Seared Scallops with Cheesy Rice

I love a good scallop.  They are very easy to make and can be cooked to perfection in minutes.  I always feel like no matter what you make with scallops the dish automatically looks fancier.  Maybe that’s just me, lol!

This dish I put together rather quickly.  Don’t judge, this dish was made with minute rice. Yes, minute rice.  I know. I should just make regular rice, but it’s what I had on had and it’s always good to be able to take something you have on hand and make a delicious dish.  Especially with this pandemic going on right now, we need to use what we can find and what we have.

Regardless, this dish is still delicious and probably one of my favorite scallops dishes.  Can’t ask for anything easier.

Seared Scallops with Cheesy Rice

Ingredients:
12 Sea scallops, rinsed
2 cups rice, cooked (under cook by a few minutes)
1/4 cup and 2 T heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, grated
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t salt (more to taste)
2 t pepper (more to taste)
3 T olive oil

Directions: Add cooked rice to a small soup pot.  Add in the heavy cream, garlic and cheese and seasoning and mix well.  Cook on low heat 5-6 minutes.

Heat a medium sauté pan on high heat.  Completely try the scallops so they can form a nice crust.  Season the scallops with salt and pepper on both sides. Once the pan is hot add in the oil and let heat 2-3 minutes.  You want the pan to be very hot so you can get a nice sear on the scallops.

Add the scallops to the pan and cook 3 minutes and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Once done, remove from pan and serve immediately.  I served over the cheesy rice.  Yum!
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Cauliflower Rice Shrimp Bowl

I love having a simple go to meal that you can truly make in no time.  After long days working or as of late with this virus, so many parents are at home home schooling kids and working and just trying to keep their sanity.

Having a easy healthy meal is important.  This dish can literally be put together in less than 15 minutes.  This is a perfect meal for a meal prep. Easy to make and full of nutrients and flavor.  Take a look.

Cauliflower Rice Shrimp Bowl

Ingredients:

12-14 shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2-3 cups cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen)
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large red pepper, diced
1/2 large yellow pepper, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
2 t chili powder
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
3 t salt
3 t pepper

Directions: Heat a medium saute pan on high heat.  Rinse shrimp and lay out on paper towel and pat dry. (This will help get a nice golden exterior) Season the shrimp with with 2 t chili powder, 1 t onion powder, 1 t of garlic powder, 1 t of salt and 1 t of pepper.  Mix with hands to coat. Set aside.  Heat 1 T of olive oil in pan. Let heat 2-3 minutes.  Add in the shrimp and cook. Cook 2-3 minutes and flip.  (Note: Cook time depends on the temperature of pan and how many shrimp you have in it)

The shrimp are cooked when they are pink and the flesh is slightly opaque. Once cooked, set aside.

Add remaining olive oil to that same pan.  Let heat 2-3 minutes.  Add in garlic, diced peppers and onions and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly tender.  Add in the cauliflower rice and cook another 3-4 minutes. (Cook 7-8 minutes if using fresh vs frozen cauliflower rice) Season with remaining seasoning.

Once rice is finished add to a bowl and top with shrimp. Serve and enjoy!

Note: This can easily be made with any veggies you have on hand.  If you’d rather use 2 pans to make this dish, you would need to make at the same time. I just try to make it simple and have easy clean up.

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Seafood Medley in a Garlic Cream Sauce

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had an amazing week.  In honor of lent I wanted to share with you this seafood medley dish,  Even if you don’t partake in lent this is a wonderful meatless dish. It’s full of deliciousness.  It can be customized to your personal preferences.  If you don’t like one of the seafood in the list of ingredients below feel free to exchange out with something else, omit it all together or just double up on the ones you like.

Don’t let the words “Cream Sauce” deter you. This isn’t an ultra rich sauce. It’s actually very light. There isn’t too much cream in this dish.  If you are following keto, low carb or just trying to be healthier see the Chef Notes for more information.

This dish seems a little time-consuming but part of it can be done head of time. You can cook the shrimp and scallops ahead of time and just have ready to go.

