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Showing posts with label Fish/Seafood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fish/Seafood. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 4th Foods

The 4th of July is a great day to kick back with a cool drink, throw a few burgers on the grill and just relax!  But maybe this year you would like to cook something different, not just burgers.  Maybe kabobs would be a tasty change, or a giant pot of Low Country Boil, or try a new side dish like Grilled Tomatoes with Mozzarella Cheese and Fresh Basil or Chipotle Slaw to add a spicy kick to your meal.

Whether your day includes lounging by the pool or staying inside and out of the heat, fix yourself a cool Caribbean Blue Iced Tea and enjoy this mid-summer holiday.

Here are some other cool menu suggestions for your July 4th feast.
Smoked Chicken Quarters

Country Style Pork Ribs with Mustard and Dry Rub Marinade

Low Country Boil with Crab Legs, Shrimp, Red Potatoes and Corn on the Cob
A Low Country Boil is an easy one-pot meal
Smoked Pork Butt 
Caribbean Blue Iced Tea

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lemon Lime Shrimp Fajitas

Fajitas are a quick and easy meal to prepare, especially on a busy weeknight, and Chicken Fajitas are a family favorite at our house.  But this time, we wanted to try something a bit different and make seafood fajitas.

Using sliced green peppers and onions and a little cilantro, all we needed was a simple marinade for the shrimp and we were ready to cook.  And get this, the cooking time was only about 7 minutes!

For the marinade we combined a lemon ponzu sauce, which is actually an Asian lemon-accented soy sauce, and lime juice to create a simple citrus mix that was a bit salty, sweet and tangy all at the same time.

Once the fajita mixture was ready to serve we tried several different toppings to find the ones we liked the most.  By far the overall favorite was the addition of crumbled queso fresco cheese, with the  salty cheese really adding a nice texture to the shrimp and vegetables.  We also liked sour cream and Homemade Guacamole on the fajitas, both of which can be added to the fajitas or served on the side.

However you choose to build your own favorite Shrimp Fajita, it will quickly become you favorite quick and easy weeknight meal.  Enjoy!!

2 lbs  Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 large  Onion, thinly sliced
2 large  Green Peppers, thinly sliced
2 TB  Canola Oil
1 cup lightly packed  Cilantro Leaves
1 cup  Lemon Ponzu Sauce
2/3 cup  Lime Juice
12  Flour Tortillas
Garnishes:  Queso Fresco Cheese, Sour Cream, Guacamole

In a medium glass bowl combine the shrimp, garlic, Ponzu and lime juice.  Stir to combine and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and peppers to the skillet and saute for 4 minutes, or until tender.  Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink.  Add the cilantro and stir, then spoon the mixture into warm tortillas.

Garnish with crumbled queso fresco cheese, sour cream or guacamole.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Seafood Stew with Andouille Sausage

Well, today is Halloween.  The final day of October and also the last day of our 2014 Soup Month.  This month has gone by so quickly and I hope you have had the opportunity to try a few of the new soup recipes we presented this month.

It was interesting to ask my family what their favorite soups were this month because they all liked something different!  We all enjoy a big bowl of hot soup for dinner so we now have lots of new recipes to choose from for this winter.

For our Soup Month finale we decided to go with something that my family loves, a Seafood Stew with Andouille Sausage.  Cioppino is one of our favorite dishes and this recipe is very similar, but with the addition of andouille sausage.  The sausage adds a great deal of spice and flavor to the broth and pairs beautifully with the seafood.  I actually splurged and made homemade shrimp stock for this recipe and it added a great deal of flavor to the stew, but can also substitute clam juice for part of the liquid or even use chicken stock with equally good results.

This is a great bowl of soup that can be ready to serve in ab out 30 minutes.  Serve with lots of crusty French bread to sop up all those delicious juices.  Enjoy!!

1 TB  Olive Oil
12 oz  Spicy Andouille Sausage
1 cup  Diced Yellow Onion
1 medium  Green Pepper, chopped
1 TB  Minced Garlic
3 medium  Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
1/2 cup  Dry White Wine
1 14-oz can  Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Onion
5 cups  Shrimp or Fish Stock or you can use Chicken Stock
1 lb  Fish Fillets, Cod or any dense white fish will work, cut into 2-inch pieces
24  Fresh Mussels, scrubbed
1 lb   Medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb  Calamari Rings, defrosted

Salt and Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil to a large soup pot with the andouille sausage and cook 4 minutes or until browned on the edges.  Add the onion, pepper, and potatoes and saute for 6 minutes or until the onion is tender.  Add the oregano, parsley, thyme and white wine and simmer until the wine has reduced by half.  Add the tomatoes and stock to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the fish to the pot, pushing the fillets down into the stock.  Add the mussels, again pressing them into the liquid.  Now add the calamari rings and the shrimp as the top layer, pressing them lighting into the top of the stew.  (The calamari and shrimp take the shortest amount of time to cook so they are best near the top of the stew.)  Cover the pot and increase the heat to medium-high and bring to stew to a low boil.  Give the pan a gentle shake every minute or two and this will keep the seafood cooking evenly.

When the shrimp have turned pink, gently stir the stew and remove any mussels that have not opened.  Ladle the stew into wide soup bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Surimi Alfredo Soup

For day 25 of Soup Month 2014 we made a quick and easy Surimi Alfredo Soup.  Surimi, also known as imitation crab meat, is made with whitefish and is fully cooked and ready to serve.  It's used in many types of sushi rolls and California rolls, it's very good in salads or even for a quick stir fry.  I used surimi years ago as an entree with sun-dried tomatoes and an Alfredo sauce, so we turned the entree into a soup.

