Showing posts with label seafood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seafood. Show all posts

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Grilled Baby Octopus

Grilled baby octopus is one of our favorite dishes, for a main meal or appetizer. The octopus is cooked until tender with garlic, hot chili peppers and red wine, then grilled to add smoky flavor and crunch. Believe it or not, even children love this dish!

Food Lust People Love: Grilled Baby Octopus. Grilled baby octopus: The octopus is cooked until tender with garlic, hot chili peppers and red wine, then grilled to add smoky flavor and crunch. #SundaySupper

Years ago when we lived in Brazil, our house was just a block from the beach. Living so close to the coast meant fresh seafood at reasonable prices, even during a time of hyperinflation. We fell in love with octopus there and have looked for it and cooked it everywhere we’ve lived, ever since. This same recipe can be made with larger octopuses. Just extend the cooking time until they are tender and cut them into manageable pieces for grilling.

1 lb 10 oz or 750g baby octopus, ink sacs and beaks removed
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 red chili peppers, stems removed
1/2 cup or 120ml hearty dry red wine
A few generous grinds from a black pepper mill

Cook the octopus in a covered saucepan or pot over a medium heat with the garlic, peppers and wine for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Food Lust People Love: Grilled Baby Octopus. Grilled baby octopus: The octopus is cooked until tender with garlic, hot chili peppers and red wine, then grilled to add smoky flavor and crunch. #SundaySupper
The liquid will come out of the octopus and the whole thing will look very soupy.

Food Lust People Love: Grilled Baby Octopus. Grilled baby octopus: The octopus is cooked until tender with garlic, hot chili peppers and red wine, then grilled to add smoky flavor and crunch. #SundaySupper

After the 15-20 minutes are over, take the lid off and continue to cook until the liquid reduces by at least half. Perhaps another 15-20 minutes. The octopus should be fork tender now.

Put the baby octopus on a hot grill just off to the side of the charcoal. Put the lid on because these are going to sputter and spit.

Remove lid every couple of minutes and shift the octopus around. Remove when charred your satisfaction. Ours took about 10 minutes.

Food Lust People Love: Grilled Baby Octopus. Grilled baby octopus: The octopus is cooked until tender with garlic, hot chili peppers and red wine, then grilled to add smoky flavor and crunch. #SundaySupper

Depending on the size of your octopus you might want to chop them up into bite-sized pieces but if they are really tiny, you can serve them whole.

Serve with plenty of fresh lime juice squeezed on and a good sprinkling of flakey sea salt.

Food Lust People Love: Grilled Baby Octopus. Grilled baby octopus: The octopus is cooked until tender with garlic, hot chili peppers and red wine, then grilled to add smoky flavor and crunch. #SundaySupper


This week our Sunday Supper group is sharing our favorite seafood recipes. Many thanks to Em, our event manager and our host, Claire from Sprinkles and Sprouts.

Love seafood? Check out these Sunday Supper Recipes:


Main Dishes

Food Lust People Love: Grilled Baby Octopus. Grilled baby octopus: The octopus is cooked until tender with garlic, hot chili peppers and red wine, then grilled to add smoky flavor and crunch. #SundaySupper

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Piquant Shrimp Balls

Made with spicy seasoned shrimp and no fillers, piquant shrimp balls are the perfect Mardi Gras or party appetizer. A little dipping sauce with pickled okra completes the dish.

I feel sorry for folks who don’t grow up near an ocean. It’s not just that they seldom, or sometimes never, felt the sand between their toes or built dribble castles as children, but they also often missed out on seafood as a normal, typical dinner option. It’s saved for special occasions and restaurant meals. Which is a shame.

At our house, we eat a lot of seafood! Everything from fancy-ish main course recipes like Trout en Croute, Fennel Orange Cod en Papillote and Meyer Lemon Butter Sauce Prawns to appetizers like Mini Party Crab Cakes and Squid with Garlic Chili Oil, to down home favorites like Pan-Fried Fresh Sardines, Ceviche and Spicy Salmon Shrimp Burgers. Oh, and since it's Mardi Gras time, I should mention my Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp and Shrimp Creole! Those are just a drop in the bucket. I could go on but I think you get the point. These piquant shrimp balls are one of my favorites.

