My Favourite Seafood Dishes – Part 1

That I love seafood seems pretty well established. Here are my some of favourite dishes with their recipes in no specific order of preference.

Seafood Pizza
Everyone loves pizza, that’s more or less a given. I do enjoy all types, will probably give the vegetarian ones a miss I guess except a well made Margherita pizza. But if I had to pick just one as my absolute favorite it’s going to have to be a seafood pizza. Squid rings, prawns, fish chunks, crab or lobster meat, the possibilities are endless. The prawns and crab add their own unique flavours to pizza and the other seafood absorbs all the flavours of the sauce really well. And the fact that seafood cooks so quickly, it can actually be a pretty quick fix too.

This is a really quick fix pizza where I didn’t make the dough at home but grabbed a packet at the grocers (yeah they’re pretty bad). So when I get the pizza bread in packets, I spray them them with small amount water, a really fine mist spray and then as they get a little moist, I roll them out thin and toast them very lightly in the oven. It makes these edible at least.

Sauce you can make your own really quick too. 600 ml Tomato puree (this is good for about 4 6-8 inch pizzas), 3-4 garlic cloves peeled, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and basil, chili powder and salt to taste and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Blend it all together and you’re good to go. This can be frozen in ice cube trays or kept in the fridge in an air tight container for 3-4 days.

Spread the sauce on the oven-toasted pizza bread, sprinkle liberally with about 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. In a pan saute some garlic in olive oil and toss your seafood in it. Until almost cooked. Add some fresh parsley or basil if you like. Sprinkle the seafood on the pizza bread and add another 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese on top adding some Parmesan Cheese at the end and put this into an oven until the base is crisp and the cheese is bubbling away.

Serve with some chopped basil sprinkled on top. 

Stuffed Squid
Squid cooks really quick and overcooking these babies is the last thing you want to do. Squid takes on flavours really well so it’s important to get the stuffing right. I had seen a few recipes online about this but found most of them were quite involved and had lots of ingredients and too many steps.

Squid tastes awesome in a butter garlic sauce so thats what I decided to cook it in. The stuffing needs to work well with that so it was either prawns, crab meat or lobster meat if I wanted it to be all seafood. The other options are minced chicken, pork or beef. Wanted something quick so went with a mix of prawn and crab meat. the prawn was cut up nice and small and both were steamed separately until almost done. I made a mix of some finely chopped fresh herbs (go with what you like, I went with coriander, thyme, pepper, some ginger and a little clove and a little chopped onion).

These were all blended together and then just hand mixed into the warm prawns and crab meat with salt to taste. The squid was thawed out, washed and patted dry and one side of the squid tube was scored (became the top side) before each was stuffed with the prawn and crab meat mixture.

In a thick bottom pan, heated butter and a little olive oil and added in lots of chopped garlic. As the garlic turned translucent, I added the squid tubes, scored side down and let is sit for about 1 minute, before starting to ladle the sauce over the squid continuously. As the scored side got golden, using tongs, I flipped the squid tubes on the other side and continued ladling the sauce over the tubes. With both sides nice and golden, removed the tubes to a plate and ladled the remaining sauce over them. Garnished with chopped coriander and 1 red chili chopped fine and a wedge of lime. As a side I served toasted garlic bread but french fries would work too.

Bacon Wrapped Prawns
This is arguably my favorite dish of all time. It’s really hard to pin down “the” favourite food but this one is as close to it as it can possibly get.

I had it the first time in a small place in Goa more than 2 decades ago and then over years have had the opportunity to try this in various forms. Different types of prawns, different types of bacon, stuffed with different types of cheese or herb mixes. All of them great. But here is the one that I make at home. It’s easy, it’s decadent, it’s definitely unhealthy but by Jove it’s delicious!

There are tons of recipes available online for this so go forth and search, but this one is really easy.

Thaw, rinse and dry your shelled, deveined but tail-on XL or XXL Prawns. Butterfly the prawns (video here), spread them out and place mozzarella sticks in the center. Sprinkle a touch of pepper, red chili powder and a very tiny amount of very finely chopped garlic (or use garlic powder). Bring the two “wings” of the prawns together to envelope the cheese and lightly brush with some melted butter. Wrap a thin strip of bacon (important for the bacon to be really thin) around the entire prawn length until the last part overlaps a little. Place these on a baking sheet, lightly brush with melted butter and put in oven at 200°C for about 3 minutes, then turn the prawns over and give it another 3 minutes. Cook more each side until bacon is fully cooked through and prawns are opaque.

The cheese will be nicely melted and beginning to ooze out and bacon will be a glistening golden brown.

Ideal dipping sauce (if you really need one) is honey chili sauce (light on the honey though).

More to come soon but until then, Bon Appétit.

All images are only for representation and not the images of what I have cooked.
Image Credit: Cover
Image Credit: Seafood Pizza
Image Credit: Stuffed Squid
Image Credit: Bacon Wrapped Prawn

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