For those living in bustling urban areas, having access to delicious and slightly less conventional ingredients that come from the sea is as simple as heading to Whole Foods or the local fancy fresh market. And there's a reason that so many people are gravitating to seafood these days, rather than sticking with chicken, beef, or other types of red meat that might not help out the body as much as something lean or from the sea. It's a combination of health-conscious dining and a looking towards other cuisines, where a pasta dish might call for Alaska Scallops or a main in a fancy European restaurant might make use of traditional Sicilian recipes heavy on the octopus.
While household kitchens might not be equipped to attempt the seriously out-there concoctions that are best left for professional chefs and someone else's cooking space, there are still plenty of ways to move beyond hearty seafood stews and typical fish fillets when it comes to dinner at home. And with ingredients like squid and Alaska Scallops surprisingly easy to pick up across the country these days, there's no reason to shy away from some of the better picks out there. Here are a couple of ways to get more adventurous with seafood without ending up over one's head at the dinner table.
Take a page from any great Sicilian cookbook, or other coastal Italian areas. The mixing of surf and turf is best done by the Italians, and the simple recipes involving pasta and sauces with a few different ingredients thrown in are a great starting point for a different kind of seafood experience. Try pan-searing some Alaska Scallops and serving them with Sicilian-style basil and other ingredients for an incredible mix of sweet and savory. By using parsley instead of basil and throwing in capers and golden raisins for a taste that pulls off savory and sweet at the same time, something as dainty as angel hair pasta can be transformed into a whole new dining experience.
For a fancier Sicilian-influenced recipe that is more refreshing than hearty, try mixing scallops with a Sicilian orange salad, bringing together fresh flavors with the almost sweet taste of scallops. Since all that it takes is a nice bottle of extra virgin olive oil, some sliced and peeled oranges (get blood oranges if possible), and a delicious type of scallops (Alaska Scallops are some of the best), this can be whipped up in no time. Caramelize the scallops, then garnish the oranges with scallions, oregano, and parsley.
Looking for wonderful Alaskan Seafood recipes? Check out great meals to make for your family from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Check out the ASMI Facebook page for more information on Alaska Seafood!