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Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

 

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How can I best say “I love you”??

Well in my husbands case, It works very well with just giving him his favorite food.

He is such an easy guy to please. Everybody who knows him knows that lobster does it all the time. But if I want to “umph it up” just a little bit more, I just add some more shellfish or seafood.

And in true style, I made a large (…or rather grand) seafood platter for two.

One doesn’t always have to cook. “Gathering” works just as well. It is just a matter of presentation. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just decorate it a little more than usual. After all, it is all about the thought.

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To make the purple sweet-potato hearts, I used a cookie cutter. I steamed them lightly.

 

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For breakfast we had “the same old same old”. Sandwiches, fresh blueberries and some tea.

I just added some rose-petal hearts and a truffle (raspberry chocolate truffle) to make it a little bit more “festive”.

 

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For the first day of our 2-day celebration, I served little “roses” made of smoked salmon topped with salmon roe (caviar) & potato stacks.

The potato stacks are super easy to make.

Just finely slice some potatoes (I love Idaho). Put them in a bowl. Melt some butter and pour over. Add salt, pepper (or any other spice you like) to taste. Stack them into the “holes” of a muffin pan. Bake in the oven until they are tender (use a toothpick to make sure they are cooked all the way through).

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I hope you are having a very nice Valentines day, and for my dear husband,

Happy Valentines & Happy Wedding anniversary!

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Happy Valentines day!!!

 

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It is August, that means CRAWFISH PARTY!

(Or crayfish as they also are called).

In Sweden, we love our crawfish.

Come August, we are all ready to fight the mosquitoes and sit outside eating crawfish. We would set a rustic table with platters of crawfish, shrimp, sharp cheese pies, hard bread and cheese, beer and lot’s of Vodka. We eat, drink and sing “snaps songs” (drinking songs).

You could just as well have your crawfish party inside. You just need to be  little more careful of not dropping shells on the floor…

Lanterns are hung all over. We also have garlands looking like little crawfish holding hands. It is great. There used to be restrictions of when to start eating them but now you can eat crawfish anytime.

I remember when my father used to catch crawfish.

It was crazy, scary and fun. I used to go with him. He had two different techniques. The easiest would be the common way. One would lay down crawfish cages in the evening. They would have a piece of herring stuck as bait in them. We would go and pick the cages up very early in the morning, around  6 – 7 am. If we were lucky, they would be full of crawfish.

The second and more doubtful version of collecting crawfish would be the crazy way (and I think my dad would be the only one doing it this way).

This version would involve us putting on our bathing suits and going into the lake. My dad and I would lay down in the water and float, using our arms to “walk” on the bottom. We would feel under the stones for crawfish. I would always be scared so I used to poke with a stick. My dad would get mad and say “Stop it, you will hurt them!” “But what about me?” I would answer. The thing is, when the crawfish would pinch your fingers you should just pull them out gently from underneath the stone. It would really hurt… I never liked it. But it was an adventure.

To fish for crawfish this way, there would be a little bit of a logistical obstacle. Where would one but the crawfish??  My brave father solved this in a very clever but  risky way. He would put the crawfish in a plastic bag. SInce his hands were busy “feeling” for more crawfish and “walking” on the bottom of the lake, he would put the plastic bag of crawfish in his trunks. Now that is one brave man!!! And I always said, thank god all 4 of me and my siblings already were “here”…

Anyway, after catching all the crawfish, he would let them loose all over the kitchen floor. All of us kids would escape up on chairs and tables. Scary times and brave parents. What else can I say?

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Västerbottenpaj. ( A sharp cheese pie.)

1 1/2 c. of flour.
1 stick of butter (about 130 gr.)
3 tsp. of cold water.
3 egg.
1 c. heavy cream.
1 c. shredded “Västerbotten” or other sharp cheese, Gruyère for example.
salt

Directions;

Mix butter, flour and water into a dough.

Add the dough to a shallow pie dish, medium size. Start working the dough into the dish.

