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Waking up early on Sunday to make crêpes or pancakes for breakfast is something of a ritual at my place. Crêpes are and still remain in my belief, delicate, lacy creations that one can gracefully flip over on a crepière until they are just golden and ready to be served with a spoonful of pineapple jam. The idea of savoury crêpes struck me as being absurd and I was never tempted to try one till I was pleasantly surprised by a salmon filled crêpe at the Pancake Festival held at Grain d’Sel restaurant years ago. In a feeble attempt to recreate this rich gastronomic experience, I managed a close replication of the flavours as I remember them using a basic crêpe recipe from Nigella and deliciously creamy seafood filling from Kraft Cheddar cheese. Not all crêpes have to be sweet, right?

SEAFOOD CREPES

Ingredients:

For the Crêpes

30g unsalted butter, melted

150g all purpose flour

375 ml full cream milk

1 egg, room temperature

For the Filling

3/4 cup cooking cream

150g Cheddar cheese, grated

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

100g smoked salmon, sliced

300g peeled shrimp, cooked

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons spring onions

Method:

  • For the crêpes, put the flour, milk and egg into a blender and whiz to amalgamate.

  • Pour the mixture into jug and stir in the melted butter. Heat a seasoned crêpe pan.

  • Ladle 1/4 cup batter into pan, then quickly hold it up and swirl it around carefully.

  • The batter should form a thin pancake covering base of the pan. Cook for 1 minute.

  • Flip crêpe over and cook for another 20-30 seconds on the other side, then remove.

  • Stack the crêpes between layers of baking paper on a hot plate until ready to serve.

  • For the filling, place cream in a small saucepan and heat gently over medium heat.

  • Stir in grated cheese and stir until smooth. Stir in lemon, pepper and spring onions.

  • Gently fold seafood through sauce. Place a spoonful of seafood sauce on each crêpe.

  • Fold in half, then in half again and serve immediately with extra cheese. Serves 5-6.

Seafood Crêpes

This one’s for the days you come back tired from work [or from an especially exhausting pediatric call] and do not want to waste time/energy getting dinner ready. The recipe, from Kevin and Amanda‘s blog, is as good as it gets if you’re looking for a quick yet creamy and comforting pasta dish. In case you are [unfortunately] allergic to seafood, they have a beautiful collection of veg and meat based pasta recipes for you. I’m glad I used the last of my Trottole pasta spirals from Super U here as it takes up all that rich white sauce, to which I could not resist adding a big handful of shredded Mozzarella and Cheddar melted cheese.

CRISPY SHRIMP PASTA

Ingredients:

100g small shaped pasta

250g raw shrimp, peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning

1 bunch spring onions, chopped

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

Method:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Sprinkle shrimp with salt, pepper, and toss to combine.

  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over the shrimp and toss to coat it, then sprinkle 1 more tablespoon flour.

  • Melt butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the shrimp in single layer.

  • Cook on each side, flipping once, until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove.

  • Pour chicken broth into skillet. Cook it for about 5 minutes whisking the bottom of the pan to deglaze.

  • Reduce heat to medium and pour in cream, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat till bubbly.

  • The cream should start to thicken the mixture after about 5 minutes. Add any seasonings as desired.

  • Add pasta and shrimp to sauce and stir to combine. Sprinkle with spring onion and parsley. Serves 2.

Pasta with Crispy Shrimp

The habit of making lazy lunches on weekdays is kinda setting in. Pasta salad is one such dish I keep repeating if I can’t be bothered to cook something more elaborate. Plus they are really forgiving; throw in anything you feel like in a bowl of cooked pasta. Season & toss and you have an instant meal that you’ll wolf down just as fast.

For salads, short or decorative shaped pasta is best. Macaroni, farfalle, penne rigate and coquillage are good options. In this post I’m using Panzani‘s cute spiral shaped torti.  It’s the only brand of pasta I’ve ever used and gives pretty consistent results.

You should definitely top it with some grated parmesan if you love cheese [like me]. The family is not fond of anything that smells of cooked cheese so I tend to keep those recipes for days when I’m home alone. Not that I mind 😉

PASTA SALAD

  

Ingredients:

3 cups uncooked pasta

1 cup chicken, diced

2 medium carrots

1 handful french beans

1/4 cup sweet corn kernel, drained

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 red onion, diced

2 large eggs

12 large prawns, deveined

1 bunch spring onions, chopped

Salt & Pepper, to taste

 

Method:

  • Prepare chicken by rubbing it in a mixture of salt, pepper, sweet paprika and lemon juice. Let it stand for about 1 hour.
  • Dice carrot into 1/2 cm cubes and chop french beans into slivers. Stir fry french beans over low heat until tender.

 

  • You can also cook them along with the carrots if you dnt like your veggies raw. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Cook chicken in a large pan in its own steam for abt 30 mins.

  

  • Next fry the eggs and cut them into strips. Stir fry prawns.
  • Bring water to boil in large pan. Throw in pasta and 2tsp salt.
  • Cook over medium heat until al dente for about 5-7 minutes.

 

  • Drain and toss with 1 tbs oil and 1 tbs dark mushroom sauce.
  • In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and season with salt & pepper.  Garnish with spring onion and serve right away.

 

For the rich buttery pound cake below, I halved the recipe from my food processor cookbook and added some tutti fruitti instead of raisins. You might notice that they barely show up on the pics as I only had half of what the recipe calls for. I served half of it for afternoon tea and saved the rest for guests who were to show up later that afternoon. Hmm, it could well have been a cake of halves!

TUTTI FRUITI CAKE

  

Ingredients:

125g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 2/3 cup cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

75 ml milk

100g tutti fruiti

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 160 oC. Grease and line a 7×3 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat to a fluffy consistency.

 

  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
  • Carefully fold dry ingredients into egg mixture with a spatula alternating with milk till well combined but do not overmix.
  • Stir in tutti fruiti before you spoon batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 40 mins until skewer comes out clean from centre.
  • Cool completely and dust with icing sugar if desired.

Note: The drink featured on the Tutti Fruiti cake pics is a mug of Vico’s 3 in 1 cereal drink with oat, soya and malt.

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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