Friday, July 15th, 2011 | posted by mike
The dog days of summer are upon us. It’s hot as heck and not all of us want to slave over a hot stove or grill. Quick, easy, healthful and tasty seafood salads are just perfect this time of year. And luckily, we have all the great seafood and fish on hand to put together a refreshing, simple dish that will be an ideal accompaniment to a glass of wine and a relaxing, sultry summer night.
It can be as easy as flaking some smoked fish over mixed greens with a simple vinaigrette. Poached salmon tossed with a little sour cream, yogurt, dijon mustard, lemon, chopped cucumber and fresh dill is perfect summertime fare. Try some boiled shrimp, lobster meat, or crabmeat and just add a touch of mayo, lemon, chopped celery and onion, maybe a little fresh tarragon and a dash of Tabasco, serve on a bed of lettuce or on a roll. Blacken a fillet of bluefish and serve it over a Caesar salad. Squid or octopus salads are always a hit. Simply boil (squid for 2 min.-octopus for 45 min.), cool, make a light oregano vinaigrette and serve with tomatoes and onions. Creating a great vinaigrette is a cinch. All you need is extra virgin olive oil and a good vinegar.
Some of the essentials in our pantry are Thai sweet chili sauce, sriracha sauce, Thai roasted chili paste, Thai red curry paste, Thai fish sauce (nuoc mam), ponzu (a citrus, soy, bonito sauce), Kikkoman ponzu is available at Monahan’s, pickled and fresh ginger, mango chutney, dijon mustard, Tiger sauce and Lizano sauce (from Costa Rica). We use fresh fruits, lemons, oranges, mangos and lots of limes in many vinaigrettes. Curry powder, cumin powder and a good assortment of dried herbs (we buy fresh herbs and chiles as needed). You can go for the sweet and spicy or the tart and tangy. For seafood salads I usually use white or rice wine vinegar.
From there you can get as wild and crazy as you want. Just experiment and have fun with it! If you still don’t feel like cooking, we usually have a few seafood salads ready to take home at the market.
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