When dough is well-distributed into the dish, take a fork and make little holes all around the pie shell. Bake it in a 450F (225C) degree oven. for about 10 minutes or until it is just starting to dry up.

Mix the eggs, cream & cheese in a bowl. If needed, add a little salt. Note that the cheeses usually are very salt. Pour into the pre-baked pie-shell. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is starting to turn golden brown on top.

You can eat it like this or decorate it with sour cream and caviar on top. Usually we just eat it plain in thin slices.

Enjoy.

kräftskiva (kraftskiva), or crawfish party is an traditional Swedish festivity. It usually occurs during the late summer in August, during the crawfishing season. The original reason to hold the celebrations in August, is because of the large fishing of crawfish in the late 1900th century. This resulted in a stop for consuming crawfish for the whole year until the crawfish-premiere at the 8th of August. This restriction was lifted in 1994, but the tradition remained and many Swedes still celebrate their kraftskiva around August 8th.In addition to the crawfish many different dishes are served at the ‘crawfish-table’. Much like midsummer, homemade bread, butter and cheese is served. Common is also different pies like cheese-pie, preferably with vasterbotten-cheese. Other dishes served is for instance various pasta-salads, potato-salad, green salad and cold sauces like aioli or Thousand Island Dressing. For dessert, strawberries with whipped cream and / or vanilla ice-cream is common.To drink at the kraftskiva, beer is most common. You will also find the ‘nubbe’, which is schnapps. Preferred kinds are nubbe flavoured with elder, Aquavit and for instance Absolut Vodka. Before each nubbe, everyone attending is supposed to sing a ‘nubbevisa’ which means schnapps-song.If you’d like to try a Swedish kräftskiva or crayfish-party at home, here are some recipes to try. Like midsummer the kräftskiva is held outdoors at a long table or ‘langbord’ to fit in everyone attending at the same table.

Ikea has a huge Crawfish party once a year. It is not really a traditional party but it works. As long as they have the crawfish I am fine. The Swedes sing songs, drink some smuggled wine and snaps and eat lot’s of crawfish.

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Nothing says summer like seafood. It is a little bit of a luxury if you could go to the fisherman and get the fish just a few hours after it was caught. We are lucky here in New York. It is so easy to get hold of fresh seafood here. Either you fish it yourself or you go to any fish market. We have some great grocery stores with fantastic fish departments. There is one in particular that I like. They will steam your lobsters right there. No need to take it home and have a mess in the kitchen. I used to boil my lobsters, then I figured out that steaming them was better. But, now I am smarter. I just have the professionals do it in the store.

I don’t know about you, but I can get these “cravings” for a real luxurious fish platter. My friend Mika and I used to make fish stews and fish soups all the time. The base would always be heavy cream. I don’t do that anymore. I try to just stick to a fantastic broth that has a splash of wine and saffron in it.

Here is a great seafood indulgent;

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Seafood feast in Saffron wine broth.

For this recipe you could use any seafood and shellfish that you prefer.

It feels very luxurious if you use a couple of different kinds. You just need very little of each kind per person.

For 2 people I used;

I Lobster, steamed and into big chunks. Save the claws as decoration on the plates.

A handful of Clams.

A handful of raw Shrimps.

A few Scallops. I used the big ones.

I filet of Arctic Char.

A couple of fresh figs

1 baguette.

2 shallots.

1 tbsp. of butter.

1/2 c. (1 dl) good tasting white wine.

A splash of white Port (optional).

1 pinch (one small package) of Saffron.

A couple of cherry tomatoes. Any color.

1/2 a fresh pepper. Any kind. Thinly sliced.

Dill.

Salt & pepper.

Directions;

Cut the fish filet into 1″ strips (about 3 cm). Fry them in a hot skillet with skin side down first. Just a minute or so on each side (I rather under cook than  over cook fish). Set aside on a plate when done. Fry the scallops at the same time, also just for a few minutes on each side just so that they get a golden brown color.

Chop the shallots finely. Add to the skillet. Fry until translucent. Add the Saffron, salt and pepper. Fry for a couple of minutes. Add the wine (and port wine). If you would like to, you can add more vegetables. Just make sure it is very finely cut into slices (julienne the vegetables).

