Tag Archives: seafood

Glazed salmon on top of bed of asparagus

This 20-Minute Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Salmon is the Perfect Weeknight Meal

You have probably heard of honey glazed salmon… but have you heard of pomegranate glazed salmon? Pomegranate molasses is an ingredient commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine and has both sweetness and tanginess that adds so much depth and flavour to any dish. It is the star ingredient in this glaze, along with garlic, honey and chilli flakes for some heat. You can typically find pomegranate molasses in the international aisle at your local grocery store, but if you can’t find it, you can make your own at home. Simply mix together pomegranate juice, a bit of lemon juice and sugar (to your preference) and reduce it down until it looks like a thick glaze.

Glazed salmon on top of bed of asparagus

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Salmon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Salmon
½ kg salmon fillet (or 4 pieces)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil (or any vegetable oil)

Glaze
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 ½ Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 ½ Tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
½ tsp chilli flakes (more or less per preference)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Spring onions for garnish

Glazed salmon ingredients on table

Directions:

1. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.

Four raw salmon filets on white plate

2. Heat up a cast iron or non-stick skillet on medium high and add the olive oil. Wait until pan is hot, then lay the salmon skin side down and cook for 3-4 minutes. Make sure you don’t crowd your pan.

Four salmon filets cooking in pan

3. Flip the salmon to sear on the other side for 2 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside.

Two salmon filets cooking in pan

4. Decrease the heat to low and add in the crushed garlic. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.

5. Add the pomegranate molasses, honey, salt, and chilli flakes and stir for a minute. Add the squeeze of lemon.

6. Place the salmon back into the pan and cook for 5 more minutes or until cooked through (depending on thickness of the salmon).

Related: Easy Grilled Salmon Recipes You’ll Love

7. Plate the salmon (recommended on a bed of roasted vegetables) and spoon the glaze on top. The glaze thickens when it cools down, therefore it is recommended to serve immediately. If it does cool down, you can heat it back up and add a splash of water to loosen it.

8. Garnish with spring onions and additional chilli flakes.

Like Amina’s glazed salmon recipe? Try her curried Brussels sprouts or roasted cauliflower with tahini.

Your New Favourite Fish Dish: The Pioneer Woman’s Crispy Cerveza Battered Cod

We love a classic fish and chips recipe as much as the next person — but if you’re looking to up your kitchen (and seafood) game, make this crispy, battered fish dish from Ree Drummond herself.

Two pounds of fresh cod is simmered in Mexican lager-infused spicy seasonings, while homemade charred lime crema is the perfect topper in addition to the napa cabbage, onions, flour tortillas and lime wedges. Although it might take a little longer than the average dish, go ahead and break out that deep-frying thermometer and get started! Bon appetit!

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Tex-Mex Recipes Will Satisfy Your Cheesy, Meaty Cravings

The Pioneer Woman’s Crispy Cerveza Battered Fish

Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
Special Equipment: a deep-frying thermometer

Ingredients:

Crispy Battered Fish

Vegetable oil, for frying
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Two 12-ounce bottles Mexican lager
2 lbs cod, cut into 1/2-by-1 1/2-by-3-inch sticks

Related: This Bold 5-Ingredient Sheet Pan Steak Supper From The Pioneer Woman Will Brighten Your Table

Serving

12 flour tortillas (7-inch)
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
1 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1 cup lime wedges
Charred Lime Crema, recipe follows

Charred Lime Crema

2 jalapenos
1 small white onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Mexican-style crema
1 lime, zested and juiced ‘

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Fast White Chicken Chili Will Become a Weeknight Staple

Close-up of Crispy Cerveza Battered Fish

Directions:

1. For the crispy battered fish: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Fit a wire rack in a baking sheet; set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat to 375°F.

3. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, cayenne, paprika, baking powder and pepper. Add the beer and whisk until smooth.

4. Working in 2 to 3 batches, coat the fish in the batter. Carefully transfer the battered fish to the hot oil. Fry each batch for 4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the fried fish to the wire rack on the baking sheet to allow the oil to drain away. This will ensure it stays crispy. Transfer the baking sheet with the fish to the oven to keep warm while you get everything else ready. The fish can sit in the oven up to an hour staying warm.

5. For serving: Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven to warm for 10 minutes.

6. Unwrap the tortillas and serve alongside the fish and all the fixings: cabbage, red onion, cilantro, lime wedges and Charred Lime Crema.

Charred Lime Crema

1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.

2. Toss the jalapenos and onion rounds in the olive oil in a bowl. Grill the jalapenos and onion rounds until charred all over, turning as needed, about 5 minutes total. Place the jalapenos in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Set the onions aside.

3. Cut the jalapenos in half, remove the stems and seeds and gently scrape off the charred skin. Roughly chop the grilled onion rounds.

4. Combine the jalapenos, onion, cilantro and some salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse in 2-second increments until finely minced.

5. Whisk together the crema and lime zest and juice in a medium bowl. Add the jalapeno-onion mixture to the bowl with the crema and fold everything together until fully incorporated.

6. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve as a flavorful topping on your favorite tacos.

Watch the full how-to video:


Want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family? The Pioneer Woman’s top cooking tips for easier weeknight dinners will help you get started.

Watch The Pioneer Woman via stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Kardea Brown Fish Fillet Sandwich

Skip the Drive-Thru With Kardea Brown’s 30-Minute Fish Fillet Sandwich

Kardea Brown has had her fair share on online success with her drool-worthy food pics on Instagram, but none appealed to the masses quite like her Fish Fillet Sandwich, and it’s easy to see why.

