Thursday, January 6, 2011

Seafood fit for a King!

Did you know that boatloads of fresh seafood are in-season right now? That means there's no better time to assemble a seafood feast that would make Poseidon blush. The best part is that cooking seafood is easy. Seriously!

Today we'll focus on crab and scallops. Both are a cinch to prepare once you know how. And, if you don't feel like starting crab from scratch, plenty of markets do the dirty work for you by cooking and picking the meat. Just make sure to pick up containers of crab that are as fresh as possible.

For crab, boiling them is the easy way to go. The largest crabs, weighing up to 2 lbs. each need about 15 to 20 minutes to cook, whereas smaller crabs will be done in 8 to 10 minutes. If you're starting with live crabs, safety isn't really an issue, so it's just a matter of doneness. When you're buying the crabs, don't be shy- ask your grocer for cooking tips. If you're more of a fan of oven-roasting, that's easy too. Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees and roast the crab for approximately 10 to 12 minutes until it's done. The fun is crushing the shells with a mallet and picking out the meat. Get the whole family involved!

For scallops, the process is even easier. Try to start with scallops that haven't been frozen. The first key: pat them dry! Then, season with salt & pepper. The second key: add them to a very hot pan that's been coated with butter or oil. Only with a hot pan and relatively dry scallop will you get that great sear you see in restaurants. The scallops will only need 2 to 3 minutes per side and they're done!

To find the best dishes for your crab and scallop seafood feast, we powered up the FoodPair search engine and found some great dishes to help you get started.

Crab Salad with Mango Dressing
A light salad that highlights the flavor of fresh crab.
Ingredients in this recipe: avocado, cilantro, mango, olive oil, crab, mint, shallot, lime juice, lime zest, salad greens

Linguine with Chilli Crab and Watercress
A delicious and savory pasta dish.
Ingredients in this recipe: garlic, olive oil, crab, lemon juice, parsley, watercress, lemon zest, sea salt, linguine, red chile pepper

Thai Crab Cakes
Everyone will love these thai-inspired crab cakes.
Ingredients in this recipe: crab, egg, green beans, chive, kaffir lime, all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, red chile pepper, fish sauce

Seared Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce
You know everything tastes better in a butter sauce.
Ingredients in this recipe: scallops, shallot, butter, tarragon, white wine vinegar, white wine

Seared Curried Scallops with Zucchini
Another great Asian-inspired seafood dish.
Ingredients in this recipe: garlic, lime, scallops, zucchini, ginger, curry, vegetable oil

Platter of Roasted Shellfish with a Trio of Sauces
For a family-style feast you'll never forget.
Ingredients in this recipe: lemon, olive oil, crab, lobster, scallops, shallot, water, lemon peel, Italian parsley, jumbo shrimp

Time to start feasting on fresh seafood, so let's get cooking!

Any other favorite ingredients or dishes you'd like us to highlight? Post them in the comments section or on our Facebook page! And while you're at it, "Like" us on Facebook to get helpful updates in your news feed.


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