Category Archives: Seafood

DIY Shrimp Broth – super easy and much cheaper than store-bought

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I hate to let things go to waste… so when we are shucking prawn shells for a meal, I like to save the shells to make a shrimp broth. I place the shells in a Ziploc freezer bag, and store them in the freezer until I have enough to make up a few batches of broth.

Easy DIY Shrimp Broth - what else are you going to do with those leftover prawn shells?

Easy DIY Shrimp Broth – what else are you going to do with those leftover prawn shells?

This easy shrimp broth recipe was the base of flavour for my recent experiment in making my Shrimp-Flavoured Quinoa Pilaf which I will post tomorrow.

In making any type of broth, you can pretty much do a fridge-cleaning on whatever vegetables you have hanging around. In this version I used asparagus ends, onion chunks and long celery spears. Then I flavoured the broth with 1 tsp. of sea salt, 1 tsp. of peppercorns, and chunks of fresh garlic.

1. Throw your prawn shells (frozen or thawed) into a large soup pot,
add veggies and spices of your choice.

2. Cover everything with hot tap water. Put on your stove on
High to boil the mixture, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Allow the flavours to meld for a couple of hours (or more).

3. Place a large bowl or measuring cup under your colander to catch the broth
(something I always forget to do – almost), and pour the contents of your pot into the
colander to strain off the prawn shells and veggies.

Use this broth for Asian-inspired soups, seafood stews, mussels, or to flavour your favourite rice dishes. This broth also freezes well in handy-sized 1 cup Ziploc containers for future use.

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What types of homemade broth do you make?

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What to do with leftover Ahi Tuna? Make a great salad!

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I was very lucky last summer to win a gift card to our local fish monger, Gimli Fish Market. I’d actually never shopped there before, but for a special pre-holiday meal with friends last month, I took the fish-lady’s recommendation to try cooking Ahi Tuna at home.

This is what a 1kg of tuna looks like - those plates are 8.5 inches wide. That's a lotta YUM!

This is what a 1kg of tuna looks like – those plates are 8.5 inches wide. That’s a lotta YUM!

I’m so glad I listened to both the expert fish-lady, and to one of my fellow food bloggers, Rheanne Marcoux of Sucre & Farine to try Food & Wine Magazine’s Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steak recipe. It was delicious and super simple. Prep time and cook time together were less than 10 minutes.

Sesame Crusted Tuna Steak (on the right) served with Mayo

Sesame Crusted Tuna Steak (on the right) served with Mayo

The recipe was super easy, and though Ahi tuna steaks in Winnipeg are not cheap, I was able to master a favourite fish at home and impress my guests. Now I can now cross that to-do off my bucket list and try some other types of fish at home in 2013.

The two huge Ahi tuna steaks were much more food than the 4 of us could eat for dinner. Thankfully, my dear husband liked the fish, which had the same consistency as his favourite, Prime Rib roast. I was very worried that he wouldn’t like the rare sear on the fish as he’s not a fan of sashimi like I am. The next day for lunch we decided to make a gourmet salad using the leftovers and this is what I came up with.

My DIY dinner salad platter for two.

My DIY dinner salad platter for two.

This was my riff on Salad Nicoise with homemade feta, parboiled baby potatoes, quick-steamed green beans, avocado, grape tomatoes, fresh mint, sliced shallots and of course… the leftover tuna. I drizzled it with my favourite Kraft Calorie-Wise Balsamic dressing for a quick finish, and boy was it delicious!

All dressed up and ready to eat!

All dressed up and ready to eat!

Whenever you have some great leftover protein in your fridge (chicken, steak, pork, fish) and a hodgepodge of vegetables, I do recommend giving this easy meal idea a try.

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Do you ever cook fresh Tuna?
Please share your favourite recipe in the Comments section.

Money-Saving Homemade Spice Rubs

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Money-Saving Homemade Spice Rubs

Save Money in 2013 by Making your Own Spice Rubs at Home

One of the treats that I love to buy for myself at the grocery store are new flavour-combinations in the form of spice mixes. Once upon a time, I was an Epicure Selections rep and sold spices and spice blends to my galpals. The ES spices are awesome, but I soon realized that it was very easy to combine spices to create my own spice blends, and at the same time save money.

Here are four of my current favourites… Lemon-Garlic-Herb, Spicy Paprika, Chili and Curry Rub. Spice up your New Year with spices blended from things you probably already have in your cupboard right now!

These four homemade spice blends are super quick to make and store for months

These four homemade spice blends are super quick to make and store for months

Unlike the other three spice rubs in this series, this rub is best made and used right away as it contains oil and fresh ingredients.

Lemon-Garlic-Herb

(yields 4 tablespoons)

WET:

1 tablespoon Lemon Zest, finely grated

3 Garlic Cloves, minced

3 teaspoons Olive Oil

DRY:

1 tablespoon Tarragon, dried

4 Bay Leaves, dried

1 ½ teaspoons Sea Salt

¾ teaspoon Black Pepper

Place the dry ingredients into your spice grinder (or mortal and pestle) and grind into a fine dust. I love using my Braun Coffee Grinder, which we have devoted to my spice blend creations as we so rarely buy whole bean coffee.

In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix completely.

This zesty rub is ideal for leaner foods such as turkey or chicken breasts, and any flaky white fish such as halibut, cod, or snapper. Next time I’m definitely trying it on halibut!

I’ve used this rub in combination with a package of chunked up turkey breast meat in order to turn them into an easy low-cal turkey kebab meal.

