Clams with Fennel & Chorizo

For as much as we love to cook, seafood is one of the types of food that we don’t cook a lot of at home. It’s sort of an odd observation because we LOVE seafood. Calli will host an annual lobster dinner every summer for her birthday, but if we aren’t splurging on lobsters and want something special, we usually go with clams. We love a good clams and linguini situation, but to mix things up and add a little something unexpected we have chosen to make this recipe for clams with fennel and chorizo. What we love about this dish is the mix of flavors- you get some smoke and spice from the chorizo, that sort of indescribable fresh licorice (ish) taste from the fennel, and of course the briny salty flavor from the clams. We have used littleneck clams for this recipe, but your favorite variety will work great in this dish.

Clams with Fennel & Chorizo

  • Servings: 2
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  We love the mix of flavors the chorizo and fennel add to fresh clams. We love this recipe for a nice summer dinner with lots of crusty bread to soak up all the sauce at the bottom of the bowl.

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed clean with a brush and rinsed under water
  • 8 oz chorizo
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large bulb fennel, stem removed and thinly sliced (reserve the fronds for garnish)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup seafood or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Put the clams into a large bowl with ice water. Let the clams sit in the ice water for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Half way into the clams soaking, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and chorizo to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the chorizo is starting to crisp up and the oil in the pan is starting to turn the color of the chorizo. Add the fennel and onion to the pan, cooking for another 3-4 minutes, or until they both have started to soften. Add the garlic and red chili flakes, cooking another 2 minutes or so, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the white wine and stock to the pan. Stir everything well to combine. Drain the clams from the ice water (rinsing again if necessary to make sure they are free from dirt) and add the clams to the pan. Cover the clams and cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the clams have opened up. Toss everything gently with a ladle so that the clams get some of the fennel and chorizo broth in the shells.
  4. Divide the clams and broth amongst two large bowls. Top with fennel fronds if desired and serve with crusty bread for dipping.


Sesame Ginger Salmon

This recipe is one of our favorites for an easy, weeknight dinner option. “Bowls” are a great way to mix and match what we have in the kitchen to form a complete dinner. The centerpiece of this bowl is the salmon – it is salty, spicy, and exploding with fresh Asian flavors. Marinating the salmon is key to getting great results- it really needs at least 30 minutes, ideally one hour, in the refrigerator to absorb all of those flavors. You can serve it bowl style as we have in the photo below or with rice and sautéed veggies for a balanced dinner.

Sesame Ginger Salmon

  • Servings: 2
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An easy, excellent marinated salmon recipe with an Asian twist. We love to serve this as a bowl with rice, salad mix, edamame, and cucumbers. If you are serving it with salad, remove a couple of tablespoons of the marinade before the salmon goes into the bag to use for dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon, cut into two pieces
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sriracha
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions

  1. Prepare the marinade. Combine the marinade ingredients (soy sauce through garlic) in a large ziplock bag. Close the bag and shake everything well to combine. Put the salmon in the bag, skin side up, and marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  2. After the salmon has marinated, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the salmon skin side down on a cookie sheet that is covered with foil. Cook the salmon for 12-15 minutes depending on how you like your salmon cooked. Serve with rice, sautéed vegetables, or any of your other favorite accompaniments.


Chilean Sea Bass with Tomato Herb Butter

Thanks to a general boredom of eating the same thing over and over and wanting to provide fresh content for Tuck & Tate, we are constantly trying out new and different variations of recipes. As our husbands like to say, we rarely eat the same thing twice! As much as we love fish, we realized that we don’t cook it very often at home, and when we do, we gravitate to the same recipes and types of fish (salmon ). To expand our recipe book, we challenged ourselves to get out of this rut and try something new. “White fish with tomato butter” has been on our recipe brainstorming list for a while now, and it felt like it was meant to be when an email came for a Whole Foods sale on Chilean sea bass. If you are unfamiliar, this type of sea bass is ultra decadent; when cooked correctly it almost tastes like butter itself. We don’t buy it too often because it does have a hefty price tag, but every once in a while it is worth it for a special treat. That makes this recipe a great choice for a date night in or a small dinner party. If you cannot find Chilean sea bass, you can easily substitute halibut or cod. We love the addition of the tomato and herb butter, which brightens up the buttery fish with an acidic and earthy kick, making it a great recipe for the spring and summer.

Chilean Sea Bass with Tomato Herb Butter

  • Servings: 4
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A rich and decadent fish dish that is perfect for a dinner party or an at home date night.  