With this recipe you are basically making a quick Alfredo sauce as the base of the soup, but it is slightly thinned down with the water.  This keeps the sauce from being too overly rich.  The addition of poblano peppers adds just a bit of spice and the lobster base, although optional, adds a great seafood flavor.

This is a great weeknight soup and can be ready to serve in just about 25 minutes.  Serve the soup with baked clam shells or even some grilled shrimp on the side.  Enjoy!!

1 qt  Water
2 TB  Salted Butter
1 large  Poblano Pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
1-1/2 cups  Half and Half
1-1/2 cups  Milk
1 tsp  Lobster Base (optional)
10 oz  Shell Shaped Pasta (or any other shape)
16 oz  Surimi Imitation Crab Meat
1 cup  Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Freshly Ground White Pepper to Taste

In a medium pot bring 1 quart of water to a boil.  In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the poblano peppers and saute until tender, about 4 minutes.

Dip 3 cups of water from the first pot and pour it into the soup pot.  Add the half and half, milk and lobster base, then add the pasta and boil for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is just al dente.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the surimi and Parmesan cheese to the pot and fold in gently.  If the mixture is too thick add a bit more hot water from the first pot or you can add a bit more milk.  If the sauce is too thin add a little more Parmesan until the soup is the consistency you  desire.  Season with salt and white pepper to taste and serve with additional Parmesan cheese and a few baked clam shells.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pan-Seared Cod in Hot and Sour Broth

For day 20 of Soup Month 2014 we made a light and flavorful, Pan-Seared Cod in Hot and Sour Broth.  With a delicate Asian-style broth laced with honey, ginger and sesame oil, plus a gentle spike of sriracha sauce and cider vinegar, the seared cod adds the perfect final touch to this meal.

My family really liked this soup and we all agreed that the broth was so tasty, that it would even combine well with shrimp or small pieces of chicken.  Even by itself the broth had a great texture and just the right amount of sweet, spicy and sour flavors.  If you enjoy making Asian cuisine at home, this is a great recipe to keep on hand.

The cod and broth are served atop a small bed of steamed rice, with brown or white rice working equally well.  Serve with Homemade Shrimp Egg Rolls or steamed edamame on the side.  Enjoy!!

1-1/2 lbs  Cod Fillets, cut into 4 portions
Salt and Ground Black Pepper
24 oz  Chicken Broth
1/8 cup  Honey
2 TB  Tomato Paste
2 TB  Cider Vinegar
1 tsp  Sesame Oil
1 tsp  Fish Sauce
1 tsp  Minced Fresh Ginger
1/2 tsp  Sriracha Sauce, or more to taste
1 TB  Peanut Oil
1/4 cup  Chopped Green Onions, for Garnish
2 cups  Steamed White or Brown Rice

Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken broth, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, ginger and sriracha sauce.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add peanut oil and heat until shimmering.  Add the cod fillets to the pan and cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until the edges of the fish begin to turn opaque.  Turn the fillets, cook 2 minutes longer, then cover and remove the pan from the heat.

Taste test the broth and add salt and white pepper, if needed.

Place a 1/2 cup of steamed rice in each of 4 bowls.  Place a cod fillet on top of the rice, then pour about 3/4 cup of broth around the rice.  Sprinkle the fish with green onions and serve immediately with steamed edamame on the side.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mussel and Spinach Bisque

For all of you seafood lovers out there, we have something special for you today.  For day 19 of Soup Month 2014 we went a little fancy with a delicious Mussel and Spinach Bisque.  With a creamy broth of white wine, milk and half and half, the bisque is dotted with pieces of baby spinach and plump, juicy mussels.

Many people shy away from mussels because, let's face it, they do look a little odd.  With their black, shiny shells, often with little green "beards" hanging off the edges, they do look a bit intimidating.  The good thing is, they taste wonderful and they are easy to make.  With a slightly salty, briny flavor, mussels are quite good when they are simply steamed, but adding mussels to a creamy bisque elevates them to a more sophisticated level.  So, if you've never eaten mussels, this is a great way to try these tasty little bites.

This soup was quite filling on its own, and makes a great main course, but it could also be served in smaller portions as a first course.  It would be perfect served with grilled steaks or a Prime Rib Roast.  Enjoy!!

3/4 cup  Dry White Wine
1/4 cup  Water
2 lbs  Mussels, scrubbed and any beards removed
2 TB  Salted Butter
1 TB  Finely Minced Shallots
3 TB  Flour
8-oz bottle  Clam Juice
1 TB  Tomato Paste
1 cup  Milk
1 cup  Half and Half
Salt and White Pepper to Taste

In a large skillet bring the wine and water to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Add the mussels, cover, and cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels to a cookie sheet to cool, discarding any mussels that did not open, and reserving the cooking liquid from the mussels.

In a medium soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the flour, stirring to combine, and cook 2 minutes longer.

Add the clam juice and the reserved cooking liquid to the pot, whisking to blend in the flour.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add the tomato paste and stir until smooth.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the milk and half and half and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

Add the spinach to the pot and cook just a few minutes until the spinach is wilted, then add the mussels to the pot, season with salt and white pepper and serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

For day 14 of Soup Month 2014 we made a Shrimp and Chorizo Soup that combines spicy chorizo sausage with fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh shrimp in a white wine broth.  With just a hint of smoky paprika in the background, the broth really completes the soup beautifully.  A loaf of crusty French bread and a glass of white wine are all that's needed to make this a delicious, hearty meal.

