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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Seafood Fettuccine

 

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Growing up in New Jersey we ate a lot of mussels. At the store, I found some beautiful ones and to go along with the mussels some beautiful shrimp. I thought a seafood pasta dish would be delicious. This is my Seafood Fettuccine.

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 6-quart saucepot, colander, hand-held lemon juicer

Ingredients:
2 pounds of mussels, beards removed and shells cleaned
2 pounds of jumbo shrimp, shelled, cleaned, deveined, and tails removed
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of saffron
1 large onion, diced
3 cups of Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bottle of dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
2 tablespoons of Pernod
2 lemons, sliced into rounds
3 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/3 cup of lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 boxes (1 1/2 pounds) of Fettuccine

Directions:
Cleaning the mussels is really easy. First, check for any *beards, pull them off. Fill up your sink with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Stir the flour through with your hands. Toss in the mussels. The mussels are like little filters and they’ll drink up the flour then spit it out along with any sand.

Drain and rinse them really well. Any mussels that aren’t closed, tap on the counter if they don’t close, on their own, get rid of them, they’re no longer alive. The same rule applies after they’re cooked. If they don’t open, throw them out they’re no good.

Peel and devein the shrimp and removing all the tails.

This dish cooks quickly. First, you want to have a large pot of salted boiling water ready, on the back burner. Second, it’s important to have all the vegetables prepped (according to the ingredient-list above) and set aside.

In a large preheated heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat add the olive oil and butter. Add the red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and lemon zest, stir to combine. Add the diced onions, season with the Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, stir, cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Moving forward, add the Pernod, lemon juice, and Agave nectar frequently stirring, add the diced tomatoes,, mix to combine. Add the white wine, unsalted chicken stock, and saffron bring the liquid up to a bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the mussels, shrimp, and tarragon, stir one more time and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. This is the perfect time to drop the fettuccine.

Remove the lid, give another stir making sure all the mussels have opened and the shrimp are perfectly cooked.

Cook the pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the fettuccine to the pot containing the seafood. Add the chopped parsley and toss through.

The pasta will absorb the broth. If you feel you need to add a little more liquid add 1 or 2 ladles of the starchy pasta cooking liquid.

Garnish with lemon slices. I like to serve my Seafood Fettuccine with some crusty bread to soak up as much of the broth as possible.

*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They”re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.

*Pernod: Pernod is an Anise-flavored liqueur.

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Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers

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My Quinoa Roasted Stuffed Peppers are really flavorful and delicious. I promise you, the fact that there’s no meat in this recipe is not an issue. The colors and texture I’ve incorporated in this dish will blow your mind!

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Stuffed Roasted Peppers

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepan, 2 (9 x 13) baking dishes, chef’s knife, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch sauté pan, 8-inch sauté pan, 2 large mixing bowls

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil, extra for the tops of the stuffed peppers
2 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 orange bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 yellow bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
1 1/2 cup of frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
4 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups of Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced, and drained
1 onion quartered
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 chipotle pepper in Adobo, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups of wheat germ
1 1/4 cups of vegetable stock plus 6 tablespoons, unsalted
1 cup of quinoa

Note: You may have to trim a very thin slice off the bottoms of each pepper so they will stand upright. Be careful not to cut too much off exposing the inside of the pepper.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Arrange the peppers on two rimmed baking sheet pans. Cook for 30 minutes allowing them to soften before filling.

In the meantime start by making the filling. Add quartered onions and garlic to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Next, add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor, again, pulse just until finely chopped. Add the chipotle pepper and the processed mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the same bowl.

Add the drained Roma tomatoes and fresh thyme leaves to the bowl, mix to combine. Set aside.

In a small dry sauté pan over medium-low heat add the pine nuts. Cook, swishing the pan around, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until you start to smell their aroma. Immediately remove from the heat. Set aside.

Start by rinsing the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First, you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa to remove the *saponin. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

In a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-low heat add (or leave) some of the water remaining on the quinoa so that it’s moist. Add the quinoa to the heated pan. Make sure not to overcrowd. Using a whisk, quickly stir the quinoa around allowing any excess water to be absorbed by the grains of quinoa.

Once the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa begins to pop, you’ll know it’s drying out. Continue stirring until the grains of quinoa begin to brown. The aroma will begin to smell nutty, around 5 minutes.

