Shrimp Dumplings (Saeu Mandu)

Filled with shrimp and lots of healthy vegetables, these dumplings are easy to make, juicy and flavorful!

5 pan-fried shrimp dumplings on a dark stone plate with chopsticks on and a dipping sauce at the top

Happy New Year! I’m kicking off the New Year with these delicious shrimp dumplings, saeu mandu (새우 만두). Filled with shrimp and lots of healthy vegetables, these dumplings are easy to make, juicy and flavorful! This recipe also includes how to make homemade dumpling wrappers as an option for you to try.

The wrappers

You can always use store-bought dumpling wrappers for convenience. They come in refrigerated or frozen, and are available at Korean/Asian markets or even at your local grocery stores. When I make dumplings, I make a lot of them to freeze, so I often use store-bought ones to save time.

However, it’s really not that hard to make wrappers at home. All you need is good old all-purpose flour, salt and water. Homemade wrappers taste much better. They are also more resilient and durable to work with.

Making dumpling wrappers on a cutting board

Be aware that 1 cup of all-purpose flour can weigh quite differently depending on the flour and how you packed the cup — anywhere from 120 grams to 140 grams. Also, depending on the flour, the amount of water needed can vary. So, it’s important to feel the dough and adjust the moisture level as necessary by adding a little more water or flour as necessary. The dough should be slightly stiff. It will relax after resting for easy rolling.

You don’t really have to roll the dough to perfect rounds, but feel free to use a round cutter if you have one. 

Lately, I’ve been having fun creating colorful doughs. The green dough in this post was made with spinach. You can also use garlic chives. Beets are great for pink/red dough, and carrots for orange dough. Simply cook the vegetables, puree, and strain to make colorful liquid for the dough. Try the same to make colorful homemade noodles for kalguksu (knife cut noodles).

Pan-fried shrimp dumplings on a white plate with a dipping sauce in the middle

The filling

In addition to shrimp, I also used green cabbage, mushrooms and onion. You can swap out some shrimp with minced pork if you want. Also, garlic chives or scallions are all great additions to the filling. Feel free to use any vegetables you want or to adjust the amounts of vegetables.

You can coarsely chop the shrimp or as finely as you want. For a smooth texture of the filling, however, I finely chop the vegetables. It’s, of course, fine to use a food processor if available, using the pulse function.

Uncooked pleated green color dumplings on a cutting board

How to fold dumplings

The easiest folding technique is a half-moon shape, which you can do by simply folding the wrap in half over the filling and sealing it by tightly pinching the edges together. Once you get the hang of filling the dough and crimping, add some pleats before pinching the edges together.

Wet the edges if using store-bought wrappers so they can be glued together. This is not necessary for homemade wrappers.

Morea dumpling recipes

Mandu (dumplings)
Kimchi mandu 
Hobak (zucchini) mandu – vegan

6 Pan-fried shrimp dumplings with crispy browned bottom

Have you tried this shrimp dumpling recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

5 pan-fried shrimp dumplings on a dark stone plate with chopsticks on and a dipping sauce at the top

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Shrimp dumplings (saeu mandu)

.wprm-recipe-rating .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #343434; }

Filled with shrimp and lots of healthy vegetables, these dumplings are easy to make, juicy and flavorful!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Korean
Keyword dumplings, grilled shrimp, mandu, shrimp dumplings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Author Hyosun

Ingredients

For the wrappers (about 33 wrappers) – or use store bought ones

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (about 9 ounces/260 grams, more for dusting)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup water

If making green dough

  • 2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90 grams) spinach

For the filling:

  • 12 ounces (340 grams) raw shrimp Peeled and deveined
  • 10 ounces (280 grams) green cabbage
  • 4 ounces (110 grams) fresh mushroom caps, stems removed (shiitake, button, crimini, etc.)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger or juiced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • salt to taste about 1/4 teaspoon
  • pinch pepper

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • pinch of black pepper and/or gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes)

Instructions

For the wrappers:

