Seafood

Garlic, Lemon, Herb Baked Salon

6E1B01DE-0795-4B7B-B9AE-CBA72D9873A2This garlic, lemon, herb baked salmon is absolutely delicious!!! It has become my favorite week night dinner because it takes just a few minutes to prep and bakes in only 10 minutes! That’s right, only 10 minutes! However it is so juicy and flavorful, it tastes just like a gourmet restaurant dish. I usually pair it with mashed potatoes or rice and salad for a complete meal. I got the idea for this recipe from my friend Candice, who I met through Open Hearts And Homes hosting company and she is currently in the process of adopting a beautiful boy from Ukraine! She brought this yummy salmon to an OHHC hosting Christimas party this past year and I couldn’t get enough of it! I knew I had to find out who brought that salmon and get the recipe so of course I did and it has been on my “to cook” list for the past few months. Note, adding lemon juice was my idea but it makes the salmon even more juicy, flavorful, and delicious but it is optional. I finally got around to trying this recipe last week and mine turned out incredible too! I am still shocked at how super easy and fast this recipe is! It has seriously got to be the easiest dinner ever and healthy too? Score! My new favorite way to bake salmon. Enjoy!!!

Garlic, Lemon, Herb Baked Salmon {Serves 4-5 as a meal}

Ingredients:

  • 1 Salmon Fillet (Mine was 2.60 LB I bought it at Costco, antibiotic free)
  • Olive Oil (About 3 TBS)
  • Salt & Peper (to taste)
  • Garlic, and Herb spice (Salt free)
  • 1 Lemon

Note: I cut my salmon fillet in half because I only needed 2 servings, and made the other half of salmon the next day for dinner. Some pictures you will see are from the 2nd day that I made this salmon for dinner. I split the ingredients in half also (half a lemon etc).

Directions:

1) Wash the salmon fillet and tap it dry with paper towels. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush the foil with about 1.5 TBS olive oil.  Lay the washed/patted dry salmon fillet on the oil brushed foil. Brush another 1.5 to 2 TBS olive oil all over the salmon fillet and brush around to evenly distribute the oil.

2) Preheat the over to the BROIL setting. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the salmon fillet. Sprinkle salt & pepper on it. Then generously sprinkle the garlic & herb spice all over the salmon fillet. Using the brush rub all the oil, lemon juice, and spices together on the salmon fillet.

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3) When the oven preheats to broil, stick the salmon fillet in the over and let it bake on broil for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven off and let the salmon bake another 2 to 4 minutes.

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When baked and ready it should look golden on the outside like this:

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4) Take it out of the oven when ready to serve, cut as desired and dig in! I like to pair it with mashed potatoes or rice and a salad.

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How To Cook Lobster Tails

unnamed-38947This is a simple step by step recipe for how to cook lobster tails. Besides crab legs, this is my favorite thing to eat! I was very nervous cooking them myself the first time because I thought it must be some long and complicated process, however lobster tails are by far the easiest things to cook and so quick. I came up with this recipe myself, and the lobster tails turn out perfect every time! I like to pair these with cilantro garlic green beans and simple mashed potatoes (you can find both of these recipes on my blog). My husband and I cooked this meal together for a Valentine’s Day date at home! We had a wonderful evening cooking together, enjoying the meal and good conversation, a bottle of our favorite wine, and ending the night by cuddling and relaxing on the couch watching a romantic comedy. We had a great Valentine’s Day date for sure!!!

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Lobster Tails {I made 10 (4.5 oz) Lobster Tails to serve 2 ppl, 5 each}

Ingredients: 

  • Lobster Tails
  • 1/2 pot Water
  • Spices: 1 tsp Steak Seasoning, 1 tsp Mrs.Dash (or other salt free seasoning), 1 tsp Salt, 1/8 tsp Black Pepper, 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt, 1/2 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning, 1/4 tsp Dry Basil Leaves, 1 tsp Dry Parsley Flakes
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 1/2 Stick Butter (to melt and use for dip)
  • 1/2 Lemon cut into wedges (to squeeze into butter dip)

unnamed-3546Directions:

1) Wash the lobster tails thoroughly under cold running water and set aside. Measure out the spices and set aside in small container. Lobster tails cook fast so first prepare the other food. We did mashed potatoes and cilantro garlic green beans (found on my blog) and when this was almost done cooking I started lobster tails.

2) Set a large pot, filled half way with water on High and bring to a rolling boil. When it comes to a boil, add the spices and bay leaves and let it boil for 5 minutes. Set a small pot with the stick of butter on a different burner to melt the butter completely, on medium heat, then turn off and leave on hot burner.

