Baked Scallops with Pineapple Salsa

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Sea scallops bake perfectly when dusted with seasoned cracker crumbs and sprinkled with fresh lemon juice.  Pineapple salsa adds just the right sweet and tart flavor.  Served with baby green peas and garnished with a tomato “rose” – this is beautiful on the plate and delicious for the palate, an elegant meal that is simple to prepare.

Baked Scallops

1 lb. large sea scallops (around 10)

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 lemon

garnish (parsley, chives, or thyme)

Set oven to 350 degrees.  Coat  8X8 baking dish with oil or cooking spray. Combine crushed crackers and seasoning in small bowl.  Coat scallops one at a time in crumbs and place in baking dish.

Mix melted butter, wine, and lemon juice and drizzle over scallops.  Bake until scallops are beginning to turn golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with a few leaves of parsley on top and a spoon of pineapple salsa on the side.

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Pineapple Salsa

2 cups chopped fresh pineapple, may substitute canned pineapple.

2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and serve with grilled or roasted seafood.  This is also a great condiment to serve with roasted pork tenderloin  or ham.

Crab Imperial

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We often use seafood for special family celebrations. I love to fill  these lovely scallop shells with shrimp or crab.  Souflles made with flaked salmon or lobster make a delicious addition to a meal for guests.  Deviled Crab and Crab Imperial can be hard to choose between.   There are many recipes for Crab Imperial in my cookbook collection, but I adapted mine from  one of Helen Corbitt’s featured recipes found in  The Best From Helen Corbitt’s Kitchens, edited by Patty Vineyard Macdonald,  for this dish.

Crab Imperial

1/4 cup butter

1 Tablespoon finely chopped shallots

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup sherry

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon Tobasco sauce

1 pound crab meat

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Butter scallop shells. The number of shells this recipe will fill depends on the sizes of your shells.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter, saute shallots for a minute or two, then add mushrooms and saute until they are tender.  Add flour and cook until bubbly.  Slowly add milk, and stir constantly until sauce thickens.  Add sherry and seasonings.  Cook until thickened before adding crab meat.  Remove from heat, cool, and stir in mayonnaise.  Spoon into scallop shells and place in oven for 20-25 minutes. If additional browning is desired, place under broiler briefly.  Serve with slices and pass melted butter with fresh lemon juice squeezed in at serving time.

Shrimp Mosca

019Sweet Texas Gulf Shrimp are a treat whether you boil, broil, bake, or fry them.  This skillet of spicy shrimp served with rice is just as perfect for a special guest dinner as for a casual family gathering.  I cooked Shrimp Mosca first from a recipe found in one of my Louisiana cookbooks:  Shadows on the Teche.  In New Orleans everyone knows of  Mosca’s restaurant, owned and operated by the Mosca family. Its claim to fame is that it serves  THE BEST ITALIAN  food in the South.  It reminds me of my recipe for Singapore style Chili shrimp because traditionally the shrimp are prepared and served with the shells on, with the messy fun of peeling at the table and having the sauce to dunk your bread in. In this version of Shrimp Mosca, I peel and devein the shrimp before cooking.  The addition of bread crumbs does soak up some of the sauce but gives a delicious crusty topping.

2 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 stick of butter,

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper

5 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

2  teaspoons fresh thyme

1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and minced

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 cup bread crumbs

Set oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and devein shrimp and place in large baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Put all ingredients escept the shrimp and bread crumbs in a pan and simmer on low for about 5 minutes without bringing to a boil.  Pour sauce over shrimp and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve with rice and crusty French bread.