Batter Licker

May 16, 2012

baked plantain and coconut crusted fish

I teased you last week with super easy and snackable baked plantain chips, mentioning that they were also great for coating fish and promising to provide a recipe soon. And here I am, following through on that.

This plantain and coconut crusted fish recipe was inspired by something similar devised by another cook on my team during last month’s Top Chef competition. But I wasn’t remotely involved in helping prepare the fish that night, so I scraped together this similar recipe based mostly on flavor memories. The resulting fish is very moist (thanks to the coconut milk), slightly coconutty, and has a flavorful crisp crust. (more…)

February 22, 2012

grilled herbed shrimp

Filed under: seafood,shrimp — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Kristen @ 1:00 pm

Sometimes, in my kitchen, at our friends’ home using their grill, and in the food blogging world, things just don’t go as planned. Recipes go horribly awry; pictures turn out blurry; fluorescent lighting makes food appear greenish, blueish or just plain blah.

Or the incredibly simple but WOW shrimp recipe I’ve loved and made for years – with Beautiful Grill Marks Every Single Time – ends up having Zero Grill Marks, Whatsoever the one time I finally remembered to take photographs.

Thankfully, despite a few snafus during the cooking process, the shrimp still tasted pretty freakin’ great.

Snafus?? Well, let’s just say that, if a man walking around in an Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat offers to grill the shrimp you’ve so carefully and beautifully marinated (more…)

April 8, 2011

asparagus, radish and smoked trout salad with lemon, dijon and balsamic vinaigrette

I remember picking radishes out of my mother’s garden as a child. And I’m almost certain that I did not clean them with as much diligence (and an entire bottle of hand soap) as the first baby carrots I ever pulled out of the ground. Rather, I brushed off the dirt with my shirt, twisted off the ugly root, and dove right in. Crunchy and spicy, I enjoyed the radish in its freshest and rawest state without any adornments. But unfortunately, I never thought to approach asparagus in the same way.

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Fresh asparagus, as I appreciate it now, signals the decline of thick greens and hearty root vegetables, and ushers in the lighter, more uplifting assortment that spring has to offer. However, in my childhood memories, I recall asparagus as a rather sad, drooping and stringy set of spears that were often overcooked, as that is the easiest and most frequent method of preparing a veggie that barely needs any time to cook. Except for eating it raw. (more…)

December 31, 2010

beer-steamed lobster tails

Filed under: seafood — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:32 pm

It’s New Year’s Eve, and let’s be realistic. As much as you may want to celebrate the first day of the 2011 with a decadent meal tomorrow, festivities that end up getting a little too festive tonight are likely to get in the way of prepping a complicated New Year’s Day dinner. Luckily, a little beer, a steamer basket, some fresh or defrosted lobster tails, and some melted butter provide a simple, hangover-friendly solution. And with frozen lobster tails running about $6 each, this makes a perfectly romantic dinner for two without breaking the bank.

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Boiling beer rises up to tenderize the lobster as it steams the luscious meat. While your lobsters cook, you can whip up drawn butter, which is basically just butter melted to the point that milk solids clump together and can be spooned out of the silky magnificence left behind. (more…)

December 27, 2010

spice-boiled shrimp and cocktail sauce

I’ve had a lot of bad shrimp cocktails in my life. You know, the ones where the shrimp is rubbery from overcooking, the $19 restaurant appetizer features only four measly little creatures, the shrimp has absolutely zero seasoning whatsoever, or the cocktail sauce tastes like ketchup and ketchup only. But all those shrimp cocktail mishaps (especially the ones at renowned, expensive fish restaurants!) were for the better because they encouraged me to start making shrimp cocktail at home.

In other words, this is not one of those disappointing, lackluster recipes.

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This shrimp cocktail may be unlike any one you’ve ever had in that the shrimp, while boiled, is actually seasoned. A little lemon, some very flavorful Creole seasoning from my Jambalaya recipe, and a tiny bit of salt infuse the shrimp with the subtle flavor you may not have realized you were missing. And with just two minutes of cooking time and a quick shock in ice water to prevent shrimp from continuing to cook and becoming rubbery, this dish comes together in mere minutes.

The cocktail sauce also comes together with a quickly whisked combination of sweet ketchup, spicy horseradish, fresh lemon juice, and a little Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and salt to round it out. (more…)

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