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.
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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.
Far less popular than creamy New England clam chowder, Rhode Island's dairy-free version deserves a lot more attention. The rich broth is brightened with white wine and loaded with the flavor of clams, chunks of tender potato, and bits of smoky bacon. It may be my new go-to chowder.
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.
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.
Want to cook clams without their shells but don't know how to shuck them? This freezer method is the perfect solution, and requires no special knife- or shucking-skills.
Light and delicious, this wakame-filled bowl of brown rice is topped with creamy avocado, crunchy sprouts, and tender shrimp for an easy one-pot meal. Finished with fresh lime juice and soy sauce, it makes for a fun and flavorful weeknight meal.
Crispy and a little saucy, egg noodles pan-fried until they form a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-in-the-middle cake is a classic Hong Kong and Guangzhou dish. A nest of egg noodles are fried in a wok until golden brown and topped with a combination of stir-fried meat, seafood, or vegetables. Here's how to make my favorite version, topped with seafood in a light gravy.
Jeff Koehler wrote the cookbook on paella. Literally. So I was keen to try out the paella recipes in his new cookbook, Spain. His shellfish paella is based on a recipe from his mother-in-law, who has been making this particular pan of rice every weekend for close to 50 years; for a paella newbie like myself, it seemed like a well-tested place to start.
Dig your chip into lime marinated shrimp, juicy tomatillo-jalapeño-cilantro salsa, and melty mild Monterey Jack cheese.
Mussels are pretty much my default shellfish. They're easy to cook, easy to eat, and taste of little more than the sweet, briny ocean. In Ben Sargent's Mussels Fra Diavolo from his new cookbook, The Catch, the usual diavolo players (chili flakes, tomatoes, white wine) are present, but it's the uncommon addition of roasted garlic that makes the dish memorable.
Before opening up the new Treme cookbook, I couldn't pick out a mirliton if it was thrown in my face. But the squash, originally native to the region, appears so frequently in Treme, I now consider myself a relative expert. I had, as it turns out, known the squash by its other name, chayote, and it appears on Latin American menus just as frequently as the traditional Louisiana ones.
Chicken and shrimp are loaded with flavor from a searing Southeast Asian chili sambal.
For a real taste of Singapore, try this signature seafood dish: hard shelled crabs cooked in a flavorful sweet, salty, chili-hot tomato sauce. Have some rice or steamed buns on hand to mop it all up with.
I used to call miang "one-bite salad," but I'm rethinking it as it seems to suggest that you're supposed to wrap the whole thing up into a big bundle and eat it in one bite. Calling it "salad cups" doesn't do it either since a miang like this isn't usually served assembled in little lettuce cups. Either way, this shrimp and pomelo salad served with chili jam is simple, balanced, and delicious.
This simple baked scallop and endive dinner takes four ingredients (plus salt, pepper, and a lemon to serve it with) with no extra dishes to clean.
Juicy, sweet sea scallops get quickly baked with little grape tomatoes and a herby breadcrumb topping packed with garlic, basil, and a little bit of butter.
Aside from mussels, there are few other seafoods that so easily lend themselves to quick cooking, and even faster eating. After all, to manipulate a mound of mussels into a meal, a simple steam in broth or other flavorful liquid is all that is needed to pop the bivalves open. But fast doesn't have to be bland. In fact, I find the Belgian method of steaming mussels with a white ale (or any beer really) to be of the utmost flavor—especially when the whole mess is embellished with crunchy bacon.
Squid are kind of a gateway shellfish. They're not terribly fishy and they're relatively easy to clean and prepare.
A quick and easy lobster ceviche. The ultimate refreshing summer appetizer.