in the recipe to suit me, Martha calls for 2 lbs crabmeat, I found 1 lb was sufficient and if I did use 2 lbs I would add an additional egg, more mayo and breadcrumbs.


Crab Cakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart Cookbook- Collected Recipes for Every Day

Makes 12 crab cakes or 22-24 appetizer size

1 cup dried breadcrumbs

2 large eggs lightly beaten

1 lb jumbo lump or lump crabmeat (picked over for cartilage)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (I use parsley)

3 scallions  finely chopped

1 small red bell pepper- seeded and diced

1 small yellow bell pepper – seeded and diced (I didn’t have yellow so used green)

1 jalapeno pepper – seeded and diced (I used pickled jalapeño)

2/3 cup mayonaise

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegetable oil to fry

Gently mix all the ingredients together, you don’t want to break up the crab meat to much.

Form into patties, you can choose the size but make them quite thick. Heat some vegetable oil in  a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the crab cakes until browned on each side. Place them on paper towel or paper bag to drain. Serve hot. NOTE: Because there is very little filler you have to work a little to form into patties. If they absolutely won’t hold together add a little more mayo and breadcrumbs.

I happened upon a photo that the media outlet Pop Sugar took of Percy and put on their site. I was tickled to see this and thought he looked so cute smiling. This was taken at Pugs Take NYC event which by the way was a huge success raising $4150 for Pug Nation Rescue of LA and the little pug Bella has had the surgery and is being fitted for a wheelchair.

Photo from

Photo from



Sometimes I like to step outside of my comfort zone and make something that is not familiar to me. When eating at a Japanese restaurant there are two things I always order, Shumai and Gyoza, portable little bites of deliciousness with a tasty dipping sauce. Although Shumai is familiar food making it, not so much. The other day there was an email from Food and Wine with a recipe from Andrew Zimmern for Shumai, looking it over it seemed straightforward and simple to make, both of these are requisites when I tackle a food that I have not cooked before. I did not own a bamboo steamer so I had to buy one, no problem. The list of ingredients were very familiar except for the black vinegar for the dipping sauce, instead I used mirin and rice wine vinegar and it was delicious. I also didn’t have Shaoxing wine or dry sherry so instead I used dry white wine and it turned out just fine.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, did not carefully measure, instead I sort of ad libed and eyeballed the ingredients I don’t think it’s an exact science like baking. The Shumai turned out great except for one thing, I forgot to line the steamer with the cabbage, which I had bought but forgot to use. If you don’t line the steamer the shumai stick, most of the bottoms of the little dumplings were stuck and I had to carefully pry them off, there were some casualties but they were still ok. Thank you to Stefan for pointing out that these are actually Chinese, I should have done my homework but since I ordered in Japanese restaurants I assumed and well you know what happens when you assume. Sorry for the mistake.

These little dumplings are portable and delicious and I thought I would bring them with me to Fiesta Friday #131, Angie is back and the co hosts this week are Su @ Su’s Healthy Living and Laura @ Feast Wisely



 Food and Wine- Recipe by Andrew Zimmern

Made 22 dumplings

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce (used light- lower sodium soy sauce)

1/4 cup black vinegar (equal parts mirin and rice wine vinegar)

1 tsp Chili garlic sauce

In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients together.



12 oz ground pork (I used less probably closer to 8 oz)

6 oz shrimp minced (used less shrimp as well probably 4 oz)

4 scallions chopped – the white and light green parts only (used 3)

3 tbs minced peeled ginger (used 1 generous tbs)

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 tbs Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (used dry white wine)

3/4 tsp salt (used scant 1/2 tsp)

all purpose flour for dusting (didn’t need it)

round won ton or gyoza skins

napa cabbage leaves for steaming (don’t forget the cabbage like me)

blanched peas to garnish (You could place the pea on the shumai before steaming also)

Mix all the ingredients together, hold a won ton skin in the palm of your hand and place a tbs of the filling in the center. Gently fold the wrapper around the filling, it will stick to the filling. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place about an inch of water in your wok or a skillet, bring to a boil. Line steamer with the cabbage leaves and place the shumai on top of the leaves leaving some space in between each. Steam them until the filling is no longer pink. It took about 15 minutes (Note: the recipe said 8-10 minutes to cook but I erred on the side of caution because there was raw pork). Garnish each with a pea and serve hot with the dipping sauce.


