Category Archives: seafood

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Grilled Stuffed Squid

¬†My daughter Asi and I were on a seafood kick last weekend but we were tired of shrimps which is what we normally get. We decided to grill some tilapia and squid for a change. When my dad had grilled squid for us in the past, he always used the smaller, more tender variety. The Asian market where we bought seafood had fresh squid, but they were much bigger than what I’m used to. But, they were fresh, not frozen so I thought we’d give them a try anyway. I also decided to stuff them as I had seen on other blogs.

Most of the stuffed squid recipes I saw stuffed theirs with raw tomatoes and onions; I was a bit skeptical about that since the thought of not thoroughly cooked stuffing was not what I had in mind. Since squid takes a very short time to cook without overcooking, I decided to sautee the stuffing first. Included in the stuffing are chopped up innards of the squid (except for the ink sack and stomach) and tentacles.

 I sauteed the garlic, onions, tomatoes and cilantro stems first just until they were wilted, seasoned it then added the chopped squid bits during the last minute of cooking so as not to overcook them. BTW, the cilantro stems added a great flavor layer to this dish and I just happened to throw them in at the last minute just because I was going to discard them anyway after I had chopped the cilantro leaves for salsa.

¬†After cooking the stuffing ingredients, let it cool before stuffing into the squid body. Seal the ends with tooth pick to hold in the stuffing while it’s cooking. You wouldn’t want your stuffing falling into the fire.

¬†This was the first time I made grilled stuffed squid, and I think it turned out rather well. Again, the buzzword here is DON’T OVER COOK it. It only takes a minute of fairly high heat to cook the squid so it doesn’t get tough. Even my husband who isn’t a big squid fan (that’s why I only cooked two) said that these were surprisingly not as chewy as he thought they would be.

Grilled Stuffed Squid (Inihaw na Pusit)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Filipino
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Large squid are stuffed and grilled to perfection.
Ingredients
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup minced Cilantro Stems
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 2 Large Squids, cleaned
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil and add garlic and onions. Cook for a minute and add the tomatoes. Cook for a few more minutes until the onions are translucent and the tomatoes have started to render some juice.
  2. Add the chopped squid parts. Stir. Season with red pepper flakes and salt. Cook only until the squid is barely cooked, as soon as they turn white.
  3. Cool before stuffing into the squid body. Seal ends of the squid with toothpick so the stuffing does not fall out during grilling.
  4. Grill only until it's just done. Don't overcook.

 

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Grilled Whole Tilapia

There’s really no recipe for this. After all, nothing could be simpler than to merely slap a piece of meat over a hot coals until it’s cooked.

We have been grilling a lot lately, taking advantage of the warmer weather that is not yet too blisteringly hot to be outside over a hot fire. We’ve been having a cooler than usual summer so far and it’s been perfect for cooking out. The husband has been in meat heaven since Father’s Day when we started the grilling extravaganza.

The girls and I though, were getting tired of meat and needed a change. So when we went to the Asian market over the weekend, we decided to get some seafood to cook on the grill. Tilapia is great for grilling because the flesh is not so delicate that it will fall apart and the skin is perfect for keeping the fish together and not have it stick to the grill. Another reason why you’d want to grill your fish whole, especially tilapia with its sturdy skin is that even if you accidentally char the outside, the skin will prevent the flesh of the fish from getting over cooked and dried out.

This tilapia was cleaned and de-scaled but left whole. I simply salted the fish inside and out and inside its cavity, I stuffed in sliced lemons, one green onion cut into the right length and¬†a few sprigs of cilantro. Grill over charcoals for about 8 minutes on each side and it’s ready! My daughter and I like to eat grilled fish with freshly sliced tomatoes simply sprinkled with salt.

P.S. if you’re into fish tacos and don’t like frying, this would also be ideal for tacos!

 

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Tilapia Baked with Miso

Tilapia is the most common fish that I can get around here that’s easy to prepare, easily found and affordable. So it’s a staple in our freezer especially since I found the kind that are individually flash frozen fillets. They are really convenient especially when you just want something quick and only need a fillet or two.