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3) Lower the heat to Med.-High ( 7.5 ) Throw in the lobster tails and cook them for 7-8 minutes. They will turn red the instant they are in the hot boiling water. When they are done cooking, put the lobster tails in a strainer, and drain out all the water.

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4) Serve hot in a big container or bowl with hot melted butter in small containers, and lemon wedges. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the butter, this is a great dip for the lobster tails! Enjoy!!!

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Look at this deliciousness!!! Mmmm Yum!!!

 

Shrimp Salad

DSCN4076This Shrimp Salad recipe was created by me but inspired by a salad I had at a restaurant called Canyon’s, in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. It was the perfect meal for me after a long, hot, exhausting day of exploring Tweetsie Railroad (a wild west theme park) in the beautiful mountains of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I had to recreate it at home and I did. The restaurant version was great but this home made recipe is even better, so much more flavor and you can add as much shrimp as you’d like. I love shrimp! And this shrimp salad takes it to a whole notha’ level (lol I know I’m corny). So fast and easy to prepare and definitely a summer favorite in our house now. I could literally eat this salad every single day! We ate it as a meal for dinner, but you could also make it as a side dish/salad. You can omit the shrimp if you are not a fan, and add anything else you want to it and get creative. Please don’t forget to share your idea’s with me, I would love to hear them!

Shrimp Salad {Serves 2 as meal, 4 as side}

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 package Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 Cucumbers or 1 long English Cucumber
  • 1 to 2 LB Shrimp, Raw (I used 2 LB as we love our shrimp!)
  • Dressing of choice (I used Marzetti Brand Classic Ranch Dressing)
  • Croutons of choice (I used Texas Toast Cheese & Garlic Croutons)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Lawry’s Herb & Garlic marinade sauce

Directions:

1) Do the prep work first. Peel & devine the shrimp, rinse through with cold water and let dry. Wash all the veggies and chop everything up into one big bowl. I chopped the lettuce into small squares. The grape tomatoes in halves. The cucumber in fourths and then chopped into pieces.

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2) Set a pan on Med-High heat (I did a 6) add some olive oil. When the oil heats up, add the shrimp. Add salt/pepper to shrimp and mix. When the shrimp looks done, lower the heat to low (I did 2) and add some Lawry’s Herb & Garlic marinade sauce, I added about 2 tablespoons and 2 pressed garlic cloves. Simmer with the lid on for a few minutes until shrimp is well cooked through. Turn off heat and keep shrimp hot.

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3) When you are ready to eat, add the shrimp into the salad bowel. Mix gently. Each person can add dressing and croutons to salad individually to their liking. Enjoy!

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Shrimp Scampi (Easy One Pan Meal)

DSCN3974 (2)It’s summer time and I am really into easy, one pan meals right now. I know I am not the only one that likes to relax by the pool instead of spending hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. But I do like to eat lol. Well let me tell ya, This Shrimp Scampi pasta dish is exactly that, fast, super duper easy, but is absolutely delicious and looks just as great as it tastes! I do have another Shrimp Scampi recipe on here, but this one is a bit different in taste, and much faster and easier to make. It also tastes better in our opinion. Basically what I am trying to say is, you need to make this for dinner asap because you are going to love it! Also I wanted to add that to our surprise, this dish tasted better the next night for dinner preheated. Not sure why, Maybe because while it was standing over night the flavors mixed well and the wine really marinated the shrimp and spaghetti. But it is a great dish to make ahead and does reheat easily. I got the inspiration for this recipe idea from the Shrimp Scampi Dish at the Nothing But Noodles Restaurant.

Shrimp Scampi (Easy, One Pan Meal) 

Ingredients:

  • 2 LB RAW Shrimp (Thawed, deveined, and peeled)
  • 1 LB Spaghetti (Angel Hair or Linguine are our favorites)
  • 3 Tablesppons butter (For the spaghetti)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Lemon (For the juice)
  • 1 Large Farm Fresh Tomato
  • 1 small (147 ml) bottle of White Wine, I used Chardonnay (3/4 Cup)
  • 4 to 5 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and pressed/minced)
  • Salt/Pepper (to taste)

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Directions:

1) Do the prep work first. Devein and peel the shrimp, then wash them thoroughly. I usually  rinse them 3 times, then place them in a strainer to get rid of all water. Wash and dice the tomato into small cubes. Set a pot of water to boil, for the spaghetti, make sure when it comes to a boil, add salt to the pot before you throw the spaghetti in and cook it according to package instructions. *I found that Angel Hair spaghetti tends to stick to itself, so make sure you mix it well and keep mixing throughout while you cook it.* (Meanwhile move on to step 2.)

2) While you wait for the water to boil, Set a big pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil on Medium-High heat (I did 7). When the oil heats up, throw in the raw shrimp and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp is well done, stirring occasionally to make sure you cook it evenly on both sides.