The Garden, Pretty In Pink A DIY Rhubarb Cordial And A Smoothie

This post is just for fun, nothing earth shattering but I have to say I am so proud that my tomato plant is doing so well, as is my basil, the zucchini is questionable but it’s living. As I have mentioned before I am not a gardener, I am pretty much the opposite, I dislike working in the backyard in dirt, I don’t like the heat or the sun beating down on me so working in my garden except on cool overcast days is out of the question. It’s torture watering in the blazing hot sun for me. Now that I got that out of my system, I am so happy that my tomatoes are doing so well. I even have cute little tomatoes. This morning I staked them because they are getting so tall. I can’t wait until they ripen,  I am just hoping the squirrels don’t abscond with the fruit of the vine. If anyone has suggestions for some sort of protective device that will keep the pesky rodents out let me know and I will buy it forthwith.


My zucchini is a disaster waiting to happen I’m afraid. I planned on planting it in the ground but never got around to it and it has been somewhat comfy in the large pot don’t know what will happen and the jury is out as to whether or not I actually get a squash.


The leaves are drying and I am not sure whether or not thats supposed to happen, I think I need to do some research, but no sooner than one leaf dries new ones pop up.

My basil which I figured would never grow and looked awful is huge now. Even my Thai basil came back from the dead, I named it Lazarus.

Big basil

Big basil

This rose bush I bought at the supermarket to put in my air bnb room for a Valentines Day guest. This summer it was planted in a pot outside and has tripled in size and has multiple blooms.

Grocery store rose bush

Grocery store rose bush

When Nando passed a kind and thoughtful neighbor brought me a red geranium which didn’t last the winter so now it is a ritual for me to plant a red geranium to honor my sweet Nando and Izzy. Maybe I will try bringing it in this winter and see if it survives.

Izzy and Nando's geranium

Izzy and Nando’s geranium need to dead head that wilted stem.

Almost a month ago I got almost 2 pounds of rhubarb in a CSA box, I decided to try this Rhubarb Cordial that I saw eon’s ago on Food 52, I thought that it would be a great addition to summer cocktails. All you need is rhubarb, sugar and vodka, put into a clean glass jar, give it a good stir and aside from shaking it periodically to make sure the sugar dissolves it’s something you can make and forget about until the sitting time is up.  I am short on patience and couldn’t wait to try it so I strained and bottled it about a week early. It is really delicious and I plan on making some cocktails and also incorporating in some dessert recipes which will be posted once I figure out what I will make. My bartending skills are about equal to my gardening skills, pretty much non existent but I will try to come up with something nice and refreshing.

rhubarb cordial

rhubarb cordial

In the photo you can see in the corner a sweet little pink cake stand and some peaches which are from frog hollow farm, all from the Food52 shop. I feel like I am esconced in pink kind of like George Costanza was in velvet (If you watched Seinfeld you may get it).

I can’t forget Fiesta Friday #124 and this ice cold rhubarb cordial will be a great addition to the festivities. This weeks party is going to be great Angie’s co hosts are Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.  Along with the cordial I will bring some club soda and a few bottles of prosecco some strawberries and peaches!!

Since I was thinking pink I had some farm fresh strawberries I needed to use and some buttermilk so I made a smoothie, summer is a great time for smoothies, light, refreshing, healthful and delicious. I like to use coconut water in smoothies an easy and convenient way to store your coconut water is to pour it in ice cube trays and freeze, once frozen simply remove the cubes and store in zip lock bags and you have  coconut water ice cubes whenever you need them.  I added a little bit of stevia to the drink because it was a bit sour, the strawberries were not super sweet.

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

I quickly wanted to mention what fun I have on the new Food52 app, #notrecipe or #norecipe the app is free in the app store and is available for iphone and iPad. It’s the way so many of us cook and it’s a wonderful platform for homecooks to hone their creativity in the kitchen without the confines of a recipe. I have submitted photo’s of a number of dishes, here are a few. Top left to right, zoodles in garlic and oil with shrimp and scallops in butter/garlic/parsley sauce) Seared scallops with a persillade (thanks Mimi) individual skillet with micro potato, avocado, kale, tomato and sunnyside up egg with gruyere, smoothie with kale, avocado, pineapple, banana, coconut water, ginger no added sugar.


I would be remiss if I didn’t wish all the Dad’s a Happy Fathers Day, I hope you have a wonderful day today!!


