Summer Seafood


Summer and cold seafood are made for each other. Enjoy them both!

By FamilyTime

 

There's something about summertime's balmy weather that makes it just right for chilled seafood salads. The cool, refreshing, slightly sweet, slightly salty flavor of shrimp, scallops, lobster, salmon, and crabmeat are hard to beat.

Keep Cool
Try to cook and serve fish and seafood the day you buy them. Refrigerate the fish as soon as you get home. For optimal storage, set it, still wrapped, on a bed of ice in the rear of the refrigerator.

Many fish stores sell cooked shrimp and lobster. These cost more than raw seafood, but for those in a hurry, they make life easier. Buy them from a reliable market, and keep them cold until you're ready to serve them. Crabmeat is usually sold cooked.

Don't Cook!
If you buy raw seafood, you can "cook" it without turning on the heat. The Spanish specialty called ceviche or seviche makes a lovely summer meal.

In this technique, raw seafood swims in a tasty marinade with an acid base - usually lime or lemon juice. The acid penetrates the food, breaking down the fibers and essentially accomplishing the same task as heat does: the fish or seafood firms up and turns opaque.

For this reason, many cooks will say that the citrus juice "cooks" the food. The seafood for ceviche is just as safe to eat as any other cooked food. And it tastes delightfully cool and piquant.

Plan Ahead
If you grill fish or boil lobster one day, make more than you need. This way, you will have cold, cooked seafood in the refrigerator, begging to be made into a salad.

Wrap the cooked food in plastic wrap or put it in a rigid plastic container as soon as it cools to room temperature. Don't let it sit out in the warm temperatures, even if it's cooked. The sooner you chill it, the better.

If you cook lobster or shrimp, save some of the shells to make flavorful broth for seafood soups.

Endless Possibilities
Chop the cooked fish into bite-sized pieces and make traditional salads with mayonnaise and crisp vegetables, or toss more exotic ones with dressings made from ginger, soy sauce, and scallions.

Serve these over beds of tender or bitter greens. Tear up handfuls of fresh herbs and mix them with the seafood. Pile seafood salads on slices of chewy bread. Served with crackers, these delectable salads are lovely hors d'oeuvres.

You can also toss cooked shrimp, lobster, mussels, or scallops into cold or creamy soups. This instantly dresses up gazpacho or mild bisques.

Toss cold seafood with pasta, rice, or grains. These salads are substantial enough for a main course offset with a tomato salad, a green salad, and a loaf of bread.