A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘Seafood’

It’s in the Can…

In Food on June 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’m kind of in awe of this Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato recipe I stumbled upon via Food52.For one thing, just about all the ingredients are CANNED: tomatoes, breadcrumbs, sardines. It also makes me wonder, what else can I be making with tinned sardines? I love how meaty they are—and cheap. As a starving student in Paris, I used to eat a tin of these for dinner.

What I love about this recipe is that you pour off the olive oil from the sardines into a skillet and sauté garlic in the olive oil until fragrant. You then add sliced fennel and red chile flakes, then some canned tomatoes and your sardines, dry vermouth and lemon juice for a little brightness and then your linguine. It’s all topped with toasted breadcrumbs with lemon zest and all in takes about 15 minutes to prepare, making it our new favorite weeknight go-to. And the dish is just LOADED with flavor. Serve with a very cold glass of rosé. For the full recipe, click HERE.

Sriracha Shrimp Cocktail

In Food, Recipes on December 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Last night marked our tenth annual Fa-La-La holiday bash. What started off as about 30 people knocking back Champagne punch in my beloved one-bedroom apartment on Sycamore a decade ago has grown to over 100 crammed into our home in nearby Windsor Square. And you know what? It’s my favorite night of the year! I’ll write more about the groovy menu later, but first wanted to share my favorite new addition: Sriracha cocktail sauce inspired by my dear friend and author of best-selling Gastrokid CookbookHugh Garvey, who just launched an awesome new blog. Last night I served this super spicy, super delicious cocktail sauce on a seafood tower with jumbo shrimp. And before I could even snap a pic, every last bite was GONE. Next weekend I’m going to make some more to take to my sister’s and will grab a few dozen oysters to go with. Be popular with your friends (or your sister) and make this:

The Foodinista’s Sriracha Cocktail Sauce

2 cups ketchup

2 generous tablespoons Sriracha

2 generous tablespoons Bubbies horseradish

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 large shallot, peeled

In a bowl, mix first five ingredients. Using a microplane, grate shallot into bowl. Stir to mix. Refrigerate for several hours.

Here Comes the Sun: Shrimp Rosemary Spiedini

In Food, Recipes on July 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Whoa. What a week—and it’s only Wednesday. So, this whole taking-my-baby-to-preschool situation has really taken it out of me. Anxiety. Gloomy weather. In July. In LA. Earthquake. I’m sorry, but I’ve been kind of down. Tiny G, on the other hand, is up up up. He ate his first sandwich today in preschool. It was pretty damned cute. To that end, I’d like to turn my frown upside down and share a sunny dinner we enjoyed a couple of weeks ago with our dear friend Darris. (For days after said dinner, Tiny G was asking “Where Dis? Where Dis?”) I wish I could deliver Darris and his conversation to your dinner table should your day need brightening, but in lieu, here is the next best thing.

Mario Batali’s Shrimp Rosemary Spiedini Alla Romagnola ©

The rosemary skewers, which are easy to make, impart an herbal fragrance to the shrimp, and they look both rustic and elegant at the same time. Alla romagnola means that these spiedini are a specialty of Romagna, the eastern part of the region Emilia-Romagna.—Mario Batali, Italian Grill


1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves only (about 2 cups loosely packed)

1 bunch basil, leaves only (about 2 cups packed)

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

1 teaspoon kosher salt [need to check this amount again]

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds large shrimp (21–30 per pound), peeled and deveined

2 lemons, cut into wedges

12 large rosemary sprigs, prepared as skewers (see BELOW NOTE) and soaked in water for at least 2 hours, or overnight

Toss the parsley and basil leaves into a food processor, add the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup of the olive oil, and zap until the herbs are chopped and the bread crumbs look green.

Transfer to a pie plate or wide shallow bowl, add the shrimp, and toss to coat well. [FOODINISTA NOTE: I TOSSED IN A PYREX BAKING DISH]

Skewer 4 or 5 shrimp on each rosemary sprig (the easiest way to do this is line up 4 or 5 shrimp—“spoon fashion”—at a time on a work surface and run a skewer through them; then separate them slightly so they will cook evenly). Dredge on both sides in the bread crumb mixure, place on a platter, and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. [HERE IS MR FOODINISTA SHOWING US HOW IT’S DONE:]

Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Put a piastra (FOODINISTA NOTE: OR GRIDDLE) on the grill to preheat.

Spritz or brush the piastra with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the skewers on the piastra and cook, turning once, just until the shrimp are opaque throughout and some of the crumbs are browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the lemon wedges.

Rosemary Skewers It’s easy to make skewers from rosemary sprigs. Choose large sturdy sprigs that are about 8 inches long. Pull off most of the leaves from each sprig, leaving a nice tuft of leaves at the top (use the remaining leaves in the dish you are making, or reserve for another use). Using a sharp knife, cut off the bottom of the sprig on a diagonal to give you a sharp point. The skewer will slide easily through the shrimp when you skewer them.

