Tag Archives: seafood

Memories…Not meant to be chewed

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to try a new food.  The food in question is something that I, having grown up on the coast, should have eaten long ago, but somehow I never had the opportunity or the motivation (or the cash) to do so.

On Friday evening last week, a friend and myself visited Rodney’s Oyster House where we ate, you guessed it, a crapload of oysters!

I unfortunately don’t have many pictures of the evening.  It was one of those moments where you just want to enjoy everything and not bother with a camera.  But my friend did snap a shot of one of our oyster trays:

I *believe* the oysters closest are from PEI, on the left w the wavy shells are from BC and the back are from NB.

In hindsight, a quick shot of our menu would have been a good idea as I can’t recall the details of the various oysters we consumed.  Luckily though, I do recall the geographic locations.  We tried oysters from 2 New Brunswick locations, 2 PEI locations, British Columbia, Massachusetts, and Japan.

I was quite excited about trying the New Brunswick oysters, memories of home and all that.  The server described the various tastes for us before we went ahead and she said that our initial NB choice was going to be somewhat salty.   That just made me even more anxious to taste them as anyone who knows me has heard me go on about missing the coast…the salty breezes, the salt water…there’s nothing like it.

Anyway, it did most definitely taste of the sea…but unfortunately it was too exact.  The moment I tasted that oyster, I flashed to Parlee Beach in Shediac, NB, the coastline in PEI, the river near my parents home in NB….

I have beautiful memories of just hanging out on beaches out east, getting sand in everything (and everywhere!), walking in the shallows while avoiding jellyfish and razorfish, giggling as tiny krill (at least we always thought they were krill) tickled our toes, feeling the dryness of your skin after a full day of sun and salt, and heading home with hair in ringlets, its reaction to a day of sea salt.

This one oyster contained the years I spent wandering beaches within its little shell.

By eating it…I smelled the coast, I felt the sand beneath my feet, I tasted the sea salt on my tongue which was lovely…but odd.  The first thought I had after the initial *sigh* was…”Wait a minute…my memories aren’t meant to be chewed.”  There was something very odd about having all those lovely visuals attached to a morsel of food between my teeth.  So, although that oyster was amazing in its own right, one was enough.

Overall, I have to say that I am now an oyster fan.  Prior to trying them, I had heard all sorts of unflattering descriptions.  I expected some slimyness due to the fact that they would be served raw, but I didn’t find that at all.  To me, they had a great consistency and, if I hadn’t known better, without looking I might have thought they were cooked.

My friend and I agreed that our PEI choices were our favourite, one selection being from Rodney’s own oyster beds.  The oysters from British Columbia had this amazing creaminess to them, that the server told us about as she brought them to the table.  It was quite good, yet strange on the palate.  The two we tried from New Brunswick were amazingly different in taste and sadly all I can remember of their location details is that one was from Baie des Chaleurs in northern NB.  The Massachusetts oysters were lovely, and huge…the largest we tried.  The Japanese oysters were the smallest and had a unique taste…which I find hard to describe.

Rodney’s serves their oysters with a round tray of sauces that get progressively hotter as you move around it, ending in tabasco and some type of hot pepper vodka sauce, the specific name of which I can’t recall.  I tried the first few, adding a tiny bit of heat to my oysters and it was a delicious mix of flavours.

We also tried mussels, shrimp, smoked salmon and fried clams…but eating oysters was the theme of the evening.

Overall, I have to say I would go again in a heartbeat.  The food was delicious and the oysters were an amazing and delicious surprise! I can’t believe it has taken me 32 years to try them! 😉

I found it amazing to taste the differences in the various bodies of water where these oysters grew.

I felt an appreciation for our oceans and of course, a longing for home.

What can you do with pre-cooked shrimp?

When I was considering what to make for dinner the other day, I decided to do what any normal person would do…I checked my freezer for inspiration.  There I found a bag of pre-cooked shrimp.  I’m not sure how long it had been there but it’s time had come.  I offered a few other options to B but we agreed that it was a shrimp-y kind of night.

Next problem?  What to do with said shrimp?

Hmmm....what to do? What to do?

Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

I jumped online and looked for some ideas around pre-cooked shrimp and what to do with it.  I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again…and again….The internet is a wonderful thing!

Within minutes, I had a few ideas brewing around in my head.  The end result involved pasta, veggies and shrimp…not to mention some seasoning and spices.

