Blackened Shrimp

© Katherine Stetson

For four servings:

Make the Blackened Seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon allspice

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.  Store in a lidded jar in a cool, dry place.

Prepare the shrimp:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Blackened Seasoning, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • lemon wedges, for garnish
  • chopped scallion, for garnish

Preheat a large heavy skillet.  Sprinkle the shrimp with desired amount of Blackened Seasoning.  Add the butter and oil to the skillet and when very hot add the shrimp.  Cook the shrimp, turning once, until done.  Garnish and serve immediately.

Crispy Shrimp Cakes

© Katherine Stetson

Makes a great appetizer, entrée or sandwich.

For 6 cakes:

  • 1 pound raw medium shrimp , peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (Hellman’s or home made)
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • generous grinding of pepper
  • 1 cup finely crushed potato chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • lemon or lime wedges, for garnish

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine half of the shrimp, the mayonnaise, Dijon, sherry and egg yolk.  Pulse until a cohesive paste is formed. Coarsely chop remaining shrimp.

In a medium bowl, combine shrimp paste, chopped shrimp and remaining ingredients, except for potato chips, butter and oil.  Stir gently.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Scatter crushed potato chip crumbs on a plate.  Use an ice cream scoop to apportion 6 cakes and gently coat with crumbs.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp cakes and cook until nicely browned on the bottom.  Turn cakes over and brown the underside.

Serve shrimp cakes immediately, garnished with lemon or lime wedges and your choice of tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.

Perfectly Sautéed Sea Scallops

© Katherine Stetson

The secrets to perfectly sautéed scallops are several:

  • Always buy the fresh, wild variety, never the ones injected with salt brine – the added liquid escapes during cooking, making proper caramelizing impossible.
  • Always remove the side muscle from the scallop (the opaque white strip), which is far too tough and chewy.
  • Carefully pat dry scallops before sautéing to ensure good browning.
  • Cook scallops in a skillet large enough to accommodate the scallops in a single layer, without crowding.

For each dinner serving:

  • 4-6 ounces sea scallops
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • lemon wedge, for garnish
  • freshly chopped parsley (optional), for garnish

Trim muscle from scallops and pay dry.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.  Carefully place scallops in skillet, face side down and do not disturb, toss or turn for several minutes or until they have browned nicely.  Turn scallops over and brown the other side.  Add a bit more butter, if you like, and serve immediately with lemon and parsley.

Boiled Maine Lobster

© Katherine Stetson

The number of lobsters that can be successfully boiled at one time depends on the size of the lobsters and the size of the pot!  A canning pot works well for 3-4 lobsters.  A soup pot works well for a single lobster.

  • 1 live Maine lobster 1-2 pounds
  • handful of salt

Bring water to a boil in a 4-quart soup pot.  Add a generous amount of salt.  Grab lobster with tongs and plunge it into the water head first.  Cover pot immediately and when the water has returned to a boil, cook the lobster for 10 minutes per pound.

Remove lobster with tongs and serve immediately.

Blackened Shrimp on the Grill

© Katherine Stetson

No quantities are provided in this recipe – begin with as many or as few shrimp as needed for appetizers or entrees.

  • Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Blackened Seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • Bamboo skewers

Prepare a charcoal grill for medium-high heat.

Skewer each shrimp through the large end and the tail end, about 4-6 shrimp per skewer.  Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle generously with Blackened Seasoning.  Turn skewers over and repeat.

Grill over the hottest section for about 3 minutes per side.  Be careful not to overcook.  Serve hot off the grill or chilled.

Sea Scallop and Crab Norfolk

© Katherine Stetson

The secret to the success of this dish is cooking and heating the seafood individually prior to its final moment under the broiler.  Any combination of seafood works well.

For each serving:

  • 6-8 wild sea scallops
  • 4 ounces jumbo lump blue crab, checked for shells
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley, as garnish
  • lemon wedges, as garnish

Preheat broiler to high.

Melt one tablespoon butter in a small skillet and add crabmeat. Stir gently until heated through and add the sherry.

Trim muscle from scallops and pay dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully place scallops in skillet, face side down and do not disturb, toss or turn for several minutes or until they have browned nicely. Turn scallops over and brown the other side.