  • Add 2 cups of flour to a bowl. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 2/3 cup of water. Gradually add the water to the flour while mixing and checking the moisture level. Keep mixing by hand until the dough comes together, and knead with the heel of your hand until the dough is smooth bur slightly stiff. You can adjust the dough by kneading in a little more flour or more water.
    kneading dumpling wrapper dough
  • Cover with a plastic wrap, and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour. After resting, the dough should feel soft and smooth. (This is a good time to start making the filling.)
    Homemade dumpling wrapper dough in a pirex bowl
  • When ready to use, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 4 long pieces on a lightly floured work surface. Roll each piece with both hands to make a thin log, 3/4 to 1-inch diameter. (Cover the remaining dough to keep it from drying out.)
    DSC 0872 300x201 - Shrimp Dumplings (Saeu Mandu)
  • Cut each log into 3/4 to 1-inch pieces. Press the cut side with the thumbs to flatten to a small disk. Dust and roll out each disk with a small rolling pin to a thin 3.5-inch circle. (You can also use a round cutter or wine glass.) Make a few wrappers at a time and wrap the filling in. Always cover the dough and wrappers that are not being used.
    PicMonkey Collage 300x203 - Shrimp Dumplings (Saeu Mandu)

If making green dough

  • Blanch the spinach in boiling water, puree in a food processor. Run it through a sieve to extract green juice, about 2/3 cup. Follow the same steps for the wrappers above.
    4 photo collage making green color dough

For the filling:

  • Coarsely chop the shrimp or pulse several times in a food processor. Finely chop the cabbage. Mix with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Squeeze out excess water. (If using a food processor, add salt with the cabbage before pulsing.) Finely chop the onion and mushrooms. Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well by hand.
    Chopped shrimp dumpling ingredients in a bowl

To assemble:

  • Place a tablespoon of the filling on a wrapper. You don’t need to wet the edges of the homemade wrapper. Seal tightly (pushing the air out with your fingers) into a half-moon shape. (You can add pleats if desired.) Dust the bottom of the dumpling with flour to keep it from sticking as the skin absorbs the moisture from the filling. Repeat this process until all the filling/wrappers are used.
    Shaping and closing a dumpling wrapper

To cook:

  • Steaming: steam the dumplings for about 10 minutes in a steamer (longer if frozen). Make sure to line the steamer with a wet cheesecloth or paper towel to prevent the mandu from sticking.
  • Boiling: bring a pot of water to a boil. Add mandu (stirring gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot), a few at a time, and cook until all of them come up to the surface. Continue to cook for another minute or two.
  • Pan frying, heat the pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the dumplings, making sure they aren’t touching each other. Fry for 1 – 2 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan, and cover immediately with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium low, and steam for 4 to 5 minutes. If the dumplings are frozen, cook a little longer.
    DSC6577 300x200 - Shrimp Dumplings (Saeu Mandu)

Notes

Tips for freezing: Freeze the dumplings on a tray with no pieces touching for about an hour, and then store them in a freezer bag. Otherwise, the skins will get soggy from the moisture in the filling and stick together in the freezing process.

This shrimp dumpling recipe was originally posted in February 2013. I’ve updated it here with more information, new photos and improvements to the recipe. 

The post Shrimp Dumplings (Saeu Mandu) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

Originally posted at Korean Bapsang

Easy Lobster Bisque

This easy lobster bisque recipe is smooth and creamy, with a rich, condensed lobster flavor. It is easy to make, and is sure to satisfy your lobster craving, with chunks of lobster in every bite!

Lobster bisque from shells

What Does This Lobster Bisque Taste Like?

This restaurant quality lobster bisque recipe is so rich and creamy, you are going to want to make it over and over again. There is no lack of decadent lobster flavor in this simple bisque, and since we use butter and cream, the soup is extra full flavored. Tomato paste adds a bit of acid to each spoonful, and chunks of lobster can be found swimming in a pool of lobster stock.

What to serve with lobster bisque

Why Is This An Easy Lobster Bisque Recipe?

So often I find that I avoid making specific recipes because of how complicated they are to make properly. Lobster bisque has always been one of those recipes. When I started fiddling around with the recipe, I decided to cut corners here and there. I use boxed seafood stock instead of spending hours boiling lobster shells in broth. Plus, considering most of us get our lobsters from those giant scummy aquariums at the grocery store, it’s kind of gross to think about drinking the water that they are boiled in.

