Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Salmon Patties with Lemon-Thyme Cream on Wilted Swiss Chard

I recently got in on a bulk wild salmon purchase from Lummi Island which included some ground salmon. (You even got a free hat with purchase. Gotta love the freebies.)

On nights that I have classes at the gym I need something quick AND I’m a sucker for anything fried in butter, so tonight I tried my hand at some salmon burgers – turned out delicious!

KKF Salmon Patties with Lemon-Thyme Cream

1 lb. ground salmon

2 eggs

1 T Old Bay seasoning

2-3 T butter

For the cream:

1/2 c sour cream

1/2 T lemon juice

1/2 t lemon zest

6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme

Mix together the ingredients for the cream and set aside. Mix up the ground salmon, Old Bay, and eggs. Melt butter in a cast iron frying pan. Shape salmon into balls (as many or few as you’d like, I made 6). They will be loose and not really hold their shape at this point. When the butter is melted and hot, place the salmon balls in the pan and press down lightly to form patties. Flip after a few minutes of frying. When patties feel firm, they are done. Serve hot with lemon thyme cream.

Hint: if you used unsalted butter, you may want to add 1/4 tsp or so of salt to your salmon mix, or try adding it to the cream.

This was VERY fast. I got home from yoga, made this and wilted some swiss chard in bacon fat (heck yeah) and was done eating within an hour. Easy and delish, as a KKF fast food should be!

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Shrimp and Crab Bisque. And what's that fermenting in the background? Hmmm....

I love soup. Any kind of soup. If I can eat it with a spoon, it must be good. One of my all-time favorites is lobster bisque, which I have not yet attempted at home. I’m a bit scared of spoiling all my wonderful lobster bisque memories by butchering it. Shrimp, on the other hand, I’m willing to attempt unsupervised. My Food Lover’s Companion
tells me that a bisque is a thick, rich soup usually consisting of pureed seafood and cream. Here’s a super fast recipe for shrimp and crab bisque that I adapted from this recipe from Allrecipes.com. Since the seafood is not pureed it might not technically be a bisque, but who cares. It’s delicious and perfect for a tired winter weeknight.

KKF Quick Shrimp & Crab Bisque

2-3 T butter (3 if you like your bisque thicker)

2-3 T AP flour or arrowroot flour (same amount of butter that you use)

1/2 t salt

1/4 t white pepper

1 1/2 c half-and-half (in a pinch I’ve used 3/4 c heavy cream and 3/4 c water when I was out of half-and-half)

1 6 oz. can of crab meat (I use Crown Prince Fancy White-Lump Crab)

2 4 oz. cans of shrimp (I use Wild Planet Wild Pink Shrimp)

1/2 c white wine (I use a chardonnay for this recipe)

Old Bay seasoning to taste

It’s too easy: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour, salt, pepper. Slowly whisk in the wine followed by the half and half, making sure to get in the corners of your saucepan and get all the roux absorbed. Drain and stir in the shrimp and crab. Heat through. Stir in some Old Bay seasoning. Taste. Add more if you want. Eat.

Gratuitous bisque close-up.

This bisque is super delicious and faster than ordering MSG laden Chinese take-out. Keep some of this handy canned seafood on hand for your emergency food storage AND emergency dinner supply. I have not yet tried this with canned salmon, but I’ll bet it would work just fine. Maybe some day I’ll be brazen (or foolish) enough to try a lobster bisque…

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Pickled shrimp: sounds scarier than it really is.

My pickle frenzy resulted in a large variety of pickled items in my fridge. They are kind of taking over. So far I’ve pickled asparagus, butternut squash and pumpkin, shrimp, beets, mushrooms, broccoli, apples and onions. Yes, I pickled shrimp. The recipe calls for white peppercorns but I didn’t have any so I used black…I can see why she said to use white peppercorns. The black ones kind of look like…eyes…

Anyway, here are my findings:

Apple and Onion: I made this one too early. This really needs to go with Thanksgiving dinner. The cinnamon mixed with the vinegar is fun and suprising. I could totally see this going with any kind of a roast.

Asparagus: kind of disappointed in this one. I was hoping that it would be more like the dilled green beans. But it’s not. Somewhat blah. If I preserve asparagus again, it will be a straight up canning job.

Pickle buffet: broccoli in the ramekin and mushrooms in the jar. Shrimp, asparagus and butternut squash on the plate.

Beets: as I mentioned before, I really liked these ones. The Morrocan-style spices really make it interesting. Strong, though. You can’t just sit and munch mindlessly. Not that I ever do that.

Broccoli: this one is pretty good. Refreshing, a nice addition to a salad or a rich main course where the fat needs to be cut a little bit. I like it.

Butternut squash and pumpkin: Not bad on this one. Definately a better use than throwing out the pumpkin, which is what would have happened to it otherwise. Even test subject Bill liked this one. Sweet and sour…I should try it on ice cream. Wait a minute. Pickles and ice cream….NOOOOOO!

