About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Beans and Tuna Salad | Main | Rice and Chicken Salad »

Seafood Salad

It's me, the sub again. This time I'm filling in for Beth. Personally, I think Beth took one look at all the steps involved in this recipe and ran for the hills (only kidding Beth ;D).

Today, I'm making the Seafood Salad. I'm a big fan of seafood, but unfortunately, on a cold, rainy day in the northeast, I was in the mood more for a chowder then a room temperature salad, but oh well.

First, I started off with a call to Whole Foods, to make sure they had all the necessary ingredients before I made the 25 minute trek in the rain (I was really most concerned that they had whole calamari aka squid). I chose to use Whole Food's seafood section over our local fish store because since Mat, the previous owner, sold it several years ago, I just haven't found the quality of the seafood up to snuff.

So off I went to Whole Foods to gather my ingredients, whole squid (which luckily came already cleaned), shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops. The recipe also called for octopus but we were in no danger of getting that today or really any day (I'm just not a big fan) and since Marcella gave me the option to skip it, I did.

Squid


Once home, everything went into the fridge. By the way, when you by mussels and clams, you should be aware that they're still alive so you never want to put them in the fridge in a sealed container - they need to breathe.

About 5ish we started to work (I forced Chris to help - he cleaned the clams and mussels - I'm never very good at that). It's not a complicated recipe but it's a long recipe - why? Because you need to cook the squid in a pot (by the way, I overcooked them - they cook really quick and if you go even a minute too long, well, they're tough). You have to cook the shrimp in a pot. You have to cook the scallops in another pot. You have to cook the clams and mussels in a broad pan (I did them together but the mussels cooked quicker, fyi). So that's 3 pots and another pan of some sort and if you had the octopus, well that would be 5 pots/pans total! That's a lot of cleanup.

Then, what's that all done, you skin a pepper (not sure why), smash some garlic and mix it all together (after the mussels and clams have rested). Then you douse it all with some olive oil and lemon juice (don't be stingy) as well as salt and some grounds of pepper. Then it sits on the counter for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

I think we finally ate around 7:15 - 7:30 or so.

Seafood Salad


Here's what I thought - I'm not sure I'd make it again unless I get a better fish monger with the absolute freshest seafood ingredients. Even then it's a lot of work for something I can't prep ahead of time and refrigerate and serve later (Marcella is adamant about making sure this salad doesn't see the inside of a fridge. I can understand that - chilled would probably dull the natural flavors). Though, perhaps some variation might show up this summer, sans calamari, and with some crushed red pepper thrown in somewhere.

Comments (4)

Ah, now I remember why I've never made it, too! lol I do, however, love octopus and miss the very wonderful fresh ones I used to get in Sicily.
I'm thinking this would be one to make when you need a dish to pass at a picnic or other gathering of friends. It's all you'd have to bring with maybe a nice cold bottle of Chardonnay and you'd be the buzz of the ball.

Beth:

Thank you so much, Kim. I wouldn't have made it through it this weekend. You are a lifesaver.

Think of all the "quality time" you and Chris had together in the kitchen. ;)

Marcella Hazan:

You don't need 5 pots because you keep on rinsing the same pot and wiping it clean with paper towels. I am not persuaded that you actually used 5 different pots. Why do you want to omit the calamari? As for the pepper, taste a piece of pepper with the peel on and another without, then tell me which is sweeter. Chili pepper is okay, if you don't go overboard. Why are you judging a recipe by the amount of effort it takes? Don't you expend effort in doing anything in your life? And what justifies it more than the food you put on the table?

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