Here are a couple of tasty seafood recipes to include on your spring dinner menu.
Serves 6. This recipe may be divided in half, if desired
1 pound Bay scallops
1 pound small fresh shrimp, peeled
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 cup butter
4 ounces flour
38 -40 ounces scalded milk, approximately
4 ounces Cheddar cheese
1 pound lobster meat
1 ounce Sherry wine (I use a cream sherry.)
Paprika, for garnish
Parsley, for garnish
In a large saucepan boil scallops and shrimp together for approximately 3-4 minutes in Old Bay seasoned water, until shrimp just turn pink, drain. Set aside.
In a skillet melt butter and add flour to make a roux. Cook for 4-5 minutes, do not brown. Add scalded milk and stir until thickened and smooth; then add cheese.
In another skillet saute all seafood in butter just until hot. Then add all seafood to sauce. Stir in Sherry wine. Season lightly with salt.
Serve in a casserole and garnish with paprika and parsley.
Steamed Mussels or Clams
Serves 4. Soaking fresh mussels in cold, salted water for 30 minutes will help them spit out any sand in their shells.
3 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded, or medium sized fresh clams
¾ cup dry white wine
¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and fresh ground back pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add mussels or clams, wine, and broth.
Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until mussels or clams open, about 4-6 minutes. Discard any mussels or clams that remain closed.
Spoon mussels or clams and broth into bowls and top with parsley. Serve with crispy French or Italian bread.
Cucumber and Snap Pea Salad
8 ounces snap peas
4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber or 2 kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 small Vidalia or sweet onion, thinly sliced
½ yellow, red or orange sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoon honey
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a bowl whisk together vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Toss with snap peas, radishes, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion. Stir to coat evenly.
Arugula and Parsley Pesto
Great when served with your favorite pasta.
2 cups, packed of arugula
2 cups, packed fresh parley, or fresh sweet basil
2 cloves garlic, minced then smashed
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup walnuts or almonds
Pinch of kosher salt
½ cup olive oil
In a blender or food processor process greens, garlic, grated cheese, nuts, and salt. Gradually add olive oil. Set aside for immediate use, or pour into a lidded jar and refrigerate until ready to use for the meal.
Bow Tie Pasta with Walnut Pesto with Roasted Tomatoes
12 ounces bowties or farfalle pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 lemon, Optional
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 ½ cups frozen peas, thawed
½ cup dry white wine
1 pint cherry tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
In a heavy skillet heat ¼ cup olive oil on medium high heat. Add cherry tomatoes, cover. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until starting to burst. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Cool slightly.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cooking liquid, drain pasta and return it to the pot.
In a large skillet over medium heat cook 1-tabllespoon olive oil. Add onion and season with salt and pepper, cook covered, stirring occasionally until tender about 6-8 minutes.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove 3 strips of zest from the lemon. Thinly slice the zest; add to a food processor or blender along with walnuts and garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add Parmesan, ¼ cup peas, remaining 2- tablespoons oil and salt and pepper, to taste, and puree until smooth.
Add wine to the onions and simmer for 2 minutes. Add remaining peas and cook, tossing, until heated through. Toss the pasta with pesto, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry. Add the onion mixture and toss to combine. Toss in the roasted tomatoes gently. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired and additional Parmesan cheese.
Lemon or Lime Bars
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel or lime
2 tablespoons lemon juice or lime juice
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl mix together flour, butter and ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar. Press into an ungreased square pan 9 x 9 x 2 or 8 x 8 x 2 inches. Building up ½ inch edges.
Bake crust for 20 minutes.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat granulated sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, baking powder, salt, and eggs on high speed for about 3- minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust.
Bake in 350 oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched lightly with your finger in the center. Cool and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares or bars.
Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival — winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012; placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing and winning second place for her Sweet Blueberry Pepper Jelly in 2015; and winning first in 2016 for her spoon blueberry muffins with apricot sauce and second for her blueberry crisp squares — and has won various other contest awards — including three blue ribbons at the 2016 Cape Fear County Fair — for her blueberry cheesecake, muffins, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.