Growing up less than an hour from the Gulf Coast, seafood was regular fare in my house. I love fresh seafood, but am a little intimidated to cook it myself. Do you ever feel that way?
I really enjoy salmon and have repeatedly tried to make it at home, but here’s what happens most times. I’m scared of overcooking it, so I get slimy salmon that’s undercooked. Then I keep cooking a bit more, and it ends up dry and hard to choke down. I drench it in lemon and butter to disguise my fish failure while Stu does his best to pretend he doesn’t hate it. Blech…
Then we avoid fish for a few weeks until again we’re reminded of all the health benefits and say, “We really should be eating more salmon.” And the whole ugly cycle repeats itself…until recently. I was asked to try out some of the new fish and shrimp options from . They tout fresh frozen seafood that comes already seasoned with cooking methods that produce perfectly cooked fish each time. Quite simply my answer was, “Yes, please. How soon can it be here?”
few different flavor combinations for tilapia, shrimp, and salmon. I first tried the salmon with garlic, black pepper, and olive oil. Two fillets of salmon came shrink wrapped, and little parchment pouches were provided. All I did was open the packages, put the fillets in the little pouches, and bake for 20 minutes. THAT’S IT. The salmon came out perfect with zero guess work. Hello, little brown bags! Goodbye slimy and dry fish! has a
The main kicker for me is that the fish is already seasoned perfectly. No need to marinate. You foodies may be saying, “Seriously, garlic, pepper and EVOO? That’s too simple.” Hear me out. I think people tend to add too many seasonings to cover up poor quality seafood. (Ahem…yes, me.) Starting with high quality fish and adding a few choice spices is the key to great seafood. You don’t want to mask the flavor with a million ingredients unless you’re covering up bad fish. line is all cleaned, cut, and frozen within hours of being harvested. This is obvious when you taste it, which is why they don’t need to use any breading or coating to mask flavor.
Do you love my little fish platter? Totally worth the $7.99 I paid for it at Tuesday Morning.
Since all I had to do was pop the salmon in the oven for 20 minutes, I had time to make couscous with lemon basil pesto. Okay, I’m going to toot my own horn here. Sorry, but this combo was delish. I love pesto but never put it on couscous before. Couscous and pesto are an “it couple”. Really. They hang out with fish and then magic happens.
I used Middle Eastern couscous (AKA: Israeli couscous AKA: Mediterranean couscous). The grains are larger and rounder than what you might have had before. Typically the kind of couscous sold at the market is already steamed, then dried, and boxed. It’s considered “instant” since you just add boiling water and cover to prepare. Middle Eastern Couscous has to be steamed or cooked like pasta, so it takes a bit longer. It’s usually sold with the bulk items that you weigh and pay.
Middle Eastern Couscous with Lemon Basil Pesto
-1 cup Middle Eastern (Israeli) couscous
-2 cups water
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-Pinch of sea salt
1. Over medium heat, add oil and couscous. Stir and continue cooking until couscous is slightly browned. It should produce a slightly nutty aroma when browned.
2. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add dash of salt and continue to boil uncovered.
3. Stir frequently to ensure that grains do not stick to the bottom of the pan. (Lower heat if necessary.) Continue boiling 10-13 minutes or until the liquid is evaporated.
Lemon Basil Pesto:
-3 cups fresh basil
-1/2 pine nuts (Walnuts work fine if you can’t get pine nuts.)
-1/2 cup high quality extra-virgin olive oil (You really taste it, so splurge for the good stuff.)
-Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
-1 garlic clove
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Add all ingredients (except olive oil) to a food processor and pulse several times. Add in olive oil and blend until smooth. (Note: This will not work in a blender.)
2. Add 1/2 cup pesto to couscous and stir until combined. You may want to add a little more taste.
* This recipe yields more pesto than you’ll need for the couscous. You could make some of this yummy dip with the left overs or use it as a spread on sandwiches.
Seriously, this was the easiest way to make seafood. Since the fish was no fuss and easy clean up, I had time to make the homemade pesto. This meal is going on the dinner menu master list. (Yep, we have on of those, or I will stress out trying to remember what to add to my shopping list each week.) Plus, this works for the dairy-free season of my life.
Confession, I cheated this week and had a slice of pizza for the first time in ages. CHEESE! It was a weak moment that was totally worth it. So far, Gemma has handled it ok…I’m thinking I need to test her tolerance with some frozen custard sometime soon, but that might be pushing my luck.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored review BumbleBee SuperFresh™. I was provided with samples of the product to try at home and was paid to blog about my experience.