by amvandenhurk | Life, Seafood
The Lobster Roll is a New England Tradition.
I’ve written about the Lobster Roll before on Well Worn Apron. I adore them. I recently just made one after nearly two years of living in Newport. It just seemed easier to pop over to the Snack Bar at First Beach, but with it being the summer season, it just made sense to make it. Glad I did.
There are two types. One is a warm lobster in a New England split-top roll served with drawn butter. The other is a chilled lobster salad made with celery, salt, and pepper in a New England split-top roll. I love both types; however, I am partial the warm with butter.
Lobster meat, even in Rhode Island, is a luxury and treat. In Newport at the local dock (The Newport Lobster Shack is Newport’s fishermen co-op) where the fishermen and lobstermen come in, steamed lobster meat can set you back about $54/pound. That pound can make you eight to ten generous rolls. And in most restaurants, you can’t get one under $25. And that’s in Newport. It is worth purchasing fresh lobster meat. Don’t go for imitation meat. You can also get whole live lobsters, steam them, and remove the meat. I’m just a weenie about cooking a live lobster so I’ll just pay more and eat fewer times over the year.
My guys prefer the chilled salad version of the Lobster Roll. I’ve fancied up the recipe a little to make it super special, but if you want to go traditional then mayo and celery is the way to go. I added fresh chives from the garden, but you can use parsley. Fresh lemon juice freshens up the flavor. I wouldn’t recommend adding tons of mayo. You want to taste the sea and the sweetness of the lobster in every bite.
The other key for a good lobster roll is the New England split-top roll. Outside of New England, they are very hard to find. They are great rolls for hot dogs, too. A nicely grilled hot dog with warm sauerkraut and good mustard. Yum.
Though they are the best during the summer, we enjoy them all year around. There is something special about sitting at the water smelling the sea air and gulls hoping to swoop in for your delicious treat. If you long for the taste of the coast of New England, then this is a perfect way to feel like you are sitting at a lobster shack on the water during the summer. Just without the danger of a seagull stealing it. And getting a sunburn.
- 1-pound lobster meat
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 2–3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6-8 New England–style split-top hot dog buns
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- Chop lobster meat into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Mix lobster meat, celery, lemon juice, chives, and 2 tablespoons mayo in a bowl
- Season with salt and pepper adding more mayonnaise if you like a more wet salad.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Butter the flat sides grilling them until golden.
- Fill with lobster mixture.
by amvandenhurk | Holiday, Seafood
Warning: this layered shrimp dip is addictive.
Be prepared to embarrass yourself at parties by hovering over it. Or at least that’s me when my sister would make this wonderful party-friendly layered shrimp dip. Imagine me sitting in front of it on the porch of our old house in North Carolina with scoops in my hand shoveling it into my mouth during summer family gatherings.
Worst part is it is so simple to make with basics being salad shrimp cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cocktail sauce, salsa, and green onions. This dip is very giving in terms of ingredients. You can customize it to suit your tastes. While I am a hardcore fresh salsa maker, I suggest using whatever red salsa out of the jar you fancy from mild to spicy. Same goes from the cocktail sauce, jar works perfectly and you can select the heat level. Canned or defrosted salad shrimp are interchangeable based on what is easier for you to find. Same goes the cheese having just cheddar or a Mexican mix. You can add olives or chopped fresh peppers. We eat ours with just green onions. Whatever takes your taste buds.
Layered Shrimp Dip is perfect for parties or a party for one.
- - 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- - 1/2 cup jarred salsa, divided
- - 1/2 to 1cup cocktail sauce
- - Package, salad shrimp, defrosted or 3 cans (6 ounces each) small shrimp, rinsed and drained
- - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- - Sliced green onions
- - Tortilla chips or Scoops
- - Combine cream cheese and half of the salsa
- - Spread into a pie plate
- - Combine cocktail sauce and remaining salsa; spread over cream cheese.
- - Arrange shrimp evenly over top.
- - Sprinkle with onions.
