Tag Archives: Fish / Seafood

Smoked Salmon “Bennies”

I love brunch, and always have.  Why?…I don’t quite know. Maybe it’s just relaxing and savouring my morning coffee, instead of chugging it down while I reply to the next “OMGosh-Urgent” email during the work-week.  Maybe it’s that I have an excuse to make something a little more gourmet on weekends, when I know CH will be home and his meal won’t go in the fridge.  Whatever it is, I love brunch and this recipe explifies why.

I love smoke salmon, and again, hailing from BC we’d have it quite often.  I remember in my elementary school days, my Mom would pack my lunch for me and I loved the days when it included a bagel with the smoked salmon cream cheese. Yumm!  I also love candied salmon, but that’s a whole other story for another day (and perhaps another recipe to try at home!).

On a whim (well, it was an inspired whim, which you will see soon!), I picked-up some from smoked salmon from the market.  CH and I enjoyed half of it on Friday night and then on Saturday we had two beautiful pieces leftover.  I was considering just toasting up an English muffin and serving it with cream cheese , but then (as per above) I was inspired by the time I had available.  I decided to poach some eggs (a skill I have yet to perfectly master), and combine in with CH’s favourite green – arugula – and this is how the dish was born.  I topped it with some fried capers, which added a nice crispy texture and a touch of saltiness.

I put “bennies” in quotes because it technically isn’t one without the hollandaise – but to be honest, this dish didn’t need it.  With the richness and creaminess from the egg yolk and cheese, it’s a perfectly balanced dish (but if you love hollandaise, feel free to add it – Pioneer Women has a great recipe that makes it fairly easy to prepare at home).  Either way, it’s gourmet and delicious.

I may have to buy smoked salmon more often as this dish was definitely well received in our house.

Enjoy!

Smoked Salmon “Bennies”

Yield:  2 servings (2 eggs benny each)
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs (to be poached or fried)
  • 2 English muffins, split & toasted
  • 4 generous tablespoons of cream cheese (or 3 TBSP of goat cheese with 1 TBSP plain yogurt – our favourite), divided among the 4 halves
  • 4 small handfuls of arugula
  • 2 slices of smoke salmon (approximately 50 grams), cut in half (4 pieces)
  • handful of fried capers (recipe below)

Directions:

Follow Smitten Kitchens directions on how to poach eggs (she writes it much clearer than I ever could).  Link is HERE. 

You can also fry your eggs, by heating cooking spray or oil over medium-high heat and cook the eggs sunny side up, until the yolk is at your preferred doneness.

While you are poaching your eggs, toast your English muffins either under the broiler or in a toaster.  When they are ready, spread your cream cheese (or goat cheese) on top.

When you are ready, assemble by placing the arugula on-top of the cheese, next the smoke salmon and then the eggs and capers. Season with S&P and enjoy.

Enjoy with your morning coffee or a fun mimosa!

A JBean Cuisine original recipe (inspired by many restaurant brunch visits!)

Fried Capers

  • 4 TBSP of capers (from a jar)
  • 4 TBSP olive oil

Remove capers from the jar and place on paper towels.  Dab gently to remove all of the excess moisture.

In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  When it’s almost at the smoking point (be careful & watch it closely), add the capers and fry until crisp and slightly golden brown.

Remove the capers from the pan and place on a clean piece of paper towel to drain off excess oil.  Allow to cool slightly and then serve with your favourite dish – such as above.

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Healthy, Mains

Shrimp Stuffed Shells

My oh my – Cooking Light is two for two in my books so far.  I warned you guys that I was really impressed by the magazine, and it only took me a few days to whip-up another recipe that went straight to the front of the “must-blog” list – it was truly that delicious.

I have had these jumbo pasta shells in my cupboard since last year…I always wanted to make stuffed shells, but we aren’t the biggest pasta fans (read: I am not and I’ve gotten CH on board with spaghetti squash as a replacement!) so something always trumped one of the recipes I came across for stuffed shells…until this one.

This recipe was truly one of the most delicious pasta dishes I’ve made and I love that it has shrimp.  The creamy texture of the filling is also very welcomed in my books.  But the best part of this recipe is that it is”light” especially when it comes to baked pasta dishes.  Another slam-dunk for CL. CH and my friend who was my recipe tester (thanks CA!) both couldn’t believe how delicious this dish was, especially given it’s very friendly calorie count (see below!).

It is definitely a make-again, and leftovers were well received too (it reheated beautifully for a pasta dish).

If you like shrimp, creamy filled, baked pasta with a beautiful tomato sauce, definitely give this one a try.

Enjoy!