Also, since most of the ingredients either get strained or emulsified, you don’t have to worry about chopping everything up uniform. It won’t matter!

Don’t get scared away by the amount of ingredients! You probably have most of them anyway. If you don’t have both cognac and sherry, just use one.

lobster stock

How To Make This Lobster Bisque Recipe:

This lobster bisque is fairly straight forward. You start by making the stock for the bisque. Vegetables are sautéed with aromatics. Boxed seafood stock is added to the pot with white wine and tomato paste. Let it simmer for about 1 hour for the flavors to become more condensed and harmonious, then strain it.

Next, boil the lobster tails in boiling water until cooked through. Drain the water, and let the tails cool a bit before handling.

In a dutch oven, cook the leeks with garlic, then add the cognac and sherry. Toss in one of the lobster tails, plus a little from the second tail. Using a hand blender, blend the leeks and lobster tails until a puree is formed. Place the puree to the side. Melt butter in the pot, and add the tomato paste and the flour to thicken. Slowly whisk in half and half until combined and cook for about 3 minutes.

Cut up the rest of the lobster tail, and toss it into the dutch oven, along with the stock you made. Add a little more tomato paste, and you’re good to go!

tomato lobster bisque

If you need a good dutch oven, this 5.5 quart Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven in stone color is great!

What To Serve With Lobster Bisque:

There is nothing better than a crispy buttered piece of French bread to dip into creamy lobster bisque! My mouth is literally watering just thinking about it. If you want to go all out with the lobster theme, you can try pouring this lobster bisque over a lobster roll! I had this in Maine one time and it was LITERALLY to die for. Lobster bisque makes a great appetizer for pretty much any meal, and also goes great with a salad. As you can see in the photo above, we had this recipe as an appetizer for Christmas dinner!

Lobster Bisque Recipe

Thrive Market:

Have you checked out ‘Thrive Market’? It’s an online grocery store that specifically sells quality items that are vegan, vegetarian, organic, paleo, whole 30 and much more! Plus everything is so inexpensive because they get the items straight from the manufacturer. It is a $60 membership fee (same as Costco and BJ’s), but most members say they make that money back in the first few orders. And if you DON’T make it back, Thrive Market will refund you the difference! So what are you waiting for? To get the healthy foods you love delivered straight to your door for a fraction of the cost, click the image below!


Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to cut the vegetables and garlic uniformly? Nope! Don’t waste your time cutting the carrots and celery uniformly, they are going to get strained and tossed anyway! Same goes for the leeks and garlic, its going to get pureed, so save yourself some time and do a rough chop.
How do I make this recipe ahead of time? You can make the stock ahead of time. Follow the steps to make the stock, and after it has simmered for about 1 hour, let it cool and place it in an air tight Tupperware. Keep it in the fridge overnight. That way you will only have to cook the lobster tails and make the leek puree.
What if I don’t have both cognac and sherry? I understand that not everyone has both of these ingredients in their liquor cabinet. If you only have one, it is okay to use just one. I would just add a little extra, like 1/4 of a cup PLUS 1 tbsp. If you don’t have either, you can try using brandy, however the flavor of the soup will differ from the intended flavor.
How long can I store lobster bisque? This lobster bisque recipe is okay to be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to eat it again, you can heat it up on the stove or in the microwave.
lobster bisque
lobster bisque