Ingredients

  • 4, 6 oz pieces of Chilean sea bass
  • 4 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • a pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tbs butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. While the fish is cooking, heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tbs olive oil to the pan and saute the shallot and garlic in the pan for 2-3 minutes, or until the ingredients become fragrant. Add the cherry tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and red chili flakes to the pan and toss everything well to coat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to pop and the juice is running out of them.
  3. While the tomatoes are cooking, lay a piece of foil on a large cookie sheet. Pat the fillets of sea bass with a paper towel so that they are dry on all sides. Lay the fish skin side down on the foil and drizzle with the remaining 2 tbs of the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 13 minutes.
  4. When the tomatoes are bursting, add the white wine to the pan and stir the tomatoes well to break them down. Remove the rosemary and thyme sprigs from the tomatoes and discard. When the wine has reduced by half, remove the tomato mixture from the pan and place it in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tomato mixture back to the pan but do not keep any heat under the pan. Add the butter and whisk well to combine. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  5. After the fish has cooked for 13 minutes, remove it from the oven and distribute the tomato butter evenly over the top of each of the four pieces. Put the fish back in the oven and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the fish is firm on all sides. It will flake easily with a fork when it is done cooking. Serve immediately.


Lemon Dill Salmon

We love making salmon and eat it pretty regularly but have found that we don’t typically vary the style of how we cook it. This is very un-Tuck&Tate of us, as we pretty much never cook the same recipe twice in order to constantly create new recipes for the blog. For whatever reason we have dug our heels in with salmon. In the fall and winter we make our favorite maple dijon salmon, and in the spring and summer we make this version with lemon and dill. We prepare the salmon itself similar to the maple dijon recipe with a nice layer of paprika and garlic powder, but what makes this recipe special is the lemon dill sauce. Ryan calls this a “shoe sauce” – it is so good he would eat it off a shoe. Our friends and family seem to agree; this recipe has shown up at baby showers, bridal showers, and a number of weekend barbecues. As the weather gets nice we like to cook the salmon and lemons on the grill for a little extra smoky flavor.

Lemon Dill Salmon

  • Servings: 4
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 Our favorite way to prepare salmon in the spring and summer! When the weather gets nice we love to cook this recipe out on the grill.

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of salmon, 6-8 oz each
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 oz whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs mayonnaise
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup packed dill, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the grill to 500 degrees.
  2. Season the pieces of salmon with the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place the pieces of salmon on top of a piece of foil and drizzle with the 2 tbs of olive oil. Gently pat the seasonings into the salmon and make sure some of the oil goes to the bottom of the foil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  3. Make the sauce by combining the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, zest of both lemons, dill, and garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Side aside.
  4. Cook the salmon. Put the salmon and foil directly on the grill. Cut the lemons in half and put them face down on the grill as well. We prefer to grill our salmon on foil to avoid the mess, but you can grill directly on the grill skin side down for about 7 minutes. Keep the temperature of the grill between 450 and 500 during this time and close the lid once the salmon is on the grill. Flip the salmon and grill for an additional 2 minutes before removing the salmon and lemons.
  5. Squeeze one half of a grilled lemon into the lemon dill sauce. Mix to combine. If the sauce is still a little on the thick side, you can add a few teaspoons of water and thin it out. Squeeze the remaining lemon halves on top of the salmon pieces. Serve the salmon with a generous helping of the lemon dill sauce.


Semi-Homemade Fish Tacos

Last week we shared one of our favorite recipes for Spicy Slaw. We love this recipe because it can easily be paired with burgers, tacos, and even eaten plain as a salad. Today we are sharing one of our favorite uses of the slaw with this recipe for semi-homemade fish tacos. We use frozen fish filets in this recipe so that we can prepare the rest of the ingredients while the fish is cooking. This saves us a ton of time and cleanup in the kitchen and allows us to focus on preparing and incorporating fresh ingredients. Our taco toppings are fairly simple in this recipe, as this is a recipe we often use for weekday lunches. If you have more time in the kitchen, the sky is the limit with where you can take these. If you have some extra time, this recipe would pair perfectly with our avocado crema, red onion, and cotija cheese. We’d love to hear how you make it your own!

Semi-Homemade Fish Tacos

  • Servings: 6 tacos
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Our quick and easy recipe for semi-homemade fish tacos.

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen breaded fish filets (we used Trader Joe’s panko crusted tilapia)
  • 6 taco shells
  • 1 can black beans
  • Spicy Slaw
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salsa

Directions

  1. Prepare the fish according to package directions.
  2. While the fish is cooking, prepare the spicy slaw and set aside.
  3. Drain and rinse the black beans and heat in a pot over medium heat.
  4. When the fish is finished cooking, slice the fish into 1/2 inch pieces.
  5. Assemble the tacos. Place a generous portion of slaw in the taco shell. Top with black beans, fish, tomatoes, shredded cheddar and salsa. Serve immediately.


