Pan Seared Scallops with Thai Basil and Chili Sauce

This 10-minute meal will blow your mind. These pan seared scallops with Thai basil and chili sauce will leave you wanting more, and will probably even induce Thai scallop-filled dreams. If you are day-dreaming in the grass looking at the clouds, all you will be able to see is scallops. You might become totally obsessed. I mean, maybe I’m the only weirdo who obsesses about good food, but I highly doubt that because there’s a reason food blogs exist.

But seriously, these scallops are every bit as obsession-inducing as I claim. They are quickly seared in lots of butter and boast a perfectly-perfect brown crust. Then, they are drizzled with a light sauce with lime, garlic, chili, and Thai basil. The sauce is complementary, rather than overpowering, and the natural flavor of the scallops shines through. If you’re going to splurge on buying big, beautiful scallops, you want to taste them and not just sauce. I recommend serving them with jasmine rice, veggies, or rice noodles. 


1 lb. scallops, patted dry and side muscle removed 

3 Tbsp. butter

Juice from two limes

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ c. Thai basil, chopped

2 tsp. sambal oelek 

1 Tbsp. sake

Salt and pepper

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. 

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat (but more on the high side). When the butter is melted and very hot, add the scallops and cook 3-4 minutes per side until they are golden brown and lightly crusted. Remove the scallops with tongs and set aside on a plate. 

Add the garlic, lime juice, sambal oelek, sake, and chopped basil to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. The garlic should be fragrant and the basil wilted. 

Drizzle the sauce over the scallops and serve immediately.


Heavenly Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Heavenly is the only way to describe these grilled garlic shrimp skewers. The perfect grilled shrimp taste profile really does exist, and it’s very clean and simple – the way good food should be. These grilled garlic shrimp skewers are marinated in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and a dash of paprika; and then grilled quickly to enhance and meld all of those wonderful flavors together. 

These shrimp skewers are so good that you won’t even notice the other food on the table. In fact, you may not be aware of much else going around you at all. You may even forget your name momentarily. But one thing you won’t forget is keeping your eye on that one last skewer nobody has taken yet. Your cat-like reflexes and laser focus will still function for that purpose, I promise. 


1.5 lb. fresh jumbo shrimp

3 c. olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp. paprika

¼ c. fresh parsley, finely chopped

Juice from one lemon

Salt and pepper

Peel and devein the shrimp. Place the shrimp in a glass container, along with the olive oil, garlic, paprika, lemon juice, and parsley.  Allow the shrimp to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

Heat the grill to medium high heat.

Thread the shrimp onto skewers and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are pink and opaque. 

Serve immediately.


Shrimp Ceviche

One of my favorite things on earth is a big bowl of cool, spicy, and refreshing shrimp ceviche, served with tortilla chips or warm tortillas. Ceviche really helps me realize my best beach daydreams, even on the dreariest of days. We haven’t had any of those lately, but you get my point.

The plump sweet shrimp bathing in lime juice and surrounded by an entourage of fresh tomatoes, avocado, shallots, cilantro and serrano peppers is full-stop amazing and 100 percent healthy too. Shrimp ceviche is also insanely easy to make and requires absolutely NO cooking, which is pretty exciting when cooking is the last thing you want to do. 

This shrimp ceviche is great for a healthy lunch, dinner, or as an appetizer for a get-together. If you choose to serve it at a get-together, you better make double because I promise everyone will love it.


1 lb. raw or cooked shrimp – peeled, deveined, tails removed

Juice from 6 limes

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 large avocado, diced

1 large shallot, diced

½ c. cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze the juice from the limes into a large bowl. Roughly chop the shrimp and add it to the bowl of lime juice. 

If you’re using raw shrimp, let it marinade (the acid in the lime juice will “cook” it) for 1-2 hours or until the shrimp is pink. If you’re using cooked shrimp, let it marinade for 15-20 minutes. 

