Category Archives: fish and seafood

Spice-Crusted Salmon

Spice-Crusted Salmon Skewers

Spice-Crusted Salmon

This recipe was prepared in my recent aphrodisiac themed workshops at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The rosy colored salmon is a fish known for its determination, traveling long distances from the sea up rivers and streams to have sex in the very place they were born. It is a sexual powerhouse; perhaps this determination can be passed on to the human consuming it?

2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pound salmon
juice of 2 lemons
olive oil

In a mortar and pestle, combine the coriander and fennel seeds. Grind until coriander seed is just broken. Transfer seeds to a small bowl, and toss with 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Press the spice mixture into the salmon, evenly coating the flesh side.

Heat a skillet of medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the fish to the hot oil, seed side down, and allow to cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook until just opaque in center, about more 3, more depending on the thickness of the fish. Salmon is done when the inner flesh in no longer transparent.

Transfer salmon to a serving platter, drizzle with lemon juice and serve warm or at room temperature.

(The salmon pictured about was cut into 1 ½-inch pieces, seared, and served as an appetizer.)

Serves 6

photo by Carin Krasner

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon with Old Bay

cedar plank salmon

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon with Old Bay

Another great summer recipe, this one is seasoned with Old Bay, my husband’s favorite seasoning.

According to Saveur Magazine, Old Bay was created by Gustav Brunn, a German Jewish spice merchant who was arrested and sent to a concentration camp in 1938. His wife somehow managed to secure his release and the Brunns sailed for America, spice grinder in hand.

The family ended up in Baltimore where he was hired at McCormick spice company. Three days later – when they realized he didn’t speak English – he was fired, and decided to go into business by himself. By 1940 the savory blend – which screams summer – was born.

Brunn sold his company to Smith Corona Machines in 1985 and in 1990 the McCormick Company acquired and still holds the secret recipe for Old Bay. Brunn’s original recipe which is a combination of celery, salt, mustard, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, pimento, ginger, mace, cardamom, cinnamon and paprika, has never changed.

1 1/2 pounds salmon
juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon olive oil
Old Bay seasoning

Soak cedar plank in water for 1 to 2 hours.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Rub the flesh side of the salmon with lemon juice and olive and drizzle generously with Old Bay. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Put salmon on the plank, skin side down and grill, covered, until salmon is cooked through and the edges are browned, about 15 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6

Crab Tostadas

tostadas

Crab Tostadas

This is one of my favorite things to prepare on a hot summer day. It’s easy, healthy and incredibly satisfying.

8 tostadas, packaged or homemade
3 avocados, mashed
1 pound crabmeat
juice of two limes, or more to taste
1 Persian cucumbers, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 serrano chiles, diced
olive oil
sea salt

If you don’t have tostadas at home you can make them yourself as long as you have corn tortillas on hand. It’s easy. Just preheat the oven to 350° F, brush a small amount of olive oil on both sides of the tortillas, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Put the avocado in a bowl and mash.

Top each tostada evenly with the guacamole, place a generous serving of the crabmeat mixture over each, drizzle with lime juice to taste, garnish with slices of cucumber, quartered tomatoes and serrano pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve.

Serves 4

Tunisian Tuna Brik

tuna brik

Tunisian Tuna Brik

For centuries, every civilization, empire, religion, trade route has some sort of filled pastry including but not limited to empanadas in Latin America, samosas in India, and spring rolls in China. A brik is the Tunisian version.

This recipe was prepared at the Getty Villa in my recent classes, The Eclectic Empire, inspired by the special exhibition, Roman Mosaics Across the Empire.

2 7-ounce cans tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
¼ cup finely chopped scallions
3 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
juice of two lemons
salt and pepper to taste
6 sheets phyllo dough

1 egg, beaten
vegetable oil for frying

In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, scallions, capers, parsley, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.

On a work surface, make 2 stacks 
of 3 phyllo sheets each. Cut each stack into four 4×12” strips. Keep the phyllo dough covered with 
a damp kitchen towel.

Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the tuna filling at the end of the strip closest to you. Brush the edge of the other end with the beaten egg. Fold the corner of the phyllo over the filling to form a triangle. Continue folding the triangle up and over itself until you reach the end of the phyllo strip. Press to adhere. Repeat with the remaining phyllo strips.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350° F.

Fry the brik in the preheated oil in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and serve hot.

Makes 6