Anyway, last summer when we went to California to visit my family where a visit inevitable leads to a road trip. We were debating to drive up north to visit more family and maybe sneak in some sonoma wine tours akin to the movie Sideways. But then we realized we’d have the kids with us, so ended up in Vegas instead.

Wait…. what kind of twisted reasoning is that, you say? Well, it’s not as bad as it sounds and the kids actually have a great time in Vegas. For one, their grandma is there and the hotel pools are always a great distraction for them. Vegas is really quite more family friendly than you think!

Anyway, when in Vegas, we always have to have our fix of Oxtail Soup at the California. But if you’re in Vegas for a week, you can’t have oxtail soup every night. So for a change, after finding ourselves at the California late at night and hungry again, we decided to try something different.

Baked Fish with Miso at California Hotel, LV

That’s when I tried the halibut and swordfish with miso. I was hooked after the first bite! It was something different, and yet so simple that I knew I could make it at home.

I think this recipe works best with more substantial fish like halibut or swordfish. The tilapia was ok, but for me, it just didn’t have enough body to it. It carried the flavor wonderfully though!

My photos suck, but you get the idea, and it really did taste much better than it looks

Miso baked Tilapia with Pasta and Fried Zucchini

 

Tilapia Baked with Miso
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Tilapia fillets baked with miso sauce.
Ingredients
  • 2-3 Tilapia fillets
  • 2 Tablespoons Miso paste
  • ¼ cup Mirin
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Lay the tilapia fillets on a foil covered baking sheet
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
  4. Slather the mixture over the fish fillets and bake for 20 minutes or just until the fish is done and the miso is bubbly and slightly browned.

 

You can get Miso paste (fermented soybeans) and Mirin (Japanese cooking wine) at most Asian markets.

For other unique ways to bake fish, check out these recipes:

Baked fish in parchment with lots of veggies is an easy meal in a bag.

For the fullest of flavors, try baking a whole fish with garlic chili sauce.

If you love fish tacos, then try out this Blackened Fish Tacos for a healthier, baked version than the usual fried.

 

 

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shrimp&grits

Cheese Grits with Shrimps & Mushrooms

This is an update on one of our favorite dishes and it’s also our contribution to this week’s Food Quote Meme.

‚ÄúA man full of grits is a man of peace.‚ÄĚ ~ South Carolina‚Äôs declaration of grits as the official state food

Shrimp & Grits

With it just being me and the husband for the last few weeks, it has been easier to cook simple dishes for dinner. Sometimes we have breakfast for dinner! That was just the case the evening that I made this version of Shrimp and Grits. Actually, the photo is from the second time that I made this dish in the last couple of weeks. Yes, it’s that easy and it’s that good!

This recipe is basically the same as the old one I’ve posted before except that this time, I added mushrooms to the shrimps and cheese to the grits. You don’t really need a recipe for this, but here’s one if you need it…

Cheese Grits
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
This is the first part of the Shrimp & Grits recipe. Start cooking your grits first as it will take longer to cook than the shrimps.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Grits
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • Dash of Salt
  • ½ cup grated Cheese (your choice what kind. I had cheddar this time)
  • Additional butter (optional)
Instructions
  1. Is a small pot, bring one and a half cups of water to boil.
  2. When the water is boiling, SLOWLY add the grits while stirring at the same time so you don't get clumps.
  3. Add salt and cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes while stirring constantly.
  4. Lower heat to low and cover pot. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice just to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan or clump up.
  5. Go prepare your shrimps while your grits cook.
  6. By the time you finish cooking your shrimps, your grits should be nicely thickened and well cooked by now. Just before plating, add the grated cheese and stir until it is all melted into the grits and the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Now for the second half of this dish…

Garlic Shrimps with Mushroom

  You can serve this shrimp dish over rice or pasta but our favorite way is with cheese grits!

  • 1 lb. Shrimps, peeled & deveined
  • 4 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 small Onion, sliced
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 stalks Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Buttter
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  1. Melt the butter until foamy and add the mushrooms and onions.
  2. Cook over medium heat until caramelized (slightly browned and all liquids cooked out)
  3. Add shrimps and garlic.
  4. Stirfry for a minute or two until the shrimps turn opaque.
  5. Add the green onions (scallions) and season with salt & pepper.
  6. Stir for another minute and it’s ready to serve!

