Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Seafood Pasta in Creamy White Sauce


 Living in cavite which is so near the coastal area, fresh seafoods are always readily available, openly sold along the highways as you enter the coastal side down south. Aside from the usual traffic, the sights that will commonly greet as you pass along Aguinaldo Highway are small makeshift stalls on the roadside selling fresh mussels, oysters and live crabs.

Keep this tip in mind, Make sure to purchase shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels from approved sources like the supermarket or other reliable sources. To know if it’s fresh,

it should be firmly closed and odorless. 

Each time I use fresh seafood as a main ingredient of a dish , I look for ways to take off the "lansa" or smell. There are various ways of keeping the seafood fresh while you prepare the sauce to go with it. Here are some of the ways I found online;


CLAMS (Halaan):

To clean and purge clams you will need cold water and sea or table salt.


Place your clams in a large bowl and fill it with water. Clams should be covered by at least 4 inches of water. Add about 35 gr (1.23 oz) of salt per liter of water. Turn the clams over, then let them purge for 3 hours in a cool place covered by a towel. Use a black towel because the clams should rest in the dark.After 3 hours your clams are perfectly purged. Rinse under cold running water and discard all opened or damaged clams.


MUSSELS (Tahong):



When buying the mussels, make sure the shells are undamaged, tightly closed and don't stink.Pull off the beard that comes out of the shell; if it doesn't come loose, use a knife.Using a scouring pad or a stiff brush, scrub the mussels vigorously one by one, perhaps under running water.With the blade of a knife, scrape off any barnacles attached to the shell.Once cleaned, wash the mussels under running water.Now the mussels are ready to be cooked; to open the mussels, put them in a pot and cover with a lid. Once opened, they're ready to be cooked as you like!



SQUID (Pusit):


Holding the body firmly, grasp the head and pull gently, twisting if necessary, to pull the head away from the body without breaking the ink sac. The internal body and tentacles will come with it.Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. At the center of the tentacles is a small beak. Squeeze to remove and discard.Set aside the the tentacles to use (they're edible and tasty). If the recipe calls for ink, reserve it, otherwise discard the head and ink sac.At the top of the body, there is a clear piece of cartilage. Pull it out and discard.f the squid has an outer spotted membrane-type skin, pull it off and discard.Under cold running water, wash the tube carefully, inside and out, to get rid of any sand or other remaining tissues, and wash the tentacles carefully as well.If you're going to stuff them, you're finished. Set them aside to drain.If you're going to fry them, remove the side fins and keep with the tentacles for cooking since they're edible. Let the squid drain.Cook.



SHRIMPS (Hipon):


Devein the shrimp by peeling the shell from it. Use a paring knife to make a shallow slit along the back from the head end to the tail end. Look for the black sand vein that runs along the center of the back. If the vein is there, use the tip of the knife to carefully remove and discard it, as shown. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water.

If desired, halve deveined shrimp by placing the shrimp, front side down, on a cutting board. Cut all the way through the shrimp lengthwise, making two pieces.

Source: http://www.bhg.com/recipes/fish/basics/how-to-clean-shrimp/



Seafood Pasta in Creamy White Sauce

ingredients:

1/4 kilo shrimps,heads and tails cut off, deveined1/4 kilo squid
1/4 kilo mussels
1/4 kilo clams
1/4 kilo Linguine pasta
olive oil
red and green red bell peppers, cut in strips (optional)
finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
finely chopped parsley (for garnish)


onions
garlic
salt and pepper
lemon or kalamansi juice (use as soak for squid to take off smell)




for the white sauce:

250 ml. Nestle All Purpose Cream
250 ml evaporated milk
2 tbsps. flour (to make a roux)
2tbsps. butter





tips to avoid dry pasta:

Do not wash cooked pasta with tap water, one common mistake in cooking is washing the cooked pasta with cold water making the noodles soggy. Once cooked, give it a quick drain,pour it in another wide bowl where you can toss the cooked pasta, put 1 tsp. butter and 2 tbsp olive oil, swirl the cooked pasta over this mix until pasta absorbs it, set aside. Pasta won't get dry nor soggy.



Prepare the White Sauce

Make a roux, (
Roux is a mixture of equal parts fat and flour that is one of the most common thickeners for sauces and soups.) Start by melting a couple tablespoons of clarified butter in a pan. When the butter melts and turns frothy, stir in a little bit of all-purpose flour. You can use either a wooden spoon or a whisk. Remember, an ounce of butter will absorb an equal weight of flour.As you continue to stir flour into the butter, you'll see that a thick paste is forming.Continue Cooking Until Desired Color Is
Achieved.Since I aim aiming for a white sauce, I want my roux not too cooked that it will turn brown, just enough light color is what I want to achieve, Now add in the milk and Nestle All Purpose Cream. One quick boil and turn the heat off.
 Cover and set aside.





Procedure:

1. Sear deveined shrimps, squid, set aside. blanch clams in hot water and set aside the broth. same with mussels, pre cook or quickly stir fry in another pan.

2. Put olive oil in the pan.Saute white onions, garlic, add in the pre cooked mussels and clams, shrimps and squid.season with salt and pepper, add in the broth from clam for added flavor,Add finely chopped red and green bell peppers, lower the heat and let the aromatics seep in the dish for a quick cook and toss, turn the heat off. mix well,this is the seafood mixture.

6. Serve over plated cooked pasta, pour in the white sauce, add cooked seafood mixture as desired.Garnish with chopped parsley or chopped fresh basil.



Here is the finished product, paired with a homemade pinoy bruschetta. I made this Seafood Pasta in Creamy White Sauce as a healthy option and a deviation from the usual ground beef or pork pasta sauces commonly cooked on special occasions. Seafood is probably more healthy than any of those stuff I mentioned, rich in protein, zinc plus the yum....I still drool when I look over it. :)


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