Baked Sea Bass with Raisins and Pine Nuts

This simple Italian style roasted fish is simple and easy to prepare . The contrast of the raisins and pine nuts with the fish is just sublime . Technically this recipe uses Branzino a fish I have seen more widely available in good seafood retailers. Ask the fishmonger to gut and remove its fins to cut down on preparation.

1/4 cup raisins

4 mediterranean  sea bass ( Branzino if available ) 12 oz each

salt to taste

4 sage leaves , minced

4 rosemary sprigs , leaves only , minced

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375*

Soak the raisins in enough cold water to cover for 15 minutes to soften them; drain them and blot them dry.

Rinse the sea bass and dry well with paper towels.

Place the sea bass in a roasting pan , season it with salt, and sprinkle it with the minced sage and rosemary; drizzle it with olive oil.

Bake the sea bass for 10 minutes or until it is nearly done. Add the raisins and pine nuts to the fish in the roasting pan, and bake for 5 more minutes.

Serve the sea bass hot with steamed potatoes


Shrimp with Basil -Garlic butter

Henry’s End is a good old fashioned All American restaurant in Brooklyn Heights NY. This is one of those dishes that are equally at home on a weeknight family table or an elegant dinner . The bonus is the ease  of preparation.

Serves 4

Henry’s End restaurant

12 jumbo shrimp (3/4 lb) shelled and deveined

1 1/2 tbs olive oil

2 tsp minced garlic

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

2 tbs chopped sun -dried tomatoes packed in oil

6 tbs cold unsalted butter , cut into pieces

1/2 cup shredded fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350*F

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large non stick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saute shrimp 1 minute per side. Transfer shrimp to a baking dish and bake in middle of oven until just cooked through, about 7 minutes.

While shrimp bakes add garlic to skillet and cook stirring over moderate heat 15 seconds , then stir in wine , juice and tomatoes. Boil , stirring occasionally , until liquid is reduced by two thirds. Swirl in butter and basil over low heat and season with salt and pepper.

Serve shrimp with sauce.

Shrimp in green herbs

Shrimps are universally loved in India. There are several varieties , which , I was surprised to see when I went to the wharf with my cousin Suzy , who lives in Mumbai. These shrimp , or prawns , as they are called are so fresh and succulent. Some of them are 6 to 8 inches long!!! The green sauce is called Hara Masala and is my husband’s favorite. Use bread or naan to soak up the sauce.


1 bunch cilantro

2 fresh green chilis

2 tsp ginger garlic paste

Salt to taste


2 tbs sunflower oil

1/2 tsp cumin seed

1 1/4 lbs jumbo shrimp ,shelled and deveined

Salt to taste

Put ingredients for masala in a blender , puree till smooth.

Heat oil in a wok and tip in cumin seeds

Add green masala and fry 1 -2 minutes.

Add shrimp and salt. Reduce heat and cook until shrimp are done, adding a little water if necessary. The sauce should be thick and smooth . Serve immediately.

Bombay Crisp Garlic Shrimp

Jhinga Kurkure are a real street food , primarily sold on the beaches in Bombay. They are crisp with just the right amount of spice to tickle and satisfy your taste buds.

Monisha Bharadwaj

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chili powder1/2 tsp garlic paste

Salt to taste

1 1/4 lb Large , uncooked shrimp , shelled

Sunflower oil for frying

6 tbs semolina

Mix together all the ingredients of the marinade and gently stir in the shrimps. set aside.

Roll shrimp in semolina and place a few at a time into the oil when it is smoking hot. Reduce the heat and fry the shrimp for a couple of minutes on each side until done.

Remove and drain on paper towels; keep warm while you cook the remaining shrimp.Serve hot

Fish in bean sauce over Tofu

Chatham NJ is home to a great Asian restaurant called A taste of Asia. It serves all types of amazing asian food but ,my personal favorite ,is their Malaysian cusine. I especially love the fact that the have a pure vegetarian menu. The chef shared this recipe.