Kardea Brown Fish Fillet Sandwich

Related: The Best Work-From-Home Lunch Ideas That Are Better Than Takeout

Growing up, the Brown family didn’t eat a lot of fast food, so this homemade play on a drive-thru favourite was a real treat for Kardea. This crave-worthy recipe comes in handy for when those fast food cravings hit and you don’t want to leave the house – plus, we guarantee this sandwich will have you ditching the drive-thru.

Skin-on or off, dredge a thick piece of white fish in a seasoned panko batter and fry to golden perfection. A creamy homemade tartar sauce made with mayo, capers, dill relish and some fresh dill perfectly complements that salty and crunchy fish, slice of American cheese and a soft potato bun.

See More: Our 75 Best Sandwich Recipes

Miss Brown’s Fish Fillet Sandwich

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time:
30 minutes
Serves:
3 servings

Ingredients:

Tartar Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 1/2 Tbsp dill pickle relish
1 1/2 tsp capers
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Pinch sugar
1/4 onion, diced

Fish Sandwich
1 Tbsp lemon juice, plus additional as desired
Three 6-oz skinless boneless halibut fillets or steaks
1/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp kosher salt, plus additional as desired
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 Tbsp seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
3 potato buns
Unsalted butter, for toasting the buns
3 slices American cheese

Special equipment
A deep-frying thermometer

Related: Our Most Popular Fish Recipes

Directions: 

1. For the tartar sauce: Mix together the mayonnaise, relish, capers, dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sugar and onion in a bowl and refrigerate.

2. For the fish: Sprinkle the lemon juice over the fish fillets. Combine the milk, eggs, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Put the flour on a large plate. Combine the panko and seafood seasoning on another.

3. Heat 2 inches oil to 350°F in a large Dutch oven.

4. One at a time, dip the fish into the flour, then the egg and milk mixture, then the panko. Set on another plate or small baking sheet. Place the fish in the oil and fry, turning once, for 3 to 4 minutes total (if you are using the shallow-frying method, cook both sides until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes). Transfer the fish with tongs to a plate lined with paper towels or a wire rack set in a baking sheet. (I like to hit my fish with a little salt and lemon juice while it’s hot.)

5. Meanwhile, toast the buns, by melting the butter in a pan and cooking them in it or by buttering the buns and broiling them until slightly golden.

6. Top the bun bottoms with the cheese and the fish, then spread the bun tops with tartar sauce and top your sandwiches.

This is How to Make The Perfect Chinese Hot Pot at Home

Chinese hot pot is a broth set on a table meant for sharing, and is a social dining experience where people huddle around a simmering pot of broth with a variety of proteins, veggies, spices and a string of incredibly diverse dipping sauces. In short, you make a personalized dipping sauce, dunk some ingredients into the broth and scoop it out into your bowl. Much like cheese fondue, hot pot is a buffet of mix-and-match ingredients perfect for customized social gatherings.

Depending on the region of China, the broth and chosen protein will vary, with Northern China favouring lamb, and Cantonese hot pot commonly filled with fresh seafood. To make at home, you don’t need to choose a region. It just involves a bit of preparation.

Hot Pot Tips and Tricks

Equipment 101: To keep the broth simmering on the table, you need a portable burner. Whether you choose a butane burner or portable induction stove, look for butane burners in camping stores or online, and be sure to purchase the fuel every few hot pot dinners.

The Right Pot: The ideal pot has a divider in the centre to allow for two different broths (cool, right?) and is often called a shabu-shabu hot pot with divider. I have a wide, shallow pot with a fitted lid that accommodates a selection of protein, vegetables and broth while cooking quickly.

Tool Time: You’ll need chopsticks or forks/small tongs for dipping in the pot and eating. Strainers, spoons and small plates or shallow bowls for eating, and small bowls for dipping sauces. Remember, you are dipping into a communal pot, so you will need separate tools to dip the ingredients, retrieve and eat. No one likes double dippers!

Spice is Nice: Decide on the type of broth you will serve, whether you make your own from scratch or purchase the many flavoured packages offered in Asian grocery stores. Choose from a basic chicken broth with mild flavouring agents i.e. onion, ginger, daikon, or a tomato-based, mushroom-based or spicy broth (it’s called Hot Pot for a reason!).

Ingredient Buffet: The choice of ingredients fit for a hot pot is too long to list, and with no hard and fast rules, it’s a mix-and-match game. You want a little bit of everything, and balance is critical when it comes to vegetables. You want texture, satiating veggies and complementary choices for the remaining ingredients.

Hot Pot Ingredient List

Greens
Hearty and leafy, look for greens that retain texture after cooking like bok choy, watercress, snow pea leaves, Napa cabbage, Chinese spinach, gai lan and green onions.

Root Vegetables
Look for daikon, carrots, small potatoes and either cut into cubes or thinly sliced. For larger pieces, let them simmer in the broth to flavour it, and thinly slice for a slight crunch.

Mushrooms
More than an umami-rich flavour agent, reach for enokis, small cremini or shimeji mushrooms for quick cooking and sliced king oysters for a meaty choice. Add the small mushrooms the last minute of cooking; they’re ready as soon as they start to wilt, and king oysters can handle a longer cooking time.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a staple in many Asian soups and stews. Cut tomatoes into quarters and simmer until softened for the acidity to balance the spice.

