Archive for February, 2009

Shellfish on Friday

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Now that Lent is here, I have even more incentive to try new seafood recipes to incorporate more sustainable seafood into our diet. This was actually our Shrove Tuesday pancake meal, but we will definitely be making it again. Shellfish is loaded with nutrients (scallops with vitamin B12) and while my son isn’t yet slurping raw oysters, he has no problem eating shrimp or fried clam strips. This was the first time I tried giving him scallops, and he was skeptical but ate several bites. Scallops overcook very quickly, so don’t make the mistake I did of cooking the seafood first — cook the crepes and keep them warm in the oven while you prepare the etouffee and scallops.

Recipe: Shrimp & Scallop Crepes Etouffee



  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 3/4 c buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 unbleached flour
  • 1/4 t salt


  • 1/2 pound jumbo wild-caught US shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 large diver-caught scallops, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Tabasco (optional)


Crepes: Whisk together crepe ingredients until combined. Cook on a large cast iron skillet or crepe pan, and transfer to cookie sheet in warm over to keep warm.

Etouffee: Melt butter in skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and red pepper and cook until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes, until shrimp begins to turn pink. Dissolve tapioca starch and water and add to pan. Stir, then cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Scallops: Warm olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan and cook 2 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. Flip scallops and add butter to pan. Cook 2-3 minutes more, until just cooked through. (Scallops should be opaque and just firm to the touch.)

Fill crepes with a spoonful of shrimp etouffee, fold and serve with scallops on the side. Add a few dashes of Tabasco if you like a little heat. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

For more scallop inspiration, check out this yummy Lemon-Thyme Scallop recipe from one of my favorite new foodie kids’ blogs, Chow Mama.

Note: Shellfish is not recommended for children before one year of age, and possibly longer if there is a family history of allergies. Our pediatrician advised us to wait until 18 months, but check with your own doctor if you have not yet introduced shellfish.

Away from Home

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Away from Home, originally uploaded by foodietots.

Can you guess from this market photo where we went on vacation?

No, not Central America. Florida. No luck finding a native avocado,
but we did enjoy lots of fresh citrus, even grapefruit picked
ourselves. Yum!

Stay tuned for the next installment of our Sustainable Family Supper
series (dairy is up next) just as soon as I recuperate from traveling
with two toddlers… (the boy’s 3yo cousin joined us.)

Recipe Swap, Valentine’s Edition

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Recipe Swap “Sunday” comes a day early this week, with some Valentine’s recipes that tempted my taste buds:

  • A “Fishy Valentine” from Dish-trict (what, a whole fish doesn’t scream romance to you?)
  • Cute Breadstick Hearts from What’s Cooking
  • Skip the pink, with an Orange Lunch from Alison’s Lunch
  • Something sweet, Root Beer Bundt Cake from gas*tron*o*my
  • We’ve been on a blood orange kick lately, and will surely be trying the Flaky Blood Orange Tart from Smitten Kitchen.
  • Lastly, if you share my love for a stinky blue cheese, hop on over to Cheese & Champagne and enter our “Ode to Roquefort” love poem contest!

What are you cooking up for Valentine’s Day? We’re away from home, so will be delegating the cooking tonight!

Banana Oat Bran Pancakes

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

happy toddler

Heart-shaped pancakes are something of a Valentine’s tradition in the FoodieTots’ home. I’ve been experimenting with a banana bran batter that provides a fiber boost while staying light and fluffy. The toddler loves to help make pancakes and as you can see, was quite pleased with this recipe. Best served with fresh fruit and topped with a little pure maple syrup, of course. Happy Valentine’s Day to you & your family!

Recipe: Banana Oat Bran Pancakes

banana oat bran pancakes


  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup oat bran
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch nutmeg

Instructions: Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl until just combined. Cook in cast iron skillet over medium low heat until golden and puffy. Makes 8-12, depending on size. Enjoy!

Hearty Winter Baked Ziti

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

presto pasta nights

That kale we can’t get enough of? I love to make myself a quick lunch of “green eggs and kale” (blanch kale, then poach eggs in the same water = greenish eggs), but am still hunting for a way to convince the husband and toddler of kale’s deliciousness. In the meantime, I add bits and pieces in dishes and hope that some of their nutrients (vitamins K, A, C, calcium, iron and more) rub off on the other ingredients, since the toddler is still pretty adept at picking out strange green pieces. (He did accidentally take a bite of this ziti with kale and didn’t spit it out this time, so I’m considering that a small victory.) Baked ziti is a great dish to incorporate stray winter produce languishing in your refrigerator, in this case, kale and carrots. Of course I used organic ingredients, including organic ricotta, cheese and pasta and natural, no-nitrates-added Italian sausage. And I’m submitting this hearty, healthy, classic family favorite for the 100th installment of Presto Pasta Nights. (Happy anniversary, Ruth!)

Recipe: Hearty Winter Baked Ziti

baked ziti pasta


  • 1 pound ziti noodles
  • 1 cup organic kale leaves, torn
  • 12 ounces Italian sausage, crumbled (if using links, remove casing and dice)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 organic carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella, romano and parmesan cheeses

Instructions: Bring water to boil in a large stock pot.

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until evenly browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside, covered.

Lower heat to medium low and add garlic and onion. Cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add carrots and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in oregano, sausage and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt if your sausage is already salty).

While sauce simmers, cook pasta for 6 minutes (or 2/3 of minimum recommended cooking), adding kale for the last minute. Drain.

Stir together pasta, kale, ricotta and 1/2 of the sauce. Pour into 9×13-inch baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over top, then spead shredded cheeses evenly over top. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until cheese is golden. Makes 10-12 servings. Enjoy!

Submitted to Presto Pasta Nights, created and hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Be sure to share your favorite pasta recipe for the special 100th round-up!