Place scallops in an oven-proof gratin dish and top with the crabmeat.  Pour in all pan juices and broil briefly until hot and bubbling.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Seafood Pan Roast with Vegetable Bisque Chantilly

© Katherine Stetson

For four to six servings:

Bisque Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomato
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups bottled clam juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Sippets Ingredient:

  • Good quality home-style bread, crusts removed, cut into 12 sticks (1/2”x1/2”x4”)

Chantilly Ingredients:

  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cognac
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • smoked paprika (for garnish)

Pan Roast Ingredients:

  • 20 sea scallops, muscles removed, patted dry
  • 20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Bisque:  Melt butter in a very large skillet and add carrots, onion, celery and tomato.  Sauté over medium-high heat until lightly caramelized.  While vegetables cook, bring clam juice, chicken stock and cognac to a boil in a large soup pot.  Stir in vegetables, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture.  Reduce heat and stir in the cream, tarragon and spices.  Keep warm but not boiling, stirring occasionally.

For the Sippets:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast sippets for 10 minutes or until golden brown, turning them at the halfway point.  Let cool on a rack until ready to serve.

For the Chantilly:  Whip the cream to firm peaks.  Add the sour cream, cognac and salt and continue whipping until combined.  Set aside.

For the Pan Roast:  Melt 3 tablespoons butter with the olive oil in a very large skillet.  Season scallops with salt and pepper and place in skillet over medium high heat.  Sear until lightly caramelized.  Melt 2 tablespoons in a medium skillet and add shrimp over medium high heat.  Sear until lightly caramelized.  Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small skillet and add crab over medium high heat.  Sear until lightly caramelized.

Assembly:  Divide scallops and shrimp amongst warm soup plates. Ladle enough bisque into bowls to come halfway up the seafood.  Top with the crab, a dollop of chantilly and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.  Suspend two sippets between crab and each soup plate edge.

Crispy Fried Shrimp Toast

© Katherine Stetson

Warning: these are highly addictive!

  • 20 slices (½ inch thick ) of French Baguette (slightly stale)
  • Seasoned Soy Sauce, for dipping
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Shrimp Paste:

  • ½ pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Combine all shrimp paste ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process into a paste.  Scoop mixture into a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Pour peanut oil into an electric fryer or Dutch oven to a depth of two inches and preheat to 350 degrees.

Divide paste amongst the baguette slices and spread smoothly.  Drop toasts shrimp side down into hot oil and fry for one minute until golden.  Turn toasts over and fry an additional 45 seconds.  Remove toasts and drain well on paper towels.  Serve immediately with small bowls of Seasoned Soy Sauce.

Sea Scallops Meuniere with Spinach, Bacon and Caramelized Onions

© Katherine Stetson

For four servings:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 12 ounces fresh baby spinach, stemmed and rinsed
  • 2 pounds sea scallops
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup small capers
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish
  • lemon wedges, for garnish
  • sea salt
  • finely ground pepper

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy and drain on paper toweling. When cool, crumble bacon into small pieces.  Cook onion in bacon fat until lightly caramelized.  Set aside.

In a small skillet melt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter until the curds begin to brown slightly. Add wine, lemon and capers andlleave butter on the lowest heat setting until needed, stirring occasionally.

Trim muscle from scallops and pay dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat remaining butter and oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully place scallops in skillet, face side down and do not disturb for several minutes or until they have browned nicely. Turn scallops over and brown the other side.

While scallops are cooking, reheat onion skillet over medium-high heat.  Add spinach and toss lightly to distribute the onions.  Cook spinach until lightly wilted.

Divide spinach mixture amongst four warm plates.  Top with scallops, butter sauce and bacon crumbles.  Garnish with a lemon wedge and chopped parsley.

Boondocks Crab Cakes

© Katherine Stetson
  • 1 pound Jumbo Lump Blue Crab, gently checked for cartilage and shell
  • 10 saltine crackers, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (homemade or Hellmann’s)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4-6 drops hot sauce
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • lemon wedges, for garnish

In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, egg yolk, chives, Old Bay, Worcestershire and hot sauce.  Season to taste with sea salt and cracked pepper.  Gently fold in crab and crushed crackers.  Tamp down the mixture, cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Use an ice cream scoop to apportion out eight cakes, placing the scoops directly in the skillet.  Gently flatten cakes and navigate any stray crab bits back into the whole.  Griddle until nicely browned on both sides.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.