Mushrooms: these are very good – I would put these on a small plates buffet. Along side cheese and olives and crusty bread…oh yeah.

Apple and onion pickle. Looks rather refined, doesn't it?

Shrimp: they were not as creepy as I was thinking they would be. These could be little snackies to go along with the mushrooms in the above scenario. They actually kind of taste like the cooked shrimp they use at the sushi bar. Not creepy or freaky at all, even though it is pickled seafood. Rather messy to eat though.

All of these pickles were vinegar-based pickles. However, thanks to my successful kimchi experience I’ve been playing around with fermentation. Look for an upcoming post on dill pickles and sauerkraut. I have been absolutely devouring Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. Wow! The world of microorganisms…who knew! And with the recent addition of a Gairtopf fermentation crock I’ll be a level 7 food freak in no time at all.

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When it comes to canned fish, I’m picky. There’s only one brand of canned tuna that I like (Bumble Bee). I recently ate a higher-quality sardine and it was acceptable. Recently I discovered this canned salmon at Costco that is actually quite good. I was really suprised at how good it is and therefore wanted to find new ways to use it other than in pasta salad or mixed with mayo (tuna salad-esque). I found this recipe calling for canned salmon and decided to give it a shot.

The recipe itself is so simple it’s ridiculous. Fish, breadcrumbs, an egg and some onion. I added some Old Bay seasoning half way through actually making the cakes and I think I like it better with the little added kick. A reviewer on the Allrecipes site said they had made a sauce out of sour cream, lemon juice and dill. Since these are all my favorites, I was in. I threw it together, made some patties and threw them in the frying pan.

I discovered that salmon patties such as these probably need two eggs instead of one. They didn’t want to hold together very well. Also, patties formed on the curve of your hand that already don’t want to stick REALLY don’t want to stay in one piece once they hit a flat pan. So I started forming the patties against the flat surface of a plate and that seemed to help somewhat.

Salmon Patty

Salmon Patty

I did get one patty to come out really nice. The sour cream sauce was THE BOMB on these. Totally made them. So, is it Irish? Doubtful, but since the holiday’s coming up and I made PATTIES and there was some green (dill!), that was good enough for me. Cheers!

As a side note, I also created home made pickled ginger yesterday. More on this later.

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Stuff it

First of all, happy new year from the kung fu kitchen! Hope it’s filled with good eats, peace and happiness!

My first blog of 2009 revolves around stuffing it. In this case, I’ve roasted and stuffed some beautiful shrimp stuffed poblanos. This was the first time I roasted peppers at home. Or anywhere else for that matter. I was a little intimidated, although with a few successes under my belt I was feeling confident. So I cranked up the broiler and went to town.

It took a little bit longer than the recipe stated to broil, and they didn’t get all black like I expected but they looked done enough so I quit turning them and pulled them out to steam. When it was time to peel, I was amazed. The skin just came right off in my fingers. The seeds within were another matter. When I tried to grab them they went everywhere, including other places inside the pepper. So I didn’t quite get all of them but I wasn’t worried. Poblanos aren’t that hot…right?

Shrimp Stuffed Poblanos

Shrimp Stuffed Poblanos

When it came to the creamy shrimp stuffing, I had my sour cream and cilantro all ready. I chopped the green onions and kept them to the side (Bill’s not a fan) then turned to the salsa portion. I had a jug of salsa I picked up at Costco that I was going to use. I pulled it out of the pantry and realized that it said PLEASE REFRIGERATE. Oh, crap. It had been in the pantry for at least a week. I didn’t think it was worth risking food poisoning for jarred salsa, so I improved with a can of Rotel and a can of regular diced tomatoes. It seemed to work out. I tossed in my shrimp, mixed and stuffed. They turned out rather pretty, I think, and not to shabby for a first try.

Stuffed Poblanos with Spicy Black Beans

Stuffed Poblanos with Spicy Black Beans

I served them up with a side of my own special spicy black beans (can of black beans and some chipotle Tobasco), topped with the green onions and some fresh cilantro and it was rather attractive on the plate.

Test subject Bill approved until he came across some of the random seeds that had escaped eviction from the pepper. Then it got a little hot. Then a lot hot. Then I realized my fingers were burning from removing the charred pepper skins. Ok, so maybe I wrong about the heat level. Maybe I just got an extra hot batch of poblanos. But next time I’ll wear gloves and make sure I get ALL the seeds outta there.

Speaking of next time…these were very tasty and had nice presentation. I think with a little tweaking this would be a fantastic dinner party dish. Next time I’ll make sure I actually have salsa (preferably my homemade, mmmm), drain the salsa a bit (it got a little watery), chop up the shrimp a little finer and add some cheese to the stuffing so it holds together better. Also, after stuffing them they go back under the broiler, but mine were toasty on top and lukewarm in the middle after the cooking time recommended in the recipe so I think I’ll go cooler and slower for that part of it. Pretty soon I may have a specialty. Weee!

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