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Springtime bliss: lobster bathed in orange butter

A simple compound butter with the bright citrus flavor from orange and the complex anise flavor of tarragon marry wonderfully and bathe gorgeous lobster to create a treat light and fresh for spring - or anytime of year!

Fish & Seafood Cooking Spotlight10

The Shrimp Salad that Loves You Back

Sunday February 12, 2012
Twin Hearts Apricot Glazed Shrimp and Peppadew Salad Recipe
Twin Hearts Apricot Glazed Shrimp and Peppadew Salad Recipe
Image: D. DuCap

Ah, the things we do for love. Setting the stage for a romantic evening is a bit of work but that's part of the fun. Sure, we remember the flowers and the chocolates and the romantic flickering candles and the scented massage oils (oh wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves with that last one) when preparing for that special Valentine's Day meal, but how much thought do we give to the salad?

Well now, if you really want to knock the socks off your special someone (yes, just the socks...for now!), take the time to prepare this Twin Hearts Apricot Glazed Shrimp and Peppadew Salad. It's a love letter on a plate!

Dragon vs. Phoenix: Who Will Win? You!

Thursday January 19, 2012
The classic Chinese dish known as Dragon vs. Phoenix might just be the earliest example of a food fight, except this one takes place between the ingredients on your plate.

Who knows what caused the fierce animosity between the main ingredients -- shrimp and chicken -- in this dish? Perhaps it started off with simple name calling: "You're a shrimp!" would certainly have been countered by, "Oh yeah? Well you're chicken!" It's a short step from there to centuries-long enmity.

Still, there are signs of detente: some recipes are now referring to the dish as Dragon and Phoenix, as in this soup version.

But whatever the outcome, this delicious combination of crisp vegetables and fierce foes will always be a safe bet.

World Ending? Eat More Crabmeat

Thursday December 29, 2011
Buttery Garlic Crab Bruschetta
Buttery Garlic Crab Bruschetta
Image: D. DuCap

There's an unmistakable moment when you know you've made something really, really good. It's when your guests take that first bite, close their eyes, and nearly swoon with pleasure -- murmuring 'oh my god' or 'wow' as they slowly and reluctantly return to their senses.

As cooks, we live for those moments, don't we?

Well, this recipe is one of those. It's unashamedly chock full of sinful amounts of butter, crab, and Parmigiano Reggiano. But so what? It'll make you forget the past and look forward to a buttery, garlicky, sunshiny future.

And that, my friends, is the best way to start a new year.

(FYI: If the world does end in 2012, it's highly unlikely anyone will be saying to themselves, 'Darn, I wish I hadn't eaten so much real butter.' Just a thought...)

New Year's Eve Memory: Pasta with Garlic & (gasp!) Anchovies

Wednesday December 28, 2011
Growing up in an Italian household, holidays were connected with very specific foods -- and a holiday without them was unthinkable. A Christmas without lasagna, for example, would have been the gustatory equivalent of The Year Without a Santa Claus. No Easter Pie on Easter? Someone check the calendar; Easter must be next week!

On New Year's Eve in our house, the traditional 'good luck' dish for the new year was thin spaghetti dressed simply with olive oil, sauteed garlic and... yes, the fearsome, dreaded tinned anchovies. It certainly was a 'good luck' dish -- as in good luck getting us kids to eat it.

Older and wiser now, I've come to appreciate anchovies for their salty, briny intensity of flavor. I even throw together that New Year's Eve 'good luck' dish at other times of the year because it's so easy and so good. Just saute some finely chopped garlic in good olive oil, toss in some cooked angel hair or thin spaghetti, add a few tinned anchovy fillets and toss again. That's all there is to it.

Give it a try this year and it may become a New Year's Eve tradition in your house, too.

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