Thursday, January 15, 2009

Need a shot of warmth? Love this.

Our balmy friends to the south have sent some seafood recipes to share with your honey on Valentine's Day. But they'd be pretty good tonight, too:

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our thoughts turn to bouquets of red roses, those rich, creamy chocolates in red heart-shaped boxes and romantic dinners. The flowers and candy are easy to decide on but what about that special Valentine’s Day dinner? This year why not plan a romantic dinner around delicious Florida seafood.

Seafood is the perfect choice. It is quick and easy to prepare, flavorful and rich but light enough to allow for a late night of dancing. As an added benefit, seafood is a heart-healthy choice for you and your sweetheart with its high protein and low fat content and Omega-3 benefits. Omega-3 is the fatty-acid that has been linked to lowering the risk of heart attack, breast cancer, prostate cancer and stroke. So enjoy a “guilt free” evening knowing that you are doing something good for your special someone…except for those decadent, rich chocolates, that is.

Keeping with the red color scheme of the day, you can choose a succulent Florida red snapper entree, lobster medallions in a creamy sauce or a wild pink shrimp pasta dish to make the evening memorable.

Pan-seared Florida Snapper with Roasted Red Pepper Chili

4 6-ounce Florida snapper fillets
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
sea salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup rice flour
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Canola oil

Sprinkle fillets with seasonings then dredge in flour. Melt butter and oil in shallow skillet over medium-high heat; add fillets and cook 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove fillets from skillet and serve with Roasted Red Pepper Chili.
Yield: 4 Servings

Roasted Red Pepper Chili

1 8-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
1 tablespoon diced Florida shallots
3 cloves Florida garlic, crushed
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon Florida honey
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Cook all the ingredients in a large sauté pan for 20 minutes and puree in blender until smooth. Strain for a more refined sauce. Adjust the seasonings and serve hot.

Alfredo Florida Shrimp

1 10-ounce container refrigerated Alfredo sauce
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon pepper, coarse ground
3 cups cooked fettuccine pasta
1 1/2 pounds medium Florida pink shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Combine Alfredo sauce, half & half, Parmesan cheese and pepper in large saucepan. Over low heat, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta and shrimp; gently stir to combine. To serve, twist fettuccine around fork to make a tight roll and center on plate; top with shrimp and sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Yield: 4 servings

Creamy Lobster Medallions with Wild Rice

1 1/2 cups wild rice, uncooked
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup green onion, chopped
1 10 1/2-ounce can cream of shrimp soup
1/2 cup sherry
1/4 cup butter
hot pepper sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds Florida lobster meat, cooked and sliced

Prepare wild rice per package instructions. While rice is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan and sauté the carrots, celery and green onion for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir sautéed vegetables into cooked wild rice. Set aside. Combine soup, sherry, butter, and seasonings in a double boiler and heat thoroughly. If sauce gets too thick, add more sherry. Add lobster meat and stir until heated through. On individual plates, arrange lobster slices on wild rice and spoon sauce over. Serve remaining sauce separately.
Yield: 4 servings

To find more Florida seafood recipes and information, visit