(Family Features) Keep the grill cooking all summer long with a family favorite, seafood, and satisfy taste buds with fresh flavors hot off the grates. While some people assume seafood is challenging to cook, it can actually be an easy meal for home chefs of all skill levels.
To ensure your cookout is an unrivaled success, start with seafood that brings superior taste to the table. From crustaceans to a wide selection of unique-tasting oysters and sea scallops, mussels and clams, Maine Seafood offers something for all seafood lovers.
With a coastline that stretches 3,478 miles along the cold, clean North Atlantic, the state is home to a diversity of both wild-caught and farmed species.
Get inspired by these Maine Seafood grilling tips, sure to elevate your at-home seafood experience with the state’s superior taste and quality:
Heat grill to medium-high heat then place littleneck clams directly on grill grates or in a single layer on a large baking pan. After 5-7 minutes on the grill, clams will begin to open. Without spilling juice, carefully place clams on a serving platter. Serve with melted butter or in pasta. Discard clams that don’t open.
Place oysters cupped sides down directly on grill heated to medium-high. Cover the grill and cook until oysters open and meat is opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes for smaller oysters and 8-10 minutes for larger ones. Place on a serving platter, remove top shells and run a sharp knife along insides of bottom shells to detach oysters. Top with garlic butter and serve with lemon.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Pat salmon dry; brush with olive oil and top with seasonings. Place salmon skin side down on grill grates and cook 6-8 minutes, or until meat turns opaque. You can also try a grill-safe cedar plank to infuse added flavor.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Pat haddock – flaky white fish that’s sweet and delicate – dry and brush with olive oil. Wrap fillets in aluminum foil with herbs and seasonings; completely seal with seam sides facing upward. Grill 8-10 minutes, or until meat turns opaque.
For a delicious twist this summer, enjoy these tender, tasty Grilled Lobster Tacos with vinegar slaw and cilantro lime crema.
For easy, delicious recipe inspiration and to order seafood straight to your door, visit SeafoodfromMaine.com.
Grilled Maine Lobster Tacos
Total time: 25 minutes
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 small head green cabbage, shredded or cut thinly (approximately 8 cups)
Cilantro Lime Crema:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 lime, zest only, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- kosher salt, plus additional to taste, divided
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large (4-6 ounces each) Maine Lobster tails, defrosted
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 8 small flour tortillas
- pico de gallo
- 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving
- To make vinegar slaw: In small saucepan over medium heat, heat apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, sugar and water; stir until sugar dissolves. In large bowl, pour mixture over cabbage; cover and refrigerate.
- To make cilantro lime crema: In blender, blend sour cream, cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste; refrigerate.
- To make lobster tacos: Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Brush grill grates with oil to prevent sticking. Using kitchen shears, cut lobster shells in half lengthwise. Place skewer through meat to prevent curling during cooking.
- Brush lobster meat with melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill lobster tails meat side down 5 minutes then flip.
- Brush meat again with butter and cook 5 minutes, or until opaque throughout. Cook to 140 F internal temperature.
- Remove meat from shells and cut into bite-sized chunks or leave whole, if desired.
- Place tortillas on grill 30-60 seconds per side, or until warmed and slightly brown.
- Add drained slaw to tortillas. Top with lobster meat, pico de gallo and cilantro sauce. Serve with lime wedges.
Source: Maine Seafood
(Culinary.net) Eating healthier and saving time around the house are common goals for many families, and there’s one solution that can help attain both: meal-prepping. By planning and preparing meals in advance of each week, you can practice better portion control while creating free time for normally hectic mornings, afternoons and evenings.
Consider these tips to start your meal-prepping process:
- Include the whole family. By letting everybody in on meal-prepping, you’re helping ensure everyone is satisfied with the breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that become your end results. Even if you only plan to work in advance on lunches, for instance, loved ones will likely enjoy the process more if all are pleased with the meals they enjoy later.
- Plan the meals. Once the whole gang is included and on-board, start brainstorming the recipes and dishes you’d like to make. Try starting with just one course at first – lunch is likely to be the easiest – to help keep meal-prepping simple at the start.
- Buy ingredients in bulk. Whether your grocery shopping takes place over the weekend or on a free weeknight, purchasing ingredients and supplies in bulk – without overbuying perishables like fruits and veggies – can help make sure you have everything you need once it’s time to build the meals themselves.
- Head to the kitchen. Pick one day each week when you can plan to spend ample time in the kitchen making your meals. Use cooking techniques that are less hands-on, like baking or slow-cooking, as often as possible so you can multitask throughout.
- Sort and divide. Using quality food containers to keep your meals as fresh as possible, start splitting up servings in ways that fuel you and family while instituting improved portion control. By sorting out specific meals ahead of time, you can begin creating better eating habits.
Visit Culinary.net for more kitchen tips and tricks.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) Dinner can be a daunting task for any family with multiple mouths to feed. Factor in complex schedules and individual tastes, and a family meal can become a stressful thought for home cooks.
However, with proper meal planning and preparation, those stressful evenings can become a thing of the past. Consider these steps to becoming a better meal prepper:
If you’re new to meal prepping, don’t bog yourself down trying to come up with ideas and ingredients multiple days in advance. Start by planning just one or two days ahead then consider lengthening your prep phases as you get more comfortable.
Avoid overbuying by heading to the grocery store with a plan in mind or, even better, a specific list. While perusing the aisles, look for the Produce for Kids logo next to healthy, family-friendly items to help make nutritionally sound choices.
Go with What You Know
Rather than teaching yourself to meal prep while trying to learn new recipes at the same time, stick to the basics. Create dishes you’ve made in the past while you get into the habit of meal prepping.
Make It a Family Event
Recruit some help from your kids by enlisting them with some easier kitchen tasks. It can be a learning and bonding experience to make recipes like Easy One-Dish Chicken and Veggie Bake or Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla.
Plan for In-Season Produce
Certain fruits and veggies are stocked (and taste better) at certain times of year. Be sure to create shopping lists with these timeframes in mind.
To find family meal tips and more than 400 registered dietitian- and family-approved recipes, visit produceforkids.com.
Easy One-Dish Chicken and Veggie Bake
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut in fourths
- 12 small red potatoes, quartered
- 12 ounces green beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Place chicken, potatoes and green beans in rows in 13-by-9-inch baking dish with chicken in middle. Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.
- Bake 50 minutes, or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 F and potatoes are tender.
Nutritional information per serving: 554 calories; 8 g fat; 65 mg cholesterol; 87 g carbohydrates; 11 g fiber; 37 g protein; 9 g sugar; 82 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 282 mg sodium.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
- 8 whole-wheat tortillas
- 1 cup low-fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Use fork to prick sweet potato. Microwave 5 minutes on high. Let cool slightly.
- Cut potato in half lengthwise and scoop flesh into large bowl. Mash until smooth.
- Combine beans, cilantro and seasoning with sweet potato; mix well.
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly on one side of tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and place second tortilla on top. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Flip and cook 2-3 minutes more.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas and mixture. Cut each into quarters.
Nutritional information per serving: 293 calories; 9.34 g total fat; 34.82 g carbohydrates; 10.39 g fiber; 17.04 g protein; 2.33 g total sugars; 237 mg calcium; 2.65 mg iron; 146 mg sodium.
Source: Produce for Kids