Shrimp Alla Fede with Pea Risotto

This is actually two dishes that can be mixed and matched in thousands of ways.  The Risotto is great alone, with seafood, you will find it under my short ribs, almost anything you can imagine, including as a dessert with a few minor ingredient substitutions.  The magic of risotto is discussed in its featured post, so let’s get back to the shrimp.

If you follow my blog, you know that I am a use-what-you-have-on-hand cook, and that I cook gluten-free.  That means, feel free to experiment with flavors that you love!  I have a rule at my house that if something doesn’t work, we order pizza.  Done.  This is one of those meals that I made to actually clean out the refrigerator.  But in the end, like a mixed breed puppy, it was really good.

One more confession – I did not make this meal with the intent of creating a blog recipe.  Only after being asked via facebook (yes, I am food poster on fb), that I decided I would do it.  Because of that, my pictures will be replaced the next time I make it, and this is my apology that there are not any “in process” photos to explain a step.  Lesson learned.

Final thought on the shrimp –  Yes, you can absolutely use peeled and deveined shrimp, and if you are in a hurry, please do!  I use the shells to make seafood stock, if you are just going to throw the shells away, save yourself the time.  Just never, ever, not-in-a-million-years, buy pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe.  Never never never.

“Can we get back to the recipe?”  Yo.  [For my Hamilton fans!]


12 Prawns, shelled and deveined (when you shell shrimp, save the shells!  See my post for seafood base and shrimp bisque for their use.) If you use smaller shrimp, just use more shrimp and lessen your sautee time.

4 slices bacon, chopped

olive oil as needed

2-3 Tbsp. citrus vodka (I use gf). (Can substitute with wine, I just like the brightness of the lemon, or chicken stock if you don’t want to use liquor)

2 garlic cloves, chopped cup chicken broth

1/4 c. sliced leeks

1/2 c. chicken broth

1/4 c. heavy cream (never forget the cream!)

1 handful arugula

1/2 lemon, squeezed for its juice

½ tsp. hot sauce or 1/8 tsp. crushed red peppers (can be omitted)

Salt and Cracked Pepper



  1. Peel and devein the shrimp – yes you can buy peeled shrimp, see my discussion above.
  2. Make the Risotto, keep in a warm oven while you make the shrimp and sauce. (See linkback for the recipe.)
  3. In a heavy sauteé pan, I use a 16″ cast iron, preheat to medium heat and once hot, brush a layer of olive oil and sauteé the bacon until crispy, then drain on a paper towel.  Turn down the heat on the oil to medium low!
  4. Leave a 1/8″ layer of bacon grease in the pan, if there isn’t enough, add a little olive oil.
  5. Add the shrimp, cook for about a minute, then turn and cook for one more.  Add the vodka or wine, and ONLY sauteé until the shrimp loses its translucency and is pink, then immediately remove and set aside. If you use smaller shrimp, continuously stir in the pan and remove as soon as you see pink.
  6. Add the leeks and sautee until soft, about 1 minute
  7. Add the garlic and continuously stir until soft, another minute.  Do not brown the garlic, it will become bitter
  8. Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer
  9. Add the cream, bring to a simmer
  10. Allow to simmer for about 3 minutes to thicken slightly
  11. Add the hot sauce or red pepper, if using
  12. Add the shrimp and arugula and stir together.
  13. Add the bacon, stir, cover and set aside for 2-3 minutes to rest.

Add salt and cracked pepper to taste, serve over risotto and enjoy!

To finish the meal, serve with roasted carrots.


Cold Seafood Salad


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There are times when salad is good, and there are times when it is fan-freaking-tastic.  This salad is of the second sort, at least I think so; my husband, on the other hand, thinks calamari is “squishy” so he does not enjoy it.  In fact, he doesn’t like any kind of squishy food:  marshmallow or Fluff, its first cousin, commercial whipped cream, meringue, crawfish, you know, things that go squish, but delving into that topic any further requires another sort of professional…but I digress.

And it’s fairly simple to make.  No, its very simple to make.  Make your court bouillon, which means “short stock” and is pronounced “coor-boo/yoh~” (for an audio of the pronunciation: clean your seafood and construct your salad greens.  Voila!  More French words and better yet, a nice entree or side dish.