In another pot bring the 3 cups of vegetable stock up to a boil and salt. Pour the hot vegetable stock into the pot containing the quinoa. Give the quinoa a good stir, cover (with the glass lid). With the heat still on medium-low, simmer until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

After 30 minutes remove the peppers out of the oven.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil. Transfer the processed vegetables to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender, all liquid has evaporated, and the vegetable mixture has thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the thawed peas and toasted pin nuts, stir to combine. Continue cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine the vegetable mixture with the cooked toasted quinoa. Stir to combine. Using a large spoon fill all 16 peppers to the top. Arrange the peppers, side by side, in the baking dishes. Sprinkle wheat germ evenly over the top of each pepper. Top each one with shredded Mozzarella.

Drizzled 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable stock into the bottom of each of the baking dishes.  Bake for another 30 minutes.  To finish, turn the oven to broil setting, (keep a close eye) and cook for around 5 minutes or until the cheese and the tops become a light golden brown.

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Steamed Mussels With Tomato And Garlic Broth

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This dish was my dad’s favorite seafood dish of all time. He loved it when I’d make my Steamed Mussels With Tomato And Garlic Broth. We shared so many good times and great meals together. I miss you every day.

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 47 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Yields: 2 servings (1 1/2 pounds per person)
Equipment: large stockpot, 6-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting lid, spider, Mandolin

Ingredients:
3 pounds of mussels, cleaned
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter, unsalted
1 sweet onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and their juice
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of Pernod,
1 bottle plus 1 cup of Chardonnay
1 quart of chicken stock, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Pernod

1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves, Julienned

Directions For Prepping Mussels:
I bought six 2-pound bags of PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels at my local seafood store. Yes, that’s a lot of mussels but, after going through all of them, you may find some that are open and/or cracked. Discard those because they’re no longer alive and no good.

If you come across those that may be slightly open, you can do a quick test by giving them a good thump with your fingers, if they don’t close, get rid of them. They’re dead and no good. Then you may find some with a chipped shell from the shipping process. Get rid of them.
Next, when you’re scrubbing the outside shells, removing debris, and whatnot, you want to remove the *beard from each mussel. Look, everything that’s worthwhile means doing the work. Great seafood recipes are no different.

We start by getting to the seafood shop as soon as it opens, about 7 am. All six 2-pound bags are packed on ice for the ride home. Then it becomes a family project. Due to the way the mussels are packaged you really don’t know how many of them may be damaged, from shipping, or just might be dead. It’s important to take this into consideration.

Note: During the cleaning of the mussels, they must remain as cold as possible. Once they’ve been cleaned, immediately return them to an ice-filled container.

Steve has two chairs set up outside with a couple of brushes, ice, and two buckets of water for cleaning and rinsing the mussels. He doesn’t mind doing the work because he knows about the payoff. It takes the two of us about 45 minutes to clean, remove all the beards, and discard any dead ones. When all is said and done, the 12 pounds of mussels, I bought, end up being a good 10 pounds of perfection. Keep in mind, we’re talking about 95% “shell weight” here!

Next, I fill up my sink with water adding in a couple of tablespoons of flour. Using my hands, I swish the flour around until the water becomes cloudy. I add all the cleaned mussels into the water-filled sink. Mussels act like a filter and will drink the flour/water mixture and spit the water back out, along with any sand they may have inside their shells. This process only takes a couple of minutes. Then, I drain the water from the sink and spray the mussels down with clean water. I’ve divided the mussels into four large Tupperware containers each containing approx. 3 pounds of mussels. Top each container with ice then transfer the containers to the refrigerator. It’s time to start on my broth for the mussels.

Directions For the Sauce:
In a large saucepot over medium-high heat add olive oil, butter, and crushed red pepper flakes. Once the butter melts add the diced onions, stirring frequently, cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the sliced fennel, minced garlic, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Chardonnay, stir to combine. Cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the wine to reduce. Add the Roma tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes and their juice, Pernod, and chicken stock. Reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, place a lid on the pot transfer to the back burner, set temperature to warm, or your lowest setting. Immediately before ladling the sauce over the mussels add the basil and parsley stir to combine.

Take one of the containers of mussels out of the refrigerator, discarding the ice.

In an empty large stockpot with the lid on, heating up over medium-high heat, add the mussels into the large stockpot. Immediately pour the whole bottle of Chardonnay right over the top and quickly replace the lid. After about 3 minutes, open the lid, give them a big stir using a spider, to see how they’re coming along. You want all the mussels to have opened before removing them from the pot. For 3 pounds it takes anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes. Times may vary slightly.

Once all the mussels are cooked, they’re ready for the ladling of the sauce. Oh yes, don’t forget to serve some crusty bread for dipping too! These are my Steamed Mussels With Tomato And Garlic Broth.

Mussels Two Ways

Mussels With Basil Garlic Bread Crumbs

 

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