Saturday, January 19, 2008
Well, loyal readers, if you like seafood, you're in a for a big, fat (but non-fattening!) treat today! I've several new recipes to share AND some news!
I have been inspired by fellow-bloggeur and food-watcher, Jelly Kean. Please go have a gander at her very funny site, and let it inspire you all to start your own weight-loss blogs! Anyway, what really inspires me about JellyKean is that she's brave. Oh, yes. Much braver than the Dainty Deb, who safely hides behind her massive picture collection of pin-up girls. JellyKean is actually going to post a picture of her hiney sans couture on her birthday if she's not raised a certain amount of money for a hunger charity. Hats (and, obviously, undergarments) off to JellyKean!
While I'd love to something similar, this is a family site (read: my mom reads this) and I'm frankly just not brave enough to bare my assets on the web. SO, what I WILL do, in honor of JellyKean's remarkable bravery and in thanks for her inspiring me to keep up with my own weight loss/maintenence, is post a picture of myself on my birthday, just not in my birthday suit -- in a bikini. Hey, I think that's fair. I'll have it taken just like one of my beloved pin-up girls, and my mom will still not have a heart attack. If I can lose 10 lbs and maintain that loss, you all will finally get a glimpse of the real Deb. August 10th, 2008. I promise.
That being said, here is some delicious seafood with low-calorie and low-fat counts!
Corn Chowder with Grilled Citrus Shellfish
Totally stole this from the February issue of Redbook! It's so delicious! And pretty! I had to take a picture!
8 large deveined/shelled shrimp
8 large sea scallops
1 vanilla bean, seeds well-scraped (if you can't get a a vanilla bean, use 1 tsp. of vanilla extract. It's not the same, but it works)
Zest and juice of 1 SMALL orange (don't use a big orange! It will make your seafood taste like orange segments that have shellfish inside!)
4 C. thawed frozen corn kernels
1 4 oz. can green chilis, diced, drained (Redbook called for 2 cans of this, but that just seemed a bit much. And it'll turn your chowder greenish gray. Blech.)
1 C. chopped onion
1 t. EACH Cumin, Oregano
2 t. minced garlic
3 C. reduced-fat chicken broth
1/2 C. Fat-free half-and-half
1/3 C. chopped cilantro
16 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained really well
salt, pepper to taste
Place your shellfish in a shallow bowl and add vanilla, zest and juice, brushing to make sure they're well-coated on each side. Let this sit at room temp while you make the chowder.
Coat a large pot with cook spray and head over medium high. Add corn, chiles, onion, spices and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes, letting the onion get translucent.
Add in your chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer at low for 15 minutes. Once it's simmered, either use a stick/immersion blender to puree it, or do what I did -- throw it all in your food processor and process the hell out of it. This is a lot of fun. Especially if you laugh maniacally between pulses. Anyway. Return to the pot and stir in half-and-half and 2 T. of the cilantro. Toss the remaining cilantro with your drained tomatoes for the topping.
While the chowder is reheating in your pot, make sure you've heated a grill pan over medium heat (you can also do this in a skillet, but it's easier to use skewers with a grill pan). Season shellfish with a little salt and pepper and coat pan with cook spray. Grill or cook about 2 minutes per side (you could also broil them, come to think of it)or until cooked through. You can use skewers or just divvy up the shellfish onto 4 beds of rice on your plates. Ladle the chowder out into 4 bowls and top with the tomato mixture. This was so warm and filling! It tasted just citrusy enough for us to crave summer, but the soup was just perfect for a chilly NC night. At only 275 calories per serving, and 2 grams of fat, you cannot feel bad about this! 5 WW points! OH, AND! 17 grams of protein! So go to the gym after!
And now, Chef Jim (my pal from the local Teet) has kindly given me his KISS Method for seafood, which I love and use all the time, so I know my readers will get a lot of use from it!
Chef Jim's KISS* Seafood
First select one pound of fish fillets from the following list:
Grouper, Halibut, Mahi Mahi, Salmon, Snapper, Tuna Steaks
Now, choose 2 T. of cooking oil from this list:
Butter (I use a fat free butter spray that cooks nicely on the stovetop), canola oil, flavored butter, Chef's Butter, Olive oil, Corn oil
Make sure you have some salt, pepper and Old Bay or 1 t. of blackening seasoning and 1/4 C. of whatever wine is on hand, that you already have open (I love a glass of wine while I cook!)
Sprinkle, salt, pepper and a little Old Bay (or, like Chef Jim does, use a blackening season) on flesh sides of fillets. Heat your oil/butter in a large skillet (make sure it's got a lid) over medium high. Place fillets seasoned side down and cook uncovered until a medium dark golden brown. Don't blacken! Who wants to eat something that looks like it's got tarred scales?! Turn fillets and then turn off heat for one minute, allowing the pan to cool (this makes for easy clean-up despite the wine you're going to add). Add wine and cover the pan. Cook on very VERY low heat for 3 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. This steams/poaches the fish for a little extra flavor!
I love this method and it really is easy. What I love is that it literally works with every fish I've ever tossed into my Calphalon. Thanks, Jim!
The second "s", Jim assures me, if for "sir" or "sweetie"... :)