**See the usual disclaimer below.  Adapted from fieri chilled Italian seafood salad.

1 pound calamari tentacles and tubes, cleaned and cut into 1-inch rings, soaked in
2 cups buttermilk for at least 1 hour, refrigerated and covered

2 pounds shrimp, 21-25s, peeled & deveined (retain the shells for making seafood stock later)

2 lbs. littleneck clams, cleaned

Court Bouillon:
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, skin on, halved and quartered (cut off stem)
4 sprigs fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
2 bay leaves
1 dried red chile
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 pound U21/25 tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed, beards removed
1 1/2 cups halved and thinly sliced tomato
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Fennel-Arugula Salad:
8 ounces lightly packed Israeli arugula, washed and trimmed
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds reserved and sliced thin
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 heriloom tomato, seeded and finely diced
2 scallions, sliced on the bias
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Venetian Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 scallions, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

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**Disclaimer:  I consider all recipes “advisory opinions”.  Some times the adivce is good and you learn the good; sometimes the adivce is bad and you learn from that too.  Until I grow a new fruit that this earth has never seen, theres a good chance that all of my recipes began somewhere else.  And even if it didn’t, I’m sure you can find one so similar that it will be hard to tell which is the chicken and which is the egg.  Nonetheless, I will always give credit to the first source I began working from, and I will always us the phrase “adapted from….[credit inserted here].  I generally make a recipe 3 or 4 times to tweak it to the way the I like it.  I expect you to do the same.  Food is sustinance, sustinance is necessary for life.  Enjoy yours the way you like, and I’ll supply a few ideas.

Salmon & Dill Cakes with Cucumber Mint Sauce

Salmon & Dill Cakes with Cucumber Sauce

Salmon & Dill Cakes with Cucumber Sauce

These salmon cakes can be made ahead, covered and kept in the refrigerator for a few days for a quick lunch or dinner because the salmon is pre-cooked. The cucumber sauce will last several days also, and actually be better day 2 than it was when fresh. Of course, for best flavors and highest nutrition value, begin with fresh everything. (This post utilizes the “//” which is my marking for best choice on the left//okay choice on the right. Read the “Athletic Training and Food” section on for a complete explanation.)

Cucumber Dill Sauce

1 fresh cucumber
1/4 c. chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
8 oz. plain Greek yogurt // low-fat sour cream (the fat-free variety is evil, but can be used)
pinch of salt

1. Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds, if any (English cucumbers are perfect for this recipe, but not necessary.)
2. Grate the cucumber with a cheese grater and set in a fine mesh strainer to allow the water to escape. Alternatively, you can use paper towels, but try not to lose to much of the vegetable that will stick to the towel. Set aside for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.
3. Chop the shallot, dill and mint and place in a bowl; mix in the yogurt//sour cream. Taste and salt if the flavors need to be enhanced a tad.
4. Refrigerate.

Salmon Cakes

6 Salmon Filets
1/2 c. Lemonaise Light (or Veganaise or something similar)//mayonnaise
1/4 c. chopped fresh dill
1/4 c. chopped caperberries (the large ones are best for this recipe, if you use the small, they don’t really need to be chopped)
2 Omega-3 eggs, lightly beaten//2 eggs
olive oil
1 lemon
1/4 c. or so of gluten free flour or cornmeal (I used potato starch for the ones in the picture)
Salt & Cracked Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the salmon filets on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Crack pepper on the salmon and sprinkle each filet with a pinch of sea salt.
3. Bake in the over on the medium rack until just pink, about 15-20 minutes, but check for doneness. Do no overcook and dry out the salmon, it has the opportunity to cook again once it’s made into a patty, so being a bit undercooked is better than being overcooked.
4. Remove from the over, and place the salmon, still on the parchment, on a rack. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over the hot salmon allow to cool to room temperature.
5. While the salmon is in the oven, chop the dill and caperberries. Mix into the Lemonaise Light and set aside.
6. When the salmon is completely cooled, place in a large bowl and flake apart with a fork.
7. Add the beaten egg to the salmon and mix until incorporated.
8. Add the Lemonaise/herb mixture and mix. Cover with a plastic wrap to keep it moist and refrigerate (this will help the patties stay together, but is not necessary if you don’t have time).
9. Place the cornmeal or flour in a shallow bowl.
10. Make small patties from the salmon mix, about an inch thick, and dredge into the flour or meal. Place on a plate or tray.
11. When you are ready to make the patties, light fry each in a castiron skillet if you have one, with a bit of oil over medium low heat, about 3-4 minutes per side. Cover while it is cooking. It is important to keep the heat low because you only want to warm the pre-cooked salmon and give the outer surfaces a nice crisp. Just before removing the salmon cake from the skillet, squeeze the lemon over it again.
12. Serve with a dollop of the cucumber sauce and a side salad with champagne vinaigrette dressing.

1. Serve on a multigrain roll for added substance.

Surf & Turf

Surf and Turf
Surf & Truf

Want to impress and still have time to enjoy your dinner party?   Surf and Turf is the way to go!

Many grocery stores stock a nice frozen lobster tail, if you do not want to begin with a live lobster.  I honestly prefer a frozen tail for dinner parties and even just family dinner as guests don’t have to wear a bib or be conscientious about the work, although fun, that goes into dismantling a whole lobster.

Filet.  Sweet, tender filet.  Pictured is a 6-oz filet.