Our first big storm of 2014 is raging as we speak, although it has calmed considerably from last night's winds forecast to be in the 70 mph range and waves of 20 feet or more. Needless to say, the roar of the wind and waves kept me awake last night and it was awesome. I loved every minute.
This morning the winds have dropped significantly but the waves continue to pound and there's a warning out to avoid the beaches because waves could reach up to 30 feet. It would take a crazy person to venture onto the beach today so it's a good thing Big Guy harvested the seafood for this dinner before the storm hit.
I imagine this is going to look somewhat familiar as we enjoyed halibut poached in this chunky tomato caper sauce in November. Loaded with onion, garlic and tomatoes and kicked up with capers, thyme, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning, it was so darned tasty I thought we'd give it a try with mussels fresh from the sea, crab and chunks of firm white halibut. I was right too. It is superlative!
The sauce takes all of 15 minutes to make, then the seafood hit the pot all at the same time and simmered to perfection in a mere 10 minutes. If you're not into crab, mussels or halibut you can substitute any firm fleshed fish like cod, and clams, shrimp, scallops or whatever for the shellfish.
A couple of crunchy rolls fresh from the oven, and a green salad on the side are all you need to make a complete meal. Oh, and a roll of paper towels doesn't hurt either and forego the white table cloth, OK? It's kinda' messy to eat but definitely finger lickin' good!
Seafood in Chunky Tomato Caper Sauce (from JBug’s Kitchen Antics inspired by New York Times and Martha Rose Shulman)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 medium onions, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
2– 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
Coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
1/2 pound halibut pieces or other firm fish (cod would be great too)
1 large crab, steam, cleaned and cut in half
15 to 20 fresh mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil for garnish
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until transparent. Add garlic cloves and sauté until 30 seconds. Add capers, tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, black pepper, thyme, Italian herbs and red pepper flakes. Bring to a high simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. Season halibut with salt and pepper and nestle into sauce. Add crab and mussels. Cover pot and simmer fish for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked and shellfish opened. Discard any shellfish that do not open. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with fresh basil. Makes 4 large servings.
A year ago - Ramped Up Toad In The Hole
Two years ago - Leftover Prime Rib Taco Salad
Three years ago - Nantucket Cranberry Pie with Tangerine Ice Cream