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3) Add the wine to the pan with shrimp. Then throw in the tomatoes. Then add the lemon juice, I do this by cutting the lemon in half, getting the seeds out, and squeezing the juice out of the lemons halves. Mix well. Turn it down to a low setting. (I did 3).

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4) Peel the garlic and either mince it or use the garlic press, add it to the pan of shrimp. Wash and finely chop the parsley, leaves only no stems, and set aside.

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5) At this point your spaghetti should be done cooking. Drain the water out of the pot. Add the butter to the spaghetti and mix well. Then add the spaghetti to the pan with shrimp and sauce. Turn off the stove at this time. Mix it very well to incorporate everything. Then add the fresh parsley. Mix and now your dish is ready to eat! To reheat, set the pan on low heat (3) and cook until warmed up. This dish reheats well!

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And of course a close up… 😉

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Fried Calamari (Carrabba’s Italian Grill Recipe)

DSCN3770I hope you guys don’t mind, but I have really been into Italian food and Carrabba’s recipes lately, hence all my latest posts lol. This is another one of our favorites and Carrabba’s Italian Grill makes it the best, maybe that’s why it is actually their best selling appetizer. I have always wanted to make this dish at home, so I finally did. This is the exact Carrabba’s recipe. The fried calamari turns out perfect…tender and crisp with a light and delicate coating. We like to dip it in Marinara Sauce and Garlic Aioli sauce. I must admit that I had a hard time making this dish because it was my first time dealing with (and touching) raw squid, and I have a very weak stomach. So consider this a warning: Calamari is made from squid and you will have to touch it! I told my husband I was making it for him and that I wouldn’t eat it, but it turned out so delicious I ended up eating half lol. I was surprised at how fast and easy it is to make Fried Calamari, in the restuarant it looks so perfect and that makes it intimidating to cook but it’s actually very simple. If you are looking for a yummy new appetizer or if you love seafood, this recipe is for you! I made Marinara Sauce and Garlic Aioli Sauce for this appetizer and I highly recommend you make both sauces for dipping too, if you want to get the ultimate, restaurant, taste. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pd. Calamari, cleaned
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • Vegetable Oil (For deep frying)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt (I used Sea Salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black Pepper
  • Lemon Wedges, for serving *Optional
  • Marinara Sauce or Garlic Aioli Sauce
  •  * (Ingredients and directions for Marinara sauce is on this page, below. Or you can use canned marinara sauce, heated up. The recipe for Garlic Aioli Sauce is posted on the recipe for Zucchini Fries here http://sofiesbestrecipes.com/2014/03/03/zucchini-fries-with-garlic-aioli-sauce/)*

DSCN3730Directions:

1) Wash the Calamari (Squid). Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line 1 baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels. Have a 2nd baking sheet ready nearby.

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2) Pour enough oil to come 1 inch up the side of a large, heavy saucepan. Heat over High heat to 350 Degrees (On a deep frying thermometer).

3) Cut the Calamari bodies (Sacs/Tubes) crosswise into 1/2 inch-wide rings. Cut each cluster of tentacles in halves or thirds. Season the Calamari with salt/pepper and mix.

4) Pour the flour into a bowl. Divide the calamari into 2 batches. Put the first batch of calamari into the bowl with flour and coat it with the flour, shaking off excess flour.

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5) Add the coated calamari into the saucepan with the hot oil. Cook over High heat until the calamari are golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.

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6) Using a slotted spoon transfer the calamari onto the baking sheet lined with paper towels to briefly drain.

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7) Move the calamari to the second baking sheet and place in the oven, to keep it warm and crisp. Repeat the same steps with the 2nd batch of calamari. Add more flour to the bowl if there is not enough, I did add a few spoons more of flour.

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8) Transfer the calamari to the serving plate. You can add lemon wedges to the plate, for decoration. Serve with marinara sauce and or garlic aioli sauce for dipping, if desired. I served with both sauces because we like our calamari with yummy sauces.

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Marinara Sauce:

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small Yellow Onion, Finely chopped
  • 2 Scallions (white & green part) Finely chopped
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped (Optional*)
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 Cup hearty Red Wine (Such as Citra Montepulciano)
  • 1 Can (28 oz.) Whole Tomatoes in juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hot, Crushed, Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1) Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, anchovies (if using), garlic, and cook. Stir occasionally until garlic is fragrant for about 1 minute.

2) Add the wine. Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl. Crush the tomatoes between your fingers, and pour the mixture into the saucepan. Add the oregano, hot pepper flakes, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to med.-low. Simmer, stirring often, until the tomato juices have thickened and the sauce has reduced slightly, about 30 minutes.  * The sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Or freeze for up to 2 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)