When the shrimp is finished marinating, add all of the other ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Pan Seared Salmon with Creamy Herb Sauce

I have really been enjoying all of the springtime benefits of my garden in the last couple of weeks. After all of the hard work that comes before any harvest at all, it’s finally paying off. To me, there’s nothing more enticing than a plateful of fresh baby veggies and herbs from your own garden. It just makes me feel so Martha-ish . . . sans the perfect hair and makeup. And yeah, the mansion. I don’t have that either.

What I do have is a yard full of beautiful herbs, and the ability to go and buy beautiful salmon, and that is a good thing (wink, wink). This pan seared salmon with creamy herb sauce gives your homegrown herbs the dignity and praise they deserve. The herbs shine in this fresh sauce that features a yogurt base, but doesn’t overpower the salmon. Serve this on top of sauteed spinach or something else perfectly green, and you’ve got a Martha-worthy meal. 



2 wild-caught salmon fillets

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper  


1 c. plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

¼ c. green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper

Pat the salmon fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. 

Mix together all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Cook skin-side up for about 3-4 minutes so that the “presentation side” is pretty. Reduce the heat to medium and carefully flip over the fillets. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through. 

Transfer to plates and serve over a bed of sauteed spinach or your favorite veggies. 

Top with the creamy herb sauce and enjoy immediately.


20-Minute Pan Fried Salmon Patties

Do you ever come home from work and finally get the energy to make dinner, only to realize that there’s pretty much nothing to make except for frozen and pantry stuff? Well, guess what? These absolutely delectable salmon patties can be materialized with mostly readily-available staples from your kitchen. If you can wrangle up an onion, half a bell pepper and a clove of garlic, you’re all set because you probably have everything else you need. 

The best thing about this sanity-saving pantry meal is that these salmon patties are seriously tasty. They’re terrific on a bun with tartar sauce or just all alone with a little extra lemon squeezed on top. Restaurant-worthy food in 20 minutes. You’re winning at life.


15 oz. high-quality canned salmon, drained and flaked

4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

½ green bell pepper, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 c. panko breadcrumbs

2 eggs

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Juice from 1 lemon

2 tsp. paprika

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions and bell pepper until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine salmon, the pepper, onion, garlic mixture, breadcrumbs, mayo, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, paprika, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix together thoroughly (I do this with my hands) and form into patties. If the consistency isn’t quite right, you can add breadcrumbs or mayo. The patties should be formed and hold a shape.

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Add more olive oil if necessary. Set on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb extra oil. Serve on a bun, as an appetizer, or on top of a salad.


Hot Smoked Salmon Salad

If you’re anything like me, you buy some hot smoked salmon and eat it as-is. Maybe you’ll put it on top of a salad or on crackers, but you just eat it – because it’s pretty great all alone. But if you’re looking for something different to do with hot smoked salmon, this salmon salad is absolutely divine and makes an amazing sandwich or dip served with crackers or toast points.  This salmon salad is perfectly chunky and creamy and would be an elegant addition to an appetizer table at a party. 

In this recipe, it’s important to use hot smoked salmon rather than cold smoked salmon because it’s all about the firm mouthfeel and smoky flavor. If you’re not sure, look for the firm fillet of salmon rather than the raw-looking slices of salmon. You can also ask your fishmonger to be sure. 

I used fresh parsley and tarragon in this version, but you could always mix it up with some fresh dill or any other fresh herbs you like.


4 oz. hot smoked salmon, flaked

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

4 c. mayonnaise

Juice from ½ lemon

2 green onions, sliced

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

Red pepper flakes to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir gently to combine. Serve on a sandwich, with crackers, on a salad or all alone.

Fish/Seafood Pasta

Pâtes de Printemps (Springtime Pasta)

If you want to actually taste springtime in the south of France, I suggest you make this delicious French Riviera-inspired pasta dish that includes the most lovely blend of lemon, shrimp, fresh spring herbs, white wine, and of course, butter. 

This version of a pâtes de printemps, or springtime pasta, makes me feel like I’m sitting by the Mediterranean Sea drinking a jewel-tone glass of rosé and eating a truly remarkable meal – all while staring at the perfectly azure water. And let’s not forget that there’s also a perfect breeze blowing through my hair, sun shining on my shoulders, and a waiter that will whisk away all of the dirty dishes. Darn it, fantasy over.


