I’ve always had a curiosity about this thing called Leeks, which I’ve been told are a member of the onion family, but without the overwhelming scent and a sweeter taste. I see them in the market, but have never been sure how to use them.
Finally one day as I planned to cook a nice fillet of Salmon, I decided to try. I’m not big on salmon, but I keep trying it and I thought what’s the worst that could happen? I’d have to cook something else for dinner.
Depending on size of salmon fillets it serves four to six 2 to 4 pound fillet of salmon
2 medium-sized leeks
2 tablespoons of water
3 dashes of garlic salt
2 teaspoons of finely shredded lemon zest
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of fresh chopped dill (dried also works)
1/2 teaspoon of black ground pepper
Lemon wedges and fresh or dried dill for garnish
Use only the white part of the leeks near the base. They must be thoroughly washed clean of dirt and sand with cold running water. Chop off the upper green portions of the leeks, which can be used for other dishes. Slice the leeks in half down the center, and rinse again to remove more excess dirt and sand, being careful to get in between the leaves. Drain and pat dry on paper towels, and then cut into thin quarter-inch slices. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cover a large enough oven pan with aluminum foil. This depends on the size of the salmon fillet. In a small bowl combine the water, olive oil, garlic salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and ground pepper. Place the salmon fillet in the oven pan, and top them with the ingredients in the bowl along with the freshly sliced leeks.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of the fillets. Remove the leeks from the top of the salmon. Then put leeks on a plate and place the salmon on top. Pour the juices from the pan over the salmon and serve.
People often say they are afraid of cooking blackened fish, especially because of the smoke factor. Blackened fish is easy and if you’re afraid of the smoke and smoke alarm cook it outside on the grille. You are going to get some smoke but it’s so worth it.
There are plenty of great Blackened Seasonings and I have tried lots of them, but I get some satisfaction in making my own blend. Old Bay seasonings are a great starter seasoning for veggies, potatoes, fish, shellfish, and poultry and I like it mixed in mine. If you have not tried it or your grocery does not carry it you can order it on.
You can use fillets of redfish, pompano, red snapper, grouper or salmon steaks.
1 tablespoons smoked ground paprika
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
¾ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon light salt
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Give your fish a heavy coating and place in a very “HOT” pan with a little olive oil. Do not use your best cookware when blackening food. I use an old cast iron skillet that works great.
When it really starts smoking and you see the color of the fish cooked about half way through; it’s time to flip it over. Serve it with a little lemon and some Zatarain’s Dirty Rice.
Tasty Crab & Parmesan Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms make a great appetizer or side dish for a seafood entree.
1 pound large mushrooms
6 tbsp. butter
3 green onions, minced
3 to 4 tbsp. minced red bell pepper
4 ounces crab meat
1 cup fresh fine bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Wash and trim the end of stems from mushrooms. Pop remaining stem out. Chop stems and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; brush over mushrooms. Get an 8 inch baking dish or one that will hold all the mushrooms in one layer and spray it with butter-flavored spray or grease with.
Melt remaining butter in skillet; add reserved chopped stems, minced green onions and red bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. Combine cooked ingredients with bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, crab meat, and seasonings. Fill each mushroom, piling up. Sprinkle each mushroom with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, until hot and mushroom caps are tender.
The first thing you’ll need to make this a successful dish is a dinner guest who’s not afraid to tear claw from carapace and suck the sweet meat from the shell. Serves two.
One dozen fresh clams
6 large blue crabs
6 large shrimp
2 ears of sweet corn, trimmed and cut in half
4 small potatoes, cut in half diagonally
2 tbs. Old Bay or Zatarin’s seafood seasoning
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 dash of Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce
Juice of one lemon
Lemon wedges for garnish
1 tbs. salt
Start with the Clams
Start with a large stock pot, add the rosemary, thyme, garlic, hot sauce and sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and clams and steam with the lid on until the clams just open, about 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and clarified rosemary butter.
The Main Course
Fill the pot about half way with cool well water, add 2 tbs. Old Bay or Zatarin’s seafood seasoning and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, the corn and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the corn and check the potatoes. They may need a minute or two more.
Carefully grab the live crabs and bring them to a swift end by submerging them in boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes and remove immediately. Toss the shrimp and the par boiled corn in the pot and boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
Season the crabs with more Old Bay and arrange whole lot on the pretty pink newsprint. Garnish with parsley and serve with clarified rosemary butter and buttered Cuban bread.