Squash
Kabocha squash is my first choice for its bright hue, rich texture and sweetness to balance the stew. Winter melon, also known as bitter melon, is wildly popular in Asia for soups and stews with a mild flavour and absorbs the characteristics of the other ingredients. The skin and seeds must be removed, and while the flesh is firm, it can become mush if overcooked.

Other Vegetables:
Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, bean sprouts, corn, green beans.

Dipping Sauces
Often, the hot pot is not the source of big flavours; it’s the personalized dipping sauce that sings and heightens the experience. You drop your protein and vegetables into the broth, or allow them to cook for a few minutes, scoop them out onto a plate or bowl, then sink the protein/veggie into the dipping sauce before eating. Choices of sauces include: Soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese black vinegar, Hoisin sauce, Chinese chili oil and Chinese sesame paste.

Soup Base
The broth is the foundation of any hot pot, and you can make your own with prepared chicken, beef or vegetable broth, then layer with flavour agents such as fresh or dried chilies, fish sauce, Chinese rice wine, garlic, soy sauce and vinegar. The easy solution is to venture out into your local Asian market and look for the many Hot Pot Soup Bases. You will be spoiled for choice: Tomato Broth, Mushroom Broth, Sichuan Pepper Broth, Mild Broth, Spicy Broth, Vegetable Broth.

For a homemade spicy broth, fry dried whole chilies in vegetable oil until they turn red. Scrape into the hot pot with prepared chicken broth with star anise, sliced ginger and chunks of green onions.

Protein
Just about any protein will be utterly delicious in a hot pot. Buy thinly sliced lamb, beef or pork belly (often found frozen in Asian grocery stores) for pure ease of enjoyment. Dip a slice of your chosen protein a few times in the hot pot and, it’s done in about 30 seconds. For chicken, look for chicken cutlets and thinly slice into strips.

Seafood
Shellfish additions are as endless as the sea and promise to add even more flavour to the pot. The current favourite is shrimp, and don’t be afraid to leave the shell and head on. Scallops come in all sizes, oysters should be shucked and can be purchased frozen, shucked. Mussels are sustainable, and you need only to remove the beards and cleaned, clams need a good scrubbing too, and the littlenecks are best for hot pot for their quick cooking time, and they take up little room.

Fish Balls and Fish Cakes
Fish of all varieties when thinly sliced are great in a hot pot. Place salmon, halibut, and bass in the strainer during the cooking process to catch all the flaky pieces.

Fish balls are pressed fish paste, cuttlefish, shrimp and lobster and can be round, square, oval and even come in a variety of colours from white to brown to pink. Look for them in the freezer section of any Asian grocery store, when they’re already cooked and frozen and need a minute or two in the hot pot to thaw. When they float to the surface, they’re ready for dipping.

Tofu
Medium-firm or firm will work, the soft or silken variety won’t survive the jostling dippers from all angles. Fried tofu is pre-cooked and needs only warming.

Noodles
Traditionally, rice noodles are an excellent choice for its quick and clean cooking. Wheat noodles will thicken the broth and leave a cloudy soup.

From a party of two to an elaborate gathering, hot pot is a warming, fun and creative dinner idea, and the most deliciously entertaining.

We’ve also rounded up last-minute party appetizers that are beyond easy. You should also try your hand at this easy, cheesy fondue board for entertaining.

The 5 Best Sustainable Seafood Options to Eat (Plus Recipes!)

Seafood is a staple in the Canadian diet, but choosing sustainable options can be confusing. According to the Ocean Wise Seafood Program, sustainable seafood is defined as farming or catching species of fish in a way that ensures their long term health and the health of the greater marine ecosystem. Right now, 85-90% of the world’s fish stocks are over-exploited, so organizations like Ocean Wise, Seafood Watch and Marine Stewardship Council are working hard to ensure we make the right choices when it comes to our seafood, not only to preserve future generations of fish, but also to protect our oceans and our health. Here, we break down the best sustainable seafood for you to buy and start cooking.

1. Arctic Char (Farmed)

Arctic char may look similar to salmon or rainbow trout with its pinky flesh, but its texture is more delicate with a milder flavour. You can cook it simply with a little lemon, salt and pepper, or get creative and smear a rich miso glaze on top. Arctic char is farmed in indoor recirculating tanks in the US, Canada and Iceland, which are considered one of the most environmentally responsible designs. This method of raising fish ensures the water is treated and filtered, decreasing the risk of pollution, and minimizing any negative impact on other aquatic habitats.


Get the recipe for Pan-Seared Arctic Char with Miso Gastrique

2. Cod (Pacific)

Cod is a buttery, delicate option that’s often touted as the “not-so-fishy” fish (so seafood skeptics may find it more palatable). Cod was a large part of Canada’s history, but unfortunately, in the 1990’s the cod industry off the shore of Newfoundland collapsed, and the stocks were depleted. Now, the best cod to buy is caught just off the coast of Alaska, using either long-line, pots or bottom-trawl methods. All of these methods impact the ocean, either by damaging the ocean floor or harvesting non-targeted fish species, but these Alaskan cod fisheries are so incredibly well-managed that they ensure regulations exist to evaluate fish stocks and reduce negative impacts to the seafloor.


