Archive for the ‘seafood’ Category

(Sorta Meatless Monday) Coconut Basil Shrimp Stir-Fry

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I’m not sure if there’s an official rule about seafood on Meatless Monday, but I’ve generally avoided it thus far. Since part of the purpose of Meatless Monday is to raise awareness of the environmental impact of our food choices, I figured I’d make an exception for a farewell to Gulf shrimp. This dinner was loosely inspired by Aimee’s coconut rice, in that I had the two ingredients on the mind. The snap peas came from the farmers market, and were just as crisp and sweet as they look. And the basil was the first harvest from my freshly-potted herb planter.

Recipe: Coconut Basil Shrimp Stir-Fry


  • 1 pound wild Gulf shrimp
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups snap peas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: Toast coconut in cast iron skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside. Warm olive oil in skillet and cook garlic until soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook until pink and cooked through. Add soy sauce, snap peas and coconut and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle basil over top. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

The FoodieTots family participates in Meatless Mondays, cutting out meat one day a week for our health and for the environment. (When we do eat meat, we choose local and grassfed whenever possible.) Visit the Meatless Monday pledge page to learn more, and sign up for weekly tips and recipes you can use to go meatless, too!

Lemon Artichoke Risotto with Shrimp

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Facing an empty fridge upon our return home from vacation, I was in need of groceries and inspiration this past weekend. I happened to catch a mention on Twitter of food52‘s risotto party and was inspired to make a spring risotto. I knew I wanted to include lemon and mint, and had been intrigued by a raw artichoke and parmesan salad I’d read about in the April issue of Body + Soul. And I decided to add citrusy broiled shrimp, as in the food52 finalist’s recipe. There are few things more soothing than the fresh scent of mint and lemon zest, and this creamy risotto is a perfect supper to usher in spring.

Recipe: Lemon Artichoke Risotto with Shrimp


for the risotto

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 teaspoon reserved for shrimp)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (1 tablespoon zest reserved for shrimp)
  • 2 cups organic Arborio rice
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fruity white wine
  • 1 6-ounce jar water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

for the shrimp

  • 1 pound wild U.S. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • reserved garlic and lemon zest from above
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper


Gently toss the shrimp with chopped garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, and a generous amount of sea salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature while preparing the risotto.

Bring seafood stock and water to simmer in a stock pot.

In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium low heat and cook garlic several minutes, until translucent. Increase heat to medium and add rice, stirring to coat with oil, and cook 4-5 minutes. Rice will turn translucent and begin to appear lightly toasted. Add lemon zest and juice. Pour in wine and cook 1 minute.

Begin ladling the stock, two ladles full at a time, into the risotto. Stir frequently after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed, then add the next batch. The process of adding, stirring and absorbing liquid will take about 20-25 minutes. The rice will release its starch, resulting in a creamy white sauce. Taste periodically until the rice is al dente — still firm but no longer crunchy in the middle. When the desired texture is reached, gently fold in artichoke hearts, mint and parmesan cheese and remove from heat.

Under a broiler, cook shrimp about 2 minutes on each side, until pink and opaque. Serve atop risotto, and garnish with additional fresh mint and/or shaved parmesan. Makes 4-6 servings. Enjoy!

Note: You can replace the seafood stock with vegetable and omit the shrimp to serve the risotto alone for a vegetarian or Meatless Monday-friendly supper.

Wild Salmon Salad (mayo-free)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Fish, and its magical omega-3 fatty acids, is really important for pregnant women and young kids alike.  But it’s important to eat the right fish, and canned wild salmon is both an affordable and sustainable alternative to some other types (looking at you, tuna). According to KidSafe Seafood, canned wild salmon contains four times the amount of omega-3s as tuna, as well as a generous dose of calcium and protein.

I made this simple salmon salad to top homemade bagels (stay tuned!). I can’t stand the taste of mayonnaise, so instead this gets its creaminess from sour cream and a little kick from horseradish and mustard. It’d be great atop salad greens, in tea sandwiches (for spring baby showers, perhaps), or rolled up in crispy romaine leaves.

Recipe: Mayo-Free Wild Salmon Salad


  • 1 7.5-ounce can wild Alaskan salmon
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup organic sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Drain salmon of excess oil (makes an excellent treat for any cats in the home). Empty can into a medium bowl and use a fork to break apart large chunks. Add remaining ingredients, tossing with the fork to combine. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to a day before serving. Makes enough to top 6 bagels. Enjoy!

Blog for the Bay to Save our Chesapeake Blue Crabs

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

blog for the chesapeake bayI use the term “Chesapeake Bay Foodshed” to describe the region from which we source as much of our fresh food as possible. Foodshed is a play on the term “watershed,” and it’s no secret that the Chesapeake Bay watershed is in trouble.

Aside from a love of fresh oysters, crab and fish, I have strong personal ties to the Bay as well.

My mother’s ancestors were among the early settlers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore centuries ago. My husband and I were married on Kent Island, less than a mile from the creek bearing the family’s name.

On my dad’s side, he grew up in the District and no family gathering is complete without a crab feast. The day after our wedding, my Grandpop sat my poor Jewish husband down and said, “Now that you’re part of this family, you need to learn how to pick crab.” He was a good sport about it but still prefers to let others do the work. As for me, it just isn’t summer without a trip to Quarterdeck in Arlington for a dozen crabs on a humid evening.

If we’re going to continue to enjoy local blue crab, significant actions must be taken to clean up the Bay. The Clean Water Act is 30 years old. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a 2010 deadline to get the Bay off the “dirty waters” list, and has admitted they might not make it before 2020. If you caught last night’s “Poisoned Waters” documentary, you saw how drastic the decline has been for oysters (2 million bushels to 100,000 bushels a year) and fish (most species are already gone completely). The Bay can’t wait any longer! Please join me and fellow “Blog for the Bay” participants and sign the petition to the EPA Administrator urging them to avoid any further delay.

Blog for the Bay Round-Up: Please visit these other local blogs to hear more stories about what the Chesapeake Bay and its seafood mean to all of us, and chime in with your own stories in the comments or on your own blog. Check back here and at my co-host The Arugula Files for updated links later in the day. And please share on Facebook &/or Twitter (hashtag #blog4thebay), too!

  • Arugula Files tells of an unsuccessful crabbing experience, and the iconic Cantler’s Riverside Inn. (And a previous post about the sustainability of Maryland’s blue crabs.)
  • Capital Spice tells of a favorite market vendor, Chris’ Marketplace.
  • The Green Phone Booth‘s JessTrev reminisces about roof deck parties and a soft shell sandwich to mark Bill Clinton’s inauguration.
  • Capital Cooking Show‘s Lauren was recently introduced to blue crabs after moving here from the Midwest.
  • Metrocurean used “pretty please with crabcakes on top” to beg favors from her father, and shares her grandmother’s crabcake recipe.
  • Plight of the Pumpernickel gives a tutorial in eating those steamed blue crabs.
  • DCist chimes in with a plug for the Maine Avenue Fish Wharf, and link to those terrific “save the crabs .. then eat ’em” ads of a few years back.
  • Endless Simmer sees ulterior motives in our campaign. (Hey, we’re not denying our self-interest. Crabs are yummy!)
  • Internet Food Association is stung by Old Bay and scary magic cards.
  • Etsy Inspiration gives us a look at arts and crafts inspired by the Bay.

Related: The Chesapeake Bay Daily has a graphic representation of the Bay’s blame game, and our campaign is featured on the CBF blog.

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.