Makes 1 generous servings or 2 smaller ones

1 Turbot or Tilapia fillet about 10 to 12 oz

1  8oz firm tofu

2 tbs finely chopped ginger

1 tbs finely chopped garlic

2 tbs bean sauce

1 tsp lightly chopped fermented black beans

2 tbs sugar

6 -8 sprigs of Thai basil

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 tbs corn starch  (mixed with 2 tbs water)

Corn or canola oil to coat the bottoms of the skillets

Scallions to garnish.

Clean fish fillets and pat dry. Cut the firm tofu into 4 slices. Heat over medium heat  and add 2 tbs of oil. Pan fry the tofu on both sides until golden brownand set aside. Clean the pan and again reheat the pan with 2 tbs more oil.Pan fry the fish fillets for 2 minutes each side, place the tofu on the bottom of the plate and place the fish fillet on top.

Heat a skillet over medium heat with 2 tbs oil. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 1 minute.Add in the bean sauce and fermented black beans and continue cooking ,stirring. Add sugar ,stir to carammelize the bean sauce. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Thicken the sauce with the cornstarch ,stirring well.Add thai basil and stir. Pour over fish and Tofu . Serve hot.

Spanish -style garlic shrimp

Gambas al ajillo are a tapas staple. Little shrimp sizziling in a pool of olive oil and garlic.One bite into the dish confirms that the garlic deserves equal billing with the shrimp. Generally the shrimp is served right in the cooking ramekin, but be careful ,it is very hot.serve along with crusty bread to mop up the richly flavored olive oil.

Serves 6 ,as an appetizer

14 medium garlic cloves,peeled

1 lb (31-40)shrimp,peeled,deveined, and tails removed

8 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

1 (2 inch) piece mild dried chile,such as new Mexico,roughly broken, seeds included

1  1/2  teaspoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Mince 2 garlic cloves . Toss minced garlic with shrimp, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt ,in a medium bowl. Let shrimp marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile,smash 4 garlic cloves. Heat smashed garlic with remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil in12 inch skillet over medium low heat,stirring occasionaly until garlic is light golden brown,4 to 7 minutes. remove pan from heat and allow to cool to room temperature,remove garlic with slotted spoon.Discard.

Thinly slice 8 remaining garlic cloves. Return skillet to low heat and add sliced garlic,bay leaf, and chili. Cook, turning occasionally,until garlic is tender,but not brown.Increase heat to medium low,add shrimp with marinade to pan in a single layer. Cook shrimp,undisturbed ,until oil starts to bubble, about 2 minutes. Using tongs flip shrimp and continue to cook until almost cooked through ,about 2 minutes longer. Increase heat to high and add shrerry vinegar and parsley. Cook ,stirring constantly until shrimp are cooked through and oil is bubbling vigorously ,15 to 20 seconds. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

Source Cook’s Illustrated

Shrimp in Garlic hot sauce

The gulf of Thailand boasts their abundance of seafood. They adopted the technique of stir frying from the Chinese ,which is perfect for seafood,as it involves quick,short cooking time.The beauty of this is having dinner done in no time,even on a busy week night.

Serves 4

2 lbs medium shrimp,peeled with tails attached

1 medium red onion

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2 teaspoons grated fresh galangal or ginger

1 fresh red chili,seeded and sliced

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots

2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce

2 tablespoons Fish sauce

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cornflour

1/4 cup Thai Basil or an equal mix of fresh cilantro and mint

Cut shrimp deeply down center back and remove dark vein,press shrimp out flat.

Peel onion and slice thinly.

Heat oil in wok till smoking.Stir fry onion,ginger,garlic and red chili till golden,about 45 seconds. Add Shrimp and fry just till the shrimp turn “pink”.Add bamboo shoots and toss to combine.

Combine Chili sauce,cornstarch,fish sauce ,vinegar ,sugar and water together. Pour into pan and stir till thicke