Get the recipe for 30-Minute Cod with Lemony Braised Fennel

3. Albacore Tuna (B.C. & Atlantic)

It may shock you to see tuna on our list of the most sustainable seafood, but tuna that has been pole or troll caught, using lines off the coast of British Columbia and the Atlantic, are great choices. These methods reduce the rates of by-catch (unintentionally catching other species of fish), and if non-targeted fish species are caught, they can be released. Fishing this way also prevents damage to habitats, since these methods don’t touch the ocean floor. You can find albacore tuna fresh, frozen or canned. It’s most commonly known as the “white meat” tuna, and it’s the heart of a delicious tuna sandwich.


Get the recipe for Albacore Tuna Crumpwich

4. Shellfish: Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Scallops (Farmed)

Shellfish are a popular part of Canadian cuisine, from seared scallops to steamed mussels and clams to freshly shucked oysters. They’re farmed mainly in Eastern Canada and British Columbia using the off-bottom method, meaning they use floating rafts, bags or suspended ropes to raise the shellfish. Off-bottom farming doesn’t touch the ocean floor, and there is minimal by-catch, if any, so it’s incredibly sustainable. Shellfish are also known as filter feeders, because they eat particles found in the water, which actually filters and cleans it, allowing other marine life to thrive.


Get the recipe for East Coast Summer Scallops with Pea Puree 

5. Sablefish (Alaska & B.C.)

Sablefish, also known as black cod, is a true delicacy. It’s buttery, velvety, mild and oh-so delicious, and luckily, it’s also sustainable. Sablefish is most commonly found along the pacific coast, especially near British Columbia and Alaska where the stocks are healthy. These fisheries are well-managed and have strong regulations that assess stocks, fishing levels, by-catch rates and restrict gear and entry in certain areas. This ensures there is no over-fishing or depletion of non-targeted fish.


Get the recipe for Roasted Sablefish in Dashi Broth 

Fore more handy pointers, we’ve rounded up the best chef-approved tips when it comes to buying and cooking fish.

Your New Favourite Summer Sheet-Pan Supper: Citrus Rainbow Trout

When it comes to sheet-pan dinners, you might think simple seasoning, but this seafood-forward recipe proves otherwise. Although it’s a cinch to whip up (read: 25 minutes total) you won’t miss out on the complexity of flavour that more labour-intensive meals tend to offer. Sweet and tart citrus fruits together with sprigs of fresh herbs like thyme and dill come together to create a show-stopping summer supper. You’ll get your daily dose of leafy green veggies, too, with both broccolini and baby bok choy starring in the dish. Plus, it’s packed with protein and is paleo-approved, not to mention the final presentation looks mighty impressive – hello, summer dinner parties!

25-Minute Citrus Rainbow Trout Sheet-Pan Supper

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

¾ lb filet of rainbow trout
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
½ an orange, sliced in thin discs
½ a lemon, sliced in thin discs
½ a grapefruit, sliced in thin discs
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
1 bunch of broccolini
2 baby bok choy

Marinade
1 Tbsp shallot, chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2.5 Tbsp orange juice, from fresh orange
1 Tbsp lemon juice, from fresh lemon
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped roughly
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Garnishes
4 sprigs of fresh dill
Handful of chopped chives

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Rinse off the orange, lemon, grapefruit, broccolini and bok choy.
2. Slice the orange, lemon and grapefruit in half. Set aside one half of each (these will be used for the marinade). Then carefully slice the other halves in thin discs.
3. Trim off the tough ends of the broccolini, and cut off the bottoms of the bok choy so the leaves separate. Be sure to clean all the dirt off the bok choy leaves.

4. Combine the marinade ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until the shallot and chives are chopped into smaller pieces.
5. Place the broccolini and baby bok choy in a mixing bowl, and drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over top, along with sea salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables with your hands to evenly coat in oil.
6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the piece of trout skin-side down in the centre. Place the broccolini and baby bok choy leaves around the fish.
7. Drizzle the marinade over top of the trout. It’s okay if some liquid drips off the fish and onto the vegetables.
8. Place the slices of orange, lemon and grapefruit on top of the fish and then add several sprigs of fresh thyme.
9. Bake for 15 minutes. Once the fish is ready, sprinkle chopped chives and sprigs of fresh dill over top before serving.

When time is limited, sheet-pan meals come in abundance, and we’ve got you covered no matter the time of day. We’ve rounded up our best one-pan recipes for hearty dinners, breakfasts, desserts and even seasonal for spring.

Chef Lynn Crawford's Seafood Risotto

One-Pot Seafood Risotto from Lynn Crawford is Entertaining Made Easy

When you want to go that extra mile for friends and family around the holidays, you can still use that back-pocket one-pot cooking technique – especially when it’s as elegant as this party-pleasing seafood risotto.

 

Risotto is refined yet cozy comfort food, and here, Food Network Canada Chef School’s Chef Lynn Crawford is showing you how to master this crowd-pleasing meal, with a sophisticated seafood twist. The seafood included in this meal, fresh, sweet crab and juicy, meaty scallops aren’t your everyday risotto add-ins, which makes them super-special and worthy of a place on your Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve menu or a classy New Year’s Eve dinner at home.

Chef Lynn explains each and every ingredient so you can nail this dish on your first try. We find out that arborio rice is key to ultra-luscious risotto because its natural starches turn into a creamy sauce as you stir in the white wine, here, Chardonnay, which is naturally buttery on the palate, and the hot stock.

Flavours of red Thai chili, tarragon, parsley, lemon and Parmesan cheese make this dish pop, but are mellow enough to leave the sweet and succulent seafood front and centre.

