Love seafood? Simple to make, these hearty dishes come together quickly, whether you're planning for company or fixing a weeknight dinner for family.
Halibut and shimeji baked in parchment: Top halibut with cooked mushrooms, wrap it in parchment and bake. That's how simple this recipe from Food editor Russ Parsons is, and it's a great way to show off the delicate flavor of shimeji mushrooms. Best of all? You can prepare the packets in advance, and then refrigerate them until you're ready to cook. No parchment paper? Simply wrap the fish in foil.
Oyster stew with leeks and prosciutto: Another recipe from Parsons, who wrote, "My favorite oyster stew is not all that much more complicated to make, but it adds more layers of flavor. Start by stewing prosciutto, leeks and shallots in butter. Add wine and reduce it, then bring half-and-half to a bare simmer. When bubbles begin to appear around the rim of the pan, add the oysters and cook just until they're done. What brings all of the flavors into focus is a last-minute garnish of chopped tarragon (oysters love licorice flavors almost as much as they love cream)."
Oven-steamed salmon with dill mayonnaise: If you're looking for easy, it doesn't get much better than oven-steamed salmon, according to Parsons. With his recipe, you simply steam salmon on a baking sheet in a 250-degree oven over a baking pan filled with boiling water. The salmon is ready in about 20 minutes, when the fish just begins to flake. While it's cooking, whisk together a quick dill mayonnaise (mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, fresh chopped dill and shallots, and a little lemon juice) and you're good to go. Simple, right? You can find the recipe below.
OVEN-STEAMED SALMON WITH DILL MAYONNAISE
Total time: 40 minutes / Servings: 6 to 8
1 (1- to 2-pound) salmon filet, in 1 piece
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the salmon, meat side up, on a cutting board and feel along the surface of the flesh with your fingertips just above and below the midline. If you feel pin bones, pluck them out with tweezers or needle-nose pliers. Season the salmon with one-half teaspoon salt, or to taste, and place on a jellyroll pan lined with lightly oiled aluminum foil.
2. When the oven is ready, place a baking pan on the floor of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Place the pan with the salmon on the rack. Cook until a paring knife or toothpick penetrates the flesh easily, 20 to 25 minutes. Note that the flesh will be somewhat denser than usual and that it won't change color as much as with other cooking methods.
3. While the salmon is cooking, prepare the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, shallots, mustard and dill in a food processor or blender or use a mortar and pestle and puree until fairly smooth. There should still be some dots of herbs visible. Add lemon juice and puree again. Taste, correct seasoning and set aside.
4. When the salmon is done cooking, there will probably be some white collagen collected on the surface. Moisten a pastry brush with oil and lightly brush it away.
6. Serve the salmon on a large platter with a bit of the mayonnaise spooned to one side. Serve the remainder of the mayonnaise in a bowl to pass. Tell your guests to scoop up the salmon with a spoon, leaving the skin behind.
Each of 8 servings: 407 calories; 21 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 35 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 71 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 406 mg sodium.