Coastal Point residents can count themselves lucky to live 30 minutes from Galveston, allowing them to incorporate the flavors of the coast into their fall menu. Coastal-inspired fall meals allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds — the rich, comforting tastes of autumn and the fresh, vibrant flavors of the sea. Here are five of our favorite recipes to get you started:
1. Seafood Chowder
- 1/2 pound (about 225g) white fish fillets (such as cod or haddock), cut into chunks
- 1/2 pound (about 225g) shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound (about 225g) scallops (optional)
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 4 cups chicken or seafood broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot.
- In the same pot, add the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté in bacon grease until onions become translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add butter to the pot and let it melt. Add celery and carrots. Sauté for an additional 3 to 4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Stir in potatoes and corn. Season with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Pour in chicken or seafood broth and add bay leaves. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Add fish, shrimp and scallops (if using) to pot. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until seafood is cooked through. Be careful not to overcook seafood, as it can become tough.
- Stir in cooked bacon. Reduce heat to low, then pour in whole milk and heavy cream. Stir well and let chowder gently heat through without boiling. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Remove bay leaves and discard. Serve with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
2. Grilled Salmon with Maple Glaze
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
- Combine soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, ginger, pepper and salt in a shallow container with a tight-fitting lid. Place salmon, flesh-side down, in container and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate. Once heated, turn down one side to low heat.
- Place salmon, skin-side down, over low heat on the grill and close the lid. Allow to cook, basting once with reserved marinade, until easily flaked with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve.
3. Shrimp and Grits
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup coarsely ground grits
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
- salt to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- Bring water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk grits into boiling water, then whisk in half-and-half. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits are thickened and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
- Season shrimp with salt and cayenne pepper. Add lemon juice, toss to combine, and set aside. Place sausage slices in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove sausage. Add bacon to skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly browned. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop or crumble when cool. Cook bell peppers, onion, and garlic in bacon drippings until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir cooked sausage and marinated shrimp into the skillet with the cooked vegetables. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, stirring to create a smooth roux. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is golden brown in color, 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully, mixture burns easily.
4. Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
- 7 ounces crabmeat
- 5 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground savory or to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Combine crabmeat, green onions, thyme, oregano, savory and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix in mayonnaise and 1/4 cup Parmesan until well combined. Refrigerate filling until ready to use.
- Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp towel. Remove stems. Spoon out the gills and the base of the stem, making deep cups. Discard gills and stems. Fill mushroom caps with rounded teaspoonfuls of filling and place them in an ungreased shallow baking dish. Sprinkle tops with Parmesan and paprika. Bake mushrooms in preheated oven until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.
5. Mini Lobster Pot Pies
- 1 (5 ounce) lobster tail
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 (8 ounce) bottle clam juice
- ¼ cup diced celery
- ¼ cup diced carrot
- ¼ teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cubed Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
- Cut lobster shell down the middle, crack it open, and pull out the meat. Cut the shell into 1-inch pieces and set aside. Cut the meat into ½-inch pieces, checking carefully and removing any veins or missed pieces of shell. Transfer the meat to a plate and refrigerate.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add lobster shells and cook, stirring often, until they turn brick red, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in sherry and clam juice and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, 15 to 20 minutes; making sure the liquid does not reduce. Remove from the heat and pour broth through a strainer to remove shells.
- Rinse out the saucepan and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Place over medium heat to melt. Add carrots, celery, paprika, tomato paste, salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook and stir until tomato paste is toasted and paprika is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in lobster broth and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook at a gentle simmer until potatoes are tender and liquid has reduced just slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, place puff pastry on a piece of parchment paper. Cut out two 3 ½-inch circles and cut an “x” in the center of each one. Brush tops with beaten egg. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Add lemon juice, cream, and tarragon to the potatoes; stir to combine and return to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until reduced and thickened slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Stir in reserved lobster meat. Remove from stove and divide mixture evenly between two 6-ounce ramekins, stopping about ¼ inch from the top.
- With the egg wash facing up, place puff pastry circles onto the ramekins, making sure the vents are cut all the way through. Bake in the upper center of the preheated oven until bubbly and browned, about 20 minutes. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Photos courtesy of: Simply Recipes (Shrimp & Grits); Grateful (Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms); Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish (Lobster Pot Pies).