- - Chill.
- - Serve with tortilla chips or Scoops
by amvandenhurk | Asian, Dinner, Seafood
Worth the Effort Vietnamese-Style Shrimp Balls over Rice Sticks
Growing up in Newark, Delaware, there was a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant called Saigon. It was my first exposure to Vietnamese food over thirty years ago now. It started my love affair with southeast Asian food. Saigon closed its doors in 2016 when the owners retired. It was a very sad moment for me. Many wonderful memories were made over tea, spring rolls, and lemon grass chicken. Long dinners filled with laughter and gossip with friends were common. Family dinners to celebrate any sort of good news happened there. It was just a special place.
The Vietnamese-style shrimp balls recipe was originally made with beef; however, I have always loved shrimp balls from my experience at Vietnamese restaurants. This is made with a slice of bacon, but I am sure it can be left out and taste just as well. In this recipe, I have used cooked and raw shrimp for the shrimp balls. I have to say that I find the cooked shrimp easier to work with and makes the balls firmer.
You serve this with rice vermicelli or thin rice stick noodles. Place the shrimp balls on the cooked noodles then drizzle the spicy fish sauce then add chopped basil and cilantro. Accompany with sweet and spicy cucumbers for added green and flavor.
Bring a little southeast Asia onto your table. A great meal to share with friends.
Vietnamese-Style Shrimp Balls over Rice Sticks Recipe
- 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bacon slice
- 1 pound shrimp, shelled
- Cooking spray
- 10-ounce rice vermicelli or thin rice stick noodles
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Add bacon and shrimp; pulse to combine.
- Divide shrimp mixture into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a (1-inch) ball.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
- Add meatballs
- Cook 10 minutes or until meatballs are done, browning on all sides.
- Cook noodles in boiling water 6 minutes; drain.
- Combine warm water and next 5 ingredients (water through 4 garlic cloves), stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves.
- Combine basil and cilantro.
- Divide noodles evenly among 4 plates; top each serving with 3 meatballs.
- Drizzle each serving with about 1/3 cup sauce; sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons herb mixture.
Sweet and Spicy Cucumber
- 1 seedless English cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Toss gently to coat.
Spicy Fish Sauce
- 1/2 warm water
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
Combine and mix until sugar is dissolved.
by amvandenhurk | Dinner, Seafood
Super Simple and Sexy Flounder on a Bed of Mushrooms
Got your attention with super simple and sexy. I don’t know how long I have had this recipe for flounder. Believe I picked it up while in the Netherlands either a fish monger or the Albert Heijn grocery store. The recipe originally called for Sole and that’s really hard to come by in the US. Flounder is the next best fish to use in this recipe. It is widely available in the freezer section of most US grocery stores.
It has been years since I last made this fish recipe. I found it as I was looking through my old overstuffed recipe binder. The recipe was in Dutch so I have done my best to transcribe it into English.
Now back to the super simple and sexy part. This really is a simple dish. Perfect to impress that special person or persons. Perfect for a date night. All it is flounder, salt, ground pepper, lemon juice, mushrooms, butter, onion, parsley, and white wine. Fresh ingredients that are available at most grocery stores. The recipe is fairly healthy and a bit of butter now and again never really killed anyone… or at least they died happy knowing they enjoyed the meal. It can be served with mashed potatoes and a vegetable. Or even crusty bread. On our house, potatoes are always the winner.
While the recipe calls for you to have a separate dish to bake the fish in, I have taken a one-pot solution. I used my Lodge 3.6 quart enamel cast iron casserole pan to cook it all in. It works perfectly and makes a nice presentation from oven to table. And it helps with clean-up. Only one pot to wash instead of a frying pan and casserole dish. You still have to have the pan for the potatoes though.
Looks completely luxurious and tastes that way.
Flounder on a bed of mushrooms
- - 2-4 Tablespoons Butter
- - 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- - 1 yellow onion, chopped
- - 4 Flounder or firm white fish fillets
- - 1 lemon juiced
- - Salt and Ground Pepper
- - Glass of white wine
- - Handful of parsley chopped finely
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Butter an oven-proof baking dish setting aside.
