- Posted February 19, 2013 by
Quick And Easy Seafood Recipes
With the relatively shorter cooking times of most fish and shellfish compared to meat and poultry, recipes featuring these delectable ingredients can be a convenient way to whip up an impressive feast in a relatively short amount of time. The speedy cooking time can however deceive the novice cook who doesn’t realize that small shrimps and calamari can just take seconds to cook and going over by a a mere matter of minutes will make the ends product tough and rubbery.
The keys to good food preparation especially with seafood is freshness of ingredients and mis en place or putting “everything in place”. Especially with foods that cook quickly, it is wise to have all the components of your dish ready on hand so that the addition of ingredients need not be delayed because the cook forgets to peel, slice, chop, mince or thaw anything.
Fresh shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and other smaller sized marine animals should be purchased as fresh as possible and stored properly in the refrigerator when these will not be used immediately. Keep them in the freezer when they won’t be used in a matter of hours. Note that the longer you keep them in the freezer, the more you lose flavor, texture and nutrients. Using frozen pre-peeled seafood also cuts preparation time because it eliminates the most tedious steps. Simply thaw and you’re good to go. Stir fry shrimp, squid rings or fish fillets with vegetables and you get a great seafood sauté.
Other straightforward simple recipes you can try at home include crab cakes which are made with store bought fresh or frozen crab meat, a binder of eggs and/or cream and flavoring components of vegetables, herbs and spices. Mash these up together, coat with breadcrumbs and deep fry. A prawn cocktail also takes minutes to put together. Boil or steam some large prawns, shell devein and assemble creatively in a martini glass with a minced vegetable salsa. Even simpler would be to curl the delicate cooked prawn on a slice of avocado or other fresh fruit.
Lastly, some dishes that looks very easy to prepare and take a half second to eat, like sushi and sashimi can be deceivingly difficult to prepare. In making these tasty bite-sized raw seafood morsels, fine dining Japanese restaurants use very sharp expensive knives, special ingredients like short grain rice moistened with rice vinegar and rolled with nori sheets on bamboo mats. Better leave that for the professional for the meantime or be ready for quite a bit of trial and error.