This soup is very easy to prepare and features one of my favorite ingredients, chorizo.  (If you are not a fan of spicy chorizo, you could also substitute a mild kielbasa or Italian sausage.)  After a quick saute, the sausage is cooked along with garlic, onion, potatoes and tomatoes and gently simmered to blend all of the flavors.  The shrimp is added to the soup during the last 10 minutes and dinner is ready.  Enjoy!!

1 TB  Olive Oil
1 lb  Chorizo Sausage Links, sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 stalk  Celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup  Finely Chopped Onion
1 tsp  Minced Garlic
1/4 tsp  Smoked Paprika
5  Medium Red Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 14.5 oz can  Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
1/2 cup  White Wine
1 cup  Water
Fresh Chopped Parsley for Garnish

In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, saute the chorizo in the oil for 4 minutes, until just beginning to brown.  Add the celery, onion, garlic and paprika to the pan and cook until the vegetables are tender.

Add the red potatoes, tomatoes, white wine and water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Remove the pot from the heat, add the shrimp, pushing them gently down into the broth.  Cover the pot and let sit for 10 minutes while the shrimp steam.  Remove the lid and check to make sure the shrimp are nice and pink, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Andouille Sausage and Mussel Stew

For our second day of Soup Month 2014 we made a spicy Andouille Sausage and Mussel stew.  Mussels are one of my favorite varieties of shellfish and this dish is a great way to highlight their delicate flavor.

Andouille sausage, which is a type of smoked sausage, is becoming quite popular and is available in a variety of flavors at most supermarkets.  We chose a Cajun variety but any type of Andouille or spicy smoked sausage would work well.

This stew has a rich, flavorful broth similar to the classic San Francisco Cioppino, and is accented with the spices from the sausage and the slight sweetness from the mussels.  We chose Yukon gold potatoes for this stew because they tend to hold their shape and not crumble while cooking and they helped turn this into a hearty one-pot meal.

The stew can be ready to serve in just over 30 minutes and the only things you need to complete this meal are a loaf of crusty French bread, for soaking up all of that delicious broth, and a nice glass of white wine.

14 oz  Andouille Sausage (we used a Cajun variety), casings removed, sausage diced
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 small  Onion, finely diced
3 cups  Chicken Broth
1-1/4 cups  Dry White Wine
5 - 6 medium  Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and diced
14.5 oz can  Diced Tomatoes with Onion and Garlic
1 tsp  Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp  Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 lbs  Fresh Mussels, cleaned and beards removed

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the sausage for about 5 minutes or until it is beginning to brown.

Add the garlic and onion to the pot and saute 4 minutes until tender.

Add the broth and wine to the pot and stir, then add the potatoes, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Continue to cook the stew over medium-high heat until the potatoes are just barely fork tender, but not fully cooked, about 8 minutes.

Add the mussels to the pot, pushing the mussels gently down into the stew, cover and simmer for about 6 minutes or until the mussels are opened.  Uncover the stew and remove any mussels that did not open and discard.