Happy New Year, Some Favorites And 2015 in review

Taken from Pinterest

Taken from Pinterest

I wish each and everyone of you an amazing, healthy, happy, joyous and prosperous 2016. I want to thank you all for being such great friends, for leaving such uplifting and kind comments and for being my source of inspiration. Below is the report compiled by the WordPress helper monkey’s. I don’t really keep track of the stats, but do appreciate the work that WordPress puts into these reports, thank you to the good people at WordPress!! Both 2014 and 2015 were hard years for me, harder than I can even express. The start of a new year brings with it hope and we also reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, the sad and the happy, triumphs and failures. Life can sometimes be like a rollercoaster ride.

Going into my 4th year of blogging in January is quite momentous for me. I can’t believe I am still doing this,  have made such great friends and learned so much. Hope you all have a wonderful time on New Years Eve and joyously welcome 2016, peace, love and joy to all. Below are some photo’s I compliled with some of my favorite dishes both sweet and savory.

Savory favorites

Savory favorites

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Crab Cake And Slaw Appetizer For Fiesta Friday #52

crab cake and slaw appetizers

crab cake and slaw appetizers

Fiesta Friday #52, a very special occasion and a milestone it has been one year, can you believe it, yes one year ago Angie@The Novice Gardener got the brilliant idea to have a virtual party inviting food blogger friends. We share food/recipes and get to know each other. I have not participated from the beginning it’s been about 6 months but I have to say this is the nicest group of people, welcoming, kind and generous. I look forward to participating in Fiesta Friday every week and I want to congratulate Angie on this auspicious occasion. Because we are all party animals and the occasion merits it the party will go on for 2 weeks, this week is drinks, appetizers, amuse bouche, we are warming up for the grand finale next week when we bring the main course and dessert. The recipes should be created specifically for the party, no re blogging unless of course you have a great recipe and want to share it again with new photo’s and write up. My offering this week is crab cake appetizers loaded with crab meat. Each bite size crab cake is topped with a little bit of slaw with an Asian inspired dressing. Oh, I can’t forget to let you know that this weeks co hosts are no strangers to Fiesta Friday, thank you  Hilda @Along The Grapevine and Julianna @Foodie On Board for helping Angie on this special day.

This recipe is from one of the older Martha Stewart cookbooks and is my favorite recipe for crab cakes. I have tried other recipes and always come back to this one. It’s simple and delicious, the crab cakes contain some bread crumbs but are not breaded there is no doubt these are made with crab because there are very little fillers. I love to enjoy with a crisp salad or slaw but they make an excellent sandwich also. This recipe is easily adapted you can substitute and omit without dramatically changing anything. I usually omit the jalapeño pepper and will often substitute onion or shallot for the scallion if I don’t have. You can freeze them after you fry if you don’t need that many crab cakes, just re heat in the oven they hold up beautifully.

crab cakes

crab cakes

Crab Cakes

1 cup dried bread crumbs

2 large eggs lightly beaten

2 lbs lump crabmeat picked over for cartilage (I used jumbo lump and what they called regular lump)

1/2 cup cilantro or parsley chopped

4 scallions chopped

1 red bell pepper seeded and diced

1 yellow bell pepper seeded and diced

1 jalapeño pepped seeded and diced

1 cup mayonnaise

Optional but I like to add a little lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

oil for frying

In a large mixing bowl mix together the bread crumbs, egg, crabmeat. scallions, pepper and mayonnaise and optional lemon zes. Season with salt and pepper.

Form mixture into patties (will make 24 small crab cakes or 48 appetizer size). Heat oil in skillet until hot, cook the crab cakes 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Place on platter or plate lined with paper towel or brown paper. Serve hot.


1/2 smallish green cabbage- shredded

1/2 smallish red cabbage-shredded

2 cups shredded carrot

Mix all the vegetables together in a bowl


1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbs mirin

2 tbs sesame oil

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

Juice of 1/2 lime

pinch of lime zest

1 tsp honey or sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together, pour on the vegetables and refrigerate until ready to use.




Coconut Curry Mussels

Coconut Curry Mussels

Coconut Curry Mussels

If you have never visited Susan Pridmore’s wonderful blog The Wimpy Vegetarian, you really should check it out. Susan is knowledgable, creative and her blog contains a wealth of information regarding nutrition and food in general. I met Susan years ago on Food 52. I have made some of my best virtual food friends on that site. She is an award winning cook and one of the nicest people you will ever know. I love her posts for Sunday Supper and when this recipe appeared I was smitten. I love mussels but quite frankly mine never taste as good as those I get in restaurants, that is until I tried Susan’s recipe for Coconut Curry Mussels. Oh my, they are so good, the broth is slightly spicey, very tasty and the combination is heavenly, make some crisp fries, (Moules-Frite anyone?) and a good hunk of bread and believe me you will be very happy. I was looking for recipes that are a bit lighter after indulging a bit too much during the holidays and this was exactly what I wanted.