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  15-20 minutes

 

For those unfamiliar with grits, here’s a link to another recipe for Shrimp and Grits with additional information on the history of grits.

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Pesang Isda – Fish in Ginger Soup

Pesang Tilapia

A friend cooked this for me once when the only Filipino fish soup I knew was sinigang. I thought she had forgotten the souring agent but I was wrong. For those who do not like the sourness of the ubiquitous Filipino sinigang, this is a nice, mild alternative. It is delicately spiced like your grandmother’s tinola (or chicken soup)¬†and actually, it is exactly the same as chicken tinola except that you use fish instead.

When I saw the¬†Pesa¬†recipe on the Overseas Pinoy Cooking Blog, I was immediately intrigued not to mention hungry! I just had to make it and luckily, I had one leftover tilapia in the freezer. I felt a lunch time soup coming on. Yes, even when it’s ninety degrees and humid outside, I craved to have this soup.

Pesang Isda - Fish in Ginger Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium tilapia, cut in half
  • ½ cup of chopped Leeks
  • 1 inch of fresh Ginger root, sliced into medallions
  • ½ head of a small cabbage, sliced (or any green leafy vegetable you like)
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 6-8 cup water (the original recipe from OPC called for rice water or the water you used to rinse rice before cooking)
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
  • Salt (to taste)
Instructions
  1. In a pot large enough to hold your soup, heat the cooking oil and sauté the ginger and leeks for a couple of minutes.
  2. Pour in the water or rice water and add the peppercorns.
  3. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes to blend the flavors in the soup.
  4. Add the fish, cover and let it cook for another ten minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Add your vegetables and cook only until they are wilted. You don't want it overcooked.
  7. Turn off heat and serve.
Notes
I used cabbage for the vegetables in this instance because that's what I had in the refrigerator at the time. Any green leafy vegetables like bokchoy, napa cabbage, spinach or tender mustard greens will be perfect for this dish though. Also, in the original recipe, regular onions were also used in addition to the leeks. I happened to be out of onions too, so I used leeks that I pulled up from the garden instead.

BY THE WAY, if you look at the original recipe, it was recommended that this dish be served with a miso dipping sauce. That’s what’s in the smaller dish in the photo above. I must say, that ‘dip’ is perfection! Recipe for it will follow.

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Crab Crostini by Jade

king crab leg

Jade made these delectable morsels when we had a crab feast not too long ago. My daughter Asi, my husband, and I are usually crab purists. We like our crab unadorned, simply dipped in butter or lemon & soy sauce or vinegar & garlic sauce. When we have crab, we make sure The Clone, who hates anything seafood, has pasta that she can eat in the other room. Yep, she can’t even be in the same room as seafood, especially crabs ūüôā

Jade was feeling creative (or just not very hungry. She was making these while the rest of us were tearing into crab shells) and made these beautiful crostinis by first toasting some french baguette. On top of that, she lathered on a mixture of mayonnaise and schiracha sauce (her own mixture) then topped it with a piece of king crab leg and a couple of spears of asparagus. The flavor combination was delicious!

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Gruyère Cheese Gougères & Galatoire’s Oysters en Brochette

December was a month of French terms and recipes in our kitchen starting with the French Yule Log we did for Daring Bakers and continuing with the Recipes to Rival challenge which is this duo of Gruyère Cheese Gougères & Galatoire’s Oysters en Brochette appetizers.

Gougères Oysters en Brochette

Our hosts for December were Temperance of High on the Hog and Jen of Delightful Delicacies. who actually chose three appetizers for the Recipes to Rival challenge but since my family aren’t too crazy about blue cheese which was the main element of the last recipe, we opted to do the two that are featured here. These were perfect for noshing on New Year’s Eve but they would also be perfect for anytime you want some unique and easy appetizer to serve. To see all three recipes, check out the Appetizer Trio on the Recipes to Rival Blog.
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