Saturday, May 12, 2012

2 More Paleo Seafood Dishes

In this photo taken at Royal Ascot - one of the most important English social events attended by the Royal family - we see that even the "upper crust" eats that traditional English dish - fish and chips.  The green stuff you see there is another national dish called mushy peas - a disgusting mess of dried peas boiled until, well, mushy.

This is thankfully not something we eat on Paleo.  However there is no reason why we can't enjoy fish and chips.  Just a more civilized version to my mind.

Fish and Chips

We don't have to eat ours deep fried or out of a newspaper.  This California grilled fish with sweet potato fries and coleslaw looks much more appetizing to me.

Served Pan fried or grilled, with some lemon and Aioli sauce on the side and the fries below, any fish will taste wonderful.  And don't forget the side of coleslaw.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries are much tastier to my mind than fries made from ordinary potatoes, and dipped in Aioli sauce, they are very addictive.  I would keep these as a special treat.  This recipe makes enough fries for 4 people (or two hungry men).

Ingredients :

-  2 large sweet potatoes
-  olive oil
-  fresh rosemary
-  salt and pepper

Directions :

-  Preheat oven to 425'F.
-  Slice the sweet potatoes into fries.  You choose the size, either chunky or small.  Just remember the thinner they are the crispier they will be.
-  Take a large plastic bag and put in about 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Add a tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary and a good grind of salt and pepper.
-  Put in your fries and shake the bag, making sure the fries are evenly coated with the oil mixture.
-  Pour the fries onto a non stick or parchment lined cookie sheet.  Make sure they don't touch or they will be soggy.
-  Put into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Using kitchen tongs turn each fry, then put back into the oven and bake another 10 minutes or until golden and crispy.  Depending upon your oven this could take up to 10 minutes longer, but since they do burn easily you want to watch them carefully towards the end of the cooking time.

Coq St Jacques

This is a traditional French dish and if you order it in a restaurant you will get something like this served in a giant scallop shell.  It looks very impressive but in reality it's really just a fish pie.  Since the topping is mashed potatoes - for which we have a great substitute - this make a perfect Paleo seafood meal.

When I make it at home it looks more like this and is equally delicious and much less intimidating looking.

This is really a fisherman's version of Cowboy pie with a potato topping.  Traditionally this is made with scallops but it's another one of those recipes that works with any kind of seafood, and I usually use a mixture as pictured above.  This makes 4 casserole servings.

Ingredients :

-  1 1/2 lbs of mixed seafood or all one kind (scallops, shrimps, crab, fish fillets, etc. )
-  1 cups of heavy cream
-  1/2 cup of butter
-  1 teaspoon chopped garlic
-  1 teaspoon each of tarragon and thyme
-  salt and pepper to taste
-  3 cups of sliced mushrooms
-  1/2 cup of white wine
-  1/4 cup chopped parsley
-  1/2 cup grated parmesan
-  1 recipe of creamy mashed cauliflower

Directions :

-  Preheat your oven to 425'F and make sure your oven shelf is set up high.
-  Add about 2 tablespoons of the butter to a large skillet and melt.   Add the chopped garlic, mushrooms, tarragon, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until browned, then pour into a shallow buttered casserole dish.
-  Add another 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, add the scallops or other seafood and cook until just opaque, being careful not to overcook.  Remember they will be cooking further in the oven.  Once these are done, strain them and add them on top of the mushrooms, reserving the juices.
-  Add the white wine to the skillet and deglaze.  Add the reserved juices, cream and the rest of the butter and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the mixture starts to thicken.  Pour over the seafood and mushrooms.
-  Top with the mashed cauliflower and spread evenly to cover the whole pan.  If you don't have enough you can just arrange the cauliflower around the edge.  Sprinkle with the grated parmesan.
-  Put into the hot oven for just 10 minutes or until the top starts to get golden.  Remove, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

This can be made in individual casserole dishes.  You can also add more vegetables such as peas or green beans before covering with the mashed cauliflower to create a complete Paleo seafood meal in one dish.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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