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Easy Lobster Bisque

This easy lobster bisque recipe is smooth and creamy, with a rich, condensed lobster flavor. It is easy to make, with chunks of lobster in every bite!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword bisque, creamy, easy, lobster, Soup, tomato
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups seafood stock (store bought boxed is fine)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • about 2 tbsp of garlic, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine (any dry variety is fine)
  • 1 3 oz can of tomato paste, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, plus more (depending on how salty your seafood stock is)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, plus more
  • 15 thyme stems
  • 2 medium sized lobster tails
  • 1 1/2 cups of leeks (white part and a bit of the green section)
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Toss in onions, cellery and carrot, and sautee until light brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 3 oz can of tomato paste and 15 thyme stems to the pot, and cook for about 60 seconds, stirring frequently. Pour in 4 cups of seafood stock and 1/2 a cup of water. Season with 1/2 tbsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (use less salt if seafood stock is salty). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Once done simmering, strain the liquid to remove all of the solids (squeeze the solids to get all of the flavor out of them). You should have about 4 cups of liquid.
  • In a seperate pot, bring a few quarts of water to a boil. Once at a roaring boil, add the lobster tails and cook until fully cooked through, about 1 minute per ounce. Drain the water and let the lobsters cool a bit.
  • In another dutch oven or pot, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook the leeks until softened, about 10 minutes, then add 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in the cognac and sherry, and simmer for 3 minutes over medium heat.
  • Once the lobsters are cool enough to handle, remove the lobster meat from the shells. Add 1 lobster tail, plus about 1/4 of the second tail, to the pot with the leeks. Using a hand blender, blend the ingredients until a puree forms. Remove the puree from dutch oven, and put aside.
  • In the same dutch oven as you cooked the leeks in, melt the butter. Add the flour slowly, whisking until combined. Add 1 tbsp of tomato paste to the pot, and whisk in the half and half slowly. Cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the pureed leek mixture back to this pot.
  • Chop up the rest of the lobster into bite sized pieces, and add it to the pot. Pour in your strained seafood stock, and mix well. Squeeze in 1 tbsp of lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley, dill or thyme and enjoy!

Did you like this ‘Easy Lobster Bisque‘ recipe? If so, you should go check out my ‘Crab Cake Stuffed Lemons‘ recipe, that also makes for a GREAT appetizer!

stuffed lemons

The post Easy Lobster Bisque appeared first on Recipe Hippie.

Originally posted at Recipe Hippie

Oven Baked Cod Sandwich

Oven Baked Cod Sandwich- A delicious fish sandwich piled high with fresh slaw and a lime aioli sauce. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Baked Cod Sandwich- A delicious fish sandwich piled high with fresh slaw and a lime aioli sauce. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

This restaurant-quality blackened fish sandwich is oh-so easy. It may be deceiving at first glance, but rest assured, you can whip up this up in no time!

WHY COD?

I prefer to use cod in this recipe for a slew of reasons:

  • Cod tends to be a meatier fish, making it perfect for sandwiches.
  • It has a flaky, white flesh.
  • A mild flavor.
  • Although lower in omega-3s than fatty fish, cod can still be part of a healthy diet
Baked Cod Sandwich- A delicious fish sandwich piled high with fresh slaw and a lime aioli sauce. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Seriously y’all, this is so simple and so tasty! And did I mention, much healthier than the typical “fried” fish sandwich?

WHAT SEASONINGS DO I NEED?

The blackening seasoning for this recipe is made of 3 simple ingredients.

  • 1 Tbsp Season All
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

It’s gives the perfect amount of kick to your fish sandwich!

Baked Cod Sandwich- A delicious fish sandwich piled high with fresh slaw and a lime aioli sauce. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine Season All with garlic salt and smoked paprika. 

Rub the dry ingredients onto the cod filets.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. 

While the fish is cooking, stir together 1/4 cup of mayo and the juice of 1 lime.

When you are ready to build your sandwiches, spread a small amount of the mayo onto the bottom burger bun (or preferred type of bread).  Top with fish and slaw.

Baked Cod Sandwich- A delicious fish sandwich piled high with fresh slaw and a lime aioli sauce. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

This Oven Baked Cod Sandwich is fresh, juicy and smoky. In other words, it’s your new favorite weeknight dinner!

Oven Baked Cod Sandwich- A delicious fish sandwich piled high with fresh slaw and a lime aioli sauce. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Baked Cod Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 4 cod filets
  • 4 burger buns (or preferred)
  • 1-2 cups slaw mix
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 Tbsp Season All
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine Season All with garlic salt and smoked paprika. 
  3. Rub the dry ingredients onto the cod filets.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. 
  4. While the fish is cooking, stir together mayo and juice of 1 lime.
  5. When you are ready to build your sandwiches, spread a small amount of the mayo onto the bottom burger bun.  Top with fish and slaw.

