Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: Warming up to seafood

By JANINE GILBERTSON | June 13. 2017 9:47PM

“Lobster nests” made with Ramen noodles and filled with lobster salad. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Now that we’ve actually had some summer weather, there’s been a renewed interest in seafood at my house. I spotted an interesting looking white fish for sale at a green grocer in town and decided to give it a try.

The fish is called skate, and it didn’t have a typical filet look. The edge of the filet looked ruffly. I brought it home and dredged it in a little flour, then sautéed it in some butter with a little salt and pepper.

It wasn’t until after dinner was long gone that I learned skates are related to stingrays, which explains the unusual edge of the filet (it’s actually the fish’s wing, or main swimming fin).

A stingray. I fed my kids stingray (or close enough for me, anyway), and they ate it. And one of them liked it.

Skate tastes a little like scallops; it’s good sautéed, broiled, baked or fried. Apparently it’s high in collagen (an anti-aging fish?), and the demand for skate has risen over the past few years.

If you like scallops, skate might be worth a try.

Or, you can just get scallops.

Personally, I love scallops; especially the big ones. They’re quick and easy to prepare and don’t require all kinds of dressing to make them delicious. You can just give them a quick sear in a pan or on the grill, give them a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and you’re done.

One thing we intend to work on this summer is experimenting with lobster rolls.

We stopped at one of those seasonal ice cream and fried seafood joints that’s always packed on a lazy summer day; the kind of place that’s been open for decades has become a destination. I noticed the price of their lobster roll was just under $20.

Every year the price seems to go up by a dollar. I got to thinking about how someone should really make their mark on the lobster roll and serve it with a special twist, so I decided to serve lobster salad on little nests made of ramen noodles.

It was a fun twist, easy to make and, believe it or not, it seemed more popular than skate.

Skate filets, with their unique ruffled edges, are actually the ray-related fish’s large wing-like fin. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Sautéed Skate

1 lb skate fillets

1 tbsp flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Rinse and pat dry the skate. Dust each side with flour. Add the butter to a skillet and set over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add the skate. Cook on each side for about 4 minutes, until the skate is starting to brown slightly and the fish is opaque. Remove from heat and drizzle with lemon juice before serving.

Grilled scallops are succulent, simple and wonderful for summer. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Grilled Scallops

1 lb fresh sea scallops

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp all purpose seasoning, such as Camp Mix

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Place the scallops in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with all-purpose seasoning and set aside.

Heat grill to medium high. Place scallops on the grill and cook on each side for about 4 minutes, until the scallops start to brown slightly, grill marks are evident and the scallops become opaque.

Remove from heat, drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Lobster Nests

Makes 4 nests

2 package of Ramen noodles

2 eggs, beaten

1 lb lobster meat

2 tsp chives, minced

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

pinch of celery seed

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Open the Ramen noodles and discard the flavor packets. Boil the noodles until they are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.

Combine the eggs and the noodles in a bowl and toss to coat.

Spray a large-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Divide the noodles into four portions, and press each portion of noodles into a prepared muffin cup, leaving a bowl-shaped dent in the center of each.

Set in an oven heated to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the noodles begin to brown slightly. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the lobster meat, chives, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery seed, salt and pepper and mix well. Scoop the lobster salad into the noodle nests and serve.


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