Shrimp-Stuffed Shells

Yield:  5 servings (4 shells each)
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  30-35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells (about 8 ounces)
  • 1.5 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, or 4 shallots, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, grated or minced finely
  • 0.5 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 0.25 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (I used homemade), divided
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Cook the pasta shells for 7 minutes or until almost al dente.  Do not add any salt or oil to the water. Drain well and set-aside.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add the onion or shallots to the pan and saute for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for an additional minute.

Add the cream cheese, milk, and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook until cream cheese melts, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Set-aside for a few minutes.

Once shrimp have been de-veined, peeled and coarsely chopped, be sure to dry them off with paper towel. Place shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle with the corn starch – toss well to coat evenly. Add the shrimp to the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.

Coat a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread 1 cup marinara over bottom of dish and arrange empty shells in the pan (makes clean-up a little easier to do it this way!).

Divide shrimp mixture evenly among pasta shells – about a tablespoon in each shell. Once all of the shells are filled, top them evenly with the remaining 2 cups of marinara sauce. Sprinkle shells evenly with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and cover with tinfoil.

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, remove tinfoil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until shrimp are done (they will be opaque).

Enjoy.

Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Nutritional Information:

Amount per serving (4 stuffed shells)

  • Calories: 496
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 6.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 31.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 85.6g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Cholesterol: 163mg
  • Iron: 4.1mg
  • Sodium: 575mg
  • Calcium: 208mg

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Italian, Mains

Seafood Cioppino

I don’t know about you, but I over indulged a little during the holidays.  It’s too hard to pass up home baked goodies, drinks with friends, Mom’s cooking and going out to our favourite restaurants while we were back in Vancouver (can you say White Spot?!).  Anyways, after having a few salads to get back on track, I picked-up Cooking Light magazine at the airport as my in-flight read. I was extremely impressed by the quality of the magazine and had quickly bookmarked many of their recipes as “must-make” – this being one of them.

CH and I decided to celebrate NYD by having dinner just the two of us.  It was a great way to kick-off the year, chat about what we want to achieve in 2012 and just start the year with some ‘us’ time, which doesn’t happen all that often these days.  In order to celebrate the New Year, I knew I wanted to cook something special, yet light and satisfying.  Enter seafood. Being from the West Coast, we are picky when it comes to selecting seafood, but with the St. Lawrence Market across the street, we have plenty of amazing fish mongers available, although given the prices of seafood in Toronto, having these items is definitely a treat.

This recipe was flavourful, balanced, soothing, and just downright delicious.  CH raved about how good all of the seafood was, and many “yumms” came from me as well – it was the perfect dish to welcome 2012.  Feel free to switch-up the seafood below for your favourites, or for what’s available near you.  I always try to buy “wild” or “line-caught” items in order to support the fisheries, and I definitely try to buy according to what’s sustainable – check out this website for more information:  Ocean Wise

This was definitely a great recipe and one that will (hopefully!) appear on our table again in the future.

Enjoy!

Seafood Cioppino

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups)
Prep Time: 
15 minutes
Cook Time:
40 minutes

Ingredients

Broth:

  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated/minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or other)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth), divided into 1/2 cups, per below
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (35-ounce) can whole tomatoes with basil, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped

Seafood:

  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (10-ounce) Pacific Halibut filet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 sea scallops (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 medium peeled and deveined shrimp (about 5 ounces)
  • 12 clams (Manila, littleneck or longneck), cleaned and scrubbed

Garnish:

  • 2 TBSP chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 TBSP  fresh lemon juice
  • S&P
  • Baguette or other bread of choice

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and swirl to coat.

Add onion to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Stir-in the garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

De-glaze the pan with the wine and stir. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, all of the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and diced tomatoes to the pot and stir well.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the halibut and scallops generously with black pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat.

Place the halibut and scallops in the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan and set-aside.  De-glaze the pan with the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock, scrape up any brown pieces and add the mixture to the pot of simmering broth mixture.

Place the halibut, scallops, shrimp, and clams into the broth mixture, ensuring the clams are entirely covered with broth. Cover and cook for 8 or so minutes or until clams open.  Be sure to discard any unopened clams.

Stir in parsley and lemon juice, taste the broth and add S&P according to your desire.

Serve with a toasted baguette or bread of your choice.

Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted From Cooking Light Magazine, January 2012

And because Cooking Light is amazing, here are the nutritional details:

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving (recipe contains approximately 4 servings)

  • Calories: 319
  • Fat: 8.8g
  • Saturated fat: 1.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 33.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 13.9g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Cholesterol: 103mg
  • Iron: 6.5mg
  • Sodium: 596mg
  • Calcium: 109mg

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Filed under Appetizers, French, Healthy, Italian, Mains, Side Dishes, Soups & Stews