Friday, October 13, 2006

Seafood Tips
1. Choose clams with shells that are steely gray, not chalky white, which is a sign of age. If the clam is open, pinch the shells together. If they don't stay closed, discard the clam. Never use clams with cracked shells.

2. Buy lobsters that are lively and that have hard, dark shells, and don't believe the myth that small lobsters are sweeter than large ones.

3. Select fresh, firm whole fish with red gills, clear eyes and smooth, unblemished skin with a bright sheen.

4. Buy fillets that are moist, with shiny, almost translucent flesh. They should be firm and have a clean sea smell. Never buy fish that is sitting in water.

5. Keep fresh fish and shellfish refrigerated at all times. The coolest part of most refrigerators is at the back of the bottom shelf, which should be 38° or lower.

6. Cut fish with a very sharp knife; the fragile flesh can tear easily.

7. Make stock using the well-rinsed heads, bones and trimmings of haddock, cod, flounder, sole, bass or halibut.

Salmone Aromatico
Spice-Rubbed Salmon
A combination of dried herbs and spices gives the salmon a distinctive Mediterranean taste. If you don’t like cilantro, use Italian parsley instead.
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
grated zest of 1 lime
4 salmon steaks (6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 lime, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
In a mortar or spice grinder, combine the paprika, fennel, coriander, cumin, caraway, peppercorns, salt, and lime zest. Crush or process until coarse. Pour onto a plate and rub the salmon in the mixture, coating all over and pressing on all sides so the mixture adheres.
Heat the olive oil in a 14-inch sauté pan over a medium-high flame. Add the peeled garlic and cook 30 seconds. Discard the garlic. Add the salmon and cook until it is browned on both sides, about 2 minutes, turning once. Place in a roasting pan and roast in the preheated oven until it is firm to the touch and no longer translucent, about 10 minutes total. (Thicker pieces will take longer to cook through than thinner ones.) Serve hot, with the lime wedges. Serves 4 Recipe from Rustico cooking

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