Originally posted at The Healthy Homecook

Easy Shrimp Scampi

Enjoy a 20 minute meal with easy shrimp scampi; seared shrimp in a garlic buttery sauce with a hint of lemon, parsley and served over a bed of your favorite pasta.

Enjoy this 20 minute easy shrimp scampi meal with seared, juicy shrimp in a rich garlic buttery sauce. Top it off with freshly squeezed lemon juice and parsley over a bed of your favorite pasta or with some crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Enjoy a 20 minute meal with easy shrimp scampi; seared shrimp in a garlic buttery sauce with a hint of lemon, parsley and served over a bed of your favorite pasta.

 

Today we’ll be doing a quick and easy 20 minute meal from start to finish for those busy work days. This one will be feeding 4 and is perfect for garlic lovers since that’s the star of the show. Lots and lots of fresh garlic in a lemon infused buttery sauce with fresh parsley to carry on the flavor.

Enjoy a 20 minute meal with easy shrimp scampi; seared shrimp in a garlic buttery sauce with a hint of lemon, parsley and served over a bed of your favorite pasta.

This simple dish does not lack flavor despite having very few ingredients. You can either have it with some crusty bread or on a bed of angel hair, spaghetti or linguine pasta.

Let’s get started.

Enjoy a 20 minute meal with easy shrimp scampi; seared shrimp in a garlic buttery sauce with a hint of lemon, parsley and served over a bed of your favorite pasta.

Melt the butter and add some olive oil then saute the garlic until fragrant. Add your wine or broth and seasonings then simmer until the wine has reduced. Add in the shrimp and cook until both sides are pink. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp; they cook really fast so make sure you have all your ingredients ready before introducing them to the pan. One handy way of telling that they’re approaching being overcooked is they start to shrink in size. Last step is to add in the fresh parsley and lemon juice and you’re done!

Quick tips:

  • If you prefer things saucier, reserve some pasta water after cooking the pasta and add it to the pan, then simmer down to the desired sauce level.
  • Tweak it to your tastes by adding more garlic/red pepper flakes/parsley and lemon juice as needed.
  • If you have trouble turning over individual pieces of shrimp while cooking use a pair of kitchen tongs. This helps keep overcooking down to a minimum.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for best results. For more lemony kick, add some grated lemon peel. I used this lemon squeezer and a microplane to grate the lemon.
  • I like to pre-season my pasta before adding the sauce/protein. Use good quality olive oil and dried basil.

And that’s about it. Enjoy your easy shrimp scampi! 🙂

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Enjoy a 20 minute meal with easy shrimp scampi; seared shrimp in a garlic buttery sauce with a hint of lemon, parsley and served over a bed of your favorite pasta.

Easy Shrimp Scampi



  • Author:
    The Cooking Jar

  • Prep Time:
    5 mins

  • Cook Time:
    15 mins

  • Total Time:
    20 minutes

  • Yield:
    4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine/chicken broth
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. jumbo or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Cooked pasta or crusty bread


Instructions

  1. Over medium high heat melt butter and add olive oil
  2. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute
  3. Add wine/broth and season with red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste
  4. Simmer until wine/broth has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir frequently
  5. Add shrimp and toss to cook until shrimp has turned pink on both sides, about 2 minutes
  6. Toss in parsley and lemon juice
  7. Dish and serve hot over pasta or crusty bread

Enjoy a 20 minute meal with easy shrimp scampi; seared shrimp in a garlic buttery sauce with a hint of lemon, parsley and served over a bed of your favorite pasta.

The post Easy Shrimp Scampi appeared first on The Cooking Jar.

Originally posted at The Cookie Jar

Jumbo Lump Crab Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata

Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Spaghetti with a Lemon Gremolata and Toasted Breadcrumbs. Restaurant quality dish yet quick and easy #weeknightmeal  Can be #dairyfree


Fresh, sweet jumbo lumb crab meat with spaghetti is such simple classic. Take it to the next level by adding lemon gremolata and toasted bread crumbs. And yes, I did tag this as a quick and easy weeknight meal (it is, I promise!).