Ladle the stew into wide soup bowls and serve with lots of crusty French bread.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp

~~~ Welcome to Soup Month 2014 ~~~

Today is the start of Soup Month, our annual series that will bring you 31 new soup, stew and chili recipes in 31 days.

We have a huge variety of soups coming your way from simple classic soups to economical soups, that will feed your family a healthy meal and allow you to stretch your budget, to elegant soups for your upcoming holiday dinners.  We will even be making a few new batches of chili to serve during football parties and winter events.

So whatever types of soups are your favorite I'm sure we will have something for everyone.  So get your soup pots ready and let's have some fun during Soup Month 2014!

For the first day of Soup Month 2014 we made a spicy Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp that is better than anything you can get from a takeout restaurant.  This is a unique version of the classic hot and sour soup in that the sour flavor comes from lemon juice instead of vinegar, giving the soup a bright flavor without the lemon being too overpowering.

We spiced up the broth with a mixture of ginger, white pepper and Sriracha sauce, then added shrimp, mushrooms and tofu to complete this hearty Asian inspired soup.  A Homemade Shrimp Egg Roll on the side was the perfect companion for this soup.

This is also a very quick to prepare soup and can be ready to serve in about 30 minutes.  The ingredients are also adjustable to suit your own preferences.  A little more lemon juice will increase the sour level, an extra teaspoon of Sriracha or pinch of white pepper will increase the heat, and more mushrooms or shrimp can be added for a more hearty soup or if you would like to stretch the recipe to serve a few more people.

2 tsp  Peanut Oil
1  Carrot, peeled and cut into small strips
1 tsp  Minced Ginger
6 oz  Fresh Mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
8 oz can  Sliced Bamboo Shoots, drained
4 cups  Chicken Broth
1/3 cup  Soy Sauce
3 TB  Lemon Juice
1 tsp White Pepper (use 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon more for more heat)
1-1/2 to 2 tsp  Sriracha Sauce (or more to taste)
12 oz  Extra Firm Tofu, drained and cut into strips or cubes
1 lb   Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 TB  Cornstarch
4 TB  Water
2  Large Eggs, beaten
2 TB Green Onions, chopped

In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots and ginger and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots and cook 3 - 4 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften.

Add the broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, white pepper, sriracha, and tofu to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook 2 minutes or until the shrimp are just beginning to turn pink.

Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly until the soup thickens slightly. Slowly drizzle the beaten eggs into pan, stirring constantly, to create ribbons in the soup.

Remove from heat and serve with a sprinkle of chopped green onions.  Makes about 6 servings.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Calamari Po'Boy Sandwiches

Until a few years ago I had never tasted calamari.  Growing up in the Midwest, fresh seafood was pretty scarce, and the thought of eating "squid" would have made me cringe, so, I was a little nervous the first time I tried these little rings. Fortunately they had been prepared in a light tempura batter and quickly fried to ensure they were not overcooked, and they were delicious.  (That is the main secret to preparing calamari, don't overcook it or the rings will be rubber bands.)

Since calamari has become so common on restaurant menus, I was looking forward to cooking some at home.  When I spotted calamari on sale at our local fish market, that was just the incentive I needed to give it a try.

For our Calamari Po'Boy Sandwiches we used a double batter.  First the rings are coated in cornmeal, then dipped in an egg wash before being lightly coated in Italian seasoned breadcrumbs.  The result is a crispy coating that cooks fast and doesn't taste heavy.  We used a wok to fry the rings and it worked great to keep the oil at an even temperature, even when cooking multiple batches.

To add a little extra flavor to our Po'Boys we added a few goodies from our garden, a layer of fresh basil leaves and a spoonful of marinated cucumbers.  The cucumbers, with a nice cool sauce, added a delicious contrast to the calamari and all we needed to finish the sandwich was a drizzle of homemade sriracha sauce.


The calamari rings were so good my hubby even made his own snacks while he was waiting for dinner.  A piece of calamari, a slice of cucumber, a little basil leaf and a generous drop of sriracha, and he was a happy man.  Enjoy!!

Cucumber Salad

2 large  Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp  Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
1 TB  Minced Chives
1 cup  Sour Cream
1-1/2 TB  Lemon Juice

In a medium glass bowl combine all ingredients, stirring to evenly coat the cucumbers.  Chill for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Fried Calamari Rings

1 lb  Calamari Rings
1/4 cup  Yellow Cornmeal
2  Eggs, beaten
1 cup  Italian Breadcrumbs
Canola Oil for Frying
Whole Sandwich Buns or Hoagie Rolls
Fresh Basil Leaves, washed
Cucumber Salad
Sriracha Sauce, optional

In a large deep pot, or a wok works great if you have one, heat the oil until very hot and shimmering.

Coat the calamari rings in the cornmeal, shaking off any excess breading.  Then dip the rings in the eggs, then into the breadcrumb mixture.  Again, shake off excess breading and lay the rings on a baking sheet.

Carefully drop the rings into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 1 - 2 minutes.  Remove the rings with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

Place a layer of the basil leaves on the bottom bun, followed by a layer of cucumbers and finally several calamari rings.  A drizzle of sriracha sauce on top adds a little extra spice.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blackened Amberjack Fillets

Although there are many ways to prepare fresh fish, I love to be able to season a thick fillet of fish with a generous coating of spices and toss it on a hot grill.  Quick, simple and delicious.  And when blackening fish, all of those spices absorb into the fish and all you need is a squeeze of lemon juice on top as a final touch.

Tonight we were excited to try a variety of fish called Amberjack.  This fish has been enjoyed in Florida for a long time, but this was our first chance to try it.

There seems to be a bit of a disagreement among Florida residents when it comes to Amberjack.  I've spoken with people who love it and would gladly trade their catch of red snapper for a string of Amberjack, while others do not care for the taste.  Since I love fish of all textures and levels of flavor, that divide made me even more excited to try this fish and I'm so glad we did.

The Amberjack fillets are thick and dense, somewhat similar to swordfish, so I knew it would hold up to the flavor of the blackening seasoning and it would grill nicely.  The fillet we bought was just over 2 pounds so we cut it in half before grilling, then cut the cooked fish into 6 portions.  (The seasoning  mix would also taste great on salmon or swordfish.)  By cooking the 2 larger pieces of fish, the center  stayed moist and juicy.