I haven’t a clue where it really originated. But I do know that it is only found here in Florida and is very popular with the Spanish community. When growing up we used to have a great time catching blue crabs in Tampa Bay; either using a net to scoop them up as we waded the shallow grass flats or using a string and some chicken necks, in back-country creeks to bring them close to shore and net them. My Aunt Eleanor’s recipe was the best ever but seems to have been lost after her passing. However, I got this one from my cousin Bill who besides being our family archivist is one the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
It’s great for family outings but Beware!!!! This is a very messy dish when served with crabs. We take this outside on a newspaper covered picnic tables. Then you can really dive into this wonderful meal. You’ll need nut crackers, butter knives, an old shirt and clean hands to start.
24 large cleaned blue crabs
2 pounds of fresh crabmeat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans (48 ounces) tomatoes with puree
1 can tomato paste
1 tablespoon Tabasco/Crystal hot sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (or Zatarain’s Crab boil seasoning)
Salt & pepper to taste
2-3 pounds spaghetti, cooked and drained
Bring an extra large pot ¾’s full of water to a boil, add 3 tablespoons of Old Bay Crab Boil or Zatarain’s Crab Boil and plunge crabs into water cooking until they pink. Then place in cold water until cooled. Remove the back, and clean out the crab making certain to remove the finger looking things which are the lungs. With a mallet crack the claws. Break the body into two pieces leaving the legs attached to each half. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a large stainless steel stock pot (not aluminum), heat olive oil, sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic until tender. Add 2 can of tomatoes with puree, add 1 can of tomato paste, and add hot sauce, sugar, bay leaves, salt/pepper, oregano, and Old Bay seasoning.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 2 hours. Cook the day before, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to serve heat the sauce and add blue crabs to sauce 30 minutes before serving time.
Serve over cooked spaghetti with lot’s of hot buttered Cuban bread.
Note: In the absence of self-rising flour, you can add 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt for every cup of flour. Just measure the baking powder and the salt in the bottom of the measuring cup, and spoon flour over it until you get one cup.
Preheat the oven to 425. Pour a thin layer of oil into an 8- or 9-inch cake pan (or you can get traditional and use a nice big cast iron skillet). Place pan into preheating oven so oil (I’ve tried butter and it was great… but don’t let it burn) will be hot when you’re ready to pour in the batter.
Measure flour into mixing bowl and cut in shortening with pastry cutter or a fork until it’s the consistency of crumbs. Stir in milk. It should be a nice wet biscuit-like batter. If it’s too dry, add up to 1/4 cup more milk.
Remove pan or skillet from oven and pour in the batter. It should sizzle because the oil or butter is nice and hot. Spread the batter in evenly, and return to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven. Invert hoe cake onto a plate. The bottom is now the top and should be deliciously golden and crispy.
Serve with any meal with or without extra butter. It’s also great as breakfast bread served with eggs, grits, bacon or sausage and your favorite jam. You’ll absolutely love this dish… its light and fluffy like a biscuit, with a crispy bottom, top and sides.
Remove remaining shell or cartilage from oysters and crab and set aside. Cook onion, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Add salt, sugar, peppers, okra and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add oysters, shrimp, fish, calamari and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Add crab and heat thoroughly. Serve over rice.
Ingredients: 4 pounds of Cobia 2 pounds of Blue Crab Claw Meat
1 cup of Flour ¼ cup virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic 2 sweet onions
1 green bell pepper 1 yellow bell pepper
1 bay leaf 1 lemon
2 15 oz. can of diced tomato’s 2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of tomato’s & green chilies 1 small can tomato paste
Dash of lemon pepper, basil, parsley, cayenne, salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove bloodlines and red meat from the fish, use white meat only. In a large pan, heat olive oil, add flour and brown lightly. Crush garlic, cut the onion and bell peppers into medium pieces and saute for one to two minutes. Add the cans tomato, tomato sauce and chilies and simmer for 5 minutes adding and mixing the bay leaf, basil, lemon pepper, parsley, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. In large baking pan, coat the bottom with butter and add the fish, top with the sauce. Now add the crab meat pushing it lightly about ½ below the sauce. Place 4-5 lemon slices on top of the fish and bake covered for approximately 2 hours at 325 degrees. Serve over a bed of yellow rice.
Capt. Woody’s Hot Crab Blue Cheese and Artichoke Dip
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 lb artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
2 lb fresh lump crab
3 ounces blue cheese, finely crumbled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan on low heat cook cream cheese until creamy. Remove from heat and stir in artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, egg, crab meat and blue cheese. Pour into oven proof baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with water crackers.