Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Interpretation of Fra Diavlo-with Clams, Mussels, Shrimp and Scallops

Last night a couple of my favorite ladies came over to celebrate the day I turn a year older, and have some dinner. Being the food nut that I am, I was thrilled to have the chance to cook for people and try out some new things that Ive never made before. Oddly enough- that is a present to me- allow me to cook for you. Anyway- striving for something somewhat light, I decided to make sort of a seafood fra diavlo sauce to top over fresh pasta that one of the girls picked up for me.

So Tuesday night, I headed to Whole Foods after work and picked up all of the fixings for what would turn out to be a bit of a seafood feast. Mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp were all purchased, along with the needed ingredients for a tomato based spicy sauce.

I stocked my fridge with all of the seafood as soon as I got home so it would stay cold, fresh, and in the case of the clams and mussels, alive until Wednesday night, then I got to work on my sauce. In a large sauce pan I melted a teaspoon of butter into about the same amount of olive oil. Then I added about 4 cloves worth of chopped garlic, chopped red onion, one and a half chopped Serrano peppers (I realize I am obsessed with those spicy devils), and a bit of salt and pepper. I allowed those to simmer together for a while over medium-low heat, and then added very healthy amounts of chopped parsley and basil. Once those had blended together, and my kitchen was smelling amazing, I added a couple of handfuls of sliced baby Portobello mushrooms. Once they were looking slightly cooked, I added just about a half a cup of Pinot Noir, and simmered just long enough to cook off the alcohol and impart its flavors into the other ingredients. Then I added a can each of fire roasted crushed tomatoes and fire roasted chopped tomatoes. Under normal circumstances- I would MUCH prefer to use fresh tomatoes, however this salmonella scare has me terrified, so I decided to go with canned. Sue me. After the tomatoes had had a chance to mingle with everything else for a while, I started my tasting process. A nice piece of french bread into the pan, and then an addition of a bit more salt. Next time through- I realized that I wanted it a bit spicier- so a few shakes of crushed red pepper went in. Third time- it tasted right. I pulled it off the heat, cooled it off in some Tupperware, and then into the fridge for the night.

Last night, the girls arrived, and all I had to do was heat up the sauce, once I was satisfied with that, I threw in the clams and the mussels-which we had quite a time sorting through, covered and allowed them to steam. While they were working in the sauce, I sauteed shrimp in pesto for about a minute each side, added those to the sauce to finish cooking, and then cooked the scallops in the same pesto pan. Unfortunately, I did not anticipate the scallops taking as long as they did to cook, so by the time I was satisfied with their done-ness to be added to the sauce and finish cooking their, I believe I over cooked the shrimp a tad. The mussels, however, were open and had captured the lovely flavors of the sauce, as had the clams. I ladled this mixture over these beautiful fresh cheese ravioli that D had picked up at Russo's and we dug in. Both D and J stated that they loved it, and I found it pretty tasty as well. The sauce had a nice heat to it, and the scallops- lo and behold- were cooked perfectly. I'm just a little sad that my shrimp were slightly over done.

The girls then treated me to delicious desserts of strawberry shortcake and red velvet cupcakes decorated with LOTS of candles. I have to say it was a beautiful sight.

I will definitely be making this meal again- and I think that the next time I might fore go the clams, and serve a nice white fish in their place? Otherwise, I loved the chunky-ness of the sauce, and how nicely the flavors lingered on the seafood, and though I wouldn't normally pair ravioli with the seafood, it was absolutely delicious. We did remark though that the sauce had enough to it for it to be served alone as well.

3 comments:

Danielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danielle said...

I fully support the addition of a white fish to the mix and INSIST that I be there to taste test it. SOOOOO YUMMY!!!!

eugene_shim said...

sounds good. thx so much for the invite fi. ;)

Share it

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Groupon

Chobani Love