Monday, June 6, 2011

Bring out the best in frozen seafood.

On Jan 29, 2011, I wrote about how getting fresh fish in a landlocked state forced one to be creative with frozen fish. It's not just about how to cook the seafood itself, but what can be served as a side.  Most folks, even restaurants, go the easiest route and serve a steamed to death vegetable medley.  Personally, I rather have just the seafood and a good salad as a side dish; limp, overcooked veggies just don't have a big appeal for me.

Oh, but that's just too easy; and I have always wanted to attempt an Italian dish called Carbonara which basically consists of bacon (or pancetta is you can find it), eggs, butter and cheeses.  What, no sauce!?!  Hey, it's got bacon in it; and everything tastes good with bacon.

I happen to have some frozen scallops and salmon in the freezer, so defrosted them; gave them a good sear and served the Carbonara on the was so good!  Not complicated and comforting; just like it should be.  Enjoy!

Pasta Carbonara

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped pancetta (if not available, use unflavored smoked bacon)
1 lb strand pasta (fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti)
3 large eggs
¼ cup each grated Pecorino Romano and shredded Parmesan cheese
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp each salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbsp diced fresh parsley
In a large skillet, medium heat, melt butter; add in pancetta (bacon) and cook till crisp.  At the same time, cook pasta according to package direction, but until just under al dente.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, cheeses, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Drain pasta and add to skillet; reduce heat to low.  Add in mixture from small bowl and mix thoroughly with pasta and the bacon; let cook for 7 minutes to make sure all is heated through.
Serve with sprinkled parsley over top.
Makes 4 servings.

Seared Salmon and Scallops

4 – ¼ lb salmon filets (skin and pin bones removed)
12 large scallops
1 Tbsp each sea salt, ground black pepper and paprika mixed together
4 Tbsp olive oil (Option – substitute bacon fat instead of oil)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
Season the salmon and scallops with the seasoning mixture.
In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat; place in salmon and cook each side for 4 minutes.  Remove to plate.  Next, cook scallops in same skillet; 2 minutes per side; remove.
Add lemon juice to skillet, mix with oil and scrape up any bits stuck to pan.  Pour liquid over the salmon and scallops.
Makes 4 servings of each seafood.

Mary Cokenour