Brick Work

In Food, Recipes on May 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

All day long my husband and I were fantasizing about this dish, a riff on a Mario Batali recipe from Italian Grill. And oh my god, was it worth the wait. We got squid and olive tapenade at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market first thing yesterday morning. Then, about midday I zested a lemon from our tree. If I had to, if I had to, pick a favorite fruit—aesthetically speaking, it would be the lemon.

While Mr. Foodinista cut up the calamari, I mixed together olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, mint, red pepper flakes and black pepper. We tossed the calamari in the mixture and let it marinate in the fridge.

The recipe follows, but a word first about the grilling method. The calamari is cooked on a piastra—which is Italian for cooking on a flat griddle over an open flame. We used our trusty Lodge Pro Cast Iron Griddle. To achieve a flavorful char, Mr Foodinista wrapped a couple bricks in tin foil (two layers). Oh, and he heated the HELL out of the grill, leaving the griddle and foil-wrapped bricks in there to heat up at a temp somewhere close to 500 degrees.

Somehow I didn’t take a picture of the chickpea salad prior to mixing it with the grilled calamari. Maybe because I was too busy EATING the chickepas. Holy scheisse—mix up the chickpea salad alone and have at it. With a spoon.

I’ve made a few very minor tweaks on this recipe because my experience w/ this cookbook has largely been: great idea, but did someone actually test the recipe as written? Batali’s flavor combinations are inspired – but having tried at least a dozen recipes, there’s either too much liquid or not enough protein, and the cooking times are almost always off. Here’s what worked for us:

Marinated Calamari with Chickpeas and Olive Pesto

Adapted from Italian Grill, by Mario Batali

Note: The original recipe calls for orange segments (from three oranges) to be tossed with final salad. There is more than enough happening with all the citrus in the marinade, so unless you are freaked out about scurvy, I’d skip it. I don’t include below (and nor does the photo in the cookbook).

Serves 4-6


3 lbs cleaned calamari (tubes and tentacles)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 scallions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup mustard seeds

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Olive Pesto

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1/2 cup black olive paste or tapenade

3 red jalapeños, deveined, seeded and finely chopped

12 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

CUT THE CALAMARI BODIES into rings. Combine olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, mint, red pepper flakes and black pepper in a large bowl. Toss in calamari and stir well to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until ready to use.

Put chickpeas in a medium bowl, and add oil, vinegar, scallions, garlic and mustard seeds and stir to mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

FOR THE OLIVE PESTO, combine oil, orange zest and juice, olive tapenade, jalapeños, and basil in a small bowl, mixing well. Set aside.

Preheat a gas grill for high heat. Place a piastra—or griddle—on grill to preheat. Wrap two clean bricks in two layers each of heavy-duty foil and set it on top of piastra to heat for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour calamari into a colander and drain for 10 minutes.

Using oven mitts, remove bricks from piastra. Put a couple handful of calamari pieces on the piastra, place bricks on top of them, and cook for 2 minutes (any longer will turn them rubbery). Lift off bricks and, using spatula, carefully transfer calamari to a clean bowl. Repeat with remaining calamari in batches.

Pour olive pesto over calamari and stir well. Put chickpeas in a shallow serving bowl and top with calamari. Sprinkle with fresh mint and serve.

Crab Benedict with Salmon Roe

In Food, Recipes on April 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm

It’s no secret that we’re fans of breakfast for dinner. Or that I am obsessed with egg on egg. Following Saturday night’s sushi extravaganza, my sister sent us home with fresh crabmeat and roe—and a lot of it. And before I even got in the car to drive across town, I knew exactly the fate of said seafood. Because the only thing more exciting than breakfast for dinner is Eggs Benny for dinner! I’m sure someone somewhere has already realized this INSANE creation, but for the time being, I like to think it’s mine, all mine. The salty-oily salmon roe is fantastic with the poached egg, and I loooooove breaking through the yolk and having the hollandaise and yolk mingle with the crab meat. If you have arugula on hand, which I didn’t, it would add a wonderful peppery note (I would place on muffin before adding crab). If you really want to take your life in your own hands, instead of arugula, try avocado slices. I have tried this latter combo before and it is very naughty indeed.

The Foodinista’s Crab Benedict with Salmon Roe

Serves 4

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

8 eggs

4 English muffins, split and toasted

3 tablespoons butter, softened

Dijon mustard, to taste

Arugula or avocado slices, optional

12-16 ounces fresh crabmeat (depending on how piggy you are feeling)

Basic Hollandaise Sauce (to which I added a little orange zest)

Salmon roe

Freshly cracked pepper

Fill large skillet with enough water to reach depth of 2 inches. Add white wine vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to water. Bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Crack eggs into skillet of simmering water. Cook until whites are set and yolks are set to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium-set yolks.

Using slotted spoon, transfer eggs to plate.

