Category Archives: Seafood

CT Style Making Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Teresa & Scott!

No better way to start out my week then on “CT Style” In The Bender Kitchen with Teresa Dufour and News 8’s newsest ancor Scott McDonnell! It was a fun meeting Scott and having him there in the kitchen too and Teresa’s aura goes without saying…radiant! Summer is still in full swing so oysters were on my mind and here on CT Style I show you how to make my Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Fresh Spinach.

I created this recipe 16 years ago to match a yummy dish I had in New Orleans back in 2001. I have a knack for matching recipes in my test kitchen and that’s what I had done here. The flavors in this dish are a play on the traditional Oysters Rockefeller although with my recipe you don’t have to worry about shucking oysters. I buy my oysters already shucked, flash frozen in their own juices, at my local fish store.

On CT Style I actually used 1 whole quart of flash frozen oysters which contains about 24 oysters. I didn’t quite double the recipe but used 1 1/2 of the amount on the ingredient list. This is a very simple recipe and you will feel like a certified saucier once you taste the outcome.

As for the Pernod, this star-anise liquer is a whopping 40% alcohol although it mellows out quite a bit after simmering for 40 minutes. You’ll end up with a unique and really lovely flavor that’s going to wow you!

One of my favorite things when out a menu for a dinner party is how each dish balances out with the other. To compilment my oysters in Pernod sauce in Pernod Sauce on the CT Style set today I put together a platter of fresh watermelon wedges topped with a very good quality balsamic and feta cheese, sliced peppermint leaves and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. My neighbors have been inspiring me with their watermenlon dishes this summer hence the reasoning behind this combo and what a flavor explosion it is!

The Traveling Epicurean recently presented Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Fresh Spinach at a sold out Merrior-Terrior Event at the Madison Wine Exchange where I served up samplings made with fresh shucked oyters. Joe Dolce, Sommelier at The Madison Exchange teamed up with Joe Dimaggio from “Save the Sound” to hold this event. It also featured special guest and owner of Thimble Island Shellfish Company Life Long Waterman & Oyster Farmer, Jonathan Waters, who supplied the scrumptious freshly shucked oysters. Jonathan Water also talked about the remarkable story of the oyster and its history.

 

 

 

 

 

The oysters on the half shell served at this Merrior-Terrior event were each paired to a particular wine, spirit or beer that best complements their individual style. The pairings and commentary was presented by Court of Masters Certified Sommelier, Joe Dolce. It was tons of fun! You should look on the Madison Wine Exchanges website for up and coming events!

If you want to keep on the seafood train you should check out these recipes too like Lobster Mac N’ Cheese, Cold Cucumber Soup with Seared Sea Scallops, Salmon B.L.T. Sliders or Crab Cakes!

 

 

 

Ingredients for Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Fresh Spinach –                                            Makes 6 appetizers / 4 course size plates:

NOTE: On “CT Style” the finished sauté pan amount was 1 1/2 of the recipe with 1 Quart of Oysters-24, Raw flash frozen from my local seafood store… it’s all in how many oysters you like!

  • 1 pint shucked oysters, fresh or flash frozen raw oysters(12 oysters)
  • 1 package 5 0z. fresh spinach
  • 1 bottle clam juice plus juice from oysters
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream OR can of coconut cream
  • 1 cup half and half OR 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Pernod plus 1 tsp to add at the end for extra flavor
  • 1/2 cup Vermouth or white wine
  • 1/4 cup plum tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1 garlic clove thru garlic press
  • 2 dashes Siracha
  • 1/4  cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion granules
  • 1/4 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary tied off with string
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Wondra flour

Directions:

  1. Sauté/steam spinach for 3 minutes with 2 tbsp water
  2. Immediately remove spinach to a bowl of ice water to shock, stop the cooking and keep vibrant green color
  3. Place spinach in a small strainer to squeeze out water then place into a small bowl with paper towels to remove any excess water
  4. Add all the above ingredients EXCEPT grated cheese, oysters and spinach to a large sauté pan including the juice form the oysters but NOT the oysters themselves
  5. Note: Make sure to slowly whisk in the 1 tbsn sprinkling of Wondra flour
  6. Bring to a low simmer, keep simmering on low, stir every 10 minutes for 40 min. (do not BOIL or the cream will break and curdle!)
  7. Remove rosemary bundle and bay leaves
  8. Then stir in oysters and spinach and simmer 1-2 minutes just so the oysters cook thru
  9. Stir in the grated cheese
  10. Serve with hearty dense Italian bread OR rice noodles…mmm!
  11. Ganish with finely chopped tomato and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

 

“Big Game” Party Food on CT STYLE!