 

To add that extra special touch, try picking your own crab meat out of the shell, or recruit a family member to be your sous chef. In this tip video, Chef Lynn shows you how to do it, and explains the different types of crabmeat you’re working with. Put on some holiday tunes and pick away until you get most of the meat out of the shell, setting it aside with the fun-sized scallops for their risotto debut. And save those shells for a seafood stock in the future.

After the final stir, our mouths are watering! Chef Lynn calls this risotto “a magical dish,” and we couldn’t agree more.

It’s time to take your tips, tricks and techniques, and put them to the test in your own kitchen. Stir up Chef Lynn Crawford’s Seafood Risotto this holiday season with her easy to follow recipe found here.

seafood tower

How to Make a Stunning Seafood Tower

The holidays are a time of year when we indulge, and there’s just something ultra festive about a vibrant, chilled seafood tower.

Typically looked at in awe while dining at a contemporary seafood restaurant, you might be surprised to realize that making a tower chock-full of delicious ocean bounty is quite easy to do at home. All it takes is a little preparation and final assembly right before your holiday party guests arrive.

Just follow these simple tips and everyone will be impressed!

seafood tower

Buy good quality, sustainable seafood
When you’re serving friends and family a big smattering of seafood, you want it be as fresh and delicious as possible. While some grocers offer fresh shellfish at their seafood counters, you’re better off going to a local fishmonger like The Fish Counter (Vancouver), Billingsgate MKT (Calgary), Hooked (Toronto) or Fisherman’s Market (Halifax).

Prepare seafood same-day, if possible
Shellfish like mussels, clams and oysters, can be purchased a day or two ahead, and live safely in your refrigerator until you’re ready to prep them. The latter two can be cooked and chilled hours before eating, but set aside a few minutes to shuck the oysters right before assembling the tower.

Chill tower tiers before serving
Got a fridge full to the brim with holiday dishes and bottles of wine? Well, one of the handy things about our Canadian winters is the fact that our back deck or balcony can double as a large freezer (or fridge if you’re closer to the west coast). Giving the tower layers an hour or so to get cool will help keep the ice from melting too quickly while you’re assembling.

seafood tower

Have the right tools handy
While you can remove all of the lobster meat beforehand, guests like a little hands-on activity at a party, so make sure to have the necessary seafood picks and seafood crackers (nut crackers work well in lieu) for people to use. Napkins too!

Don’t have a tower? 
Although the tiered presentation definitely adds a “wow” factor to the table, using a couple large serving trays and laying out the myriad of shellfish over ice, studded with lemon wedges and ramekins of sauce is pretty appetizing, too.

seafood tower

How to Make a Seafood Tower

Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Tower:
Crushed ice (enough for each tower level, approximately 10 cups)
1 lb fresh mussels (steamed and chilled)
1 lb fresh manila clams (steamed and chilled)
12 freshly shucked Malpeque oysters
24 large cooked prawns
1 2lb cooked lobster (claws, arms and tail separated)
2/3 cup seafood sauce
1 lemon (halved and cut into thin wedges)

Spicy Lemon Aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sambal oelek
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

seafood tower
Directions:
1. Evenly distribute crushed ice onto each of the 3 tower tiers.
2. On the bottom tier, lay out all of the clams, 1/2 of the mussels and 1/2 of the oysters.
3. On the perimetre of the second tier, alternate 1 oyster with 4 prawns. Work your way around the tier. Take lobster claws, arms and tail and place around the centre of the tier.

Seafood Tower

4. Fill any empty space on the second tier with remaining mussels.
5. On the top tier, place ramekins of sauce and fill remaining space with lemon wedges.

spicy lemon aioli

Spicy Lemon Aioli:
1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve with seafood.

Ready? Learn How to Shuck an Oyster Like  a Pro.

East Coast Summer Scallops

Irresistible East Coast Summer Scallops

If you are lucky enough to visit (or live) on the East Coast in summer, you’ll know the joy that is fresh sea scallops. The tasty, buttery seafood are a mainstay in chowders and served with pasta, but we love the way these little morsels crisp and caramelize when seared quickly on a hot pan.

Scallops are available in two sizes. Look for sea scallops which are larger than bay scallops for this colourful dish. Be sure and remove the little muscle on the side of the scallop before cooking. In the summer, fresh peas are a flavourful alternative to frozen.

East Coast Summer Scallops

Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
Pea Puree
2 Tbsp butter
2 shallots, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 ½ tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Candied Tomatoes
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp liquid honey

Scallops
12 sea scallops
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp butter

East Coast Summer Scallops

Directions:
1. Pea Puree: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic until softened, about 2 minutes. Add peas and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until peas are tender, 5 to 8 minutes for fresh and 3 to 4 for frozen. Pour into blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl and add lemon rind, mind and salt and pepper; keep warm.
2. Candied Tomatoes: In a bowl, toss tomatoes with honey and oil. Spread on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in 400°F oven until tomatoes start to blister, about 15 minutes.
3. Scallops: Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper (step reordered). Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 1 ½ minutes. Turn, add butter to pan and cook, basting scallops with butter, until golden brown. Remove from heat.
4. Divide pea puree between 4 plates, smearing across plate. Place 3 scallops on top of pea puree on each plate. Top with candied tomatoes around scallops.
5. Serve!

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Quick Canadian Dinner: Linguine with Bacon, Beer and PEI Mussels

This savoury, creamy pasta is a symphony of Canadian flavours. The beer adds a crispness to the rich sauce — we recommend a light, refreshing microbrew ale or lager. Thanks to the way PEI mussels are grown and harvested, they rarely have beards or grit inside them, so cleaning them just means giving them a good rinse.