The Amberjack had a great flavor, not "fishy" or too strong, but not bland like many varieties of whitefish.  The best part of the seasoning mix we used would have to be the smoked paprika, which added a slightly sweet and smokey flavor to the mix and greatly enhanced the fish.  Smoked paprika is a bit more expensive that regular paprika, but it's worth every penny when you taste the final result.  Enjoy!!

1 TB  Smoked Spanish Paprika
1 tsp  Onion Powder
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
1 tsp  Dried Basil
1/2 tsp  Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp  Sea Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 pounds  Amberjack Fillets (or try with your favorite fish)
Olive Oil
Lemon Wedges for Garnish

Combine all dry spices in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Rinse fish under cool water and pat dry with paper towels.  Lightly coat the fish with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with the seasoning mix and let rest for 10 minutes before grilling.

Grill time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish, but we grilled these fillets about 10 - 12 minutes total, over medium-high heat, turning once halfway through cooking.  To check for doneness, cut into the thickest part of the fillet and cook to your liking, or use a fork to gently flake the edges of the fish.

Serve with Chipotle Gouda Macaroni and Cheese and lemon wedges to squeeze over the fish.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

San Francisco-Style Cioppino

Cioppino, also know as Italian Fish Stew, is by far my favorite dish.  A combination of fish, shellfish and vegetables in a rich broth of tomato and Merlot wine, the taste is simply remarkable.  

San Francisco's Italian immigrants are credited with creating this delicious stew and there are many variations.  Some versions of this recipe use white wine in place of the Merlot, and there are some changes in the amounts of peppers, onion, garlic or tomatoes that are used.  But what is consistent for this recipe is the need for fresh, high-quality seafood.  So for your best results, try to get the freshest ingredients possible.

For our version of this dish we used large chunks of cod, but you could also substitute halibut or another firm-fleshed fish.  Next we included a generous amount of fresh clams and mussels, along with a few dozen large shrimp with the shells on.  The shrimp are butterflied down the back and deveined, but the shells is left on so they can add lots of flavor to the stew.  Lastly, the beautiful king crab legs and cleaned, cracked and quartered before being added to the pot.

This recipe is made in two steps.  First a pepper sauce base is slowly simmered to create a wonderful  base with lots of oregano and garlic, then the second step you will add the seafood which will cook pretty quickly.  This dish might seem a bit intimidating but it is actually quite fun to prepare.  Having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to cook makes the recipe very easy.

Cioppino is a hearty and delicious meal and is wonderful to serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  If you are tired of serving the traditional turkey or ham, your guests will love the change.  Be sure to serve with lots of crusty French Bread, a few bottles of good red wine and lots of napkins. Enjoy!!

3 TB Olive Oil
1 large  Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 large  Green Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup  Sliced Onion
3 TB  Minced Garlic
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 TB  Fresh Basil, chopped
1-1/2 tsp  Dried Oregano
32 oz can Diced Tomatoes
1  8 oz Bottle Clam Juice
1 cup  Italian Merlot Wine
2 cups  Chicken Stock  or  Water
12 Little Neck Clams
4 Alaskan King Crab Legs, cleaned, cracked and quartered
12 - 18 Fresh Mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
1 1/2 pounds Large Shrimp, in the shell - butterflied down the back and deveined..leave the shells on
1 pound Sea Scallops, trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
1 pound Firm-Fleshed Fish such as Halibut or Cod

First make the Pepper Sauce base:

Heat the olive oil in a large stew pot over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add the basil, oregano, tomatoes, clam juice, wine and broth or water, and bring the mixture just to a simmer.  Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar, for 30 - 40 minutes.

Finish the Cioppino:

The steps of adding the seafood goes very quickly so have all of your seafood ready to go.

With the pepper sauce at a simmer, increase the heat to medium-high, then add the clams, and cook covered over medium-high heat for 4  minutes or just until the clams begin to open. Add the crab legs, replace the cover and cook 2 minutes. Next, add the mussels, shrimp, scallops and fish, and gently push the seafood into the broth. Give the pot a little shake to settle the seafood into the broth, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.  Check  to see if  until the mussels are open, the shrimp are pink and the scallops are just firm.  You might need to add about 3 minutes or so depending on the seafood you are using, but once the shrimp are pink and the fish is opaque you are ready to serve.

Ladle the Cioppino into large heated bowls, making sure to include a generous ladle of broth with each serving of seafood.  Serve with lots of crusty French bread and a bottle of Chianti or a rich Merlot.  You will also want a few large empty bowls around the table for your guests to discard their shells. Makes about 6 generous servings.  Enjoy!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fish-Potato Fritters with Garlic Aioli

Whether sweet or savory, I don't think anything could be more of a comfort food than a fritter.  A basic fritter is a small, deep-fried cake made by combining chopped foods, such as corn, crab, or shrimp with a thick batter.  For this recipe we used swai fish fillets as the main ingredient and mashed Yukon Gold potatoes as a base for the batter.  With a little seasoning we had the perfect flavor for our fritters.  You can also experiment with the seasonings in this recipe and add more spice to your liking.  (A dash of cayenne pepper, some chopped jalapeno peppers or a dash of Tabasco will add a nice bit of heat to the batter.)

The fritters are very easy to make.  After poaching the fillets in milk and preparing the mashed potatoes, the two are combined and seasoned, then chilled until you are ready to make the fritters. Then it's just a few minutes to fry them until golden brown.

The fritters would make a nice side dish in place of traditional potatoes but we served them as a main dish with a batch of  7 Day Slaw, a simple tarter sauce and an amazingly wicked Garlic Aioli for dipping.  If you are a garlic lover, the aioli makes these fritters even better.  The  fritters are very kid-friendly, so if you're trying to get your kids to eat more fish, this is a great recipe to try.  Enjoy!!

5 medium  Fish Fillets, (swai, catfish, or any flaky whitefish will work)
1/2 cup  Milk
1/4 tsp  Lemon-Dill Seasoning
