Luxurious foods are, practically by definition, extremely expensive. Except for gravlax. For the price of a fresh piece of salmon, you can cure your own gravlax at home, then slice it and serve it as one of the most elegant hors d'oeuvres or light appetizers imaginable. In this recipe we cure it with sugar and salt, caraway, coriander, and dill, then serve it with a tangy mustard-dill sauce.
'seafood' on Serious Eats
A vinaigrette can be used for far more than just salads—after all, it's a legit sauce, and should be thought of as such. Here, we spoon a tangerine and fennel vinaigrette on whole roasted fish to add a splash of light, bright flavor. The fact that it can be thrown together so quickly is just gravy...er...we mean vinaigrette.
I've gone on record as saying that mussels are the easiest choose-your-own-adventure one-pot meal around, and I intend to prove it to you. This version uses my standard steamed mussel technique and combines it with the classic flavors of a French bouillabaisse. Fennel, saffron, and tomatoes are cooked together with a little pastis and orange zest to form an aromatic, briny broth for dipping bread into.
A pot of classic French Moules Marinières is fast food at its best. Made with fresh, inexpensive ingredients that still seem celebratory, this dish comes together in around 15 minutes from start to finish. Make sure to serve it with the rest of the wine left in the bottle and with plenty of toasted bread for dipping into the garlicky, briny broth.
This bowl of seafood ramen takes Halloween food to a whole new level, capturing the spirit of the holiday while being legitimately good enough to eat any other day of the year. Darkened with squid ink—not food coloring—and loaded with seared squid, plump mussels, and salmon roe, even Dracula would lay off the blood for a day just to get some of this.
Nigel Slater's recipe from his newest cookbook, Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food, is simple and smart. The crab cakes only require throwing a hot chili pepper, a garlic clove, a bit of bread, and a lot of cilantro into a food processor, then combining the mixture with lump crabmeat and mirin. Formed into little balls and pan-fried, they're crisp, crabby, and terrifically aromatic.
In this easy one-skillet meal, cod fish is wrapped in a layer of prosciutto, then pan-roasted until the prosciutto is crispy and the fish within is juicy and tender. Creamy cannellini beans cooked with crumbled chorizo and and shallots makes a flavorful accompaniment.
Here's yet another winning recipe from Renee Erickson's new cookbook, A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus. She cooks her mussels in hard cider with shallots, butter, and Dijon mustard, and finishes them with uplifting and enriching lemon juice and crème fraîche, and a good amount of whole tarragon leaves, which perfume the delicious broth.
A juicy, flavor-packed salmon burger stuffed with dill, onions, and horseradish, served with a sweet and creamy honey-dijon mayonnaise and avocado slices on toasted buns. It's cooked with just one skillet, and finished in about 15 minutes.
To get the most flavor in this shrimp scampi, we use vermouth instead of white wine, and a mix of fragrant herbs—parsley, tarragon, and chives—instead of just parsley. The silky butter sauce, meanwhile, is brightened with a splash of fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. It's a quick, easy, one-pot Italian-American classic with just enough extra flavor and flair to make it special.
Fish is notoriously tricky to pan-sear. It inevitably ends up sticking to the pan or turning tough and stringy on its surface. This method—breading it on just one side—solves both of these problems with one easy stroke, all while adding some textural contrast.
If you love ceviche, then Mexico's aguachile is for you. Traditionally made with raw shrimp, lime juice, chilies, cucumber, and onion, it's served immediately while still totally raw, unlike most other ceviche recipes. In this variation, sweet raw scallops are tossed with lime juice, jalapeño chilies, cucumber, and red onion, then served with tostadas and avocado (and if you like, beer or tequila).
If you love ceviche, then Mexico's aguachile is for you. Traditionally made with raw shrimp, lime juice, chilies, cucumber, and onion, it's served immediately while still totally raw, unlike most other ceviche recipes. This recipe is about as close to the classic as you can get, and it's delicious.
If you love ceviche, then Mexico's aguachile is for you. Traditionally made with raw shrimp, lime juice, chilies, cucumber, and onion, it's served immediately while still totally raw, unlike most other ceviche recipes. In this variation, fresh artic char is tossed with lime juice, habanero chilies, jicama, coriander seed, and red onion, then served with tostadas and avocado (and if you like, beer or tequila).
Grilled squid with olive oil and lemon juice is one of those incredibly simple dishes that captures all the best of coastal Mediterranean cooking—it's economical, uncomplicated, and pristine (assuming your squid is pristine...and it should be). One bite and you'll be transported to a beach in Portugal, drinking cold vinho verde from the bottle and spearing juicy grilled squid bodies with your fork.
Flakes of salmon and wilted spinach add body and flavor to this warm couscous salad that's seasoned with mustard and dill. Ready in under 30 minutes, it's perfect for a quick weeknight meal or picnic lunch.
With the farmers market filled with plump, juicy tomatoes, stacks of smooth-skinned zucchini, and aromatic fresh herbs, now is the perfect time to combine summer's best produce into one vegetable-filled pasta. Some bonus crabmeat kicks it up a decadent notch.
Grilled Squid With Arugula and Grapefruit Vinaigrette From 'Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen'
I love the idea of this salad from Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos' new cookbook, Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from our Tuscan Kitchen. Charred calamari, grapefruit, fennel, and arugula—how can you go wrong?
Creamy, buttery avocado, nutty shavings of Parmesan, and a bright, tangy dressing set the stage for a delicious piece of salmon. Did we mention it only takes 10 minutes to cook?
Kimberley Hasselbrink's eye-catching bahn mi from her new cookbook, Vibrant Food is super-appealing: she uses fish-sauce-marinated salmon instead of traditional pork, which lightens the sandwich while still providing a touch of fatty richness. It's a sandwich I can see myself making many more times this summer.