Linguine with Bacon, Beer and PEI Mussels

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 lb (900 g) mussels
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 cup ale or lager
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup whipping cream (35%)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 tsp pepper
Pinch salt
12 oz (375 g) linguine
3 Tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley

Linguine with Bacon, Beer and PEI Mussels

Directions:
1. Rinse the mussels. Discard any that don’t close when you tap them firmly on the counter; set aside.
2. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Fry the chopped bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan to a paper towel and let drain.
3. Add the onion and celery to the fat in the pan. Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beer and bring to a boil.
4. Add the mussels then reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the mussels open, about 6 minutes. Discard any that do not open. With the slotted spoon, remove the mussels to a bowl. Add the cream, tarragon, salt and pepper to the pan. Boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to the package directions until al dente; drain. Add pasta and mussels to the pan, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley and bacon.

lobster bites

Simply Irresistible Lobster Roll Bites

Lobster rolls — soft rolls stuffed with a creamy, cold lobster salad — are a comfort food favourite across the Canadian Maritimes. The airy, soft roll gets swapped out for crispy little toast cups in this fun, bite-sized appetizer that’s perfect for any time of year.

Lobster Roll Bites

Lobster Roll Bites

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 48 pieces

Ingredients

Toast Cups:
12 slices soft white bread
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Lobster Salad:
1-1/4 cups diced cooked lobster meat (5 oz/140 g)
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 green onion, light and dark green parts separated, minced
1 rib celery, finely diced
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch each salt and pepper

Lobster Bites prep

Directions:

Toast Cups
1. Using a rolling pin or wine bottle, roll each bread slice firmly to flatten it. Trim the crusts from the bread to make squares.
2. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with butter, and then cut slices into quarters to make 4 small squares.
3. Press 1 square into each well of two lightly greased mini muffin tins.
4. Bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven until golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack. You can store the toast cups in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Lobster Salad & Assembly:
5. In a bowl, mix together lobster, mayonnaise, white and light green part of green onion, celery, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can cover and refrigerate the salad for up to 4 hours.
6. Spoon the salad into the toast cups just before serving. Sprinkle with dark green part of green onion.

Lobster Roll Bites

Lobster 101
You can buy lobster a few different ways from your fishmonger or the seafood department of many grocery stores: Whole cooked lobsters; frozen claws and arms (which are usually less expensive); fresh raw tails; frozen shelled meat; or follow the tip below to boil your own live lobsters. You’ll need one live, whole 650g lobster or 450 g cooked claws or tails in shells to yield the amount of meat called for in this recipe.

How to Cook and Shell Whole Lobsters
In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, pour in enough salted water to come at least halfway up the side of the pot. (Make sure the water covers the lobsters by a couple of inches, but remove them before continuing.) Bring to a rolling boil. Snip off the rubber bands from the lobsters’ claws. Carefully plunge each lobster headfirst into the saucepan. Don’t drop them in, or boiling water may splash on you. Cover and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lobsters have turned bright red and the small legs twist off easily, about 10 minutes for a 650g lobster. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Twist the tail off one lobster. Using kitchen shears, cut up the inside and back of shell to release the meat. Crack apart claws and remove the meat. Repeat with any remaining lobsters.

 

Looking for more tasty lobster recipes? Try our 15 Best Canadian Seafood Recipes

WestCoastFishChowderBowl

The Seafood Chowder That Represents Vancouver Island

By Amy Bronee

One of the perks of living on the southern tip of Vancouver Island is being able to go for a walk on the beach any time of year. In the cold months, the blustery winds churn up the ocean, sending waves crashing onto the rocky shore. Standing there looking out at fishing boats in the strait, it’s easy to start daydreaming about comfort seafood, the kind that warms the belly and soothes the soul. It was after just such a walk that I first made this creamy fish chowder. It uses seafood commonly found around Vancouver Island – salmon and rockfish – along with diced potato, carrot and chopped kale. Use chicken or vegetable broth if it’s what you have on hand, but nothing beats chowder made with homemade fish stock. I save fish bones and tails and simmer them in water with onions, carrots and celery, then freeze the stock for another day. For me, this fish chowder is Vancouver Island in a bowl.

West Coast Fish Chowder, Courtesy Amy Bronee,  FamilyFeedbag.com, Victoria

With rockfish and salmon, this chowder represents some of the West Coast’s best seafood.

WestCoastFishChowderBowl

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Yields: 4 to 5 servings

Ingredients
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) diced yellow onion
1 cup (250 mL) diced peeled carrot
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
3 cups (750 mL) peeled diced potato
3 oz (85 g) smoked candied salmon nuggets, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
4 cups (1 L) fish stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
10 oz (280 g) rockfish fillet, cubed (or other firm white fish)
1 cup (250 mL) roughly chopped kale
1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream
1.5 oz (45 mL) white wine

Directions
1. Melt butter in soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and salt. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring frequently.
2. Stir in flour and thyme to coat vegetables. Add potato and candied salmon. Pour in stock. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in rockfish, kale and heavy cream. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Stir in wine.

FamilyFeedbag
Amy’s home-cooking blog FamilyFeedbag.com has earned her several recognitions, including a Jamie Oliver Blog of the Month award and being named to Western Living magazine’s list of the Top 40 Foodies Under 40. Amy’s bestselling cookbook The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes is a celebration of home canning traditions in the modern home kitchen. Through her hands-on cooking classes in Victoria, Amy loves to connect with other home cooks and make simple, delicious food together.