I’ll admit it wasn’t as light as it could have been since the bread I got was out of this world fresh and delicious, a baguette from Balthazar and some hand churned butter from the CSA. Well. it’s ok its New Years Day, I have the rest of the year right. All in all this was a completely satisfying and delicious meal, the broth was just perfectly spiced, not overwhelmingly hot, just enough to make it interesting. Highly recommend you give this quick and easy recipe a try and do visit Susan, her blog is amazing.




Happy Valentines Valentines Day – Coquille St. Jacques Part 3, The Entree and Wine

Coquille St Jacques

Coquille St Jacques

I don’t know what made me think of this dish, it was one of my favorites years ago. It’s been a very long time since I have had it and have never made it myself.   After searching the internet to find recipes, I decided to make this one from Epicurious, actually I combined several different techniques when I made it. This dish is really very simple to make and is an elegant and delicious meal. It  is a scallop gratin,  and was very popular in the 1950’s but had fallen from popularity and has been replaced by lighter fare. It is often served in the shell of the scallop but if you don’t happen to have the shells a gratin dish works just as well. I serve with a crisp salad of belgian endive, microgreens, mandarin orange segements and toasted pecans.The wine I chose is a  2011 Pouilly Fuisse, fresh and assertive and bold enough to pair nicely with a rich cream sauce.  It’s a lovely dinner for two and no one has to know how simple it is to make.

The Salad:

Belgian Endive

Mandarin Orange segments

pecans toasted and chopped

Micro greens


Good Olive Oil

Champagne Vinegar

Squeeze of fresh Orange Juice

Drizzle of honey

Herbes de provence

dijon mustard

sea salt and pepper

Coquille St. Jacque -Loosely Adapted From Epicurious 

Serves 2

1 cup white wine

1 large shallot chopped

Bouquet Garni (I used parsley, thyme, bay leaf, tarragon)

Pinch of herbes de provence (Optional)

1 lb fresh dry scallops

8 oz mushrooms

4 tbs butter divided

2 tbs flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

bread crumbs

grated gruyere cheese

1. Saute the shallot in 2 tbs butter, when translucent add the mushroom and continue to saute until soft. Pour in the wine and add the bouquet garni, optional herbes de provence and simmer on medium heat until liquid is reduced by about half.

2. Add the scallops and simmer for 2-4 minutes, careful not to over cook, remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Remove the bouquet garni.

3. Add the remaining 2 tbs of butter to the liquid and whisk in the flour, cook until thichened, pour in the cream and continue cooking until it’s thickened to the consistency of heavy cream . Remove from heat and add the scallops.

4. Fill 6 scallop shells or shallow 6-inch ramekins almost to the top with the scallop mixture. Dust the top lightly with bread crumbs and sprinkle with the grated cheese. (If you’re not ready to serve the scallops, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

5. Preheat the broiler. Broil the gratin until the mixture bubbles and the cheese melts and turns golden brown.

Belgian Endive, orange, pecan, micro greens

Belgian Endive, orange, pecan, micro greens

Pouilly Fuisse

Pouilly Fuisse

Re-Purposing Leftovers-Salmon,Asparagus And Whole Wheat Pappardelle

A Bowl of pasta

bowl of pasta

I refuse to waste food and love re-purposing leftovers. It’s a challenge to try to come up with a creative and delicious dish that puts a fresh spin on your leftover food. I had a small piece of salmon and a few stalks of asparagus left over from dinner the other night, I also have some whole wheat pappardelle in the pantry that I bought (by accident) and need to start using (not a fan of whole wheat pasta). This dish came together in a flash and was really delicious, all I did was saute some shallot in a little olive oil, add a little white wine, then some heavy cream, a little dijon mustard, lemon zest, salt and pepper and reduced until it started to thicken. At the end I added the asparagus and salmon and the cooked pappardelle. This is not the type of dish that needs precise measuring, I basically ad libbed, a little of this and that until it came together. Use what you have, peas come to mind, chicken, or without any meat or fish. The pasta in the cream sauce with vegetables is wonderful on it’s own.