Spread 3 tablespoons butter and a dollop of Dijon mustard over split sides of toasted English muffins. If using arugula, place leaves atop each English muffin half, or if using avocados, distribute slices. Divide crab evenly atop muffin halves. For each muffin, transfer egg from plate using spatula and place over crab meat. Top each with hollandaise, salmon roe and freshly cracked pepper.

Seared Scallops with Tarragon and Pea Purée

In Baby Love, Food on January 26, 2010 at 9:07 am

When I was pregnant, a coworker gave me a Beaba Babycook—a French baby food maker that steams and blends vegetables, and fetches a hefty $149. However, it’s probably the most useful baby gift we received and as a result, Tiny G eats fresh organic vegetables every day. A couple weeks ago, my sister wondered whether we might employ the Beaba Babycook to make a purée for one of our own dinners. So, while she steamed and puréed peas à la Tiny G…

…I seared scallops—just the freshest from Santa Monica Seafood—in a tablespoon of Irish butter….

Then I made a beurre blanc by deglazing the pan with a 1/4 cup each of of white wine and white wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon juice and added a minced shallot. When the juices had reduced, I cut the heat to low and whisked in some butter and fresh tarragon.

Place scallops on purée and spoon beurre blanc over top. The tarragon is wonderful at balancing the richness of the scallops and beurre blanc, and the peas add a fresh, sweet note.

LIVE with Paul Bartolotta!

In Food, Media, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on January 20, 2010 at 9:35 am

Last Friday night, my husband, our friend Amy and I went behind the scenes at Jimmy Kimmel LIVE to cheer on our friend, Chef Paul Bartolotta, who did this awesome cooking demo w/ Jimmy and actor Dax Shepard. Not only is Paul a friend, but one of the most talented cooks in the US (he has a couple James Beards Awards to prove it), and Mr Foodinista and I make at least one pilgrimage a year to Sin City specifically to eat at Ristorante Bartolotta at the Wynn Las Vegas!! On the heels of the Jimmy Kimmel/Jay Leno tango last Thursday, we were super excited to go to the show on Friday. We hung out in the Green Room for most of the taping, but were ushered backstage to watch Paul’s segment! So much fun and seriously funny stuff. Dax Shepard was hilarious as sous-chef, and helped prep one of my favorite recipes of Paul’s that we make a lot here at home, Gamberi e Fagioli Cannellini (warm shrimp with cannellini beans). I’m making it tonight for my book club. It’s really easy and is a great way to feed a crowd!

And here are a couple nerdy backstage shots with my second-generation iPhone:

Clam Chowder Satisfaction

In Food, Out of Town on December 28, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Yesterday morning my sister and I ran 8 hilly miles through the misty vineyards and woods in St. Helena. We were hellbent on undoing any good we might have achieved, and so hightailed it to Hog Island Oyster Co at the Oxbow Market in Napa for lunch. The dozen oysters—Hog Island sweetwaters—would have been virtuous enough had we stopped there. But we didn’t. Instead we piled on with a pint each of Lagunitas IPA and steaming bowls of clam chowder, which consisted of Manila clams, bacon, potatoes, carrots and celery in cream. Mr. Foodinista, who did not run 8 miles, must have been experiencing fondue withdrawal from the other night. He opted for a grilled cheese sandwich featuring Cowgirl Creamery Gruyère and Fromage Blanc with housemade pickles. I may have indulged in (read: demanded) a gooey delicious bite…

Santa Barbara Spot Prawns (Ruh-Roe)

In Food on September 24, 2009 at 10:21 pm

spot prawn

Santa Barbara spot prawns are just one more reason why living on the west coast is superb. My sister stopped by Santa Monica Seafood the other day and picked up half a dozen spot prawns for dinner. These guys are technically shrimp, but are oversized and taste like sweet lobster. Our plan was to throw them straight on the grill for 2.5 minutes a side and serve with heart-stopping cheesy grits with bacon and grilled asparagus. I crushed some garlic into a bowl of olive oil to brush over before grilling, which is when we discovered the roe. Let’s just say we had a bunch of breeders on our hands and didn’t know how the hell to deal with them. I immediately texted my friend Katie, who replied “A delicacy?” Love caviar/roe, so we went with it. Does this look freaky to you?

spot prawn roe

Turns out the roe was scrumptious. As is every part of these little suckers. We skipped the shells and the eyeballs but scarfed just about everything else…

spot prawns

Happy Birthday, Aaaarrrg!

In Food on September 22, 2009 at 7:11 pm

pirate parrot

Yesterday was our friend Adam’s birthday, which required a pirate theme and a parrot named Eli that we affixed to the birthday boy’s chair. My sister stopped by Vine American party store, and managed to find some chocolate gold coins, jolly rogers and assorted pirate accouterments for the dinner table.

jolly roger

The menu continued the theme with Walk the Plank-Roasted Salmon, which we roasted in the oven on a cedar plank. The cedar imparts a smoky sweetness to the fish, and is heavenly with a honey-mustard-rosemary glaze. Happy Birthday, Matey!

plank roasted salmon