Add the shrimps & the clams. Let boil for a couple of minutes. If the clams do not open, throw them out. They must be opening up to be ok to eat. When the shrimp is turning pink they are done. Add the lobster meat, the scallops & thinly sliced pepper. When you plate this, add the fish on top. Divide the broth over the seafood. Cut a few slices of the baguette and place on the side of the plates. It is great to dip the bread in the broth.

Add the tomatoes and the figs (cut in halves or quarters). Put a little sprig of dill on top as a decoration.

You can serve a little Aioli to this (garlic mayo).

I really hope you will like this as much as we do.

Enjoy!!!

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Every day can be a fish-eating day in my house.

I try to come up with new versions or combinations of fish dishes. I have always liked to add berries and fruit into a savory meal. One really fantastic fish is Halibut. In this recipe I have played on the blue/purple colors. It is so important to not only make the food taste good you could add a little artistic flair and think of colors.

Maybe I am crazy, but I have notice through the years that I crave or gravitate to food that is bright in colors and is beautiful on the plate. Good looking food makes me happy!  This Halibut is an example of that. I just think that the bright white fish gives room for any other color to accompany it. I love purple potatoes and try to use them for esthetic reasons more than for the taste.

My father and I used to farm at our country house. I went there every weekend. It was such an amazing place. As long as I remember, my father has had a vegetable garden. As expected, he really over did it every year. The neighbours used to laugh at us plowing the potato fields my hand, old style. We had an old wooden plow that one person would pull and the other one would make sure the plow would reach low enough to turn over the dirt. It must have looked like a bad movie when we would get out there. I am note exactly sure, but I think we used to have about 7-9 kinds of potatoes. Really?? One needs that many kinds??? Anyway. It was great and I must admit that if I had a bigger backyard here in Brooklyn, I would most likely grow potatoes!!! There is nothing better than the first sweet “fresh” potatoes!!

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Halibut with Blue potatoes and Blueberry compote.

Serves 4.

4 Halibut steaks. (or 8 smaller ones)(If you can’t find Halibut use any other white fish.)

3-4 small Purple potatoes per person.

Any kind of greens (salad) of your choice. I love a mix of Arugula, Spinach and Romaine.

1 cup of blueberries. Frozen or fresh. It doesn’t matter. I usually use defrosted frozen blueberries. If you like, use more blueberries.

A couple of tbsp of brown sugar or honey. If you can, use less sugar. The berries don’t need much if they are sweet in themselves.

Zest from 1/2 a lime.

1/2 lime, squeezed.

A splash of hot sauce or black pepper. As per your preference.

A couple of sprigs of mint, chopped.

A couple of table spoons of chopped fresh basil. (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste for the fish.

Oil (and butter, optional) for frying.

Directions;

Cut the fish into smaller pieces. It is better to serve two smaller pieces, stacked on top of each other,  than a huge piece that isn’t perfectly cooked.

Clean and dry the fish well. If the fish is dry, you get a better frying surface. I don’t like to bread or dip in flour. I rather just fry it as it is with a little seasoning.

Put all blueberries into a pot. Add lime zest, sugar/honey, mint, pepper (& basil, optional.)

“Melt” or “boil down” the berries. Let them simmer until they become “syrupy”. Make sure to taste it while putting the sweetener in little by little so that you don’t over sweeten them. (You can also add a little sherry or white port into the blueberry compote.)

Salt and pepper the fish. Fry the fish it a medium hot pan. A few minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Plate everything. Squeeze a little lime on top of it all.

I hope you will enjoy this easy and fresh way of cooking Halibut.

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This is my fathers vegetable garden as it is now, at his summer-house. Note that it is for a household of 2!!! AND it is downsized!!!

So there is no big surprise to me or anyone that knows me that I grow stuff any chance I get. It is in my blood you can say. My father and I also have something else in common, we drag up a chair to the little plants and sit and watch them grow.

Now this is happiness and “life on a stick”.

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