- - Rinse and dry the flounder fillets.
- - Rub salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- - Heat butter in pan over medium heat.
- - Sauté mushrooms and onion until softened.
- - Place cooked mushroom mixture in it.
- - Fold the flounder fillets in half then place on the mushrooms.
- - Add the white wine then the parsley.
- - Bake in oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
- - Serve with mashed potatoes and cooking sauce.
Recipe in Photos
by amvandenhurk | Dinner, Seafood
Quick Baked Shrimp in Butter Garlic Lemon Sauce
Weekday nights can be crazy. Everyone is running around or running late. And everyone is tired. I know there are lots of afternoons I run out of steam to cook dinner, but I still cook. Cooking at home is better for your waistline and your wallet as I like to say.
That’s where quick baked shrimp in butter garlic lemon sauce comes into the picture. It is a dump and bake meal. Thaw the shrimp, melt the butter, then combine the rest of the ingredients in an oven-safe baking dish and in 20 minutes you have a dinner. You can serve it with pasta, side salad, and/or crusty bread. The sauce is wonderful and very flavorful. Perfect actually for dipping crusty bread in to sop up the sauce. That is my favorite part.
Baked Shrimp in Butter Garlic Lemon Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or juice of one large lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper based on heat level
- Pinch of salt
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Arrange shrimp in a single layer in an oven-proof dish coated with butter, oil, or cooking spray.
- Combine lemon juice and next 5 ingredients; pour over shrimp.
- Bake 10-15 minutes or until shrimp are done.
- Sprinkle parsley over shrimp
by amvandenhurk | Dinner, Seafood
Go wild on Taco Tuesday with Fish Tacos
Not only for Taco Tuesday, but maybe Fish Friday, these fish tacos will satisfy everyone. We’ve never done Taco Tuesday in our house. The local Mexican place offers $1 tacos on Tuesdays. We would go and eat our tacos, but honestly they were pretty sorry tacos. Only two kinds: chicken and beef. Always leaving unsatisfied, we stopped going. Why pay for that wasn’t meeting your expectations? Even if it was a dollar.
I decided this past Tuesday that we needed to do Taco Tuesday. Mainly because I was bored and wanted to cook something new. And I rarely cook anything from south of border. Decided to make fish tacos. I’ve eaten them in restaurants and while they were tasty there was something that never worked for me. Best way was me to make them.
Made with cod, homemade salsa, and fiery sauce, they are delicious, fast, and simple. Perfect for busy weeknights. I make my own tomato salsa and mix my own fiery sauce. The extra effort will reward you in flavor and freshness. I keep the cod very simple by seasoning it with salt and pepper cooking it in a little bit of olive oil for it to get brown and lightly crispy.
My guys are already requesting them for next Taco Tuesday, but with shrimp. So our first Taco Tuesday was a success!
I used cod, but other flaky fish would work as well as shrimp. Per request by my guys, they wanted both fish and chicken. I agreed to have both. While I seasoned the fish with salt and pepper, I seasoned the chicken with a spicy mix of pepper and chili.
Fish Tacos Recipe
- 4 pieces cod
- Salt and pepper
- Salsa – see recipe below
- Lettuce thinly sliced
- Small flour or corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
Mix together in small bowl.
Addictive Salsa Recipe
- 4-6 plum tomatoes, diced small
- 1 bunch of Cilantro, chopped small
- 1 Jalapeño pepper, chopped small
- 1/2 white onion, chopped small
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Mix all ingredients together. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temp and stirring a couple times.
- Prepare the salsa and fiery sauce allowing the blend flavors at room temp.
- Salt and pepper the cod or shrimp.
- Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
- Cook cod until flaky and/or shrimp until they are pink.
- Warm up tortillas.
- Serve with salsa, fiery sauce, lettuce, and tortillas.