"I've never really wanted to go to Japan. Simply because I don't like eating fish. And I know that's very popular out there in Africa." Britney Spears
Fish Stories. If my Daddy hadn't nicknamed me Meathead after the character on Archie Bunker, I might have become known as Fishead. I was raised on the east coast with a pole in my hand. Some of my best memories are of fishing.
Schmancy Smoked Salmon Appetizer. No fish is more receptive to smoke than salmon. This recipe creates an elegant, delicate, moist piece of meat with a hint sweet, salt, and garlic.
Portland Seared Salmon on a Salad. Great restaurants get a nice crust on fish by first searing it in a pan and then finishing it in the grill. You can do it all in one step on the grill with a griddle or frying pan, and you won't fish up the house. This recipe is for salmon, but I've done it on halibut and other firm fish.
Mussels Mariniere. Mussels are best in the cool months. This classic recipe is from South France is so easy. And they're finger food.
My shrimp, crab, lobster problem
I was raised in Florida catching crabs with fish heads in the intracoastal Waterway from my home on Merritt Island. At parties I popped shrimp like M&Ms. I spent a summer in Maine feasting on lobster.
And then one day in the 1990s, after a fabulous restaurant meal of soft shell crabs, my favorite food on planet earth, my throat started to constrict. I had no idea what was going on.
Then a few weeks later I had more softshells and it happened again, accompainied by hives this time. Well, that was it. I knew what was happening. I confirmed it by nibbling a bit of shrimp the next day, and sipping a spoon of lobster bisque a week latger. I was allergic to crustaceans, the ocean bugs. Fortunately I could still eat clams, mussels, scallops, and squid.
Shrimp, crab, crawfish, and lobster have exoskeletons, which is to say their shells behave like bones for structural support. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms include itching, hives, tingling in the mouth, and even difficulty breathing called anaphylaxis. In some cases, it can be fatal. The reaction seems to be occur when Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in the blood come into contact with certain proteins in the crustaceans, probably tropomysin. I can't even breath the vapors when I cook. It was thought for years that there was a relationship between iodine in the shellfish and antibodies, but this has been disproven. Like me, many people don't develop the allergy until later in life.
As a result, my effort to make this website comprehensive faced a formidable barrier. Until I remembered that I know a lot of good cooks and chefs. So I have enlisted them to help me build out this section. Watch for their recipes coming soon.
The Science of Shrimp. How to buy shrimp, decoding the different sizes, how to devein and clean shrimp.
Melissa Cookston's Prize Winning Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp. Cookston won the 2012 Kingsford Invitational, the true barbecue world championship. One of the categories was the one-bite challenge limited to only five ingredients. Here is it.
Greg's Grilled Lobster. Everybody's had boiled lobster, but I'm here to tell you that lobster is at its apex fresh from the grill.
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Po-Boys. BBQ shrimp in New Orleans is cooked in a pan! We grill it, add some andouille sausage, and make a killer po-boy sandwich.
...more to come (to be notified when new recipes and other articles are published, be sure to subscribe to our free, spam free, email newsletter "Smoke Signals").