5 medium  Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered
2  Eggs
1 tsp  Dried Onion
1 tsp  Fresh Minced Chives (optional)
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
3 to 4 TB  Flour
Oil for Frying

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium pot, cover potatoes with water, add 2 teaspoons of salt and boil for 10 - 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain the cooked potatoes, making sure you get all of the water drained off.  Mash the potatoes in the pan and set aside.

Place the fish in a glass baking pan, cover with the milk and sprinkle with the lemon-dill seasoning.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork.

Drain the fillets thoroughly and flake the fish apart with a fork, placing the fish in a medium bowl.  Add the mashed potatoes, eggs, dried onion, chives, salt and pepper to the mixture and stir to combine.  Add 3 tablespoon of flour to the mixture and stir.  The mixture should be a fairly thick consistency, so if you need more flour add the extra tablespoon.

At this point you can either chill the entire bowl of fish-potato mixture for 20 minutes and then make the fritters while you are cooking them, or you can pre-shape the fritters, making heaping tablespoon sized fritters, then placing them on a baking sheet and chilling the whole batch until ready to make the fritters.  (I've tried both ways and they work equally well.)

When you are ready to make the fritters, place a large heavy pot over medium-high heat and pour enough oil into the pot so the oil is about 2-1/2 inches deep.  When the oil is hot, around 360 degrees, fry the fritters a few at a time until golden brown and crispy, about 6 - 7 minutes.  Drain the fritters on paper towels, then serve with tarter sauce and Garlic Aioli.

Garlic Aioli

2 - 3  Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped
1  Egg
1 TB  Lemon Juice
1 tsp  Fresh Parsley or Chives, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp  Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
1/2 cup  Olive Oil

Combine garlic, egg, lemon juice, parsley or chives (if using), salt and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Continue to puree the mixture and slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until you have a mayonnaise-thick sauce.  Serve as a dipping sauce with the fritters or makes a great dip for veggies.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lime-Pepper Seared Tuna

This was our second recipe tonight using fresh tuna steaks and I loved the results.  This Lime-Pepper Seared Tuna lets the taste of the tuna shine through while adding a fresh citrus and peppery flavor. I am a huge fan of anything citrus so this recipe was an instant favorite for me.  The other recipe we made, Tuna Steak with Tapenade Coating, was also delicious and you can find it HERE.

If you've never cooked fresh tuna before it's very easy, but the one thing you don't want to do is overcook the steaks, which makes the fish dry and tough.  By cooking to a rare or medium-rare finish, the fish is moist and buttery inside, while the outside coating delivers an extra boost of flavor.  If you are a fan of sushi, you are going to love this tuna.

The simplest way to cook tuna is with a coating of kosher salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.  Plain and simple, yes, but this allows you to really taste the fish.  With this recipe you get the simplicity of salt, pepper and lime with the added nutty flavor and a bit of crunch from black sesame seeds.  (The sesame seeds can be found in the Asian section at most grocery stores.)

For this recipe we used a single tuna steak that was about 3/4 of a pound, but you can also use use smaller fillets.  By using the one steak it was easy to achieve that nice rare center and we just sliced the steak into portions so everyone could try both recipes.  There will be enough coating in this for 1 pound of tuna.

3/4 to 1 lb  Fresh Tuna Steaks (keep the tuna chilled until ready to cook)
Zest of 1 Lime  (cut the remaining lime into wedges and serve on the side)
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
3/4 tsp  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1 TB  Black Sesame Seeds
2 tsp  Olive Oil
Olive oil for Frying

In a small bowl combine the lime zest, thyme, pepper, salt, sesame seeds and 2 teaspoons olive oil and stir to blend.

Rinse the tuna steaks and pat dry with paper towels.  Set aside.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add a swirl of olive oil to the pan. Once the oil begins to heat, rub the coating mixture onto both sides and the edges of the tuna steaks, lightly pressing the mixture into the fish.  Place the fillets in the skillet and cook for 1 -1/2 to 2 minutes or until cooked about 1-1/4-inch through.  Turn the fish over and cook for another 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.  (The cook times will depend on the thickness of the fish.  For thicker fillets go with the 2 minutes per side.)

Serve immediately with baked clam shells and lime wedges on the side.  Enjoy!!

Tuna Steaks with Tapenade Coating

One of the benefits of living near the ocean is having access to fresh seafood.  The prices are sometimes a little high, but you're also buying fish and shellfish that was plucked out of the ocean within the last 24 to 48 hours.  That's fresh!  Today we found a great bargain on some beautiful tuna steaks and I couldn't wait to cook with them.

With a family of 5, we all have different tastes and our own favorite seasonings, so for a little variety, we went with two tuna recipes.  Since the tuna only needs to sear for a few minutes, cooking two pans of tuna was easy and everyone tried both versions before choosing their favorite.  Click HERE to see our second recipe, a citrusy Lime-Pepper Seared Tuna.  It is amazing also!

This recipe was my first choice when deciding how to prepare these gorgeous tuna steaks, and it's  from Jacques Pepin's cookbook, Essential Pepin.  Since my family always loves tapenade, I knew this would be a hit.

Classic tapenade is a combination of olives, garlic, anchovies and capers, all chopped and blended together into a chunky or smooth paste.  We did increase the ingredients slightly in order to have a bit of extra tapenade for leftovers.  It makes a great appetizer when served on crackers or sliced baguettes.  The tapenade is super easy to make with just a few ingredients, and would also be tasty with other varieties of fish such as salmon or even cod, which I can't wait to try.

1/3 cup  Kalamata Olives
1/3 cup  Black Olives
3 TB  Capers, drained
3  Anchovy Fillets
2 TB  Minced Garlic
2 TB  Olive Oil

Combine all 6 ingredients in a small food processor and blend until you have a chunky paste.  You can also puree it until smooth, if desired.  Set aside.

Once you have the tapenade prepared you are ready to make your tuna.  To gauge your portions for this recipe, I used one large tuna steak, about 3/4 pound, and prepared this steak with the tapenade mixture.  The second steak was the same size and it was used for the Lime-Pepper Seared Tuna recipe.  The two steaks together, about 1-1/2 pounds, were plenty for 5 servings.  We just sliced each steak and them served family style, which gave everyone a chance to sample both recipes.

