It’s a Seafood Trio

I have alot of food in the pantry and the freezer. I mean A LOT of food. Typically I do have plenty on hand because we buy some items in bulk at Costco and we tend to keep a 1/4 to 1/2 beef in the freezer as well. I like to bake and since I can’t eat all that I bake or I would weigh 400 lbs., they end up in the freezer as well until guests arrive or I send the leftovers to work with my husband. Due to some additional shopping thanks to COVID-19, my shelves are a bit full. To top it off, an Alaska fisherman comes to town every couple of months to sell seafood near the local Simms headquarters so I even have seafood. After a brief inventory of some of the oldest items, I realized we had an amazing box of shrimp, at the same time my daughter (quarantining from New York/Brooklyn) requested Seared Scallops with Polenta. This being just days before my husband’s birthday, I asked him what he would like me to fix and he suggested, Ravioli. Since I’ve been wanting to make scratch Lobster Ravioli for quite some time, things fell into place for a 3-day weekend centered on seafood. If we have to “shelter in place,” we might as well do it in style!

Friday night menu:
Sauteed Shrimp and Italian Four Cheese Risotto

Four Cheese Risotto

Recipe adapted from anitalianinmykitchen.com
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 cup white dry wine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 dash pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Paremesan cheese

Instructions

  • On medium low heat in a large pan melt the butter, then add the chopped onion and stir to combine. Cook until transparent, then add the rice and stir to combine.
  • Cook the rice for approximately 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook until it has evaporated (about 1-2 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  • Add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often. Lower the heat to a low simmer.
  • Taste for salt and add pepper. Cook approximately 20-25 minutes or until rice is al dente and not mushy, but a little moisture remains.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cheeses. Serve immediately sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley if desired.

To saute your shrimp… If frozen, thaw. Peel, if desired. Heat garlic infused olive oil or butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add 1-2 cloves minced garlic, cook until softened. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 5 minutes. Serve the shrimp immediately alongside your cheese risotto.

Saturday night menu:
Brown Butter Scallops with Polenta

Brown Butter Scallops with Polenta

Recipe from GastroSenses
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Polenta

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups water or chicken broth
  • pinch salt

Seared Scallops

  • 1 lb jumbo scallops
  • 1 tbsp canola or avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp butter

Brown Butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbsp butter

Instructions

  • For the polenta: Boil the water with salt in a medium pot. Slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring water down to low and stir with the whisk until it just starts to thicken. Put the lid on the pot and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook for another 6-7 minutes. Turn off heat and add Parmesan cheese and butter. Stir to combine and pour into shallow bowls.
  • For the seared scallops: Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Pat scallops as dry as possible, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan. After 2-3 minutes, flip them and add butter. Shake the pan gently to distribute butter and sear for another 30 seconds – 1 minute. Then place straight onto the serving plates over the polenta.
  • For the brown butter: Put the smashed garlic cloves and butter in a clean skillet over medium heat and stir while watching closely – when the garlic starts to sizzle and the butter starts to look golden and foamy, remove from heat. You may choose to discard the garlic (or not) and drizzle the butter over the scallops and polenta.

Sunday night’s Birthday Dinner menu:
Lobster Ravioli with Crabmeat Cream Sauce

Lobster Ravioli with Crabmeat Cream Sauce

Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork.com and Lilly's Gastronomia Italiana
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time35 mins
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Ravioli mold
  • Pasta maker attachment for KitchenAid mixer

Ingredients

Lobster Ravioli

  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 16 oz cooked lobster meat
  • 4 oz cooked snow crabmeat
  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 2 oz ricotta
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • Pasta Dough, recipe follows
  • egg white, slightly beaten

Crabmeat Cream Sauce

  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 oz whole chunk Maryland crabmeat
  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 5 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 oz heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt
  • 2-3 tbsp cornstarch

Pasta Dough

  • 16 oz durum flour
  • 16 oz semolina flour
  • 2 eggs
  • water, as needed
  • pinch salt

Instructions

For Lobster Ravioli

  • In a large saute pan, add the butter and melt. Add the garlic and shallots, saute until golden brown. Add lobster, crab and chives, saute for 2-3 minutes.
    Add Cognac and reduce for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes, until room temperature. Chop lobster mixture into small chunks. In a large bowl, combine lobster mixture and ricotta and mix well. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Lay out the first piece of pasta dough using the base of a ravioli mold (spray first with non-stick spray and dust with flour). Gently create the divots when you press the dough using the plastic mold. Add 1/4 ounce mounds of stuffing into the divots. Using a pastry brush, brush egg white around each bit of stuffing, making the dough damp not wet. Take the second piece of dough to layer on top. Gently press the dough around the edge of the mold. Use a rolling pin to roll over-top the dough and seal the edges. Remove the excess dough and punch out the ravioli pieces. Put on a sheet pan dusted with semolina flour. Avoid letting raviolis stack. Gently place ravioli in boiling water and cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente.

Sauce

  • Using a 12 inch saute pan at medium heat, add butter, shallots and garlic, and saute until translucent. Add the crabmeat and saute for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the burner and add Cognac then place pan back on the heat to cook off the alcohol. (Beware: The Cognac may create a large flame) Once the flame stops, add the tomato sauce and cream with salt and cook until it reduces half way and becomes creamy. If needed, mix 2-3 tbls cornstarch in a jar or sealed container with 1/8 cup water. Shake until smooth. Add the mixture to the sauce and boil lightly until thickened. Add the cooked ravioli to the sauce and let cook together for about 1 minute before serving. Garnish with chives & fresh Parmesan cheese.

Pasta Dough

  • Add all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl until all ingredients are blended. Place mixture on countertop and knead until the texture is smooth and mixed well. Separate dough into 6 equal pieces and put all but one piece aside. Flour the first piece. Using a pasta maker attachment on your KitchenAid mixer, repeatedly roll the dough to a thickness of 6 or 7 on your adjustment. If you don't have a pasta maker, use a rolling pin to roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Repeat the procedure with a second piece making it as close to the shape as the first.

Any of the above dinners should be served with a fresh vegetable or salad to create a balanced meal.

So, which one was the favorite? I honestly can’t say. Each menu has a distinct flavor and appeal, and all are equally good. I would happily make any again, especially when hosting company. They are elegant meals! This was my first try at making ravioli and it took quite a bit longer than I anticipated, but I believe the adjustments I made in the prep time from 30 minutes to an hour is a more reasonable estimate. However, if it is your first time, consider setting aside 90 minutes to be on the safe side. Certainly the next time I make pasta, I will be far more confident and expedient. Having the right equipment (such as the ravioli mold and pasta maker) is quite an advantage, but certainly not required.

Whether you are planning a special dinner for two, inviting a few couples over, or celebrating a special occasion for the family, choose the menu most likely to appeal to your guests or your own palate. Sit back and enjoy!

Blessings,
Tina

Copyright © 2020 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

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