Seafood Comfort Foods for the Winter Months

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Seafood may not be the first food you think of when you are craving comfort food, especially during the winter months. Foods that are creamy and warm are craved when the temperature drops. Creamy foods have a calming effect because they trigger the release of serotonin, a
natural hormone that makes you feel happy and full. There are tons of seafood dishes that are just as cozy, satisfying and comforting as any typical winter dish you might like!! Below, you will find some of the best comfort food ideas for the winter featuring seafood.

Shrimp Etouffee

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 ribs, celery, diced
  • kosher salt
  • 2-3 cups chicken or shrimp broth
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes (with the juices)
  • 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning.
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Flat-leaf parsley, minced, for garnish
  • 4 cups rice, for serving

Heat the butter in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium. Stir in the flour to form the roux. Stir with a flexible rubber spatula for 8 to 10 minutes, until the roux begins taking on a light caramel color. Keep the roux moving around the pan, so it doesn’t burn. Adjust the heat down, if necessary, to prevent scorching.
When the caramel color is reached, add the onions, peppers, celery, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
Add a pour or two of the broth to loosen the vegetable mixture.
Sprinkle the Creole seasoning over the vegetables and mix well. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices.
Add another cup of broth. The mixture should be thick and slightly soupy. Add more broth, if necessary.
Let the etouffee come to an active simmer, then add the shrimp. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque and pink. Garnish with green onions and parsley.
Serve over rice. Yields 4 servings.

Healthier Seafood Chowder

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large (about 2 1/4 cups) bulb fennel, cored and sliced
  • 1 pound red potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups diagonally sliced carrot
  • 4 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 pound cod or your choice of fish fillet, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, and I always remove the tails
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and fennel, stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add potatoes, carrots, clam juice, water, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are just tender, 10 minutes. Add fish and shrimp, simmer covered, until opaque, about 5 minutes.
Gently stir in cream and heat through (do not boil). Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Yields 10 cups, each 1 cup serving contains; Calories 187, Carbohydrates 13g., Protein 19g., Fat
7g., Sodium 666mg., Fiber 2g.

Oyster Stew

(Adapted from Island Life)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper (black pepper is fine)
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 1 pint oysters, standards
  • 1 10 ½ oz can cream of mushroom soup, or make your own
    Oyster liquor

Melt butter in a two-quart sauce pan.
Sauté celery, onion and carrots in melted butter for 5 minutes.
Add white pepper and liquor that has been drained from oysters. Add mushroom soup and milk; stir until smooth. Heat to low simmer. Add parsley and oysters.
Heat until oysters are plump and edges begin to ruffle.
Serve immediately. Makes 5 cups total, 4 servings of 1 ¼ cups each.
Optional: add a splash of sherry right before serving.

Shrimp Scampi Pasta Bake

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp jarred minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/8 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz uncooked pasta any shape you want
  • 1/2 lb. raw shrimp thawed
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
At the same time, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat.
Stir in the minced garlic and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly.
Gradually stir in the milk, broth, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
In a medium bowl, mix the beaten egg, Parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese and set aside.
Spray two small personal size baking dishes with non-stick spray, or one medium sized dish.
Whisk together the broth mixture, the cheese mixture, and the pasta.
Pour the pasta mixture into the two prepared dishes, divided evenly.
Layer the shrimp over the pasta mixture, divided evenly in the two dishes.
Sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Bake for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Creamy Tuscan Scallops

  • 1 to 2 pounds of scallops
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (OPTIONAL)
  • 5 oz jarred sun dried tomato strips in oil, drained (reserve 1 teaspoon of the jarred oil for cooking)
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream (or half and half)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Thoroughly pat scallops dry with paper towels.
Heat olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot and sizzling. Add the
scallops in a single layer without overcrowding the pan (work in batches if needed).
Season with salt and pepper to taste and fry for 2-3 minutes on one side (until a golden crust forms underneath), then flip and fry again for 2 minutes until crisp, lightly browned and cooked through (opaque). Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate.
Melt butter in the pan. Sauté onion until soft (about 4 minutes). Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant (30 seconds). Pour in the white wine (if using), and allow to reduce to half,
while scraping any bits off of the bottom of the pan. Add the sun dried tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes to release their flavors.
Reduce the heat to low-medium heat, add the heavy cream (or half and half) and bring to a gentle simmer, while stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Stir in herbs, take the pan off the heat and add the scallops with their juices into the pan. Mix thoroughly before serving.
Serve over pasta, rice, zoodles, cauliflower rice, or steamed vegetables.
Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 516, Carbohydrates 36g., Protein 19g., Fat 24g

Shrimp Corn Chowder

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ large onion chopped 2 large carrots sliced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups corn kernels
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 bay leaf optional

Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven or large soup pot and heat over medium-high heat.
Add the shrimp in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes per side until just barely pink. Remove the shrimp and set aside in a bowl.
Add the butter to the same pot after removing the shrimp.
Add the diced onion, carrot, and celery and sauté for 6-7 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Then add the flour, garlic, and rosemary.
Add one cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove anything one the bottom (to prevent it from burning)
Add the remaining broth along with the corn, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over
medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat to low and add in the heavy cream, stirring to combine well.
Add the shrimp back into the pot and cook for an additional 2 or 3 minutes until the
shrimp are warm.
Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 520, Carbohydrates 36g., Protein 34g., Fat 29g., Fiber 4g.

Baked Shrimp Casserole

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat your oven to 375°F and grease a baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and minced garlic.
Place the shrimp in the greased baking dish, arranging them in an even layer.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, heavy cream, dried thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Pour the cream mixture over the shrimp in the baking dish, making sure they are covered.
Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese and grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the shrimp and cream mixture.
In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the melted butter until well coated.
Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.
Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve the baked shrimp casserole hot as a main dish. It goes well with rice, pasta, or a side salad.