Honey Sriracha Shrimp

A lot of times when people think of food bloggers, they imagine that every meal a blogger cooks is a multi-coursed spectacle with fancy ingredients. Our husbands would be the first ones to tell you that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Many days, between balancing our blog and our schedules, our goal is to just to get food on the table. Once we have the general game plan figured out, we try and see where we can make the meal a little more special. One of the rules that we always preach at Tuck & Tate is that sometimes the only difference between a meal and a great meal is the addition of a few ingredients.

We like to make shrimp on a weekly basis. Most of the time we sauté the shrimp and throw it onto a salad or we like toss it with lots of garlic into pasta. These meals certainly get the job done but don’t always feel particularly special. To take things up a notch, we wanted to bring our “A-Game” with this recipe for Honey Sriracha Shrimp. The recipe is just a few, simple ingredients, but damn does it turn out good. This shrimp is great served with cheesy grits for something hearty, tossed with a salad mix for a glammed up lunch, and is also fantastic on its own as an appetizer.

Honey Sriracha Shrimp

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 24 shrimp, peeled and deveined and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 1 tbs salted butter
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup sriracha
  • 1/4 cup honey, or more to taste if you prefer the shrimp less spicy
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the skillet and add the garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic starts to get fragrant. Add the sriracha and honey to the pan, stirring to melt the honey and mix it into the other ingredients.
  2. When the sauce starts to bubble, add the shrimp to the pan. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes per side, making sure that they are soaking up the sauce as they cook. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.


Maple Dijon Salmon

This is the recipe that converted Tuck’s dad from straight up refusing to eat salmon to requesting it on the menu once a week. If you are looking to bring some of your picky eaters out of the dark and into the light when it comes to fish, this is your recipe. We love this Maple Dijon Salmon because it tastes out of this world and is made from just a few, simple ingredients. Less is always more in the kitchen, and that is especially true when you use high quality products. We prefer to use whole grain Dijon mustard if you can find it, but any nice Dijon will work just fine. The same goes for the maple syrup: a finer quality means that you only need a few tablespoons for the sweet and piney taste that is the signature to this dish. 

Maple Dijon Salmon

  • Servings: 4
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Our tried and true salmon dish that will convert the pickiest eaters in your family!

Ingredients

  • 4, 6 oz filets of salmon
  • 3 tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 385 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and place the pieces of salmon skin side down on the sheet. Drizzle the lemon juice evenly over the pieces and season each with the paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, and minced garlic. We suggest starting with 2 tbs maple syrup and tasting the sauce before adding the third. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  4. Use a spoon to generously top the salmon pieces with the maple dijon sauce.
  5. Bake the salmon for 12-13 minutes for medium, 15-16 minutes for well done. Use a knife to peel the salmon away from the skin and serve.


Grilled Calamari Steaks With Lemon Caper Sauce

When Tate’s family was living in Chicago, they became obsessed with eating the grilled calamari from Saranellos in the northern suburbs. The dish was perfectly created to feel light yet flavorful and filling. We were recently on a weekly grocery trip and discovered calamari steaks at the fish stand. Calamari can be a little tricky to cook. The secret to success on this dish is cooking the steaks at very high heat for only 2 minutes per side. We have paired the steaks with arugula and a lemon caper sauce. This is a great weekday lunch or dinner or can be paired with some hearty side dishes for a weekend with friends. 

Grilled Calamari Steaks with Lemon Caper Sauce
Makes: 4 lunch servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes    Total Time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 calamari steaks 
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 1 container capers (approx 2.25 oz), drained 
  • 1 bag (approx 6 cups) arugula
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly  
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Pat the calamari steaks dry with a paper towel. Season them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Over a high heated grill (at least 500 degrees), grill the steaks for 2 minutes per side and set aside. 
  2. Make the lemon caper sauce. In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until you get a thick paste. Keep whisking and add the lemon juice and chicken stock. The sauce should thicken. When it is as your desired texture, add the capers and turn the heat off and set aside. 
  3. Assemble the dish by placing the arugula on the bottom of your serving dishes. Top with the red onion and the calamari steaks. Drizzle over a few spoonfuls of the lemon caper sauce. 

Summer Crab Leg Boil

Every June Tate’s mom celebrates her birthday with a crab boil. It is a special treat that we have started looking forward to every summer. Over the years we have started perfecting the art of the crab boil and now just mix and match fun accompaniments to the meal to change it up every year. King crab legs are usually purchased pre-cooked and all you need to do is reheat them to serve. We choose to reheat them by steaming them in our giant turkey fryer pot, and boil any other side dishes underneath in a traditional seafood boil. We buy our crab legs at Costco; we have found they have the most reasonable prices and they can usually be found in the freezer section if they are not having their holiday seafood sale.

