Categories
Fish/Seafood

Sesame-Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna

Do you pay loads of money at restaurants for seared ahi? I must admit that I used to make that mistake regularly . . . until I figured out that making it at home is extremely fast, simple, and way less expensive. 

Next time you’re craving seared ahi, just head on over to your local (make sure it’s reputable and the fish is fresh) fish market and pick up a hunk of that beautiful jewel-toned ahi. Go home, get your pan extra hot, and enjoy in less than 10 minutes. You’re welcome.

Ingredients:

Tuna:

2 ahi tuna steaks or 1 lb. ahi

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

3 Tbsp. sesame seeds (white, black, or both)

Salt to taste

Pat the ahi dry and season with salt. Coat all sides with sesame seeds. 

Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Let the oil get hot in the pan for about 2 minutes before adding the tuna. Add the tuna and sear for one minute per side. 

Allow the tuna to rest for 2 minutes or so. Slice into strips. 

Categories
Fish/Seafood

Pan Seared Shrimp with Thai Chili-Basil Sauce

Thai chili and basil: one of the world’s most wonderful flavor combinations. It’s complex, yet simple, and always leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. This beautiful flavor profile tastes like heaven on everything from fish to chicken to meat to veggies. It’s also quick and easy to make!

This pan-seared shrimp with Thai chili-basil sauce is ready in under 10 minutes and tastes like something you’d order for much more money at your favorite Thai restaurant. This shrimp is delicious with noodles, rice, or cauliflower rice; and is ideal for a lightning-fast weeknight dinner that is both super yummy and super healthy. 

Ingredients:

1 lb. wild shrimp, deveined 

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 shrimp 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 shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes, or until they are cooked through and lightly browned. Remove the shrimp 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 shrimp and serve immediately. 

Categories
Fish/Seafood

Harissa Salmon with Cool Yogurt Herb Sauce

Harissa is one of those magical ingredients that makes everything it touches taste fabulous. In case you haven’t had the pleasure of having harissa in your life, I’ll explain a little about what it is. Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste that originated in Tunisia. Harissa is very popular all over the Middle East and is widely used as a condiment served with soups, couscous, fish, meat, veggies, and more. It’s kinda like Tunisian pesto with a kick. 

Speaking of kick, harissa makes an absolutely delicious marinade for all sorts of things, including salmon. This version of harissa salmon sears in the flavor and spice of the harissa, and then balances out that heat with some cool yogurt herb sauce. So divine! Serve this with an herby couscous or a cucumber salad for a super yummy (and quick) dinner. 

Ingredients:

Harissa Salmon

2 fillets of salon, patted dry

2 Tbsp. harissa paste 

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice from 1 lemon 

Salt and pepper

Extra olive oil for cooking, if needed

Cool Yogurt Herb Sauce

½ c. Greek yogurt

Juice from ½ lemon

1 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped

1 tsp. Greek oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Red pepper flakes, if desired

Combine all ingredients for the salmon in a glass dish and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator. 

Combine all ingredients for the yogurt sauce in a small bowl. Chill in the refrigerator while you cook the salmon.

To cook the salmon, heat a skillet over medium high heat until it is very hot. Add a bit of olive oil (1 Tbsp. max) to the skillet if the salmon isn’t oily from the marinade. If it’s still nice and oily, no need to add olive oil to the skillet. Cook the salmon fillets 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. Season the salmon liberally with salt and pepper.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through. 

Serve the salmon with the cool yogurt herb sauce (on top or on the side). Enjoy!

Categories
Fish/Seafood Salads

Healthy Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Tuna salad. Some people hate it, some people love it. It’s a fairly polarizing food, but those of us who like tuna salad REALLY love it. I like old school tuna salad with mayo and dill relish as much as the next tuna salad-loving guy, but during the summer I crave something lighter, healthier, and full of fun ingredients. 

When I want something clean and fresh, my mind almost always turns to Mediterranean ingredients like sundried tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, olives, capers, and fresh herbs. Tuna fits into that ingredient list, but mayo kills the healthy, light vibe. Enter Greek yogurt. If you’ve never made tuna salad with Greek yogurt, try it. It’s every bit as delicious as the mayo version, but so much more nutritious and tangy. And with the combo of fresh and briny Mediterranean add-ins, this may be your new go-to tuna salad. 

Ingredients:

2 5 oz. cans of albacore or skipjack tuna, drained

⅓ c. Greek yogurt

Juice from one lemon

1 Tbsp. capers

1 Tbsp. sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped

¼ c. cucumber, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a sandwich, on top of a salad or with crackers. 

Categories
Fish/Seafood

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. 

Ingredients:

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.

Categories
Fish/Seafood

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. 

Ingredients:

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.

Categories
Fish/Seafood

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.

Ingredients:

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.

Categories
Fish/Seafood

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. 

Ingredients:

Salmon

2 wild-caught salmon fillets

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper  

Sauce:

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.

Categories
Fish/Seafood

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.

Ingredients:

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.

Categories
Fish/Seafood

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.

Ingredients:

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.