The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Crabmeat’

Breaking Out of the Food-Induced Coma

In General Articles on January 12, 2012 at 6:06 PM

We were a week into the New Year and attempting to break out of the holiday season food-induced coma of the prior six week period.  That coupled with the need for me to fit into my tux and my wife into her gown for a black tie event a few weeks down the road, led us back to seafood meals.

Our immediate thought the other night was for some shrimp, perhaps sautéed in butter, garlic and white wine and maybe a side of rice to absorb the sauce. But upon visiting the fish market, freshly harvested Bay Scallops were prominently displayed and attracted our attention.  Then it hit me; combine the shrimp and scallops with the rice and, presto, Seafood Risotto! All that was needed were some mussels to round out the seafood medley and we would have a true Frutti di Mare. Alas, there were no mussels to be had.

My wife who has an eye for these things, suggested that we go ahead with the risotto idea, and to add some color and flavor use up the leftover arugula and scallions, which had gone into the previous evening’s salad. A brilliant idea, I thought.

Making a risotto is fairly easy, but does involve active participation for perhaps an hour or so. However, the result is well worth the effort, so don’t be deterred by the time factor. Arborio Rice, which is a short-grained rice, is considered to be the best for making a risotto. It has a high starch content which produces an exquisite creaminess, as well as the ability to absorb plenty of moisture without losing its bite, its al dente quality.

Yesterday as my thoughts remained in the seafood mode, I visited the fish market again and purchased some flounder fillets along with a 1 pound can of crabmeat. These ingredients were melded into Baked Stuffed Flounder Fillets. Both of these meals were a welcome and delicious respite from our hearty holiday fare.

Fillet of Sole Stuffed with Crabmeat and Shrimp

In Fish, Recipes, Seafood on October 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM

(Preparation time about 15 minutes, cooking time 8 minutes)

Ingredients:

6 tbsps. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
2 tbsps. chopped fresh oregano
1 cup of shredded crabmeat, about 8 oz.
1 cup chopped cooked shrimp, about 7 or 8 (1/4 lb.)
¼ cup Italian –flavored breadcrumbs
½ tsp. celery seed
½ tsp. hot Hungarian paprika plus extra
4 fillets Grey Sole or any other firm, thin white fish such as Flounder, about ¼ lb each
¾ cup dry white wine
Toothpicks

Preparation:

For the Crabmeat/Shrimp Stuffing:

1.    Melt 3 tbsps. of the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
2.    Add the garlic and sauté lightly, do not let brown.
3.    Stir in the oregano.
4.    Add the shrimp & crabmeat.
5.    Stir in the breadcrumbs, celery seed and ½ teaspoon of paprika.
6.    Cook the mixture on medium for about 3 to 4 minutes to blend the flavors.

For the Stuffed Fillets:

Adding the stuffing

1.    Lay the fillets out on a cutting board, with the narrow end toward you.

2.    Spoon the stuffing onto the fillets, leaving about ¾ inch clear from either end.
3.    Gently roll up each fillet starting from the narrow end. Secure each roll with 2 toothpicks.

Rolled Fillets

4.    Sprinkle each roll with the additional paprika.
5.    Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter on high heat in a non-stick sauté pan with a cover.
6.    When the butter is bubbling, gently add the rolled fillets and reduce heat to medium.
7.    Saute the fillets on three sides, turning each fillet 1/3 of a turn after 1 minute, for a total of 3 minutes.
8.    Return heat to high, add the wine, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes more.

9.     Carefully transfer the fish to individual plates and spoon the remaining gravy and loose stuffing over each fillet.

Fillet of Sole Stuffed with Crabmeat & Shrimp

Serve with steamed asparagus, dressed with butter and lemon, and a dry white wine such as Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc.

Time to Get Back to Cooking and Posting

In General Articles on October 2, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Family, business and charitable work have been occupying our focus for the past two months, but now it is time to get back to cooking, writing and posting. The other night, to kick off the fall season,we decided to cook some fish inside the house, rather than on the grill. With no preconceived idea, other than indoor cooking, I visited our local fishmonger to see what was in that day’s catch.  The grey sole was fresh and looked good, so I bought four small fillets, each weighing about 1/4 pound.

Now, how to prepare it? Sole lends itself to many preparations, but I noted some Maine crab-meat in the case and thought that would make a good base for stuffing, and to add a little variety, maybe some shrimp. Since I did not feel like cleaning, deveining and cooking the shrimp myself, I ordered a 1/4 pound of the cooked shrimp.

Having made a decision on the fish and the base for the stuffing, the next step was to see what was in the pantry that could finish the dish. I knew that we had breadcrumbs, as well as wine in which to poach the fish, and that the refrigerator held the staples of lemon, butter, parsley and garlic, so after picking up a bunch of asparagus at the fruit and vegetable market I headed home.

The parsley in the refrigerator proved to be limp and flavorless, but all of the other ingredients were there. Looking around the garden, I saw that there was still some fresh oregano and thought that could substitute for the parsley. The spice rack revealed hot Hungarian paprika, which not only adds spice but color, and…celery seeds! I had never used celery seeds and have no idea why I had bought them in the first place, but I thought that they could nicely round out the stuffing and they did, as you will see after you have tried the quick and easy Fillet of Sole Stuffed with Crabmeat and Shrimp.

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