Tips For Measuring the Correct Amount of Water For the Seafood Boil: 

  • To determine how much water you’ll need for steaming crab legs, you’ll want to visually measure out enough water to cover your side dish ingredients, including sausage, potatoes, and corn. Shrimp, clams, and mussels can be steamed on top of the other ingredients with the crab legs so they don’t factor into the water measurement. 
  • If you are paranoid about not having enough water you can put the raw potatoes, corn, and sausage into the pot, add the beer, and add enough water to cover the ingredients. Remove the ingredients back out before seasoning the water and cooking. 
  • If your pot isn’t quite tall enough you can use foil over the top to tent the crab legs as a lid to keep the steam in. 

Summer Crab Leg Boil 
Makes: 4 servings 
Prep Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients For The Water: 

  • 4 cups (+/-) water
  • 1 summer beer (shandy or pilsner are good choices) 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 2 lemons, cut in half 
  • 3 tbs Old Bay seasoning 
  • 4 smashed garlic cloves 

Ingredients For the Seafood Boil: 

  • 4-6 king crab legs (thawed if purchased frozen)
  • 2 lbs kielbasa
  • 2 lbs other seafood (shrimp, clams, or mussels) 
  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 lbs baby potatoes
  • 1 stick salted butter for dipping, melted 

Directions: 

  1. Measure out the correct amount of water so that the combination of the water and beer will be enough to submerge any of your chosen side dish ingredients (sausage, potatoes, and corn). Add the beer, bay leaves, Old Bay Seasoning, and garlic to the pot. Squeeze each of the lemon halves and add them as well. You can taste the water if you want at this point- it won’t taste particularly good but it should taste very flavorful. If it doesn’t, add another tablespoon or two of Old Bay seasoning. 
  2. If you are using potatoes or sausage, put them into the water in the pot. Heat the pot over high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat just a touch so that the water is at a steady simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes. 
  3. While the pot is heating and doing the first cook, make sure any seafood you are using is clean. Peel and devein the shrimp (the tails can be left on) and soak any clams or mussels in ice water. They will release a bit of sand that you don’t want going into the boiling water. 
  4. After 20 minutes remove the lid and add the corn to the pot. Strain any seafood from the soaking water and add the seafood on top of the corn in an even layer.  Add the crab legs thick side down, bending the crab legs as necessary to get them in the pot. Cover the pot and cook the seafood another 15-20 minutes. You will know the boil is done when the shrimp are cooked through, potatoes are fork tender, the crab legs are hot, and any clams and mussels have opened. 
  5. Carefully remove the ingredients from the water with a strainer, getting rid of as much water as possible before placing onto a platter. Serve the seafood boil immediately with lots of melted butter for dipping! 

Cioppino

Summer means it is time for seafood and there is no better way to get a seafood fix than making cioppino. Cioppino is a seafood stew that originates in San Francisco- it has an Italian flavored tomato broth and can be made with just about any seafood you like. We like to go to the grocery store and see what is fresh and looks the best and plan our meal from there. For this version we used shrimp, cod, mussels and clams. You can use any type of fish (halibut, sea bass, even salmon) and other seafood ingredients like scallops, crab, or langoustines. It’s a light and filling summer dinner best served with a thick slice of sour dough bread.

Cioppino
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 12 clams
  • 12 mussels
  • 12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb white fish – halibut, sea bass, or cod- cut into large, bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Scrub the clams and mussels with a food brush to clean off any excess dirt or sea particles. Remove the beards from any mussels. Soak the clams and mussels in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. While the seafood is soaking, heat a large Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter, swirling until melted. Add the garlic, white onion, and chili flakes to the pot. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.
  3. Add the white wine to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the wine reduce by half. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Slice the lemon in half and add it to the sauce. Cover the pot and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. After the 30 minutes has passed, remove the lemon from the sauce, carefully squeezing out any extra lemon juice, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the clams to the pot, increase to medium-high heat, and cover to cook for 5-7 minutes. If you are using larger clams like little necks, go the full 7 minutes.
  5. While the clams are cooking, season the shrimp and fish with salt and pepper. After the 7 minutes has passed, add the mussels, fish, and shrimp to the pot. Do not stir, just layer everything in that order, and cover to cook for another 5-6 minutes. The dish is done when most of the clams and mussels are open and the fish is opaque and cooked through. When the fish is cooked through, give everything a gentle stir so that the shrimp and fish absorb some of the sauce.
  6. Serve each serving of cioppino with a few pieces of each type of fish and seafood and a generous helping of the sauce. Garnish with some fresh basil and serve with a slice of crusty sour dough toast.