#CLEfood: Seafood Cooking Hacks with Heinen’s

Once upon a time, there was a girl that would eat anything, try anything at least once and considered herself quite the foodie. She went to interesting food and wine events, bringing along less adventurous family and friends to hopes to convince them of their narrow-food-minded ways.

And then that girl got pregnant and developed constant nausea for the first trimester plus a few food aversions including seafood. Said girl had beautiful baby (that eats anything, woohoo!), but girl never got over her seafood aversions… until Heinen’s stepped in and showed her how to overcome her new found issue.

I had the pleasure of joining a handful of fellow local bloggers as well as the team from Heinen’s at the Trevarrow showroom in Parma for a night dedicated to seafood cooking hacks — those tips and tricks to help home cooks overcome their troubles in making seafood themselves. In the past, I always loved making seafood – and Hans LOVES eating my seafood dishes – so it wasn’t the making of the seafood that was my current issue — it was the taste. Texture always seemed off, fish that wasn’t supposed to taste fishy tasted fishy and other nit-picky things would keep me from enjoying those items I ate happily before. I was ready for Heinen’s to get me out of my seafood funk — and I’m not talking about that fishy smell you can come across in other grocery stores’ fish departments!

Heinen’s invited Carla Snyder – cook book author, food writer, editor of ravenouskitchen.com and @carlacooks over on IG – to show us her ways of cooking seafood to perfection at the beautiful Trevarrow learning center last night. Assisting Carla with some fun facts through out the night: the team from Foods In Season, America’s premier foragers and speciality food purveyors, selling wild foods from Pacific Northwest to chefs and grocery stores (like Heinen’s) nationwide. And to round it out, the team at Heinen’s paired their offerings with some of their incredible wines.

After some mixing, mingling and touring of the stunning Trevarrow showroom, we settled in so Carla could start working her magic. You can tell her years of experience in writing recipes, testing a single recipe 3 to 4 times over before including them in one of her books, gave her the wisdom to understand the ingredients she was working with. Last night, three seafood proteins were the stars of her dishes: shrimp, sole and salmon. I had strong opinions about each going into the demos, but I was excited to see how she would combine them with other elements to make them complete offerings. Those dishes she made for us last night included…

Shrimp with Tomatoes, Fennel, Feta and Ouzo paired with Célange Brut

Sautéed Sole with Curried Browned Butter, Cauliflower and Toasted Almonds paired with Chalkhill Chardonnay

Sesame Crusted Salmon with Charmoula paired with Souvenir Pinot Noir

Want to know all the seafood cooking hacks I learned last night? A recap:

  • A piece of a seafood approximately an inch thick will take 7 minutes to cook through. A thin piece of fish (like the sole we had) cooks very quickly – 2 to 3 minutes, max.
  • Restaurants cook food fast, and what helps that is a hot pan. Never throw seafood in a cold pan, y’all!
  • Lemon and lime are seafood’s best friend. A seafood store that Carla shops at gives customers a lemon or lime with every purchase.
  • The key to excellent seafood is freshness. The fresher, the better. Your fish should remind you of the ocean – clean and crisp. The seafood we enjoyed last night were brought by the Foods in Season team were caught the day before. Incredible both in sourcing and taste.

But the most important thing I learned last night? I learned to LOVE seafood again, hurray! All the dishes were delicious, well-balanced and left me wanting more. Carla, Heinen’s and Foods in Seasons made this former seafood hater back into a seafood lover! I’m now a seafood success story, all thanks to Heinen’s!

Stay in touch with Heinen’s via their Facebook page, and over at Twitter at @heinens and Instagram at @heinens.

Disclosure: Heinen’s invited me to attend their Seafood Cooking Hacks event. I also received a gift bag filled of Heinen’s products and a gift card to try my hand at making seafood at home. All thoughts and opinions are always my own. 

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