3/4 to 1  lb  Yellowfin Tuna Steaks, about 1 inch thick (one steak or smaller portions work fine)
1 TB  Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Spoon the tapenade mixture onto the tuna steaks.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Place the steaks tapenade side down in the skillet, then sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes (depending on the thickness of the tuna), or until the tuna has cooked about 1/4-inch.

Carefully turn the tuna over, cover and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.  (Again, this will depend on the tuna thickness and how you like your tuna cooked.)  At this point you can place the skillet in a warm oven (160 - 200 degrees) for 5 to 10 minutes to finish cooking, but if you like your tuna more on the rare side like we do, I simply covered the skillet, turned off the heat and let the tuna finish cooking for 5 minutes longer.  This produced a beautiful rare to medium-rare tuna.  Serve with baked clam shells, crackers and extra tapenade on the side.  Enjoy!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Seafood Salad Appetizers

Today we continue with another selection of appetizers for your upcoming Holiday parties, and something that is always popular, seafood.  I love to offer guests a selection of hot and cold appetizers and this Seafood Salad can actually be served as three cold appetizers from the one salad.

Serving fresh seafood on your Holiday hors d'oeuvre buffet is always a great treat for your guests.  Unfortunately for you, this can be an expensive appetizer to serve and fresh seafood is almost always the first thing your guests will polish off, even before the party gets started.

This selection of appetizers can be prepared using the same Seafood Salad mixture and you have the option of preparing these in advance for your guests, or let them help themselves by serving the salad in a large bowl with the crackers, small sandwich rolls and an assortment of serving dishes for those who would rather skip the carbs.  With a handful of veggies on the side, this makes a very eye-appealing snack for your guests.

By using imitation crab meat, also known as surimi, you can serve seafood on your buffet while also keeping your costs under control.  If you have never used imitation crab before, it is actually the same crab used in most varieties of sushi. Made from Atlantic whitefish, surimi is quite versatile and can be used in many dishes.  At about $3 - $4 per pound, it is also quite affordable.

Along with the crab we included pre-cooked shrimp in this salad, which you can buy fresh or frozen at your local market.  If you look for the shrimp marketed as "salad shrimp" or listed as 100 - 160 count, these are small enough you can leave them whole in the salad.

The Seafood Salad has a creamy lemon and horseradish sauce which accents the crab and shrimp, and the dill and lemon pepper enhance the seafood flavors.  The salad is delicious served on a variety of crackers or as a small sandwich, but is equally good on its own, and is something your guests will greatly enjoy.

2 oz  Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 tsp  Horseradish
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Lemon Pepper
1/4 tsp  Lemon Dill Seasoning
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 TB  Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
2 TB  Sour Cream
1 tsp  Lemon Juice
1 stalk  Celery, very finely minced
1 lb  Imitation Crab (surimi), flaked into small pieces
6 oz  Small Cooked Shrimp, chopped if needed

Hawaiian Rolls or small slider rolls, sliced
Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices and other bite-sized veggies
Assortment of Crackers

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, horseradish, salt, lemon pepper, lemon dill seasoning, pepper, mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice, stirring with a fork until blended.

Add the celery, crab and shrimp to the mixture and stir gently to combine, coating the seafood evenly with the sauce.  Taste test and add more salt or pepper, if needed.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.  Serves about 20 - 25 as an appetizer, or about 12 - 15 small sandwiches.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Salmon and Potato Chowder

It's the last day of Soup Month 2013, and I hope you've enjoyed all of the new soup, chowder and chili recipes.  Since today is the last day of soup month, we decided to wrap up the month with a delicious Salmon and Potato Chowder.  Salmon, in any way, shape, or form, is one of my favorite types of seafood to cook and regardless of the cooking method, salmon always tastes great.

For some reason, many people are intimidated when it comes to cooking salmon.  I'm not sure why, but they usually think this is a difficult fish to cook and that couldn't be further from the truth.  In the past we've made a Basil-Dijon Salmon over Red Lentil Puree,  a Salmon Salad with Mango Salsa, and even a super easy to make Salmon BLT Sandwich, which is wonderful.  And, all of these are easy to prepare.

So, if you've never tried to cook salmon, this is your chance, and what better way to learn to cook salmon than in a nice, warm chowder.  This chowder is real comfort food, with red potatoes, corn and just a touch of white wine to accent the fish.  The chowder takes less than 30 minutes to make and tastes great served with a small salad or a few baked scallop or clam shells. 

Enjoy and thanks for joining us for Soup Month 2013!!

1-1/3 lbs  Salmon, skinned, deboned and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 TB  Butter, divided
2 TB  Olive Oil, divided
1 large  Shallot, minced
1/3 cup  Dry White Wine
3-1/4 cups  Chicken Stock
5 large  Red Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-1/2 cups  Frozen Corn Kernels, defrosted
1 cup  Half and Half
1 TB  Lobster Base (optional)
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

In a medium soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the shallot and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the white wine and simmer until reduced by half.  Add the stock and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add the potatoes.  Cook until the potatoes are tender about 12 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, use a large skillet to heat 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet and cook until seared on all sides, but not fully cooked, about 3 minutes total.  Remove skillet from the heat and set aside.

In a blender, combine the corn and half and half and puree until smooth.  Add this mixture and the lobster base to the cooked potatoes, stir, and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. 

Add the salmon pieces to the chowder, stirring gently, and simmer until the salmon is warm. Ladle the chowder into bowls and serve. (Alternately, you could also place the pieces of salmon in the bowls, then ladle the chowder over the salmon.  Either way works great.)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seafood Soup with Tortellini

For day 26 of Soup Month 2013, we made a delicious weeknight soup.  If you're looking for something quick and easy to make after a long day at work, this soup will be something the whole family will enjoy.