I grew up eating mussels with my Dad.  He loved mussels. Every time he went back east to visit my family he’d get a pizza and an order of mussels from the pizzeria down the block.  Before he passed away he actually taught me how to clean and cook mussels.  I still remember him and I standing over the sink full of water and checking each and every mussel to make sure it wasn’t cracked or damaged in any way and make sure they were tightly closed.  If the mussels were opened most likely they are dead.  You can tap the mussel against the sink and see if the mussels closes. If it doesn’t the mussel is  dead and needs to be discarded.  I love that memory of my Dad and I.  I think about it often.  He was an amazing cook and I carry so many amazing things he taught me with me when I cook.

Ok, now on to the recipe.  It’s a great recipe and perfect for a dinner party.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Seafood Medley in a Garlic Cream Sauce
Servings:

Ingredients:
8 large sea scallops
1/2 lb uncooked shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1/2 lb fresh mussels, cleaned, rinsed and damaged or cracked shells removed
3 cup chicken broth
3 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 T parsley fresh or dried
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 large red pepper, diced
1/4 +2 T heavy whipping cream
5 T butter
2 t xanthan gum or 1 T flour
2 T olive oil
2 T chives, chopped

Directions: Rinse scallops and shrimp under cool water.  Pat completely dry with paper towel.  Season scallops and shrimp with salt and pepper.  Heat a medium sauté  pan over high heat.  Add in 1/2  tablespoon of olive oil and let heat 2 minutes.  Add in scallops to the pan and cook on high heat for 3 minutes and turn over once the scallops have a golden crust.  Flip over and cook another 3 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add in another 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and shrimp to the sauté pan.  Cook the shrimp stirring occasionally.  Cook till the shrimp is pink and opaque.  About 5-6 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Next add remainder of oil and heat in pan.  Next add in the onion, garlic and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in 3 tablespoons of butter. (Note: If you are using xanthan gum skip to the next step now. ) If using flour in with the butter a roux.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring once.  

Next add the chicken broth to the pan and mix.  If using xanthan gum add in now and mix until dissolves.  Add in lemon juice and wine (if using.)  Let mixture cook on high about 6-7 minutes as it thickens.  Add in heavy cream and mix and season with garlic and onion powder and parsley.

Reduce the heat to medium high and add in the scallops, shrimp and lump crab. Mix well. Add in the mussels and cover and cook on medium heat 8-10 until the mussels are cooked and opened.  (Note: Mussels are hard to give a cooking time for. Just make sure to keep and eye on the pan and once you see the mussels open they are cooked.)  Once they are cooked mix everything up one last time and season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Chef Notes: This can be served with any sides you choose. Pasta, potatoes or rice. Anything you like.  Make sure to serve with a nice chunk of crusty bread for dipping.  If you are keeping it low carb/keto use xanthan gum vs flour, omit the wine and serve along side cauliflower rice or veggies and no bread (Sorry).  Feel free to use half and half vs heavy whipping cream if you want it to be on the healthier side.

 

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Scallops on the Half Shell

Happy Holidays Everyone! Another successful Christmas passed and now looking forward to 2019. Coming from an Italian family we’ve always celebrated the “Feast of Seven Fishes,” on Christmas Eve. We do more shrimp and scallops vs some of the more traditional fishes that may be used. I’ve been doing different scallop recipes over the last few years and this year has been my favorite.

These scallops on the half shell are simple and can be done ahead of time which makes entertaining a breeze. This is my first time using the baking shells. It gives it a cool look and definitely makes serving easy. You should be able to find the baking shells from any online retailer. Make sure that they are shells that are used for baking, not just decorative shells. Click link below after the recipe to see what baking shells I used.

Scallops on Half Shell

Ingredients:
1lb large seas scallops, rinsed and dry
1 ½ cups Italian panko bread crumbs
1 lemon, juiced (extra for drizzle)
2 t lemon zest
3 T dry white wine
3 T quality olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 t parsley
2 t oregano
2 t garlic powder
½ t salt
½ t pepper

Extras:
4-6 baking shells

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°. Lay out scallops on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit 15 minutes to remove any excess liquid and then pat dry.

In a sauté pan add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the garlic and shallot until tender. In a medium bowl mix together the panko bread crumbs, seasoning, garlic and shallot, olive oil, white wine, lemon juice and zest and mix well. The mixture should be wet. If not, you can add a little more oil.

Add 2-3 scallops to each shell depending on size of scallops. I used 3 per shell. You want the scallops tight together. Top the scallops with panko mixture. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until fully cooked. Drizzle with lemon and serve immediately. These are great for a crowd and easy to get ready ahead of time and then just bake when needed. The shells make it very easy for serving. Click link below for the shells I used.

