Friday, April 27, 2012

Some Real Fishy Dinners

Still Cloudy in San Diego

This week has been a whirlwind of appointments and meetings, and so dinners have had to be quick, and satisfying.  Yesterday I had some imported porcini mushroom ravioli that I'd picked up at Mona Lisa, some shrimp from the freezer, and home made pesto that I'd made over the weekend.  Put them all together and we had a delicious dinner!  

Pesto Scampi
Serves 4

One 8-ounce package fresh pasta (linguine or fettucine work here, as well as ravioli) cooked al dente
1/3 cup fresh basil pesto
16 jumbo shrimp (you can certainly add a few more if you like)
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (optional) for garnish

In a skillet, heat the pesto over medium heat, and add the shrimp, turning the shrimp until they turn pink.  

Add the cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  

Add the pasta to the skillet, and turn the pasta in the sauce, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. 

 Serve the pasta garnished with cheese if desired.

Cook's Note: Italians do not serve cheese over seafood pastas, but I think that the cheese gives the dish a bit of a lift.    

Beautiful sunsets

Tonight I had some gorgeous wild Alaskan halibut from Pt.Loma Seafoods.  I made my signature 10 minute fish, baked with crispy crumbs, in a garlic, oil and lemon sauce. This is a simple, delicious way to serve fish to your family, and it only takes 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  

Ten Minute Fish
Serves 4

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/3 pound thick fleshed fish (halibut, cod, salmon, sea bass)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
3 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the butter, oil, garlic, Old Bay and lemon juice.   Pour 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish, and reserve the rest.  
Lay the fish into the pan, and drizzle another tablespoon or two of the butter mixture over the fish.  In a bowl, toss together the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley and basil.  Press the mixture onto the fish and drizzle with the remaining garlic butter mixture.  Bake the fish for 10 to 12 minutes, until the center registers 165 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer.  Allow the fish to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into portions and serving with lemon wedges. 

Halibut is a great fish to try for a first timer; it tastes like chicken---no kidding!  The rule of thumb for cooking fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish.  The only exception to that rule is sea bass with a different protein structure---it will cook twice as long, and not dry out.  

   As we enter the weekend, I hope you enjoy every minute.  I'll see you back here next week, until then buona notte from San Diego.

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