This makes an easy marinade for Lemon Herb Turkey Kebabs

Just use 1 Tbsp. to make an easy marinade for Lemon Herb Turkey Kebabs

Spicy Paprika Rub

(yields 3 tablespoons)

½ teaspoon Allspice, ground

½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

1 teaspoon Ginger*, ground

4 teaspoons Paprika

2 teaspoons Sea Salt

* If you only have fresh ginger, you will need quite a bit more than 1 teaspoon. Here’s a great article on the subject of ginger substitutions.

I love this rub on salmon! It’s a super, easy way to dress up a very healthy and good-for-you fish. It’s spicy combination would also work on fattier cuts of meat too, including: skirt/flank steak, pork loin, and whole chicken. NOTE: Smoked Paprika would also be very nice in this spice rub too.

But having lived in Vancouver for 13 years, my absolutely favourite salmon marinade is from a bottle. You can usually buy this in the seafood department of any Safeway.

Chili Rub

(yields 3+ tablespoons)

1 heaping tablespoon Chili Powder

2 teaspoons Cumin, ground

2 teaspoons Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Oregano, dried

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. I like to transfer the mixture to a 125mL sealed jar for safe-keeping until I need it.

The brown sugar in this spice rub will caramelize on the meat while it cooks and provides a sweet glaze. Try this rub on whole chicken or turkey, pork tenderloin or chops, and most cuts of beef.

Curry Rub

(yields 3+ tablespoons)

4 teaspoons Curry Powder

1 ½ teaspoons Coriander, ground*

1 ½ teaspoons Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Ginger, ground

1 teaspoon Cumin, ground

½ teaspoon Black Pepper

½ teaspoon White Sugar

I’ve been told that this Indian-style rub is exceptional on lamb, however I do not cook lamb, so I like to use it on chicken which I pan fry in a bit of sesame oil and then add some coconut milk to make a nice, creamy sauce. It’s also great on shrimp.

* If using whole coriander seeds, simply pulse them first in your spice grinder until they become dust, then add other ingredients to complete the rub. Same goes for whole cumin seeds, if that is all you have.

What is your favourite Spice Blend/Rub recipe?
Please feel free to share it below in the Comments section.

If you can’t make it to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel…

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If you can’t make it to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel…

So if you can’t make it out to Banff this weekend for a taste-test of Executive Chef Martin Luthi’s amazing food, then perhaps you can try making it yourself at home! Yesterday I was catching up with one of my favourite daytime shows Live with Kelly (formerly Live with Regis and Kelly) on my PVR when I came across an amazing opportunity to share some great Canadian recipes from one of our country’s top vacation destinations – the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

I actually had the pleasure of attending a conference at this amazing resort in the Canadian Rocky Mountains many years ago, and I have “stomach-etching memories” of eating at both the Banff Springs and the Chateau Lake Louise going back to 1981 when I first visited them as a child.

If you’ve never been to Banff National Park then you’ve totally got to put this place on your Bucket List! The whole town is SO gorgeous and the food is amazing – I could go on and on and on…

The incomparable and iconic Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel

You may not have caught Kelly’s latest weeklong trip away from New York City (where she is based) to Banff, Alberta, Canada – but she did an amazing job of showcasing Alberta to our American friends down South. In Winnipeg, we only get her show with our Time-Shifting cable subscription, but I always try to PVR it. On her last show from Banff on April 10th she featured the resort’s culinary team along with a selection of their top seven dishes utilizing Canadian sourced ingredients. Kelly’s tasting reactions along with those of Ben Mulroney (her co-host that day) really got me craving the Banff Springs Hotel’s creations.

I can’t wait to try a few of these great dishes myself here at home.
Hmmmm… which one to start with first? Maybe the Cheese Fondue?

Using Gruyère & Emmentaler cheeses for that dusty, rarely used Fondue Set that no one seems to admit to owning...

So in case you missed it, click the links below to try out these great recipes for yourself…

Salmon Bouillabaisse
Cheese Fondue
Alberta Beef Carpaccio
Elk Tenderloin With Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Bison Short Ribs With Barely Risotto, Seasonal Root Vegetables, Birch Syrup Glaze
Rainbow Trout with Squid Ink Cavatteli, Swiss Chard and Mussel Butter
Maple Dessert Recipes

For images of each of these dishes, please visit Chad Rubel’s Blog: Balance of Food
as the show didn’t include the yummy images from the TV segment along with the above recipe links.

WHICH RECIPES WILL YOU TRY???
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The Salmon Bouillabaisse is actually part of the Fairmont’s Lifestyle Cuisine Plus menu selections, and Chef Luthi stated that the caloric count for that particular figure-friendly dish was about 350 calories. It’s SO refreshing to see high-end restaurants incorporating delicious meals designed around guests’ diet-dependent requirements. Fairmont’s program now includes the following accommodations for their dining guests:

Diabetes
Heart disease or high blood pressure
Celiac disease (cannot tolerate gluten) or gastrointestinal disorders
Food allergies or sensitivities

As part of Lifestyle Cuisine Plus, we also cater to those following more specialized diets, such as:

Vegan
Raw food
Macrobiotic

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I, myself cannot wait to get back to the Banff Spring Hotel very very soon to “eat my heart out”! See you again soon Banff – one of the most beautiful places in Canada.

What is at the top of the list for your choice for the most beautiful place in Canada?
Please feel free to share your comments below…