Crab cakes and scallops and shrimp, oh my!
Doesn’t that sound like a dream? Well, that dream came true for me and it can come true for you too! One of my best friends, Diana, had just come home from a trip to Prince Edward Island and sent me a pic of this delicious seafood charcuterie board she had. I immediately had cravings for every kind of seafood. Now, I’m not a wizard who can make my own smoked, cured fish yet (one day when I have more time and do more research) so I had to come up with some other seafood options that gave me a variety of textures and flavours. That’s what a charcuterie board is all about. Options!
My husband doesn’t like fish, so that was another challenge. So no smoked salmon, seared tuna etc. I thought about making a ceviche but I haven’t yet found a trusted fish monger in LA and I’m not going to make ceviche out of a grocery store sea bass. I went through the rolodex of my fave shellfish and here were the 3 winners: crab, scallops and shrimp. Lobster and oysters would probably have been in the top 3 but I didn’t want break the bank on this meal! Did I mention I was still on my “cleanse” when I made this? So that means, no sugar, no dairy (except greek yogurt and grass fed butter) and no wheat!
I went to my local grocery store and started harvesting my ingredients. I knew I wanted shrimp cocktail but I didn’t want to buy a boring old frozen shrimp ring. I bought some beautiful large fresh shrimp at the counter instead. I also purchased some medium/large fresh scallops. In order to make my crab cakes I took a short cut and bought some nice canned crab. To buy fresh crab legs, cook them and harvest the meat would have been expensive and time consuming. I wanted my fish feast ASAP. Let’s put this all together!
Julia’s Crab Cakes
1 can crab meat, drained
1/2 cup cooked brown rice, cold
1/3 cup wheat free flour (I blitzed up some oats in my nutribullet)
squeeze of dijon mustard
couple dashes of tamari
1/2 lemon, juice
1 small shallot, finely chopped (or a bit of onion)
dash of chilli flakes
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Mix all these fun things together in a bowl. If it’s too sticky, add some more rice or flour. Form them into 4 equal sized patties, put on a plate, cover and store in the fridge. Let them sit in there for about an hour so they can set. When you’re ready to cook them, heat some olive oil and butter is a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Gently place the crab cakes in. Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. You can transfer them to a low oven (250) to keep them warm while assembling you other dishes, if need be.
Crab Cake Sauce
1 individual container of plain greek yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 TBSP chopped dill
1 TBSP capers
1 clove pressed garlic
1 tsp ground turmeric
salt and pepper
Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour so the flavours can combine and get cozy.
Julia’s Shrimp Cocktail
This is simple. Remove the shell and tail from your fresh shrimps. Toss them in some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sauté them over medium heat for a few minutes, until pink. Don’t over cook or they’ll get rubbery! Let them cool a bit and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge so they can chill.
Julia’s Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
Did you know that most store bought cocktail sauce has corn syrup in it?! I had no idea so I was forced to make my own.
Half can tomato paste
juice of one lemon
2 TSP horseradish
dash hot sauce
salt and pepper
tiny squeeze of honey (optional)
Mix it all together, taste and adjust seasoning if need be.
Julia’s Simple Scallops
Ingredients and Directions:
This is real easy. Pat your scallops dry with paper towel. Season on both sides with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. If you don’t like too much spice, use any damn herb or spice ya like! In a hot cast iron pan, sear the scallops in butter for about a minute and a half each side. You want to get a nice brown colour and you definitely don’t want to overcook them! Remove the scallops and add a glug of white wine to the pan to deglaze, and a pad of butter. Let cook for a minute or so and spoon butter/wine mixture over scallops. Mmm.
Putting it all together!
Ok, now that everything is done, it’s time for assembly. I laid out a nice little bed of spinach and grape tomatoes on a plate so my seafood treats would be comfortable. Plate your crab cakes, cold shrimp and scallops with butter wine sauce. Don’t forget to put those other delicious sauces on the table! annnnnd, dig in!
What an explosion of flavours and textures. This meal had so many different elements going on that worked beautifully together. It was nice to have a spicy, buttery scallop and then move over to a cool, sweet shrimp. The crab cake was meaty, but light and the sauce gave it a briny, creamy tang that made the crab really sing. This was actually my first time making cab cakes and considering I didn’t use breadcrumbs or mayo, I’m quite impressed! The cocktail sauce will be thicker than what you’re used to, but it was delicious with the shrimp and without all that added garbage.
This is probably more seafood than a person should eat in one sitting, but sometimes you just need to go for it! You could easily make any of these seafood dishes separately and serve them with a big side salad or sautéed veggies for a complete meal. Pair with a nice crisp white wine and you’re ready to dine al fresco! Also, think about all the money you’re saving! If you ordered crab cakes and shrimp cocktail as an appetizer at a restaurant it would cost you at least $15 per dish. And a scallop entree would be $20-$25. That’s about $50 per person, plus tax and tip! All of the seafood ingredients combined cost me approximately $20. Maybe less. And that’s for 2 people. So skip the fancy restaurant tonight and dine CHEZ YOUR HOUSE! YAAAAS!
Thanks for reading Eat This and Shut Up. and thanks to me for writing this 😉