Thursday, September 5, 2013


I grew up in a small beach town. One of my favorite things about summer was the flux of local fishermen selling their catch out of the back of their trucks. They would drive vehicles that are basically giant coolers, sort everything out pound-by-pound and sell some of the best fish, shrimp and oysters you've ever tasted. I may not be able to take you to the beach with me, but I can give you few suggestions of how to bring the beach to your table.

Have you every wondered how they make those crab puffs served at cocktail parties? Wonder no more.

Crab Puffs
2 16-oz packages small wonton wrappers
1 lb crabmeat, cooked
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 quart oil for frying
2 tsp garlic salt

Heat the oil to 375F in a large saucepan. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, crabmeat and garlic salt. Now, spread out the wonton wrappers and spoon a small amount of the mixture into the middle. Seal and fry until golden brown, roughly 3 minutes. Let drain and cool on paper towels and serve.

Easy. And you didn't even have to rent a tux.

Here's an easy, Greek-tinged recipe for halibut that can be served in less than an hour.

Grecian Baked Halibut
4 6-oz halibut fillets
1 5-oz jar kalamata olives, pitted
1 onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup capers
1 tbsp Greek seasoning (Cavender's makes a great one)
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine olives, tomato, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, capers and salt and pepper. Put the halibut on a large sheet of foil, add the Greek seasoning and spoon the olive mixture over the fish. Seal the edges of the foil to create a large 'wrapper'. Put it on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the fish is flaky. Serve.

Despite the name of this shrimp dish, you'll never find it asleep in your front yard.

Drunken Shrimp
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
¾ cup beer
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 pinch salt

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. Stir in garlic, onion and ginger and fry until fragrant. Then, add the shrimp, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink. Stir in the beer, sugar and ketchup and bring to a boil.

In a separate bowl, add the water and cornstarch and mix until cornstarch is dissolved. Stir into the pan mixture and cook until the sauce thickens, the shrimp are dark pink on the outside and the meat in the center is opaque. Add the sesame oil and remove from heat. Sprinkle on the onions and serve.

Some people will use pre-boiled shrimp to 'speed up' the process. Nothing wrong with that. 

For more awesome seafood recipes, check out part 2!

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