The amounts are approximate

Serves 1-2

1 lobe of a shallot chopped

Olive oil for pan

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

1 small salmon fillet

4 stalks asparagus

Pappardelle (small handful)

Fill large pan with water add salt and bring to a rolling boil. Heat olive oil in pan, add the shallot and saute until translucent. Add the wine and reduce by half. Now add the cream, dijon,lemon zest, salt and pepper and cook until it’s reduced by half. It should be nicely thick. While the cream sauce is reducing add the pasta to the boiling water, now I used whole wheat pappardelle, it took a good 10 minutes for an al dente pasta.

When the cream sauce is reduced add the asparagus and salmon, toss in the pappardelle and gently stir until it is coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Voting Has Started!! Integrale Gauntlet- Mediterranean Seafood Risotto With Gremolata

Mediterranean Seafood Risotto With Gremolata

I created this recipe for a contest from Marx Foods, the challenge involved using their Italian Organic Integrale Rice in an original recipe for a savory risotto.  I wanted to do something a bit different, I love Mediterranean flavors and thought of Bouillabaise or fish stew with the delicious broth laden with a variety of vegetables and seafood, herbs and spice. The Integrale rice is different from any risotto rice I have ever used. It’s a whole grain brown rice which adds a whole new dimension to the dish. The risotto is made with the seafood broth, for added creaminess along with the butter I added mascarpone and parmigiano reggiano, The risotto is topped with a gremolata (parsley, garlic and lemon) and I served with assorted seafood that I cooked in the broth that I didn’t use for the risotto. To vote for this recipe click on this link Integrale Gauntlet . There are a number of recipes and the top 10 bloggers will proceed to the second round which is a sweet risotto dish. I am psyched!!

Serves 4-6


5 cups fish stock

1 cup clam juice

1 1/2 cup white wine

1 cup water

1 yellow or white onion peeled and sliced

1 shallot peeled and sliced

2 scallion the white and light green parts chopped

2 cups yellow or red cherry tomatoes cut in half

2 large cloves garlic peeled and sliced

1 tbs fresh thyme removed from stem and rough chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp saffron threads

olive oil (to saute the vegetables)


1 1/2 cups Integrale rice

1 shallot peeled and chopped

6 -6 1/2 cups hot seafood broth

olive oil to coat skillet

2 tbs butter

2 tbs mascarpone

1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese


1 head Italian flat leaf parsley cleaned and stems removed and air dried

zest of 1 large lemon

1  clove garlic


In Dutch oven add some olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and heat on med/high until hot. Add the onion, shallot ,garlic, thyme and green onion and saute until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until they start to soften,now add the fish stock, clam juice, saffron and wine and turn heat to high, bring to a boil then reduce to med/high and let cook for 30 minutes. Turn heat to low so the stock simmers. Scoop out the vegetables so you have only the broth remaining. Season with salt and pepper.

While the broth is cooking make the gremolata, you can either chop by hand or use food processor. If using processor add the parsley, lemon zest and garlic and pulse until it is combined. Place in covered container and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the risotto.

In 12 or 13 inch saute pan coat bottom of pan with some olive oil and heat on med/high. Add the shallot and saute until soft, add the rice and stir constantly coating each grain with the oil and shallot, saute for 1 to 2 minutes, touch the rice with your hand it should be hot to the touch. Make sure you have your pot of simmering broth next to you, add one cup of the broth when it is absorbed add one more cup of the hot broth, stir constantly and when the rice has absorbed the liquid add another cup of broth, continue doing this until the rice is cooked through and creamy, at this point add the 2 tbs of butter, grated cheese and the mascarpone the rice should not be dry but  creamy (like heavy cream). It took about 35 minutes to cook the risotto. Adjust seasoning. To serve spoon onto plate and top with gremolata.

Serving Suggestion: With remaining broth add some mussels, scallops and firm fish filets (I used halibut) or whatever kind of seafood you like and serve with the risotto.

Featured Recipes: Olive Oil Poached Fish/Shellfish and Lobster Diavolo

This week I am featuring two recipes, both seafood dishes and I am honored to have permission to bring them to you. The recipes are from Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs the founders of Food52. I discovered food52 a little over a year ago and it has been life changing for me. Amanda and Merrill brought their brilliant plan to start a website celebrating home cooks (like myself) to life a little over two years ago,  and it’s now one of the most popular food related websites available on the internet. They have already published one cookbook,  with a second coming out in October of this year as well as an IPad holiday App. Check out Amanda’s recipes and Merrill’s recipes on Food52.