The Seared Tuna Worth Walking 316 Kilometres For

By Quoashinis “Cosy” Lawson, as told to Crys Stewart

Cosy Lawson is proud of balancing her job in speech and language development for preschool-aged children with raising her family. She teaches her kids what she was taught growing up, from catching and preparing fish to protecting the ocean’s bounty. So when she and her young daughter made headlines in 2010 by walking to Vancouver Island’s capital to raise awareness for declining salmon numbers, she took it all in stride.

I was born on a beach on Wickaninnish Island, just off of Tofino, B.C. My mom just couldn’t bring herself to go to the hospital, and besides, our neighbours were doctors and nurses. I think she had more doctors there than she would’ve had in a regular hospital room. So I was born, literally, on the beach under the sun. My name comes from a gentleman named Joe David from the Clayoquot band; he gave me that name when I was born. It means “raven” in the Nuu-chah-nulth language.

Growing up, the only form of transportation off the island was either a rowboat or you borrowed my dad’s boat and learned how to drive it. From a very early age, we were given all the tools and the encouragement to perform everything we could alongside our parents. My job in the family was to provide the fish. My dad taught us all how to fish, but I was the one who absolutely enjoyed it. Every waking hour, I was out there bringing home the fish.

I’ve witnessed the fish numbers decline over the years. Back in 2010, we’d heard about this group of people who were going to walk from Port Hardy to Victoria to raise awareness about declining fish stocks. Over dinner, I said that would be a huge cause near and dear to my heart and that I’d really like to walk part of it. My daughter said, “Well, I think we should walk it all.” Of course, I went into “I’ve got work! I’ve got kids! I’ve got responsibilities!” mode, but when I woke up the next morning and realized this was a very important matter to her as well, I decided we should walk the entire 316-kilometre route together.

From Tofino, it’s a winding road with not much of a shoulder, but my parents, husband and son were in our support vehicle. It took about two weeks to complete the journey. By the time we got down to the island highway, communities were welcoming us, and we marched into Victoria along with 7,000 or 8,000 people. My daughter turned 12 on the steps of the parliament buildings the day we arrived. Afterward, I heard all the walkers among us ended up shutting down the main part of Victoria for many, many hours.

I want to teach my kids the things that were instilled in us growing up: respect for our environment, our resources, never taking more than you can eat. We go out once a year for the tuna and get enough for my whole family. I was taught to make sure I thanked anything that gave its life for my food and make sure nothing goes to waste. I don’t think we’d be the same people without making sure those things are passed on.

I have a big family—my two sisters and their families, my two brothers and my parents—and, often, good friends who are like family join us as well. We get together quite often, and 99 per cent of the time, it’s spur of the moment. Seared tuna is a really easy go-to! Once it’s seared, I slice it very thin and cover it in garlic-ginger ponzu sauce. It’s really simple and amazingly delicious.

For dinner on the beach on Wickaninnish, we all show up in our boats. My sister will have a dish. I’ll have tuna. My mom will dig up potatoes from the garden, which we’ll wash and put them in a pot over the fire. We’ll have a huge salad out of the garden that’s right beside the campfire. We’ll pick blackberries and have them with whipping cream. We’ve never been rich, but we live in an incredibly rich manner as far as love and food and friends and family go.

Seared Albacore Tuna Loin, courtesy of Quoashinis “Cosy” Lawson

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
Sauce
1/3 cup (75 mL) ponzu sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) finely chopped garlic
1 tsp (5 mL) grated ginger

Tuna
1 tuna loin
1/4 cup (60 mL) sesame oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
Freshly cracked pepper to taste

Directions
Sauce
1. In small bowl, mix together ponzu sauce, garlic and ginger. Set aside.

Tuna
1. Dry loin with paper towel. Drizzle with 2 tbsp (30 mL) sesame oil and rub in. Add pepper all over. (I use about 2 tsp/10 mL, but I like a lot of pepper.)
2. Add vegetable oil to hot pan over medium-high heat; sear loin evenly on all sides, about 2 minutes per side for medium-size loin. Remove to cutting board.
3. Slice loin crosswise into ¼- to ½-inch (5 mm to 1 cm) thick pieces. Remove to dish or plate; drizzle with sauce. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil.

Click to print, save or share this Albacore Tuna Loin recipe.

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A Newfoundland Kitchen Party Seafood Feast

By Ray Palmer, as told to Crys Stewart

When Ray Palmer was growing up, his family didn’t need a lot of people to have a kitchen party. With him on guitar, his brother at the piano and his dad playing the accordion, they were the party. Now sharing a home with his wife, Wanda, in the City of Mount Pearl (near St. John’s, N.L.), this born-and-raised Newfoundlander keeps the province’s strong traditions of hospitality alive and kicking.

You’re definitely going to have a kitchen party at Christmastime, and during the year, there might be an occasion, too. The food is always out in the dining room. Over the years, we’ve learned that you shouldn’t keep the bar in the kitchen because that’s where everybody hangs out, and the first stop, of course, is always in the kitchen.