Making piquant shrimp balls is super easy! The secret to making balls with no fillers or egg is to use a food processor on half of the shrimp, then stir in the remaining shrimp, roughly chopped. Pan-fry the balls with a little olive oil for a golden exterior and your family and friends will be asking you to double the recipe next time. I promise.

Ingredients - for 2 dozen piquant shrimp balls
Good handful flat leaf parsley leaves and tender stems (pinch off hard stems and discard)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1-2 red hot chili peppers
2 medium cloves garlic
1 lb 2oz or 510g peeled, cleaned fresh shrimp
Olive oil for pan frying

For the dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon whole grained mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 hot pickled okra, stem end removed, finely minced (sub small cornichons or capers, if desired)

Make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Cut the peppers and garlic into pieces then process with the parsley and salt until finely minced.

Add in half of the shrimp and process until chopped fairly finely. You are looking for a chunky paste.

Use a sharp knife to cut the rest of the shrimp into four or five pieces, depending on size.

Tip the seasoned mixture out into a mixing bowl. Mix the cut shrimp well with the seasoned chunky shrimp paste.

Cover a plate snugly with cling film (this makes it easier to get the shrimp balls off the plate) and use a tablespoon to divide the mixture into about 24 pieces.

Dampen your hands with water and roll the pieces into balls and place them in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of olive oil.

Cook over a medium high heat with a splatter guard on top. Once the shrimp balls are cooked enough to be firm, turn them over and keep cooking, shaking the pan occasionally, until all sides are golden and the shrimp balls are cooked through. This takes just a few minutes.

Serve hot with toothpicks and the dipping sauce. Sprinkle on a little extra chopped parsley for color, if desired.


This week my Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing their favorite easy Mardi Gras recipes. Whether you are hosting or attending a potluck, we’ve got you covered!

Sunday Supper Easy Mardi Gras Recipes


Main Dishes



Pin these Piquant Shrimp Balls!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Peppadew Trout en Croûte

Peppadew Trout en Croûte looks fancy but it’s actually very easy, especially if you start with store-bought already rolled puff pastry. Peppadew peppers and garlic add a lovely fresh flavor that complements the richness of the trout and the flaky pastry.

Peppadew Trout en Croûte: Peppadew peppers and garlic add a lovely fresh flavor that complements the richness of the trout and the pastry. #SundaySupper

I went through a phase a few years ago where I fell in love with ready rolled puff pastry and used it to make so many things. It’s such a versatile ingredient that my freezer is rarely without a package. Whatever simple dish you want to fancy up can be kicked up several notches by the addition of some puff pastry, baked till flakey and golden. When the French wrap something in puff pastry, they call it en croûte – literally, in crust - which immediately makes it sound fancy too.

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing easy dinners for two ahead of Valentine’s Day, with more than 30 meals you can make at home to celebrate. Individual peppadew trout en croûte is my contribution.

If you can't find trout, salmon is a great substitute.

2 trimmed trout steaks about 5 1/3 oz or 150g each (See note below.)
8-9 peppers or 25g Peppadew peppers, drained
1 small clove garlic
13 1/4 oz or 375g sheet pre-rolled puff pastry (See note below.)

Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking pan with parchment. Pound the peppers and garlic together with a mortar and pestle or blend in a small food processor, till they form a thick paste.

To prepare the trout steaks, skin them and trim the thin side so that you are left with two thick steaks. Remove the pin bones with needle-nose pliers, if this has not already been done. (See note below for a quick, fresh appetizer recipe, using the trimmed bits.)

Season the trout steaks with salt and pepper. Fry the trout skin until crispy in a non-stick skillet. Remove to a piece of paper towel to drain and sprinkle with a little salt. These are the cook's treat and we fight over them at our house, but they also leave behind just enough oil for the next step.

Over a very high heat, brown both sides of the trout for about 1 minute on each side in that same pan. Remove from heat to a cool plate and leave to cool.

Unroll the puff pastry and trim all around the edges with a sharp knife, then cut it half. Place one trout steak on each half and top them with the Peppadew garlic paste.

