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Feature Stories

Savory Seafood In The Summer

Few things better capture the feel of summer than the three S’s: sun, sand and, of course, seafood. Welcome the warm weather and embrace the fresh flavors of the sea with simple, yet delicious, coastal-inspired dishes.

Always a family favorite due to its versatility, seafood takes on a plethora of flavors, from spicy to buttery and beyond. These crispy crab cakes with spicy remoulade will make your mouth water with every savory crunch, while smooth, creamy risotto with asparagus and shrimp will richly impress even the pickiest of palates.

Any sea-inspired fare pairs perfectly with a crisp, dry white wine, such as the flavorful Albariño from Martín Códax. Also known as the “Wine of the Sea,” this wine is accompanies any seafood dish.

Whether you’re looking for small bites or a heartier entrée, eat sea-to-table this season and take advantage of what summer has to offer.

Suggestions for Serving Seafood

With so many seafood choices it can be difficult to know how to pick the freshest catch. Here are some tips to ensure you’re choosing the best at your next visit to the market or fish counter:

• Milk Does a Salmon Good: Milk tenderizes salmon and removes any frostbite or fishy taste, so try defrosting salmon in a container of milk for a fresher flavor.

• Float On, Mussels: Mussels love to float. If a mussel sinks to the bottom of a container filled with water, throw it away — it’s a sign of a bad mollusk.

• “R” for Really Fresh: Oysters taste best when they are harvested during colder weather. For a good rule of thumb, enjoy them during months with an “R” in the name, for example, September through April.

• In the Red: Quality tuna should be deep red with no “rainbow” coloring, which is a sign of old fish.

Grilled Salmon with Hazelnut Butter

Yield: 4 servings

• 3 tablespoons butter, softened

• 2 tablespoons finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted

• 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions

• 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salmon:

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

• 4 salmon fillets, each about 6 ounces

Combine all ingredients for Hazelnut Butter in bowl; set aside. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of salmon. In a preheated grill pan, grill salmon, skin side up, for four minutes. Flip salmon, topping each fillet with a tablespoon of Hazelnut Butter. Cook for 4 minutes until salmon flakes easily with fork. Serve with sautéed green beans.

Crispy Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade

Yield: About 16 crab cakes

Spicy Remoulade Sauce:

• 1/2 cup mayonnaise

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 2 teaspoons capers, chopped

• 1 teaspoon coarse-ground mustard

• 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Crab Cakes:

• 8 ounces lump crabmeat, drained and flaked

• 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

• 1 large egg

• 1 tablespoon grated horseradish

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

• 1 cup cracker crumbs

• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients for spicy remoulade sauce into large bowl. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine crabmeat, red bell pepper, egg, horseradish, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Fold in 1/4 cup of cracker crumbs. Form crab mixture into 2-inch cakes, about 1/2 inch thick. Dredge cakes in remaining cracker crumbs. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook crab cakes until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with remoulade sauce.

Creamy Risotto with Asparagus and Shrimp

Yield: 4 servings

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

• 4 cups vegetable broth

• 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

• 1 large shallot, finely chopped

• 1 tablespoon butter

• 1 cup Arborio rice

• 1/2 cup white wine

• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

• Salt and pepper

Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook shrimp, stirring occasionally. Remove shrimp once they are almost fully cooked.

Bring vegetable broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Add cut asparagus to broth and cook for 2 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove asparagus and set aside with shrimp.

In a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, cook shallots in butter until translucent. Stir in rice to coat the grains and cook for approximately 1 minute. Add in the wine and stir until wine is absorbed by rice. Once absorbed, stir in vegetable broth 1/2 cup at a time. Note: each 1/2 cup must be absorbed completely before the next one is added. Continue to stir the risotto to keep it from sticking and repeat with remaining broth until all has been added. Stir in shrimp and asparagus and heat through. Add Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.