Category Archives: Shellfish

Easy Spring Rolls with Shrimp and Crunchy Veggies

Spring rolls are a snap to make once you get the basics down. You may have eaten them at an Asian take-out restaurant before, or have seen them on a buffet somewhere. They are light and fresh and can be filled with almost anything you like.  I like to add whole grains like Bhutanese Red rice for an earthy, chewy texture which contrasts excellently against the succulent, salty-snap of fresh shrimp. I include powerfully nutritious green herbs in this recipe which will align well with your diet plans, and I hope you will make it and enjoy it.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil (toasted if you can find it)
  • 4 each 8-inch diameter rice paper rounds (you can use brown rice rounds if you can find them)
  • 1 cup cooked Bhutanese Red rice (cook per package directions)
  • 2 1/2 cups of cole slaw mix prepared (you can find it at the grocery store and it has shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 small avocado halved and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh Thai basil (regular sweet basil will work if you cannot find Thai)
  • 6 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 8 each cooked and peeled (deveined) shrimp (medium or large) cut in half horizontally
  1. To begin have a bowl or shallow dish of warm water with a splash of the rice vinegar on hand, as well as a clean dish towel or several layers of paper towels at the ready. You will soak the rice paper wrappers to soften them in the warmed water and lay them out on the paper or towel to drain off excess water.
  2.  Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a little sesame oil until the sugar dissolves. This will serve as your dipping sauce, which you can divide into four small portions.
  3. Soften a spring roll wrapper until it is soft and pliable enough to wave gently in the liquid. Remove it to the towel gently, and add several slices of avocado, then two halves of shrimp. Next add some of the cole slaw filling and the green herbs.
  4. Leave about an inch and a half at the top of your spring roll and at the sides. Make sure you place the filling toward the bottom edge of the wrapper.
  5. Now fold the sides up and roll your wrapper like a burrito up and around the filling, pressing gently at the seam. Set your spring roll aside and finish the others in the same manner.
  6. When you have finished, slice each spring roll at the center in a diagonal slice.

You should have 4 servings of an appetizer portion of these delicious spring rolls. Now that you have the technique figured out the sky is the limit for what you can add. Steamed or grilled chicken slices and a creamy, citrus peanut sauce would be a filling treat, as would a spring roll chock full of crunchy veggies alone! If you cannot find fish sauce, or do not particularly enjoy it, feel free to omit it and instead substitute 1/8 cup tamari sauce with 1/8 cup of citrus juice; such as lemon, lime or orange, or even some stock if you have it handy.


Bouillabaisse for the Holidays

This is a soup to impress your guests. It is not a cheap soup ingredient wise. However with Thanks-annukah just around the corner (or is it Chanukiving) this year why not go all out for friends and family, while still cooking healthy?

This recipe uses my Fish Fumet and a whole lot of fish and shellfish and spices and herbs. It is a decadent soup with many layers of incredible flavor that just happens to be chock-full of good for you ingredients. This is a large recipe, with 10 servings, so adjust accordingly per your needs. It will do nicely for a meal at home, and will freeze well.

For the Bouillabaisse stock you will need:

  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot (peeled)
  • 2 each large stalks celery chopped (not the whole thing, just 2 individual stalks)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 Tablespoon anise seed, ground
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts Fish Fumet
  • 14 ounces canned tomatoes, drained and chopped (I like the tomatoes in the cardboard cartons from Italy)
  • 8 ounces dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

The rest of the ingredients:

  • 10 littleneck clams, scrubbed (or whatever clams you find in your region)
  • 10 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 2 1/2 ounces lobster meat, cubed
  • 8 ounces shrimp (16/20 count size), peeled and de-veined
  • 8 ounces salmon fillet, cubed
  • 4 ounces scallops, muscle tabs removed
  • 4 ounces perch fillet, cubed (or Red snapper)
  • 4 ounces halibut fillet, cubed (or cod)
  • 4 ounces sea bass fillet, cubed (or grouper)
  • 4 ounces sole fillet, cubed (or John Dory)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped, fresh, parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped tarragon
  • sea salt as needed

Begin by preparing the stock by heating the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, fennel, anise, parsley, orange zest, and bay leaves. Sweat the mixture until the onions are turning translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes, and strain.

Rinse the pot and return the strained Bouillabaisse stock to the pot. Bring to a boil. Add the clams and the mussels. When their shells open, remove from the stock and reserve.

Lower the stock to a simmer and add the remaining fish. Simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Do not allow this to boil as it may break apart the tender fish.

Return the clams, mussels and lobster to the bouillabaisse. Simmer to heat through. Check for saltiness and add sea salt if needed.

To Serve 10-15 people depending.

Use a 12 ounce ladle, or if you prefer less, an 8 ounce ladle will render more portions. Ladle the soup into bowls and arrange the seafood in each bowl and garnish with the remaining parsley and tarragon.

Valentine’s Aphrodasiac Recipes

Valentine’s is fast approaching and I have a couple of healthy recipes that are sure to rev up your endorphins in the process.

Baked Herbed Mussels on the Half Shell:

  • 24 Mussels, washed and de-bearded
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Cups bread crumbs, dry
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Small can Roma tomatoes, slivered
  • 1 Whole lemon

Wash your mussels in a colander in the sink with cold water. Scrub them gently with a clean towel or clean sponge and firmly tug the “beard”, or the stringy looking bit that hangs out of the side. Some of them can be tough to pull out so grabbing it with a dish towel is often helpful. Put washed mussels in a covered pot on high heat just until the shells open. Remove from heat and pry open as soon as they are cool enough for you to handle. Make sure any unopened mussels get tossed aside, as only live mussels will have opened during cooking. Remove the flesh to a bowl and reserve 1 shell from each mussel to bake it in. Mix the bread crumbs, the garlic, parsley and olive oil and combine with the reserved mussels. Put this into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. When ready to assemble have the broiler on in your oven and have a sheet or cookie pan ready. Place one mussel in each shell, top with a sliver of tomato and put on the sheet pan. Broil about 4-5 inches from the heat just until crusty and golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges if desired and a side of Arugula Avocado Pistachio Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette.


Arugula Avocado Pistachio Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 Cup Brut Champagne
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil minced or chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Ounces baby arugula leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 Ounce fresh basil leaf, stems removed, left whole
  • 1 Large orange, peeled and sliced (if you can do supremes, go for it)
  • 2 Medium avocados, sliced
  • 1/4 Cup pistachio nuts, chopped

Begin by reducing the Champagne by boiling it until 1/4 cup remains. Let it cool completely. Then in a food processor, mince the garlic then add the lemon juice, Dijon and salt and process some more. Gradually with the machine running, pour in the olive oil. When emulsified, add the chopped basil and process just to mix.

Arrange Arugula on a platter or individual plates (this serves 4-6). Spread the oranges and avocado slices over the arugula, top with the whole basil leaves ( you can tear them a little if desired), and drizzle with the Champagne vinaigrette. This is divine with the Baked Mussels dish.