Fold the first side of the puff pastry over the trout. Fold the second side up to the middle of the trout and make a little fold in the end of the puff pastry.

Gently press down on the puff pastry and remove all the air from inside, sealing the puff pastry on each side. Use the tines of a fork to seal the sides and a sharp knife to trim the excess off of the puff pastry. Decorate with some of the puff pastry scraps, if desired.

Left - ready to bake. Right - still needs trimming and decorating. 

Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown, in the preheated oven.

Note: For a quick starter, toss some sliced purple onion with a couple of tablespoons fresh lime juice. Cut the trimmed pieces of trout into thin strips and add them to the sliced onion with a little cilantro, salt, black pepper. Stir well and refrigerate till ready to serve. For a quick and easy dessert, the puff pastry scraps can be baked in the oven once the trout comes out, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Serve alongside some sweet strawberries. 

Remove the Peppadew trout en croûte from the oven and allow to rest for 5-7 minutes before serving with a salad or fresh steamed broccolini to complete your dinner for two.

Peppadew Trout en Croûte: Peppadew peppers and garlic add a lovely fresh flavor that complements the richness of the trout and the pastry. #SundaySupper


Do you like to go out to eat for Valentine’s Day or stay in for a special meal? If you choose the latter, Sunday Supper’s got you covered this week! Many thanks to Candace from Authentically Candace, our host, and Cricket of Cricket's Confections for managing this event!

Chicken Recipes

Pasta Recipes

Pork Recipes

Red Meat Recipes

Seafood Recipes

Veggie Recipes

 Pin it! 

Food Lust People Love - Peppadew Trout en Croûte: Peppadew peppers and garlic add a lovely fresh flavor that complements the richness of the trout and the pastry. #SundaySupper


Friday, June 17, 2016

Tali Machchi - Goan Spicy Fried Fish #FishFridayFoodies

Tali Machchi is a spicy fried fish dish from Goa, India made with firm white fish, coated in spiced flour and shallow fried. 

Often when I’m sitting on an airplane, I think of that Louis C.K. standup bit where he talks about the miracle of flight and how we still complain. (Here’s the audio link. I find it hysterical, because it’s true, but I must warn you the language is rough, to say the least.) Not that I don’t do my share of moaning about jet lag and the like, but I am awed by the age in which we live.

The host of my Fish Friday Foodies group can say, for instance, make a southern fried fish dish this month. And I can put those search words into my amazingly small computer (relatively speaking) and it gives me a long list of recipes to choose from, many of which I have never heard before. I mean, at all. Not even in passing. From a part of the world where I have yet to travel. Waaaaay south of here. (Although Goa’s on my list. Almost everywhere is on my list.) I am able to compare and contrast any number of recipes and merge them into one that I feel will work best. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is!

If you are looking for a simple seafood dish with loads of flavor, you’ll love tali machchi. It got two thumbs up at our house and even a “would order again” from my husband. Bonus: It's also quick.

1 pound or 450g firm white fish (I used local grouper, called hammour here.)
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons plain flour
3 tablespoons besan (also called gram or chickpea flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 cups or 480ml canola or other light oil for frying
1 large egg

Serve with lemon or lime slices, garnished with cilantro

Wash and dry fish fillets. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Toss gently in the fresh lime juice and sprinkle on one 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well.

Mix flour, chickpea flour, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne together in a shallow plate.

Heat oil in deep frying pan until smoking hot. Dip fish chunks in the beaten egg.

Then roll them in the spiced flour.

Fry the pieces in at least two batches to make sure you don't crowd the frying pan. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes.

Turn and cook another couple of minutes on the other side, until the pieces are brown all over.

Drain on paper towels or on a wire rack resting on paper to catch the drips.

Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and extra wedges of lime or lemon.


Many thanks to our host, April of Angels Home Sweet Homestead. Check out the other recipes this miracle we call the internet has brought right to this spot for you from my fellow Fish Friday Foodies.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Pan-fried Sardines #FishFridayFoodies

Pan-fried sardines cooked quickly and simply in a drizzle of almost smoking hot olive oil, with a good sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, are a delight to eat. You can taste the sea. 

Sardines, if you can find them fresh, are usually one of the least expensive of fish at the fish market. In fact, when we lived in Singapore, where local fish was abundant and mostly inexpensive, the markets never seemed to sell sardines. I finally started asking around to find out why because when we lived across the causeway in Malaysia, they were always available. These were the same fishing waters, right? Why would Singapore not have sardines?

What I found out is that it wasn’t worth the small price the fishermen would get for them in Singapore, so they didn’t bother bringing the sardines to market. Apparently the Malaysian fishermen, with lower living expenses, could make enough for their needs. As much as we enjoyed our year and a half in Singapore, I was thrilled when we were transferred back to Kuala Lumpur. Ah, fresh sardines again!

If you'd like to read about the first time I ever ate whole fresh sardines - not from a can - it was on a holiday in Portugal. I talk about recreating the piri piri chicken, but we've been eating the sardines ever since too. Sometimes grilled but most often pan-fried.

This month my Fish Friday Foodies group is being hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. She set us the task of cooking whole fish or seafood, head to tail or head to tentacle, whichever the case may be. It was a toss up for me between imported whole pink trout, which we have every time I see it in my local market, (Perhaps once a month. It’s not cheap so it’s a treat.) or sardines, which are always available and inexpensive. All of the sardines I cooked for this post cost me Dhs. 7.50 or only two dollars total.

Count on at least three or four pan-fried sardines per person, depending on size for a main course. Two per person as an appetizer.

1 1/2 lbs or 675g small sardines (sometimes I get six or eight, depending on size, for the two of us)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

To serve:
Lemon or lime wedges
Chopped cilantro

Optional to serve: fresh French radishes

Use a sharp knife with a pointy tip to cut open the belly of the fish.

Gently scrape out all the stuff inside the cavity and discard.

Rinse the sardine under cool tap water to clean it out completely. Repeat until all the sardines are clean inside.

Smaller sardines won’t have any hard scales but sometimes ones that are a little larger do. Run your knife blade sideways up from the tail to the head to check. If there are a few scales, put the sardine in your sink with some cool water and scrape upwards to remove them.

Lay the cleaned sardines on some dry paper towels and allow them to drain.

Salt liberally inside and out with some sea salt and a few good grinds of black pepper.

Drizzle olive oil in your non-stick pan and heat over a medium high heat.

When the oil is quite hot, but not quite smoking, put the sardines in, alternating head to tail so they fit in the pan. If you are cooking more than will fit comfortably, fry them in batches rather than crowding the pan.

Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side, then gently turn the sardines over to the other.

Cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side.

Turn again for perhaps one more brief minute on the first side. For fish as small as these sardines, that’s usually long enough, with a few minutes resting time after, to be fully cooked. If you have any doubts, poke a pointy knife in just behind the head to check. The flesh should be white and no longer translucent.

Transfer the sardines to a warm platter and scatter with chopped cilantro. Arrange a few lemon or lime wedges around the platter so each person can add some juice, if he or she so chooses. The radishes are optional, but we love their spicy crunch with bites of sardine that taste freshly of the sea.


Check out all of the lovely whole fish or seafood recipes we've cooked for you today. We hope they will inspired you in the kitchen!


Friday, March 18, 2016

Fennel Orange Cod en Papillote #FishFridayFoodies

A filet of cod atop sliced fennel and covered in slices of blood orange is cooked in a parchment parcel - en papillote - which makes the most delicate of broths, the perfect accompaniment to the tender fish. 

Here’s the thing about cod, like all white fish, it doesn’t have the oil of its darker brethren so there is a real danger of overcooking it and drying it out. Cooking any kind of fish or seafood en papillote, or wrapped in a foil or parchment pouch minimizes that risk, by essentially steaming the fish and keeping the juices locked in. This month our Fish Friday Foodie event is hosted by Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories and she’s got us all cooking en papillote. As you will see by the wonderful recipes at the bottom of this post, the variations are myriad, but they are all delicious.

Ingredients per person
1 piece cod – about 7 oz or 200g
Black pepper
2-3 slices fennel bulb plus a few fronds
Minced red chili pepper
2 slices orange – I used a variety of blood orange
2 teaspoons butter, plus more to grease parchment paper
1 tablespoon extra dry vermouth

Note: One fennel bulb and one orange, both sliced thinly, and one small red chili pepper are sufficient for three cod en papillote.

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C. Fold your parchment paper in half and cut it into the shape of a heart. Butter it on both sides of the fold on the inside.

Lay the fennel slices on one side of the fold, leaving a gap between the fold and the fennel.

Note: I have mine too close to the fold in these photos and had to scoot the whole thing over about half an inch or one centimeter to the right to close the parchment heart.

Lay the cod filet on top of the fennel and season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle on a few bits of minced red chili pepper.

Top with two slices of orange. Add one teaspoon of butter to the top of each orange and then a sprinkle of fennel fronds.

Fold the heart over to close. Starting at the top of the heart, fold and crimp the parchment to seal it around the edges.

When you get to the very bottom, pour in the vermouth and twist the point of the heart. Tuck it under.

Place parchment packet on a baking pan and bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before opening.

Choose a plate with a rim or shallow bowl to serve because you don’t want to lose any of the lovely fragrant broth that is created by cooking the cod in parchment.

Garnish with a few more fennel fronds.


Check out all the other lovely seafood dishes cooked en papillote.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Shrimp Creole #FishFridayFoodies

A traditional Cajun recipe, this shrimp Creole is thickened by a roux and flavored with the holy trinity, tomatoes and, of course, a kick of cayenne for spice. 

This month Fish Friday Foodies are sharing international seafood soups and stews at my instigation. I had big plans to make a dish called moqueca, just like my Brazilian friend Betty taught me many, many years ago when we were living in the little oilfield town of Macaé together. But, in the end, my Cajun roots won out, and as you can see, I made shrimp Creole. I’d like to tell you that this is exactly as my grandmothers would have made it, but the honest truth is that I don’t remember ever eating shrimp Creole at either of their houses. I did consult a handful of good Cajun cookbooks though so I’m feeling pretty good about the authenticity. I’ll no doubt hear from my mother if I’ve gone astray and I’ll get back to you with corrections if necessary. But authentic or not, I can promise you it is delicious.

Like all good Cajun recipes, this one starts with a roux and the holy trinity of vegetables, onion, bell pepper and celery. Add in some butter, tomatoes, a little cayenne and a whole mess of shrimp and you’ve got yourself a delicious shrimp stew. Make sure you check out the linky tool (all those photos at the bottom) to see the other great seafood soups and stews my fellow Fish Friday Foodies have made.

1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper or capsicum
1 stalk celery
1/4 cup or 25g flour
1/3 cup or 80ml canola oil
1/4 cup or 63g butter
1 can (14 oz or 400g with juice) whole peeled Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb 13oz or 825g cleaned shrimp or prawns (Mine weighed 4.4 lbs or 1984g with heads/shells on)
Cayenne pepper

To serve:
Cooked rice
Green onions
Louisiana hot sauce

Discard any stems, peels or seeds, then chop your celery, onion and bell pepper up finely.

In a large heavy gauge pot or pan with a tight fitting lid combine the flour and oil to make a roux. Cook the roux over a low to medium heat, stirring often at the beginning and the constantly as it begins to brown.

Eventually you want to get to the color of old copper but be careful not to let it burn.

When the roux is done, add in the chopped vegetables and cook for several minutes, stirring well.

Add in the butter and cook for another few minutes, until the vegetables have completely softened.

Add in the can of tomatoes, half a can of water and the tomato paste.

Stir well and then turn the fire down to a simmer. Pop your lid on the pan and simmer for about half an hour, checking the liquid level and stirring occasionally. Add just a little water if it looks dry.

The tomatoes should break down as well, but feel free to mash them around with your stirring implement to encourage that.

Season the shrimp with a generous sprinkling of sea salt and add them to the pot, stirring well to coat them with the sauce.

Cook over a medium flame for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary and cayenne pepper to taste.

Serve with cooked rice and a good sprinkling of chopped green onions. Put the hot sauce on the table so everyone can help themselves.


Many thanks to our fearless leader, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, and without further ado, here are the rest of our seafood soups and stews of the world:

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of every month. To join our group please email Wendy at

Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.