Poaching fish or shellfish in olive oil is simple, and delicious. Add your favorite herbs and aromatics to the oil. The fish or shellfish are tender and and flavorful. I poached some shrimp and lobster tails. I didn’t use whole live lobsters (phobia) instead,  I decided to poach lobster tails in olive oil a la Amanda for Merrills Lobster Diavolo. This is a variation of the famous Lobster Fra Diavolo.  The dish is finished with fresh mint (my mint went bad and I was only able to salvage a few leaves so I mixed it with parsley to garnish the dish),  which in  my opinion makes this such a stand out recipe, adding a fresh twist to a classic. I used canned tomatoes instead of the fresh since seasonal fresh tomatoes are not available yet. I poached half of the shrimp in the oven and the other half on the stovetop with the lobster. I set the oven to 200 degrees and it took about 20 minutes. Both methods turned out fantastic. I invited a friend over for dinner and he gave both dishes two thumbs up!

Stovetop poaching

Olive Oil Poached Fish – By Amanda Hesser

To Poach Any Kind of Fish

Lay the fillets in a shallow, oven-proof casserole dish or skillet, just large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Cover the fish with a 1/8-inch thick layer of olive oil (a good brand, but not your best), season with a flakey sea salt and any other herb or spice you like, then send it into a 275-degree oven, basting it often, until it’s cooked through. For a 1-inch thick fish fillet, it takes about 30 minutes.

To Poach Shellfish

I like to cook them on the stovetop. Place them in a single layer in a saucepan and pour in enough oil to just cover them. My default aromatics are thyme and lightly smashed garlic cloves (see photo above). Then set the pan over low heat, letting it warm enough so that tiny bubbles begin emerging on the sides of the pan, but none of the shellfish are bouncing around. Baste often and you’ll see the shellfish slowly turn opaque and constrict. When they’re cooked properly, they’ll be bouncy and light and not at all tough.

Lobster Diavolo

Lobster Diavolo- by Merrill Stubbs

Serves 2

2 pounds Roma tomatoes (or 28 ounces canned tomatoes with their juices)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for finishing

2 fat cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


2 1 1/2-pound live lobsters

1/2 pound spaghetti

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Core the tomatoes and cut a shallow “x” through the skin of the non-core end of each tomato with a sharp knife. Working in batches, gently lower the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 30 seconds, until the skin begins to peel away from the cuts you made. Remove the tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside until they are cool enough to touch.

Peel and then roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside. Pour the olive oil in a shallow, heavy saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, until fragrant and softened, but not browned. Add the chili flakes (start with half if you’re not sure about the heat – you can add more later) and cook for another minute or two.

Add the tomatoes and any juices, along with a few generous pinches of salt and stir through. Raise the heat to medium and let the tomatoes come to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours, until the tomatoes have completely broken down, adding water as needed to keep the sauce from drying out. When the sauce is ready, taste for salt and add more necessary. Cover and set aside.

Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add the lobsters to the pot and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lobster’s antennae can be easily pulled off. Remove the lobsters from the pot and set aside for a few minutes to cool a little

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until still quite al dente. Reserving about half a cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta in a large colander and set it aside while you finish up with the lobster.

To remove the lobster meat, twist both claws off the body at the shoulder joint. Use a lobster cracker or the back of a chef’s knife to crack the shell and remove the claw meat. Use a pick or a small fork to pry the meat from the knuckles, twisting at the joints to separate one knuckle from the next. Twist the lobster body from the tail and discard. Twist off the fans at the tail, and then gently insert your finger into the opening, pushing the tail meat out the other end (it should come out in one beautiful piece). Clean off any roe, fat and green goo, and remove the vein if you like by peeling back the strip of meat on the top of the tail.

Keep the lobster meat in a warm place while you finish up the pasta: Turn the heat to medium underneath the pan with the sauce. Add the cooked pasta and some of the pasta water, using tongs to toss the pasta in the sauce. Add a splash or two of olive oil if you like. When the pasta is well-coated in the sauce and warm, arrange it among two shallow, warm bowls. Slice the lobster tails into ½-inch medallions and arrange these, along with the claw and knuckle meat, on top of the spaghetti. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle generously with mint. Serve immediately.

Olive oil poached shrimp and Lobster Diavolo