Eric Akis: A luxury dinner by the sea



If you and your partner are in the mood for a luxury seafood dinner, I have a plan. Buy a nice selection of seafood, arrange them in a pan, flavor them with a mixture of butter, place this pan on a hot barbecue and start cooking.

It’s a simple and lavish way to cook seafood in the summer, as long as the items you choose have similar cooking times. In my recipe, the ones I selected that met these criteria included spotted shrimp tails from British Columbia and halibut (or lingcod) fillets, and two items from the east coast of Canada, wholesale. sea ​​scallops and a cold water lobster tail. In the recipe, I also gave you the option of using other types of seafood, if some of the ones I choose do not please and / or cannot be found.

Beyond melting and preparing the seasoned butter mixture, peeling the shrimp, and dividing the lobster tail in half, there isn’t much preparation involved. Unless, of course, you want to make slice bread and serve with your hot pan of seafood like I did.

This is called the Rustic Parmesan Pesto Swirl Bread. To do this, we let the simple bread dough rise. It is then placed on a work surface and pressed into a 12-by-nine-inch rectangle. The dough is spread with pesto, sprinkled with Parmesan, then rolled into a loaf and left to rise again.

When baked, the bread is golden and crisp, and when sliced, the swirl of pesto and Parmesan cheese that runs through it is revealed. In addition to bread, you can also serve seafood with nugget potatoes and green beans, steamed or boiled.

Pan-barbecue seafood dinner for two

Here’s a deluxe meal seafood lovers will enjoy, that’s easy to prepare and can be served right out of the pan.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes

Makes: two servings

2 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons of chicken, fish or seafood broth

1 medium garlic clove, minced

• pinches of smoked paprika, ground cayenne pepper and dried tarragon

2 (about 100 grams each) halibut or ling cod fillets (see Eric’s options)

6 to 8 spotted shrimp tails, peeled with the tip of the tail left intact (see Eric’s options)

4 large scallops

1 (85 to 113 grams) East Coast lobster tail, split lengthwise in half (see Eric’s options)

2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

4 lemon slices, for garnish

Preheat your barbecue to medium-high heat (approximately 425 to 450 F in the chamber). Place the butter, broth, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper and tarragon in a small saucepan. Put on medium heat and cook until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat.

Pour half of this mixture into a 10-inch cast iron skillet or other barbecue pan. Now place the fish fillets, shrimp, scallops and lobster half-tails in the pan, placing them cut side up. Pour the rest of the butter / broth mixture over the seafood.

Place the pan on one side of the barbecue and turn off the heat directly below; leave the other side set to medium-high. Close the lid and cook the seafood for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove the pan from the barbecue, drizzle the seafood with lemon juice, sprinkle with parsley and serve, garnished with lemon slices.

Eric’s options: If you can’t find spotted shrimp tails, use a different type of wild, peeled and deveined large shrimp. If you want to use cod, but can’t find lingcod, just use another type. If you don’t want to use a lobster tail, replace it with a few more scallops.

Rustic sandwich bread with pesto and parmesan

A country bread with pesto and parmesan rolled in it. Serve it in slices with seafood.

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus rise time

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: a loaf

2/3 cup lukewarm water (not hot)

1 teaspoon of active (traditional) dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus a little for the bowl

1 1/3 to 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little for shaping the dough

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup homemade or store-bought pesto

1/4 to 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Let the mixture sit for five minutes to dissolve the yeast.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If using a stand mixer, add 1 1/3 cups of the flour and salt and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is still quite sticky, add some or all of the remaining 1/3 cup of flour. Mix and knead the dough for another five minutes.

If you are mixing the dough by hand, start by slowly adding about 1 cup of the flour and salt, working them into the yeast / water / oil mixture with a spoon until the dough clumps loosely. Sprinkle a work surface with the rest of the flour. Gather the dough by scraping the sides of the bowl to get the whole thing and place it on the work surface. Dab it lightly in flour to coat it, then knead for six to eight minutes, until the dough is smooth, but still slightly sticky.

Lightly grease a large, deep bowl with olive oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl. Cover and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 75 minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface. With lightly floured hands, press and shape the dough into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle. Spread the dough with pesto, leaving a border of about 1 inch of clean dough around the edges. Fold about an inch of dough over the filling at each end. Now roll the dough as tightly as possible into a free-form loaf.

Place the bread on the baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel, then let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 75 minutes.

Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Bake the bread for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section on Wednesdays and Sundays.


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