1 lb. pasta 

½ lb. large shrimp

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 large lemons, reserved zest and juice from both separately

½ c. fresh peas, shelled

2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

3 green onions, sliced 

¾ c. dry white wine

¼ c. pasta water, reserved

3 Tbsp. butter, diced

½  c. grated Parmesan 

Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. 

Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the lemon zest and tarragon (but save a little for topping before serving) and cook for one minute. Add the shrimp and cook until cooked through, or about 2-3 minutes. Remove the shrimp and place them on a plate. 

Add the wine, lemon juice, and pasta water to the skillet and stir. Allow it to cook down a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Add the pasta and peas. Then stir and remove from heat. 

Add the butter and Parmesan and mix to combine. Add the shrimp back into the warm pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with parsley, green onions, extra tarragon and lemon zest.


Shrimp and Basil Stir Fry

So many people struggle to use extra basil for anything other than pesto, but one of my very favorite ways to use a big ol’ crop of basil is in a stir fry. I love all basil-centric stir fries that incorporate Thai-inspired ingredients, such as fish sauce, a little spice, garlic and just a touch of sweetness. 

This shrimp and basil stir fry takes about 10 minutes to make and it is absolutely delicious. So if you’re craving take-out Thai but you have these ingredients on hand, you could be eating this yumminess before the delivery driver leaves the restaurant. Plus you don’t have to tip yourself, so you’ll save a few bucks.


1 lb. large shrimp, peeled

2 c. basil leaves

¼ c. green onions

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, finely chopped (omit if you don’t do spicy)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. dark soy sauce

Mix together the peppers, garlic, fish sauce, 2 Tbsp. oil, sugar and dark soy sauce in a bowl. Add the shrimp and marinate for 30 minutes. 

When you’re ready to cook, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Cook the shrimp quickly, about 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through. Add the green onions and basil and stir until basil is wilted. 

Serve immediately with rice, cauliflower rice, or noodles. 


Delicious Garlic Butter Baked Cod

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I eat a lot of fish and the recipe usually involves butter and garlic. That’s because fish, garlic, and butter are the trifecta of greatness. Buttery fish is perfect for a quick weeknight meal because it tastes delicious and pairs well with just about any side dish, from pasta to veggies to well, anything! 

This baked cod is super easy and hands-off, and is ready before you know it. So you could potentially pack all of tomorrow’s lunches, prep all of your side dishes, and set the table just in time for the cod to come out of the oven. How’s that for multi-tasking?


8 oz. cod

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Juice from one lemon

1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 tsp. paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Pat the fish dry and then rub on all sides with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place it in a glass baking dish.

Place the butter and garlic into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the butter is mostly melted, about 30 seconds. Add in the parsley and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture on top of the cod. 

Bake until the fish is cooked through (about 20 minutes), spooning butter over the top occasionally as it bakes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.


Buttery Scallop Tacos

If you have never had the pleasure of eating scallop tacos, you are seriously missing out. In fact, you should probably go out and buy some scallops right now. Most people eat scallops with pasta or on their own, but – news flash – scallop tacos are one of the most insanely amazing things ever to grace your palate. 

If you’re a fan of scallops, you already know that they don’t need much “fixing up” to be one of the most beautiful-tasting foods on earth. All you need is a bit of butter, salt, and pepper, and a few minutes, and you’ve got perfectly tender, sweet scallops. Set those babies on fresh tortillas, and top them with your favorite taco toppings and prepare to enter taco heaven. 


16 large sea scallops, patted dry

2 Tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper

Serve with:

Corn tortillas


Pico de gallo or salsa

Cotija cheese


Green onions, chopped


Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat the butter over high heat in a large skillet until it is melted. Add the scallops, making sure to leave plenty of room between them so that they cook evenly. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes, flip and cook for 2 more minutes. The scallops should be caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside. Be careful not to overcook. 

Serve the scallops with warm tortillas and all of your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy!