Smoked Salmon and Prawn Scampi are deliciously easy
Serving Otolith’s smoked salmon as an appetizer and scampi made with Otolith’s shrimp, prawns and/or crab, you will relish the spectacular flavors and lavish in the time you have to spend with your friends or family. Whether you have parties on the horizon or just want to make any night special, having made these two recipes for 20 guests myself on December 24, 2012, I know first hand the incredible results of a little effort that will make you and the company you keep feel splendid.
Smoked Coho Salmon w/ Tapenade
Time: 15 minutes to prepare; Serves 5
1 lb of smoked coho salmon strips – cut into 1/2 – 3/4 inch pieces
2 Tbs capers – cut in half or diced up, not pureed
8 oz of pitted kalamata olives – half or coarse chop
7 oz roasted red pepper – 1/2 inch diced
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs EVOO – extra virgin olive oil
2 baguettes – sliced thin for easy eating pieces
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley – divided
Coarse tapenade can be made up to one day in advance. Slice bread and smoked fish no more than 5 hours before serving. Refrigerate smoked fish before serving and keep bread and fish each wrapped air tight to preserve freshness until served. Place sliced baguette directly onto your serving platter and cover with plastic wrap.
Mix capers, olives, lemon juice, EVOO and red pepper; cover and set aside in a small serving bowl or pretty ramekin. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Serve smoked salmon on a small plate. One half hour before serving, place salmon plate and tapenade bowl on opposite ends of a large oval platter with the sliced baguette down the center of the platter and garnish with remaining parsley sprinkled across the platter.
It is tradition to make this recipe using prawns rather than shrimp. Here is my own recipe using what ever Otolith shellfish is on hand.
Time: 20 minutes to prepare/20 minutes to cook; Serves 5
2 pounds of raw shellfish – prawns, shrimp or crab; peeled and shells set aside. If you are using crab then steam the crab before shelling and reserve only the strained liquid and shelled meat. Crab shells can be composted or discarded. Raw shrimp and prawn shells make an excellent stock for this recipe otherwise the water from the boiled pasta will work too.
1-1/2 cups of warm shellfish stock – strained liquid of boiled shells in 1-2 pints of water; set flavors for 20 minutes before straining [optional]
3 shallot – fine diced bits
5 garlic cloves – fine chopped or grated
1/4 c. of fresh lemon juice
1 cup of fresh parsley chopped
1 dried hot red chili pepper – chopped fine [optional]
1 stick of butter – unsalted
2 Tbs EVOO – divided
1 tsp capers – chopped [optional]
1 small fresh ripe tomato – diced small [optional]
1 large mushroom – sliced thin [optional]
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese for topping [optional]
1 lb of cooked hot pasta – not linguine or fettuccine
Cook 1 lb of any pasta except linguine or fettuccini according to its package and reserve 1- 1/2 cup hot pasta liquid if you elect not to make stock from your shellfish shells. Coat hot pasta with 1/2 the EVOO to prevent clumping. I prefer angel hair or orzo for Otolith’s Scampi.
In a large deep skillet, using medium heat not high, melt the butter, add 1/2 the EVOO then saute the garlic and shallots until just soft – about 5 minutes. Add the peeled shellfish to the hot sizzling butter, oil and garlic mixture; do not brown butter or garlic. Let the mixture cook without too much stirring for 3 minutes. Gently turn over the shellfish so each side is cooked without over handling them; cook an additional 3 minutes. Then if you are using them – add the capers, tomato, or mushroom; cook for another 3 minutes. When the prawns are fully cooked add the 1 -1/2 of hot stock to the skillet and simmer together for another 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the parsley then season to taste with salt and white pepper. Turn off the heat and add 1/2 of the hot cooked pasta to your skillet to coat with sauce and shellfish then add the remaining pasta and toss gently. You may need to use tongs or scoop shellfish from the bottom of the pan and place back on top of the pasta before serving so everyone can see the beautiful scampi over the pasta. If you using tongs to transfer angel hair pasta to a serving dish after it is coated in the sauce then you can pour the scampi over the pasta in your serving bowl. Serve scampi with Parmesan cheese on the side.
Suggestion: Make what you can in advance to allow time with guests. You can peel the shrimp or prawns and make a stock up to 7 hours ahead of time. Keep your stock and shellfish refrigerated until you are ready to use and remember to warm up the stock before you start to cook the scampi. You may make the pasta and prepare the chopped ingredients up to one hour ahead; these do not need to be kept cold – room temp is fine for one hour. The final assembly will take about 20 minutes however you can prepare the scampi 1/2 hour before serving and just heat it up in about 5 minutes before adding the cooked pasta. If your quests are eating smoked coho then they won’t miss you as much when you step away to put the finishing touches of the scampi together.