Thai Style Steamed Clams

This lovely Thai influenced steamed clam dish is infused with red curry, coconut milk, garlic, ginger and cilantro. Full of vibrant flavors and good as an appetizer or light meal.

I love Thai food. The delicate balance of bright, fresh flavors and exotic ingredients is aromatic and palate pleasing. There are four flavors in Thai cooking – salty, sour, spicy and sweet. In this recipe, these are represented by fish sauce, lime, curry, and coconut milk, respectively. My Thai style steamed clams are quick and easy to prepare, and the resulting broth with the clams is delicious with fresh French bread. Enjoy! 🙂

Curry, fish sauce and coconut milk are available at Asian markets, if you are unable to find them at your regular grocery.

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Let’s cook! 🙂

2 Tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tsp red curry paste
2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 pounds littleneck clams, rinsed and cleaned
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime for juice
1 lime, in wedges for garnish

Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for two to three minutes until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the curry paste and fish sauce, stirring until the paste has thinned out with the butter mixture.

Pour the vegetable broth and coconut milk into the pot. Stir the broth mixture for a couple seconds until well mixed.

Carefully add the clams, cover and cook covered for five to seven minutes, until the clams have opened. Add the chopped cilantro and stir; make sure to stir gently so the clams don’t come out of the shells.

Use tongs to transfer the clams to a large serving bowl, and pour the broth over the clams. Squeeze half of a lime over the dish, and serve with lime wedges and crusty French bread on the side. Serves 2.

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Shrimp Tacos with a Citrus Twist

My favorite fish market, Clean Catch, had some amazing tiger shrimp in the case yesterday, so I picked up a pound (eight shrimp in this instance) and decided to try a different take on shrimp tacos. While a peppery, smoky spice shines in tacos, citrus also works very well. I use orange, lemon, and lime in this version; and a sour cream sauce with more of a kick. Also added some honey in the marinade for a slight kiss of sweet.

I did these in a skillet on medium-high heat, but the shrimp are definitely great for grilling. Unfortunately it’s raining tonight in Charlotte so grilling was out for me. 🙂

Spicy Citrus Shrimp Tacos

Spicy Citrus Shrimp Tacos
Juice of one orange
Juice of one lemon
Juice of one lime
2 Tbsp chipotle-fused olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

Southwestern Cream Sauce
1/2 cup light sour cream (or fat-free greek yogurt)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

4 flour or corn tortillas
Shredded lettuce
Shredded Mexican cheese
Salsa or Pico de Gallo
Guacamole
Cilantro and quartered limes for garnish

Whisk together the orange, lemon and lime juices, olive oil, honey, spices and garlic for the marinade. Toss the shrimp in the marinade to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, but not more than 30. Any longer than 30 and the shrimp will start to ‘cook’ in the acid of the citrus juices.

Waiting for the shrimp to marinade, whisk together all the ingredients for the southwest cream sauce and refrigerate until ready to serve.

If grilling, thread the shrimp onto skewers, and grill 1-3 minutes per side, until opaque and cooked through. Use the grill to heat the tortillas as well. If cooking indoors, cook the shrimp in a skillet on medium-high heat for 1-3 minutes per side; warm the tortillas in the microwave.

Sprinkle shredded lettuce and cheese on the tortillas and divide the shrimp among the tortillas. Drizzle the cream sauce over the shrimp and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Serve guacamole and salsa/pico on the side. Serves 2 (2 tacos each). Enjoy!

Spicy Citrus Tacos and Beer

It’s All About the Lobster!

Summertime is here, and to me that means the start of peak lobster time. The majority of lobsters are harvested between June and December. The warmer weather and increased tourism drive the demand for lobster higher during this timeframe. However, you can get high quality lobster any time of the year from the right fishmonger.

I picked up a pound of fresh cooked lobster meat from Clean Catch this week, craving the ultimate seafood sandwich – the lobster roll. A mixture of tail, claw and knuckle meat; this lobster was cooked perfectly and ready for any recipe. I used half of it to make my ‘Southern Lobster Rolls’, still deciding what to do with the other half. Two things make these a Southern variation – Duke’s mayonnaise and a shot of hot sauce; I choose a new hot sauce that I got at Pour OliveLeRoy’s Fiery Green Olive. Enjoy!

Southern Lobster Rolls

½ lb cooked lobster meat, chopped into nice size chunks
2 Tablespoons Duke’s Mayonnaise
Juice of ½ of a lime
1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Hawaiian Red Salt to taste
2 whole wheat buns, lightly toasted and buttered

Mix all ingredients together except the lobster and buns; season to taste with salt and pepper. The lobster should be the star here, so let it shine through and don’t over season.

Add the mayonnaise mix to the lobster, and stir gently until the lobster is just coated. Be careful to not shred the lobster while mixing. Divide the lobster between the two buns, and dig in! A cool glass of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio is a wonderful accompaniment.

Lobster Roll