Whenever my husband and I go to a nice restaurant that has crab cocktail on the menu, we have to get it. I just love the sweet flavor of the crab with a touch of heat from the cocktail sauce. And it’s pretty much guilt free with low calories and low fat.

Last weekend we decided to cook something restaurant quality at home instead of going out, and I was craving crab. I ran to Costco just to get a container of jumbo lump crab meat – it’s totally worth it. Their container is bigger than what you can get at a regular food market and it’s about $10 less. Plus, it’s fresh.

When I walked in to Costco I put my blinders on and headed straight for the food section as I kept telling myself “don’t go in the middle section, don’t go in the middle section.” Because you know if you even glance that way something is going to suck you in and I’d end up coming home with a new coat, a jumbo pack of socks, a book, Christmas wrapping paper (in August), and I’d forget the crab. I’m happy to say that this time I checked out with just one item – this huge container of jumbo lump crab meat.

When using jumbo lump crab, you never want to break up those big, beautiful chunks of meat. If you want something more broken up, just buy the regular lump crab. The jumbo lump chunks are the perfect bite. And when you get the huge container at Costco, you will definitely have extra. It makes great crab cocktail the next day!

So I mentioned that the gremolata and toasted bread crumbs take this dish pasta to the next level, and they really do. It’s such a simple part of the dish, but turns it from an at home dish to a fancy restaurant quality dish. Don’t skip the breadcrumbs! They seriously give the pasta such a distinctive crunch.

This can be a dairy free dish, which is how I made it. The original recipe calls for butter to start the pan sauce; I used oil. The recipe also calls for butter to toast the breadcrumbs; I used oil again. Finally, I did not put Parmesan cheese on mine, but my husband did.

Jumbo Lump Crap Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Adapted from: Foodie Crush

Ingredients for the Crab Spaghetti

  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
  • Kosher salt, black pepper to taste
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese
Ingredients for the Lemon Gremolata and Toasted Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • Kosher salt to taste

Directions

Gremolata and Toasted Bread Crumbs

  • Combine the garlic, parsley, and lemon zest. Season with salt if desired. Set aside. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the bread crumbs and stir for 3 minutes, until toasted and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl OR combine with the gremolata (your choice! I kept them separate the second time I made this dish since my husband didn’t want them).
Spaghetti
  • Cook the spaghetti in a pot of salted boiling water. Drain, reserving 1 c of the water.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the sliced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes, wine, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. 
  • Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan and toss. Add the crab and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve topped a spoonful of the gremolata and toasted bread crumbs. Add Parmesan if desired. 

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic Butter

Think back to your favorite meal or dish that you ever had. The one you dream about. The one you can taste if you just close your eyes and remember. The one that reminds me of the best tagline I have ever seen – “You only live once, but if you dine well once is all you need.”

I’ve asked my husband his favorite meal and he consistently says “the mussels from Fore Street.”
Fore Street is a cozy and rustic restaurant in Portland, Maine that has been on many lists, including landing a spot in the top 100 in the world! And after finally getting there myself several years ago, the restaurant is now in my top 5.

My husband has been lucky enough to get back there a few times when traveling and of course he orders the mussels.

So what’s a girl who loves to cook to do when she wants to really take care of her man? Recreate his favorite dish, of course! My husband has been traveling non-stop over the past 10 months, only coming home for quick 40 hour weekends. He deserved some spoiling.

I knew if I was making mussels it would have to be the Fore Street recipe. Luckily I found it without any trouble.

Having tasted them before I knew they were roasted in a garlicky butter sauce, but was surprised to read that almonds were the main ingredient in the sauce. I guess that explains the richness in the sauce.

Now, I have never prepared mussels at home and wasn’t sure what was meant by debearding the mussels (and honestly I was a bit scared to find out!!). Turns out it is simply removing the tag, or the beard, from the side of the mussel. Click here for a great demo.

This is a very easy dish to pull together – all you need is a food processor, an oven-safe skillet (or cast iron pan), 25 minutes of prep-time and 12 minutes of cook time. 

Making the sauce is simply combining the almonds, butter, garlic and other ingredients in your food processor until creamy. Dollop that over the mussels, roast the mussels (while you cut the bread and pour the wine), and that’s it. Sometimes the most amazing and sophisticated things you eat really are the most simple. Back to basics, true, good food. 

Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic ButterAdapted from: Food and Wine (via Fore Street Restaurant)Notes: the original recipe called for 4 pounds of mussels for this amount of sauce. I used 2 pounds of mussels and the same amount of sauce – we definitely wanted extra for sopping it up with bread. Also, I used a lot more garlic at my husband’s request. Glad I did! 
Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 c salted roasted almonds
  • 1 stick unsalted butter quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno 
  • 1 tsp finely ground pepper
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1/2 c dry white wine 
Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit
  • In a food processor, grind the almonds until they are mostly fine with some larger pieces. Add in the butter, minced garlic, parsley, shallot, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process until blended. Season with salt. 
  • Place the mussels in a large, oven-proof skillet. 
  • Pour in the wine and then dollop the butter all over the mussels, making sure each area of the pan has some of the butter. 
  • Roast the mussels for 12 minutes, stirring once and shaking the pan a few times. Discard any mussels that did not open after 12 minutes.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

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Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Crispy Fish Sticks with Pineapple Salsa

Crispy and crunchy homemade fish sticks with a fresh pineapple salsa. 
A kids’ style dinner good enough for adults!

I love to cook, but there are a few things I always have in for super quick dinners for my daughter, like on nights when my husband is traveling and we have 45 minutes between school and dance class. Frozen chicken nuggets, frozen fish sticks, baby carrots (to make “soft carrots,” as she calls them), frozen broccoli, and a container of cooked spaghetti can almost always be found in my house.

However, homemade versions are always better. It’s not like making homemade chicken nuggets or fish sticks is hard or takes a long time – it’s probably faster to bread your own and fry them up. Actually, in the time it takes to preheat your oven and cook the frozen version, you could already have homemade ones on the table.

But I get it – convenience foods are a must! Some nights you just don’t want the extra dishes, or you need to be focused on helping with homework instead of prepping and cooking dinner. When you have the time, it’s always fun to cook from scratch!

Over the holiday weekend I made some homemade crispy fish sticks that were so incredibly easy and super yummy.

All you need is a fish that will hold up well and that doesn’t have much fat. Cod, haddock and pollock are the most popular, but I prefer to use something a little better, like halibut, mahi, or even swordfish or catfish.

Cut your fish into “sticks” and then bread them – flour, egg, seasoned breadcrumbs/Panko. I fry them in just a small amount of oil – no need to deep fry – and in just 5-6 minutes they are done. Perfectly crispy and crunchy, yet light and flaky on the inside.

I love a light and fresh topping for fish, so I chopped up some pineapple to add to pico de gallo I had made for the weekend, and it was the perfect accompaniment. Bright, citrus flavors with some heat – so refreshing!

Crispy Fish Sticks 
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations

Ingredients

  • 6 oz fish cut into 6 sticks (double or triple to your liking!)
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 2 eggs beaten and mixed with 1 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs and 1/2 c Panko breadcrumbs
  • Seasoning: approximately 1 tsp each salt, black pepper, onion powder and chili powder 
  • 3 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil (enough to generously coat the bottom of your pan)
Directions
  • Set up breading station: flour in 1st bowl, eggs in second, bread crumbs mixed with seasoning in third (tip – I love using a throw away paper plate for the flour and bread crumbs – makes cleanup so easy!)
  • Heat your oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat
  • Roll each piece of fish in flour. Shake off the excess and roll in the egg mixture followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on wire rack.
  • Add the breaded fish to the pan being careful to space them out (you may need to do this in 2 batches). Cook until one side is golden brown; repeat on all sides until crispy. Transfer to the wire rack on top of paper towels.
  • Serve immediately! 

Pineapple Salsa
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations

You can make this in a small amount as noted below (serves 4), or you can make a large bowl of the pico (all of the ingredients below x 4, minus the pineapple) and remove some to mix with the pineapple for this recipe.

  • 4 Ripe tomatoes, seeds removed and diced 
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno, minced
  • 1/4 of a red onion, minced
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp Kosher or sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp pineapple, diced

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations