Rainy California. Bring it.
40% of the state of California has been declared drought free. Not entirely sure what that means but it has been raining a ton lately and we can only hope it continues to rain for a bit longer. I love it. It’s unusual but we needed some real rain around here but enough weather talk now.
Intimidated by cooking seafood? WHAT?
How about making some killer seafood pasta? Are you intimidated by cooking seafood but you love it and wish you could make seafood dishes at home? (you should do the late night infomercial voice from the 90’s) Well.. cooking seafood it’s pretty easy. Geoduck might be tricky and abalone requires some specific skills. Live lobster also presents some challenges but the more common seafood found at the store it’s pretty simple, specially squid and scallops. Requires little seasoning and cooks very quickly and it’s this very last thing that makes it a bit intimidating to cook specially if you’re picky about food and texture.
The combination of saffron and seafood as you might know it’s pretty incredible. Seafood paella anyone? The following is a pretty straight forward recipe that you can make with regular store-bought pasta and add the saffron during cooking. I really hope you like it and I really hope it continues to rain for another 2 months at least 😉
Ingredients for 2 or 3 people:
1/2 pound of squid
1/2 pound of scallops
1 small cup of dry vermouth.
2 garlic cloves minced or finely sliced
1 tsp of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
baby oregano, or chervil, or young parsley works really well for garnishing.
Let’s go here for my Saffron pasta noodle recipe. Use about 1 pound of pasta. Half a kilo.
Cooking the scallops.
I like to dry the ingredients with paper towels to make cooking easier. I like to get some searing so I also work with a very hot pan and some vegetable oil. I like to start with browning the scallops on one side. Takes about 15 seconds. Once the surface of the oil is about to smoke and begins to ripple place the scallops on the pan flat side down.
Cooking the squid.
Have that glass of vermouth handy and get ready to cook. Have every thing you need at arm’s reach since this is a 30 second deal after the scallops are caramelized. Carefully throw the squids in there. There’s gonna be spatter. Part of the excitement.
On overcrowd pans and stirring urges.
Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. If you do you can still cook the seafood fine but it will be nearly impossible to get any searing going but hey, no big deal. Toss the seafood once or twice in this 30 second period. Resist the urge to start stirring it everything with a spatula. One of the most harming practices in any kitchen.
Finishing in style.
Nearing your 20 second mark add the splash of vermouth. Reduce. (be careful, this stuff catches on fire but if you’re fearless and wanna impress your guests, flame away) Add the garlic, and the lemon juice. Now you can stir for like 10 seconds. Remove from the stove. Put a lid over it. And let the steam finish the cooking. And that’s it. Just season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Cook your pasta.
If store-bought, follow the package instruction to cook the pasta. If you’re making your own pasta at home, timing changes depending on a ton of variables so I would rather suggest you cook it until al dente testing once after about 3 minutes of cooking and then once every minute until you’re happy. Cook the pasta in boiling salty water. Salty as in nice salty. Not too salty. If you wanna learn a cool trick when using dry pasta, check this out.
You can mix it all up in the seafood pan which is my favorite method and garnish it with your herb of choice. I really like to make sure nothing goes to waste and all the juices from the seafood end up on my plate. I present the dish a little differently but rest assured it’s all there! Cheers!!!!
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My god man that looks so good. I can’t say that I’m intimidated by cooking seafood, I’m just inexperienced. Ever since I’ve been married (35 years) I’ve lived in the Midwest. So we really don’t have fish mongers and seafood stalls. That’s why we travel – for my squid fix! But one day I really want to clean a squid.
Thank you Mimi!!! I’ve been lucky my entire life. I’ve always lived minutes from the ocean even as a kid. Cleaning squid is like making pasta from scratch…. extremely zen 🙂 hope your weekend is great!