Right on schedule. My “man this has been a while since I last posted” post. Well it has been. I’ve been very busy since the last installment of this blog. I got married to the lovely Ms. B and we recently bought a house on Miami Beach, which has been a source of joy and consternation as any new home owner can attest to.
While I have been cooking a BUNCH, I have not been blogging very much. I have taken some photos on my iphone and through instagram (tandre3000), so I hope to go back and retroactively blog about those meals. Some have been memorable.
Forgive my corniness, but I saw The Dark Knight Rises last night and am still a little keyed up, so I kind of feel like Batman returning to the streets of Gotham 8 years after the death of Harvey Dent. What brings the caped crusader back to the world of food blogging? A buddy trying to make a meal for his girl.
My buddy, not a natural cook, approached me about making a meal for a special occasion. This is precisely the type of task I like helping folks out with. We brain stormed some ideas, but the meal had to be 1) relatively simple; 2) very impactful. I thought about the universe of possibilities but in the end I thought a braised shellfish or mixed shellfish stew would be best as it would be a one pot dish with amazing flavors and make for a dramatic meal. I’m going to call this dish braised seafood because you are only limited by your imagination. I will list what I’m using, but you can use what ever fish is freshest and suits your taste. I think the only must is that there should be some clams or mussels in it (because the liquor they excrete during the cooking process is key) and some shell-on shrimp, as the shrimp shells also impart remarkable flavor.
My trip to Whole Foods this morning resulted in the following fish:
Snow crab leg clusters (2)
dozen little neck clams
12 shell-on medium (U-15) shrimp
6 sea scallops
Braised Seafood with Chorizo
Fish (see above)
1 small chorizo link sliced
1 medium yellow onion (sliced) (or 3-4 shallots)
5-6 cloves of garlic minced
1-2 cups white wine
2-3 cups of clam juice
2 tbs butter
Herbs (Thyme and parsley are great, I’m going to use Oregano)
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed Red Pepper flakes to taste
olive oil for sautéing
1 large pinch of Saffron threads bloomed in 3-4 tbs of hot water (OPTIONAL)
1 Loaf of rustic bread, sliced.
Method: Get large high walled skillet or braising pan (more surface area the better) set to medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Fry sliced chorizo until brown and crispy. Add onions and fry until slightly softened. Add garlic until fragrant. Add herbs and some salt and pepper. Turn up heat. Add wine and cook to to rapid boil. Add Clam Juice and bring to rapid boil. Add your shellfish in this order: Clams, crab, and grouper cheeks first. Cook 2-3 minutes or until clams begin to open. Add Shrimp and scallops and cook until shrimp and scallops are opaque. Serve immediately, with toasted bread (slice and lightly oil bread. Broil on low in oven on baking sheet 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. WATCH CAREFULLY).