This Seafood Soup combines shrimp, canned clams and surimi with an assortment of vegetables and cheese filled tortellini pasta, so you have an entire meal in one bowl.  Although tonight we used water as a base for this soup, a fresh batch of seafood stock would also taste great.  Stock takes a little time to make since it requires time to simmer, so weekends are a great time to make a big batch of stock and then freeze it in portions for later use.  You can also add the optional lobster base to the water or broth which adds a lot of seafood flavor.

Since the shrimp and pasta cook very quickly in the broth, the cooking time is pretty fast for this meal.  The surimi crab meat and clams are already cooked and ready to go, so they are both great time savers that add lots of flavor to the soup.  Fresh spinach is another quick-cooking item that cooks in just a few minutes, but adds color and nutrition to the soup.  As a bonus, I have one daughter that doesn't care for spinach if it's cooked from frozen, but she loves fresh cooked spinach in soups, and I love that!  Enjoy!!

2 tsp  Olive Oil
1 small  Onion, diced
1 medium  Red Pepper, diced
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  White Pepper
1/4 cup  Flour
5 cups  Water or Seafood Stock
2 tsp  Lobster Base (optional)
2 cans  Chopped Clams with Juice
1 TB  Minced Fresh Chives
1 pkg  Rosetto Cheese Tortellini Pasta
1 lb  Raw Shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 lb  Sirimi Imitation Crab Meat Sticks, cut into cubes
1 cup  Half and Half  or  Cream
2 cups  Fresh Spinach, washed and stems removed

Heat olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion, red pepper, salt and pepper and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stirring to coat, and continue to cook for 3 minutes.

Add the water or broth, and lobster base if using, to the pot and stir.  Add the clams and chives, and increase heat to medium-high.

Add the tortellini to the pot and bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring frequently.  When the tortellini begin to rise to the top of the soup, add the shrimp to the pot, cook for 2 minutes, then add the crab meat to the pot and cook 2 minutes more, stirring gently.

Add the half and half or cream to the pot and bring the soup to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, add the spinach to the soup and continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with fresh minced chives and grated Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Seafood Chowder

For day 20 of Soup Month 2013, we made a creamy Seafood Chowder with shrimp and swai fish fillets.  My plan for this chowder was to combine a light, vegetable and herb broth with spicy shrimp placed in the center.  Then I got to thinking how tasty the swai fillets would be with the same Sriracha-based marinade. I decided to add the fish to the mix, and it was a delicious success.

To create the flavorful broth, the onion, celery and carrots are sautéed with a bit of white wine and a tablespoon of lobster base, which adds a deep layer of flavor to the soup.  The soup is then pureed and the cooked seafood is placed in the center of the bowl to provide a burst of spicy flavor to the chowder.

This chowder makes an excellent dinner on its own, but it would also be perfect served in smaller portions as a first course, or even as an appetizer.  Serve with crunchy French bread and a glass of chardonnay.  Enjoy!!

Marinade for Seafood
4  Fish Fillets
3/4 lb  small  Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 TB Olive Oil, or enough to coat
1 TB  Minced Garlic
2 Basil Cubes or 2 TB Fresh Chopped Basil
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1 TB  Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp  Sriracha Sauce
1 tsp  Paprika
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

2 TB  Butter
1 TB  Olive Oil
1 small  Onion, finely chopped
2  Carrots,  finely chopped
2 stalks  Celery, finely chopped
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
3  Bay Leaves
1 TB  Lobster Base
1/8 tsp  White Pepper
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 cup  Dry White Wine
5 cups  Chicken Broth
1/2 cup  Heavy Cream

In a medium glass bowl, combine the marinade ingredients with the fish and shrimp, stirring to coat the seafood.  Set aside for 15 - 20 minutes.

In a large soup pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, lobster base, pepper and salt, and cook for 2 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high, add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, add the cream and cook for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Remove the pot from the heat and carefully use an immersion blender to puree the soup until completely smooth.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the fish and shrimp mixture to the skillet, including the marinade, and stir gently, cooking until the seafood is fully cooked, about 7 - 8 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and keep warm, if needed, until ready to prepare the soup bowls.

Ladle the soup into bowls, place several pieces of fish and shrimp into the center of each bowl, top with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Catfish Corn Chowder

For day 7 of Soup Month 2013 we made a creamy Catfish and Corn Chowder that gets just a hint of background spice from creole seasoning.  This soup is not overly spicy, so kids will enjoy it, but the adults can always add a few drops of Tabasco sauce if they would like a little additional heat.

Starting with a blend of onions, celery, orange bell pepper, and red potatoes, the soup gets its creamy consistency from the corn and milk that are pureed together.  This allows the corn flavor to infuse into the soup and adds a little additional sweetness to the catfish.  We also added some small shrimp and a can of chopped clams to the soup to round out the seafood flavors.

This soup is easy to prepare and can be ready to serve in about 45 minutes and tastes great served with a few baked clam shells on the side.

1-1/2 lbs  Catfish, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp  Creole or Cajun Seasoning
1/4 lb  Bacon, chopped
1 medium  Onion, finely chopped
1 stalk  Celery, finely chopped
1/2  Orange or Red Pepper, chopped
1/2  Green Pepper, chopped
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper, or more to taste
1/4 tsp  Cayenne Pepper
1 TB  Minced Garlic
6  Red Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cups  Chicken Stock
1 cup  Corn Kernels
1-1/2 cups  Half and Half
1 can  Chopped Clams, with the juice
1/2 lb  Cooked Salad Shrimp

Season the catfish with the creole seasoning and set aside.

In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until just crisp, about 5 minutes.  Add the onion, celery, peppers, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to the pot and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the potatoes and stock and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

In a small bowl, combine the corn and half and half, then use a stick blender to puree the mixture.  Add the corn mixture to the pot and bring to a low boil. 

Add the clams and shrimp to the pot, stir, then add the catfish pieces to the soup, nestling them into the top of the chowder.  Simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.