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Simple but stylish cold seafood salads.

Fresh and light, these cold main-dish salads use a variety of simple ways to prepare and present fish.

The first salad starts with cracked Dungeness crab; shell it and serve the meat (underneath the back shell of the crab) with the unshelled legs. Or buy shelled Dungeness, king, or other crab.

The second salad uses steeping, a way to cook fish in hot water to ensure maximum moistness and to preserve the delicate texture of the sole.

Sliced raw fish is served Japanese fashion in the third salad. You may need to visit an Asian market to get the wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish--it comes in a tube, or use prepared horseradish as an alternative) and the sliced pickled ginger. Bake lean rockfish without butter or other added fat, then let cool to make the last salad; it goes with spinach.

Consider these salads for a spring luncheon, served with sourdough bread and a dry white wine such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

Cracked Crab and Yellow Rice Salad 1 large cooked Dungeness crab (about 2 lb.), cleaned and cracked (save uncracked back shell), or 3/4 pound shelled crab Water 1 to 1-1/2 pounds asparagus, tough ends snapped off and spears peeled, if desired Turmeric dressing (recipe follows) 1-1/2 cups cold cooked long-grain white rice 1/3 cup finely chopped green onion Salt and pepper Parsley sprigs (optional)

Rinse crab back shell; set aside. Pick meat from crab body; discard shells. Mound meat on one side of a large platter; arrange unshelled legs and claws around the meat. Top with the reserved back shell; keep cool.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, bring 1 inch water to a boil. Lay asparagus in pan and cook on high heat, uncovered, just until spears are tender-crisp to bite, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain asparagus, immerse in cold water until cool, and drain again. Arrange on platter with crab; spoon about 1/3 of the dressing over asparagus.

Mix remaining dressing with rice and onion; season with salt and pepper and mound onto platter.

Serve, or cover and chill as long as 4 hours. Makes 2 or 3 servings. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Turmeric dressing. With a wire whisk, blend together 1/3 cup salad oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric. Use, or set aside up to 4 hours. Makes 1/2 cup.

Sole Fillets with Four-Color

Vegetable Salad 1-1/2 pounds small skinned sole fillets (about 1/4 in. thick) Water 1/4 pound edible-pod peas, ends and strings removed 2 medium-size red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped 1/4 pound daikon, peeled and very finely shredded 4 small (about 1 lb. total) yellow crookneck squash or zucchini, ends trimmed and squash cut into matchstick-size slivers 4 small carrots, peeled and cut into thin diagonal slices Szechwan peppercorn dressing (recipe follows)

Cut fillets in half lengthwise; roll each piece up and push an equal number of rolls onto each of 4 slender skewers (8 to 9 in. long).

In a 10- to 12-inch-wide deep pan, bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Lay skewered fish in water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand until fish flakes readily in center when prodded, about 5 minutes. Lift skewers from water and lay flat in a dish.

Return water to a boil. Add peas and cook just until they turn a brighter green, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain peas, immerse in cold water until cool, and drain again.

If made ahead, cover fish and peas and chill up to overnight.

Combine bell pepper, daikon, squash, carrots, and Szechwan dressing; mix gently. If made ahead, cover and chill as long as overnight.

To serve, lift vegetables from dressing with a slotted spoon and mound equally on one side of 4 dinner plates. Lay a skewer of fish alongside vegetables on each plate; garnish equally with peas. Spoon remaining dressing over fish and peas. Makes 4 servings.

Szechwan peppercorn dressing. Blend together 6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup salad oil, 4 teaspoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns, and 1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil or liquid hot pepper seasoning. Use, or cover and chill up to overnight. Makes 2/3 cup.

Sashimi Tray Salad 1 pound very fresh boned and skinned white seabass or tuna fillets or steak, 3/4 to 1 inch thick Soy-sesame dressing (recipe follows) 1/2 pound bean sprouts About a 5-inch section European cucumber 5 to 6 green onions 1/4 cup drained sliced pickled ginger About 2 teaspoons wasabi paste or prepared horseradish About 4 tablespoons soy sauce

Thinly slice fish across the grain. Lay slices in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch pan and drizzle with half of the soy dressing. Cover and chill to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine remaining dressing and bean sprouts; cover and chill to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.

With the tines of a fork, score cucumber lengthwise, then thinly slice. Lay slices, overlapping, in the center of a large serving platter.

Lift fish from dressing with a slotted spoon and arrange parallel to cucumbers. Lift bean sprouts from dressing with a slotted spoon and set alongside cucumbers or fish; discard dressing.

Trim ends of green onions, leaving 3 to 4 inches of the green part, and cut into thin diagonal slices. Arrange alongside fish, and place ginger beside onions. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 3 hours.

Squeeze about a 1/2-teaspoon mound of wasabi paste into each of 4 tiny individual serving containers, then pour about 1 tablespoon soy sauce into each. As you eat fish and vegetables, dip bites into this sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Soy-sesame dressing. Stir together 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil.

Baked Red Snapper and Spinach Salad 1-1/2 pounds skinned fillets of red snapper, other rockfish, or lingcod 3/4 pound spinach, stems and coarse leaves discarded, and tender leaves washed and crisped 1 tablespoon salmon, golden, or lumpfish caviar Water 1 hard-cooked large egg, thinly sliced Curry dressing (recipe follows) 3/4 cup roasted cashews

Rinse fillets and pat dry. Set in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 500[deg.] oven until fish flakes easily when prodded, about 10 minutes.

Let fish cool slightly in pan; cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

Gently break fish into bite-size flakes, pulling out and discarding any bones.

To assemble salad, arrange spinach leaves around rim of a large platter. Mound fish in center.

Put caviar in a fine wire strainer and rinse under cold running water; tap strainer to remove extra water. Garnish salad with sliced egg, and dot egg with the caviar.

Lift portions of salad onto individual plates, and offer curry dressing and cashews to add to taste. Serves 3 or 4.

Curry dressing. Stir together 1/2 cup sour cream or unflavored yogurt, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon each curry powder and white wine vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground turmeric. Use, or cover and chill up to overnight. Makes about 1/2 cup.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:May 1, 1985
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