“Big Game” Party Food on CT STYLE!

With Teresa Dufour & Ryan Kristafer on CT STYLE Set

Showing you some fun and refreshing foods to make for your “Big Game” or Super Bowl party was the first thing that came to mind when I was deciding what to cook on “CT Style” this week. I went with my Crab Cake Balls with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing, Mango Salsa, and Honey Dripping Greek Baklava because they are all scrumptious make ahead dishes! The key words here being “make ahead” are a huge deal when throwing a party because it helps to take the pressure off, let’s you enjoy your guests and maybe have time to whip up some specailty cocktails like yummy Metaxa Mojito’s!

Metaxa Mojito’s

The crab cake balls are actually from my crab cake recipe. We are just forming the crab into 1 1/2″ balls instead of disc’s. It’s a no nonsense kind of recipe without all the vegetable fillers. Chunks of crab, some seasoning and a few binder ingredients is all that make up this appetizer. Letting the crab cake balls set in the frig for a couple hours or even overnight let’s those flavors meld and the shape to really form making it easy to sauté. Then you briefly sauté them in a little butter and olive oil until golden and crispy on the outside.

The Bender Kitchen

You saw how easy it was to make my homemade thousand island when I had Teresa whisk together all the ingredients in just a few seconds. The secret ingredient in my dressing is adding in creamy horseradish to compliment the crab, like a “crab Louie”!

Make sure to buy a few mangoes a week before game day so they have time to ripen fully on your kitchen counter and they will make an amazing mango salsa. While you are at it check out the avocado’s to see how ripe they are and you may want to pick up a couple of those to leave on the counter as well.

Selfie Ritual w/Benny – CT Style Camera Man

As for the authentic Honey Dripping Greek Baklava recipe that comes from my good friend Maria, it’s to die for! It make’s the perfect party dessert cause you cut them up into little triangles…it’s always a crowd pleaser and again you if make it the day before it’s ideal!

I know you’ll have as much fun making these party dishes as I did with Ryan Kristafer and Teresa Dufour on CT Style! Just click on the link above and it will take you to the exact recipe page’s! Enjoy and I hope your team wins!

 

 

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops

Seared scallops are so gosh darn delicious you really don’t need anything else to accompany them. They have a succulent and creamy texture that’s so tender they melt in your mouth when cooked correctly. All that is needed to sear sea scallop’s is a hot non-stick pan, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, butter for basting at the end, a squeeze of fresh lemon and violà, you have an amazing seafood dish in 4 minutes.

Butter is just one of additions to seafood that always seems to give one last flavor boost. That’s why I have you baste the scallops in the last few seconds in the show. Butter makes everything better, right? You can’t get any easier then making scallops in mere minutes. It is best to use a non-stick pan to sear these though because it will make for a smooth ride home and super easy to flip them over to get that golden sear on the other side of the scallop.

You really need to try my cold cucumber and fennel soup to go with your seared scallops. The flavors you will get from all the vegetables and herbs in the soup to the creamy scallops will put you over the top. The green goddess sauce II goes without saying when paired up with the seared scallops. If I’m serving the scallops for an appetizer I set a small bowl of green goddess sauce right in the middle of a platter for dunking and scallops placed all around…YUM!

You may want to add something hardy to compliment the fish so if you haven’t tried my family recipe for the best pasta fagioli you will ever have you should get on the ball. You could go the zucchini spaghetti route or even my amazing melt-a-away homemade gnocchi with a bolognese sauce, and who doesn’t love sticky buns with their coffee for dessert!

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat non-stick pan to high heat
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on both side of the scallops
  3. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and begin to add scallops
  4. If you have a medium size pan you will have to do this in 2 batches
  5. Sear scallops about 2 minutes on each side until golden
  6. Optional: add 1 tbsp butter and baste scallops in the last 20 seconds
  7. Take off the heat and squeeze 1/2 lemon over scallops
  8. Remove scallops immediately from hot pan to a serving dish
  9. Plate each dish with a sautéed spinach in the center, top with scallops and drizzle with green goddess sauce around outer edge of the plate…enjoy!
  10. OR top cold cucumber & fennel soup with seared scallops!