Seafood gives a huge scope for culinary creativity. You just need to learn how to cook them and how to cook them. Shellfish and crustaceans require not only a special, but also an individual approach. What not to do with them?
Why cook twice?
This is not necessary. Most of the seafood purchased at seafood stores is already boiled, repeated processing will only spoil the taste. If the shrimp are lying around in the refrigerator, then readiness can be determined by the form.
Raw clams are gray. The salmon shade on tails and fins is allowed.
Boiled shrimps are always orange-red, bright, attractive in appearance.
Fresh mussels closed, ready to have an open shell or completely cleaned.
As for the squid, they are always sold fresh. These mollusks do not tolerate long boiling, they simply blanch two minutes in boiling water. If suddenly there is boiled squid on sale, then you should treat this product with caution.
By the way, if the shrimp has a dark belly, then it is spoiled. Seafood is easy to poison, so do not save, it is better to immediately remove such instances.
Dill, Beer, Vino
The Russian people are very fond of dill. It can be added when cooking crayfish. Fragrant umbrellas and twigs will help get rid of the smell of mud. But in shrimp, squid and other marine life it is not. Why interrupt the natural marine flavor?
Dill spoil the taste, the finished dish just will not please.
Incorrect supplements can also include beer, red wine and everyone's favorite bay leaf.
These components also do not give anything good to mollusks; they spoil the taste and aroma.
It is more reasonable to add white wine, garlic, lemon juice or zest, citrus peels, olive oil.
Greens are best introduced into the finished dish or used for decorating in small quantities.
Cook, soar, fry
The biggest mistake that makes rubber pieces from seafood is a long heat treatment. Never cook shrimp, squid or scallops for a long time. It is enough for them to boil for 3-5 minutes. Squid needs even less. Seafood in shell prepare a little longer, but not more than 7 minutes.
Basic cooking rules:
- You need to launch seafood in boiling and salted water.
- You can add other spices to the liquid, such as lemon peel, peppercorns, pieces of garlic.
- Seafood is brought to a boil very quickly. In order not to delay the process, you should immediately choose the most powerful burner.
- After boiling the mollusks in water, they do not leave, you need to abruptly stop the heat treatment. To do this, products are immediately poured into a colander.
- Seafood is smoother and tastier when steamed. For medium-sized shrimps and mussels, 4-5 minutes is enough; squid and scallops need even less.
If you plan to fry the clams after cooking, they only blanch for a minute. Most often this is done for easy cleaning. But it is better to fry immediately after thawing, removing all the water. Do it very quickly in hot fat and not more than three minutes. If you plan to cook them with sauce, then it is wiser to cook it first, then lightly fry the main product and stew for a minute together, not more.
A useful trick! If you want to cook a platter, the mollusks are first thrown into boiling water in the shell, boiled for one or two minutes, and then peeled and tender seafood is added.
Mussels lose their taste and aroma after freezing. That is why living shells are more appreciated. If you managed to get it, you will have an amazing dinner. But it is also better to cook live mollusks in another way. First you need to wash them and soak for twenty minutes. Mussels themselves cleaned, get rid of the sand.
How to cook quickly and tasty:
- Heat some oil in a frying pan, add 3-5 cloves of garlic, fry for a minute.
- Pour out mussels, pour in some white wine. Shells should not float, alcohol is needed only for flavor. Squeeze some lemon juice.
- As soon as the shells begin to open, we note the time. After 2 minutes the dish is ready! It is necessary to shift rather from a hot griddle to plates.
If some kind of a sink did not open with this method of cooking or with classical cooking, then we have a spoiled clam, we should immediately move it to the trash can.
In shrimp and crayfish along the tail is intestines. It can be seen, it is a dark tube. Sometimes it is light in color, intestines empty. In any case, it is recommended to remove it. Even when cooking shellfish in shell, it is incised and pulled out. It is advisable to work with a knife carefully, the esophagus is located at a depth of only 2-3 mm. If you accidentally cut it, the contents fall into the meat. In this case, the shrimp should be washed.
It is advisable to clean the intestines before cooking. If boiled clams are bought, then this is done after thawing the product. It is more convenient to eat shrimps that have already been freed from the esophagus than to pull it out at the table.
By the way, seafood in southern countries is usually consumed without cutlery by hand. So really tastier! They ate with sauce or pasta, in this case cutlery is served.
Fat or oil?
Seafood has a very delicate texture of the pulp, it quickly absorbs not only spices, but also fats. Therefore, when frying, never use sunflower oil. Even a refined product is not recommended to take. It is more reasonable to cook shellfish in olive or butter. Sometimes they are mixed, it turns out the perfect duet.
You can cook shrimp on coconut oil, it perfectly emphasizes the taste, combined with garlic, fits into the canons of proper nutrition.
But in this case it is important to purchase exactly the food product, this should be indicated on the packaging.
- If seafood has too much algae flavor, then you can pour a spoonful of vodka during cooking.
- Of all seafood, only octopus is boiled for a long time. For this reason, he is the toughest in the cocktail. You can octopus after thawing slightly discourage, and then throw in the water.
- Since seafood is more often eaten by hand, they are served with a bowl of water and lemon to rinse their fingers.
- If the choice of spices enters into a dead end or is plagued by some doubts, then you can limit yourself to lemon, white wine and garlic. This is a win-win trio.