Squid is the highlight for a lot of my friends. You can stuff them with anything, really, but we use a basic bread crumb dressing. They’re a ‘picky’ type of thing, like an hors d’oeuvre. I’ve got a son who comes early when he knows I’m doing squid. And I say, “Now, boy, you can only have a couple because you know there’s a few more here besides you, so don’t have them all gone.” My friend used to have a kitchen party every Christmas with a crowd of 20 or 25 people, and there’d be more there than cod tongues and squid, I can guarantee you—we’d have a moose heart that would be stuffed. Other kinds of pickies, too.

A lot of people think that fish don’t have tongues, but they do. When you look at the fish and open its mouth, there it is looking at you. Years ago, young boys on the wharf would wait for when the fishermen came in with their fish, cut out the cod tongues, then go sell them. They were very cheap back then. The better ones are the smaller type that cook pretty quickly. The bigger cod tongues take longer to cook, so they’re not as good. Once they’re crisp and crunchy, they’re fantastic.

If you get a knock on your door and a bunch of mummers come in that you’re not expecting, you can have no idea who they could be. Mummery is sort of a dying thing, but we’re trying to keep it alive. A bunch of people get together and dress up—you’re disguised—and you go around to your friends’ homes. They don’t know you and your fellow mummers are coming, and you’ve probably got a guitar and an accordion with you. You come in and have a little scuff (a little dance) in the kitchen or wherever they can fit you, then have a little toddy. Everyone in the house is trying to guess who everybody is, of course. Sometimes, they’re right; sometimes, they’re wrong.

When we’re having a party, my three grandchildren are always a part of it. They’re only six and seven years old, but I’m sure once they get into their teens, they’ll be having kitchen parties, too. Guaranteed, they will.

Fried Cod Tongues With Scrunchions, courtesy of Ray Palmer
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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
2 lb (900 g) cod tongues (preferably fresh; I prefer the smaller tongues)
½ cup (125 mL) flour
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper
½ lb (225 g) pork fatback

Directions
1. Wash tongues carefully; dry with paper towel. Add flour, salt and pepper to plastic bag. Add tongues, shaking bag to coat. Set aside.
2. Cut pork fatback into small cubes. Add to skillet; fry at low to medium heat until fat is rendered out and fatback is crispy and brown. (Don’t overheat or the fat will burn.) Remove pork scrunchions; set aside.
3. Add tongues to same skillet; cook over medium heat until tongues are brown and crispy on both sides. Put scrunchions back in skillet when tongues are almost ready. Cod tongues can be served as an appetizer by themselves or served with fries as a main meal.

Print, save or share this cod tongue recipe.

Baked Stuffed Squid, courtesy of Ray Palmer
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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
6 squid tubes, cleaned and washed thoroughly
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
4 cups (1 L) bread crumbs (1 bag of bread crumbs)
¼ cup (60 mL) savory
¼ cup (60 mL) melted butter
1 medium onion, chopped finely
pepper to taste

Directions
1. Sprinkle squid with salt.
2. Mix together bread crumbs, savory, butter, onion and pepper. Loosely stuff squid (don’t overstuff).
3. Add enough cold water to cover bottom of 13 x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish. Add squid; cover with foil. (Don’t seal foil around sides of dish; keep tented.) Bake in 325°F (160°C) for about 50 minutes. Turn quid halfway through; add more water, if necessary. Remove from pan when cooked; slice into rings.

Click here to print, save or share this stuffed squid recipe.

Follow the jump to see more of what a Newfoundland kitchen party is really like.

Do you have a delicious dish to share with the rest of Canada? Submit your recipe for a chance to be featured on Great Canadian Cookbook and Food Network Canada!

How to Crack Open a Whole Lobster

By Colleen Fisher Tully

You’ll need:
• whole cooked lobster, cooled
• kitchen shears
• bamboo skewers
• lobster-shell cracker or nutcracker

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1. The Tail
Bend lobster tail back slightly and twist to remove—it should come apart easily. Starting at open end, using kitchen shears, cut shell down middle of tail’s underside, as shown. Open up shell like a book; remove meat in one piece. If there is green pasty stuff (the liver and pancreas, called tomalley), wipe it away with a paper towel and discard. The same goes for any tiny eggs.

Editor’s Note: Some Canadians love tomalley! Just remember, Health Canada advises children avoid it and adults to restrict their consumption to no more than the amount found in one lobster.

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2. The Claws, Part A
Twist two front legs off body of lobster. If they don’t twist off easily, use kitchen shears to snip through any cartilage. Bend small pincer back and forth until it breaks off, as shown. Carefully pull shell away from meat to keep claw intact. If meat breaks apart, use bamboo skewer to pull meat out of pincer.

 

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3. The Claws, Part B
Using lobster shell cracker, break into large claw shell at base, as shown. Using fingers or skewer, pull out claw meat. If needed, use kitchen shears to cut into shell further, opening it like a book and lifting out meat. Make sure all hard cartilage has detached from claw meat before setting aside. Don’t forget the knuckle! Break this leg section into pieces and push out meat with skewer.

 

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4. Reserve Shells
Now you have the secret ingredient to the most amazing soups, stocks and flavoured butters: lobster shells. If you can’t use them right away, toss them in a freezer-safe bag or container and store them in the freezer.

Editor’s Note: The skinny leg pieces have very small bits of meat you can extract with a skewer, or many cooks leave them intact to help flavour the next recipe.

Here’s how to make Lobster Butter.

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5. Enjoy!
From lobster rolls to risottos to decadent eggs Benedict, there’s no end to enjoying succulent Canadian lobster meat. Try it in this seafaring chef’s signature dish: Oleg’s Seafood Chowder.