Seafood

Shrimp Salad with Yogurt Dressing

I like to step up my salad game once in awhile so that I, well, eat more salads. 

Like most young people, I was not a fan of salads growing up. But as an adult, I now know why pieces of gray iceberg, a knob of carrot and mushy slices of tomato just didn't cut it. There was no flavor, thus the pounds of ranch dressing came into play. 

You see, you can't really hide anything with a salad. That's why I try to make every ingredient purposeful and avoid putting anything on the salad that I wouldn't want to eat on it's own. This particular dish gets a thumbs up from me because it's pretty simple to whip together, with the end result having a wow factor that makes you want to dig into it right away. Gold star status. 

Shrimp Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Butter Basted Eggs, Salmon, and Asparagus

Saint Valentine might not have a hold on me, but February still has a cozy place in my heart. You see, it's the month that has the anniversary of when I first joined this crazy world. And for the whole month, I'm just more aware. So much so that I like to fill my days, especially my meals, with luxury whenever possible. 

So we gonna get fancy. Putting a saucy yolk on anything is a big thumbs up for me, but I'm taking it even further. Because butter. Yep. We're basting the eggs with velvet, and making sure the bed the eggs lay on is worthy.

Butter Basted Eggs, Salmon, and Asparagus

Brown Butter Rotini with Shrimp

Next to salmon, shrimp might be my favorite seafood. It's has a more welcoming texture and is an easier crowd pleaser then an oyster. 

The flavors are usually more delicate, so the warm nuttiness of brown butter romantically compliment the shrimp. Herbs are always a good idea in my book, so I've reached for thyme this time. Pun completely intended. Just like rosemary, this woody herb reminds me of being in a big old comfy chair, next to a fireplace, in a well stocked home library. As I do not own any of the aforementioned things, I like to transport however I can. 

Spaghetti and fettuccini noodles will taste delicious too, but today we're using rotini because the brown butter likes to hug and hide in every single curl.  

Brown Butter Rotini with Shrimp

Seafood Charcuterie

It's time to kiss 2015 goodbye and hope that 2016 treats us well. 

Charcuterie plates, traditionally with slices of prosciutto and the like, are my favorite way to feed a group of folks that want a little variety. The possibilities are endless to what you end up putting on the platter, but I usually stick to some briny items, creamy cheese, flavorful meats and a thin cracker that doesn't get in the way. All the extra bits just make everything even more special. 

In true Northwest fashion, I thought I'd do some switching around and add seafood to the platter. These particular clams and salmon are smoked, and the best part about them are they are ready to go right out the package. Fanciness on a budget and short deadline.

Seafood Charcuterie

Salmon Sandwich

Living in the Northwest, I'm spoiled with the abundance of crazy delicious seafood. Even better that I got this salmon filet from the same buddy that graciously gifted me with the salmon I baked and razor clams I lightly fried in earlier posts. 

Of course, great seafood is incredible on its own standing when lightly cooked, or even raw. But sometimes with an abundance, I want a little bit of variety. That's where this sandwich comes in. It's simple and easy to make, while keeping the salmon the star of the show. 

Salmon Sandwich

Cod Tacos

I am more excited than a black bear in the middle of a river during salmon season. 

I've connected with the lovely folks at Dead Rooster Co. , who have graciously given me a couple packets of their dry rubs to try out. Their instagram: mouthwatering. Their packaging: on point.  And their rubs: surprisingly the most flavorful mixture that I've ever smelled, literally stopping me in my tracks after I opened the package. 

Now, to test them out I had to start with a dish closer to home. These rubs from Oklahoma can soar in red-meat bbq, but what about seafood? I'm using the Olde Tymers rub, their all-purpose mixture, to see if it rises to the challenge. 

Cod Tacos

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Like myself, most people have a love-hate relationship with deviled eggs. Each delectable bite casts a spell that morphs all your logic, making you forget that - no - you do not need to eat the whole tray. 

Then there's the peeling of the shell, that can lead to yelling curses out of frustration. Thank goodness Epicurious shows some tips on the best way to get a smooth egg every time. 

But let's go back to how delicious they are. And how adding some Northwest flavoring with smoked salmon elevates this classic dish to a heavenly level. It almost validates how many you ate when no one was looking. 

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Baked Salmon with Caramelized Lemons and Onions

I know that Halloween doesn't mean treating yourself to a spa day, but I'm going to interpret "treat" my way. Like I said in my confession, I never celebrated Halloween as a kid. I don't know if this is the reason I'm not a huge sweets person, but I do know I consider fresh caught salmon from a friend a freakin' delicious treat! This particular fish was caught here in the Northwest at the mouth of the North River that flows into Willapa Bay, from the same buddy that dug up these clams for me.  

Baked Salmon with Caramelized Lemons and Onions

How To Clean Razor Clams

Razor Clams. They look pretty funny.

How funny you say? So funny that they look pretty daunting to prepare for your meal. Also, they look like they could be the subject to a lot of third grader's jokes. I admit I giggled a few times just looking at these things. Comedy aside, these things are delicious and have a lot of meat. So even though they take some work to clean, they are definitely worth the hassle.

These beauties were a gift from a friend that is a true Northwest adventurer. Oh the stories he could tell. He harvested these from Grayland Beach on the coast on Washington. He's also the one that taught me how to clean them, so you'll be in good hands.

Before we begin, I want to let you know that this won't be pretty. You've been warned.

How To Clean Razor Clams