Food!!

Seven Fishes with Acme Markets

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The holidays are coming to a close.  This past weekend on Christmas Eve my family celebrated La Vigila, the Italian dinner of the seven fishes.  I had the pleasure of partnering up with Acme Markets to make the experience that much better. 
Acme was a one stop shop for me, providing all the fresh herbs, produce and seafood to make my seven fishes dinner delicious.  I’m always a little picky about getting seafood at supermarkets.  It’s sometimes difficult to find good, fresh selections.  I always look for color and smell of seafood first.  Seafood should smell like the sea, not fishy.  The Acme seafood counter person was very helpful in telling me when shipment came in.  The seafood that I chose was fresh with no bad fishy smells, making me a happy customer. 
Below you will find 3 out of the 7 fish recipes I created for Christmas Eve. I hope everyone has a blessed new year.
Baccala fritters
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Ingredients: 
4 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
2 lbs baccala (salted cod) 
1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped 
1/2 cup parsley, chopped 
6 large eggs 
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil, for frying 
2 cups all purpose flour 
2 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preparation: 
Before you begin the process you must keep salted cod in water for at least 24 hours and change the water 3 times a day. This will help remove the excess salt. 
    In a large saucepan add enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat and cook just until fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and place into a large bowl to cool. Mash the potatoes with potato masher until smooth but still slightly lumpy. In a large sauce pan add cod and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool until easy to handle. Take a fork and flake the cod. Next add the cod, green onions, parsley, 4 eggs, the salt, and cayenne and mix until smooth. Place in the mixtures in the refrigerator for about an hour. In a large, deep, heavy pot heat enough oil to fry the balls,.  Temperature should 350 degrees F.  In a small bowl place the flour.  In another bowl beat together the remaining eggs.  In a third bowl, place the Panko crumbs. Now begin to form the balls to your desire. One at a time, dip the cod balls in the flour and roll to coat evenly on all sides. Shake to remove any excess flour, dip in the egg, and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet. In batches, gently add the balls to the oil and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
Lump Crabmeat Crostini 
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Ingredients:
1 16oz can Blu Lump crabmeat 
3 stalks of celery, diced 
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
Salt & pepper, to taste 
Zest and juice of 1 lemon 
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 
Crostini, for serving 
Preparation:
Drain the crabmeat and place in a medium bowl. Add all of the ingredients stir and serve with crostini. 
Baby clams and saffron risotto 
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Ingredients:
1 small shallot, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups arborio
2 cups white wine, (Preferably Sauvignon Blanc)
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons evoo

2 lb baby clams, rinsed 

Pinch of saffron
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Preparation:

In a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the baby clams, 1 cup white wine, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside. 

Add the butter to the pan. Add shallots. Cook until translucent about 3 minutes. Add the rice. Stir until well coated and translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the remaining wine. Cook and stir often, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and season with salt, pepper and saffron. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 15 minutes until creamy.

Pour risotto into dish and top with baby clams. Add fresh parsley. Serve.

Disclosure: Opinions are my own. Acme Markets provided gift cards for recipe development

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Food!!

Italian Cioppino Soup

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It’s officially winter, and soup is in full effect in our house. I grew up with my dad making soups all the time, and this was one of them. It’s called cioppino, an Italian American seafood soup or stew. It’s a one pot delight. Enjoy and hope your keeping warm. 

Ingredients: 

1 lb cod, cut into chunks 

1 lb mussels, scrubbed 

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 

1/4 cup tomato paste 

2 piece celery, chopped

1 1/2 cups dry white wine 

5 cups vegetable stock 

1 bay leave 

5 garlic cloves, minced 

1 28oz can diced tomato 

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, more or less to taste 

Salt & pepper, to taste 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Preparation: 

In a large pot on medium heat add olive oil. Add onions, celery and sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes until translucent. Next add garlic, salt, pepper flakes and tomato paste and diced tomato, cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the stock, wine and bay leaf. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes so flavors combined. 

Next add mussels to broth and cook for about 5 minutes until mussels begin to open. Finally add shrimp and fish cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, stir. 

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a slice of Italian bread. 

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #comfortfoodfeast below:

The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Posole Rojo
Creative Culinary: Split Pea Soup with Carrots and Ham
Homemade Delish: Italian Cioppino Soup
Taste with the Eyes: Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Soup
Dishing with Divya: Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Creamy Vegetable Soup
From My Corner of Saratoga: Pressure Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup (in a slow cooker)
Red or Green: New Mexican Green Chile, Turkey & Posole Soup
The Heritage Cook: Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup (Gluten-Free)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: 14 Sensational Soups
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Winter Squash & Chickpea Ribollita
The Mediterranean Dish: Mediterranean Spicy Spinach Lentil Soup
The Mom 100: Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup
Healthy Eats: 5 No-Brainers for Improving Chicken Soup
FN Dish: Soup’s On! 5 Warming Must-Make Bowls

 

Food!!

Gnudi Delights

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This is the perfect starter to a dinner party.  With the holidays upon us we all need ideas on what to serve to keep our guests satisfied until dinner.  Gnudi is perfect with a great tomato sauce or with this recipe where I made an earthy mushroom sauce.  You may also enjoy this as your main course with a salad and bread. Totally up to you on how you want to play with it.  Gnudi is like the inside of a ravioli (creamy, light and full of cheesy flavor.)  Enjoy with a nice glass of Cabernet.

Ingredients:

2 lbs of Ricotta Cheese, drain for at least a couple hours or overnight

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1/2 cup of sauté spinach, chopped

6 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour

4 Tablespoons of Panko or Bread Crumbs

Pinch of nutmeg

2 Egg yolks

Crushed red pepper, optional

Wild Mushroom Sauce:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Butter

6 oz of Exotic Mushrooms

4 Cups of Vegetable Stock   

Salt & Pepper, to taste

2 Shallots, chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

Preparation of Gnudi:

In a medium bowl mix together; Ricotta, egg, spinach, panko, salt, pepper, flour and nutmeg. Don’t over mix. Then begin to form small golf size balls (you can make them bigger or smaller).  Take 4 to 6 balls at a time and place them in boiling salted water.  When they start to float to the top about 2 to 3 minutes.  Take them out and place them in ice cold water for a couple seconds.  Take them out and place to the side and drizzle some olive oil on them until ready to serve.

Preparation of Exotic Mushroom Sauce:

In a medium sauce pan add some olive oil and butter on medium heat.  Add shallots cook for about a minute. Then add garlic and mushrooms.  Cook for about 3 minutes or so until mushrooms start to sweat out the juices.  Then pour the stock and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes then take that and put into a food processor and pulse. Pour sauce into a plate and add the gnudi. Top with some fresh parmesan cheese. 

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