Started off by boiling my pasta.

I tend to always put a drop of oil and salt in the water.  Not sure where that habit came from…whether I saw my mother doing it (which isn’t likely since I avoided the kitchen like the plague as a teenager, especially around meal time!), or whether someone suggested it to me when I moved out on my own for the first time.  However it came about, I find it helps keep the pasta from sticking together after it has been boiled and drained.

I have also added a drop of soy sauce or a dash of another seasoning to the water to add a bit of flavour.  Whatever works 😉

So, once boiled and drained, I set the pasta aside and moved on the frying part of the recipe. (The pics I took at this point were blurry but I’m confident that most of my readers don’t need pasta-boiling pictures anyway.)

I was working from a recipe I had found online in a Q&A forum, altering bits and pieces, changing the vegetables and seasoning to whatever I had handy.  What I didn’t change was the initial frying pan preparation that called for 1/4 cup of butter in a pan on medium heat.

It seemed like a lot!  But I figured it would add a lovely buttery flavour to the shrimp and in the end, the pasta soaked up the rest…so if you decide to try this, don’t worry if there seems to be a lot of butter.

Next, I added the garlic.  How I LOVE garlic!  I decided to take the easy route and added a few teaspoons of pre-chopped garlic.  It was probably more than the 6-8 cloves called for but hey, you can never have too much garlic!

(Well….yes, you can…but that’s another story! lol)

Mmmmm...the glorious smell of butter and garlic!

Medium heat at this point turned out to be quite important because you don’t want to burn the garlic…something I seem to *always* inevitably do.  This time, I kept my attention on the heat and managed to avoid any major browning.

Also, a lid at this point is quite helpful.  From experience, I can say that a hot piece of garlic that has decided to pop out of the frying pan and stick to your foot isn’t exactly pleasant.

The rest of this meal preparation was insanely quick and easy.  I added the thawed shrimp (well, mostly thawed) to the pan and allowed them to simmer in the butter/garlic mix for a few minutes.

Then, I added about a cup of frozen vegetables.  All I had on hand was a bag of frozen “Asian style Stir-fry” vegetables, so I used those.  But any number of veggies would work here, so be creative! 🙂

Adding the frozen veggies

I sprinkled some lemon pepper and a bit of all-purpose seasoning, as well as a dash of chilli flakes and a few drops of lemon juice.  Again, I covered the mix and let it fry for probably 5 minutes or so (this timing will obviously depend on the type of veggies you use and whether they’re frozen or not).

Lastly, I added the boiled pasta.  No pics at this point as they turned out quite blurry…but it was pretty much as it sounds.  I dumped the pasta into the mix and continuously stirred for another few minutes.  The pasta helped to soak up any remaining liquid and when it started to stick to the bottom of the pan, I decided it was done! 🙂

Between the chilli flakes and the garlic, the dish had a little zip!  It was yummy and quite easy to make.  I don’t know why, but I seem to always assume that a seafood dish will be complex and difficult.

This little shrimp concoction taught me different!


Shrimp-y Pasta


* 1 lb medium shrimp, thawed and drained (I used a bag of med 31-40 pre-cooked shrimp)
* 1 lb spaghetti noodles (more or less, depending on family size)
* 6-8 garlic cloves, according to personal taste, minced
* 1 cup of frozen veggies (what type, frozen or fresh…completely up to you)
* 1/4 cup butter
* lemon pepper
* all-purpose seasoning
* few drops of lemon juice
* dried chilli flakes
* olive oil (for pasta)
* pepper/salt to taste
1. Boil pasta in water (with a little added oil and salt) till tender. Drain and set aside when done.

2. Melt butter over medium heat.

3. Add garlic and cook about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Watch so as not to burn the garlic (and cover it so as not to burn your feet! 😉

4. Add the shrimp. Let heat up about 2-3 minutes depending on how frozen they are.

5. Add veggies and seasonings (lemon pepper, lemon juice, pepper/salt, all purpose seasoning, chilli flakes) and allow to simmer another 5 minutes or so, again depending on the veggies you decide to use.

6. Add pasta to skillet.  My pan had a good amount of liquid but at this point, feel free to add some if needed.  The pasta will soak up much of the excess.

7. Keep tossing all ingredients around in skillet till all is incorporated.

8. Enjoy! (With a glass of white wine!)

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