BAKING SHELLS 11-12 CM, Set of 12

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Absolutely Delicious Crab Cakes

My Dad was an amazing cook.  He had a habit of throwing together ingredients and just making it taste good.  I definitely got that from him.  He didn’t write down recipes all that often but we’ve come across some recipes of his over the years that he did actually write out.  These crab cakes are one of them.  I found both a handwritten copy and also a typed copy.  The handwritten one just brought a smile to my face because it’s his written.  It made me happy to have that.  It’s just a rough draft as you can probably tell.

I wanted to share with you this recipe as it’s special to me since it’s my Dad’s.  I hope you enjoy these crab cakes as much as I do.

Absolutely Delicious Crab Cakes with Garlic Aioli
By Tony T.

Ingredients:
1 lb real lump crab meat ONLY
1/2 cup chopped red or green pepper
2 bunches green onions chopped, or 1 small yellow onion
2 cloves, minced
2 T Dijon mustard
1 cup plain bread crumbs
¾ cup grated Parmesan or Romano
3 eggs
¼ cup flour
1 t Cajun spice
1 t cayenne
Salt & Pepper to taste
½ T olive oil
Oil for frying (cover bottom of a sauté pan with 1/2-3/4 inch of oil)

Garlic Aioli

Ingredients:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 T olive oil (good quality)
2-3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
2-3 t parsley, dried or fresh
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste (About 1/2 t of each)

Directions: In a medium bowl add all ingredients for the Garlic Aioli.  Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.  Heat a medium sauté pan on high heat.  Cook garlic, onion and peppers 3 minutes.  Add in spices to taste and cook till mixture is tender and cooked.  Remove and let cool completely.  In a medium bowl mix in the cooled pepper mixture, 2 eggs, mustard, ¼ cup breadcrumbs and the cheese. Mix together with your hands and make into patties/cakes.

Whisk last remaining egg in a small bowl.  Make a breading station.  1 bowl of ¾ cup of bread crumbs, 1 bowl with ¼ cup of flour and one with the whisked egg.

Dip cakes into flour on both sides, then into the egg and then into the bread crumbs. Place on a plate. Complete with remaining crab cakes.  Cover completely and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.

Heat a medium or large sauté pan with oil. Oil should be about 1/2 -3/4 inch in the bottom. Heat until oil is hot and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Drain on paper towel and season with salt while hot.  Serve crab cake with garlic aioli.

Notes: You can omit the cayenne and Cajun spice and replace with 1 teaspoon each of, garlic, onion, chili powder and paprika. When cooking in a sauté pan you won’t be fully submerging the crab cake, it will cook on one side and then be flipped.  If you want to use a deep fat fryer it will cook for 2-3 minutes total and be completely submerged.

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Shrimp & Bacon BBQ Ranch Salad

I’m about 2 weeks into doing Weight Watchers and I’m finally realizing that dinner doesn’t have to be a production every single night. I have a habit of over thinking a meal and then getting frustrated or discouraged. I always feel like every meal should have a a protein, a vegetable and a starch. That must be my culinary professors in my head telling me that.

So, I’m learning it’s ok to have eggs for dinner or a quick thrown together salad or something simple. With doing Weight Watchers I feel it’s easier as I can really eat anything I want.

I put this salad together this for dinner that was full of protein and very delicious. It really was super simple.

Shrimp & Bacon BBQ Ranch Salad

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
20 medium shrimp, cleaned and cooked and slightly warm
1 small avocado
½ cup no salt black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 small red onion, diced
¼ cup shredded cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and rough chopped
6- 8 cups romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped
2 oz bbq sauce
2 oz ranch dressing

Directions: In a small bowl mix together bbq sauce and ranch dressing. Add lettuce to a large bowl. Add in corn, black beans, onions, cheese and dressing and mix well. Separate into individual bowls and top with even amount of shrimp, bacon and avocado. Enjoy!

Notes: Feel free to mix all these ingredients together and serve it up. I always like to make sure the main proteins or higher fat/calories items are equally distributed to both bowls especially when county calories or points. In this case, that would be the shrimp, bacon and avocado. Use any bbq sauce you’d like, mine had a slight kick and it gave a nice flavor profile. If you don’t have cooked shrimp, feel free to use raw and just cook them up. That’s exactly what I did.

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