Steamed clams pomodoro - simple but with big flavor. /Courtesy photo.

Steamed clams pomodoro from Locale Market – simple but with big flavor. /Courtesy photo.

We promised readers even more seafood recipes from our Summer 2015 edition – and here they are. Local chefs preparing local seafood – it doesn’t get any better. To make these at home, take advantage of the freshest seafood you can find, and buy locally whenever possible.

These recipes are chef-worthy – served at restaurants. Several have many extra recipes to complete the dish. Don’t be intimidated; some can be prepared ahead. Use the sub-recipes in other preparations, too, or use your own add-ons and sides.

Check out Florida Food & Farm‘s Summer edition for sources for your local seafood markets, and for more seafood recipes.


TWO DOCKS STEAMED CLAMS POMODORO

This simple preparation yields amazing results if using the freshest ingredients possible. The clams from Two Docks Seafood are delivered to Locale Market in St. Pete almost daily. The Italian sausage is made in-house and the garlic sourdough is baked fresh every morning.

 For each serving:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 fresh Italian sausage link
  • 10 middleneck clams
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup pomodoro sauce
  • 1 cup clam stock
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • 2 slices garlic sourdough bread (or Italian bread)

Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add crushed garlic cloves until toasted.

Add the Italian sausage and cook until browned.

Add 10 clams, white wine, pomodoro sauce and clam stock. Cover and steam until clams open, then add butter and toss to emulsify.

Brush both sides of garlic sourdough or other bread with olive oil and toast on the grill.

Place clams and sauce in shallow bowl and garnish with chopped parsley, olive oil and grilled garlic sourdough.

Serves 1.

Recipe from Locale Market chefs, St. Petersburg.

3030 Ocean's octopus salad/ Photo by Benjamin Rusnack.

3030 Ocean’s octopus salad/ Photo by Benjamin Rusnack.

GRILLED OCTOPUS SALAD with Chickpea puree and Frisee-feta salad

There are several sub-recipes within this one, but you can skip them and serve the grilled octopus over risotto or as part of a bigger seafood dinner, though the salad is summery – it’s flexible.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 large octopus (4-6 lbs.)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chickpea purée (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups frisée and feta salad (recipe follows)

Cook octopus: In a large pot over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil in bottom and add onions, carrots and celery. Sweat until onions are translucent and carrots slightly softened.

Add garlic halves, thyme, coriander seeds, and bay leaves, and cook for 2 more minutes. Deglaze pot with white wine. Add the octopus.

Cover ingredients in pot with water and bring to a boil; turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 1 hour, or until octopus is tender.

Remove octopus and discard the liquid. Once cool, break down the octopus by cutting off the head and cutting body in half. Remove the tough beak from the center of the body and cut down length of each tentacle separately.

Marinate octopus with the sliced lemons, parsley, red pepper, and olive oil for 1 hour. Remove excess oil from octopus tentacles and char well over a hot grill. Set aside.

Prepare chickpea purée and salad separately (see recipes below).

To serve, place chickpea puree on plate, add frisée and feta salad and top with charred octopus tentacle.

For chickpea puree:

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Combine all items in a blender and puree until smooth, adding water if needed for texture. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Makes 1-1/2 cups.

For frisee and feta salad:

  • 4 heads frisée
  • ½ fennel bulb (shaved thin)
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes
  • 8 ounces feta (cut into cubes)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Clean yellow part of frisee only; rinse well in ice water; drain. Combine all items in a bowl in order given, toss well, and season to taste.

Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Makes 6 servings

Recipe from Paula deSilva, former chef at 3030 Ocean, Fort Lauderdale.

Sea Level's Dayboat scallops with pea puree.

Sea Level’s Dayboat scallops with pea puree.

 

DAY BOAT SCALLOPS WITH JUMBO LUMP CRAB AND CORN RISOTTO ON PEA PUREE

This dish incorporates four separate recipes that can be used alone or in other dishes. A number of other fish and shellfish could be substituted for the scallops – lobster, shrimp, and soft-shelled crab would be ideal.

 Preparation order:

  • Grill corn for garnish
  • Prepare pea puree
  • Prepare corn puree
  • Prepare risotto
  • Saute scallops

For finished dish:

  • 24 large sea scallops (4 per serving)
  • Vegetable oil for sautéing
  • 5 ears fresh corn, shucked (1 reserved for grilling)
  • pea puree (recipe follows), plus cooked peas for garnish
  • jumbo lump crab and corn risotto (recipes follow)

To grill corn, place 1 ear of shucked corn over hot grill or flame, using tongs to turn frequently. Corn should have color on all sides; remove and cut into rounds. Set aside.

For sweet pea puree:

  • 2 pounds green peas
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot over medium-high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat; add peas and cook until just soft, about five minutes. Strain peas, reserving chicken stock and ½ cup of the cooked peas.

Put remaining cooked peas into a blender and cover; puree, adding a little chicken stock at a time until the consistency is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove to small bowl and set aside.

To cook scallops and plate dish:

Add oil to a skillet or sauté pan on high heat and heat until just smoking; add the scallops to the pan one at a time. Begin cooking on high heat, then lower heat to medium and cook the scallops through. Once the scallop has a golden brown color on one side flip and cook for 20 more seconds; remove from heat.

On large plate place a large spoonful of crab and corn risotto. Top with seared scallop. Add a tablespoon of pea puree to plate and top with grilled corn round and a sprinkling of cooked green peas.

Makes 6 servings.

Jumbo lump crab and corn risotto

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled, diced small
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • ½ cup corn puree (recipe below)
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab, picked for shells
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the Arborio rice; stir to incorporate with onions and oil. Add chicken stock stir well. Cook, stirring gently throughout, until rice is creamy but not overcooked – about 20 minutes. Fold in butter, corn puree, and jumbo lump crab before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Corn puree:

  • 4 ears fresh corn on cob, shucked
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a stockpot over medium-high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add corn and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Remove corn. Strain stock and reserve. Cut corn kernels from cobs and put into blender container. Puree corn, and while blending, slowly add reserved chicken stock until corn is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Recipe from Chef Jason Connelly at Sea Level, Fort Lauderdale.

 

Steamed clams in beer butter - a must with crusty bread for dipping. /Photo by Diana Zalucky.

Steamed clams in beer butter – a must with crusty bread for dipping. /Photo by Diana Zalucky.

CLAMS IN BEER BUTTER

Fresh, fat, steamed clams take on a bright flavor with beer in the broth. Don’t forget the bread!

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cups light-colored beer, such as a pilsner
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 3 dozen clams, well scrubbed (see note)
  • Crusty bread for serving

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender but not browned, about 3 minutes. Pour in beer and stir in parsley and pepper.

Add clams, cover pot, and bring to a boil. Cook until clams open, 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve clams in broth with crusty bread for dipping.

Recipe note: Florida clams come in several sizes. The smallest are pasta necks, which have 18 to 25 per pound. For this recipe, we prefer littleneck, which have 10 to 13 per pound, or middleneck, which come 7 to 9 per pound. Clams should smell like the sea, and the shells should be free of cracks. Store live clams in a container with the lid open slightly, because they need air circulation to breathe, and discard any clams that don’t open when tapped lightly.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe from Good Catch cookbook. (See cookbook review in Summer 2015 Florida Food & Farm.)