Easy Roasted Shrimp

I’ve been making these easy roasted shrimp for my husband and myself since we moved in together 6 years ago.

They’re so simple, healthy, and yet delicious.  I’ve used them to top salads, pasta, rice dishes, and often just eat them on their own with a roasted vegetable or two.Easy Roasted Shrimp | A Nerd CooksYou’ll need:

  • 1 lb raw medium/large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

In a large zip top bag, combine the raw shrimp, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Toss it all around until the shrimp are well coated.

Lay the shrimp, in a single layer, on the lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  The shrimp will be opaque and firm to the touch.

Eat them as a main course on their own, as an appetizer (roasted shrimp cocktail, anyone?), or incorporate them into whatever dish you’d like.

Easy Roasted Shrimp | A Nerd Cooks


Salmon BLT Tacos

Salmon.  BLT.  Tacos.

Need I say more?  Didn’t think so.

Salmon BLT Tacos | A Nerd Cooks

These tacos are the product of leftover ingredients from various dinners throughout the week + my foodbrain working overtime.

You’ll need (makes 8 tacos):

  • 1.5 lbs of salmon
  • 3 tbs Ranch dressing
  • 1-2 tsp Sriracha
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • arugula
  • cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

You can prepare the salmon any way you like: grilled, pan seared, baked.  I prefer to bake the salmon, wrapped in foil, and then flake it with a fork.  The method that I use can be found here.  Once the salmon is prepared, set it aside for the moment.

In a small bowl, combine the Ranch dressing and Sriracha.  If you aren’t big into spicy foods, start with 1tsp of the Sriracha.  Taste, and add more if you still want some more heat.  Set side.

Heat the corn tortillas.  You can do this one of two ways: 1) by microwaving them for 30 seconds, sandwiched between layers of damp paper towels; 2) heating them in a dry skillet over medium heat.

Once the tortillas are warm, start assembling the tacos!  Start with a little bed of arugula, followed by the salmon.  Top with some quartered cherry tomatoes, shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, and a drizzle or two of the pleasantly spicy sauce.

Salmon BLT Tacos | A Nerd Cooks

Salmon BLT Tacos | A Nerd Cooks

Spaghetti with Clams and White Wine Sauce

Clams were on sale at our grocery store this week, and I couldn’t resist.  This is an easy, delicious dinner that can be put on the table quickly.Spaghetti with Clams | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • 50 count littleneck clams, cleaned (see this post on The Kitchn)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 box thin spaghetti
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes, more if you want more heat
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parmesan cheese

Clean the clams and set aside.  If any are open, tap them gently on the counter top.  Any that do not close right away should be discarded.

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

While the past is cooking, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium.  Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally.  Cook until the onions are softened, then add the red pepper flakes, cooking for about 30 more seconds.

Add the wine, chicken broth, salt and pepper, and clams.  Cover the skillet for 10 minutes, or until all of the clams have opened.  Discard any clams that do not open.

Toss the cooked pasta with the clams and sauce.  Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!  This serves 3-4 people.

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Citrus, and Chiles

Sean and I don’t really make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, but I used the holiday as an excuse to buy an expensive piece of salmon, and made this (and an awesome risotto, which can be found here) for dinner on Friday night.

The pictures don’t do it justice, but this was very tasty, and a pretty fool-proof method for cooking fish.

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Citrus, and Chiles | A Nerd Cooks Slow-Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Citrus, and Chiles | A Nerd Cooks

I saw this recipe in the January issue of Bon Appétit magazine.

You’ll need:

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 blood (or navel) orange, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 1 Meyer (or regular) lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper with seeds, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill, plus more for serving
  • 2 lb. skinless salmon fillet
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Toss the sliced fennel, orange, lemon, pepper, and dill sprigs in a shallow baking dish.  Season them with salt and pepper

Set salmon fillet on top of the fennel mixture and season with kosher salt.  Pour the oil over.

Roast salmon until it is just cooked through (30-40 minutes).

Baked Bay Scallops

Lately I’ve been wanting to become a little more adventurous when it comes to cooking seafood.  And here, I’m using “adventurous” a little loosely.  What I really mean is, I’ve been wanting to branch out a bit and try cooking something other than shrimp.  You can see that I did that here, with the baked salmon.  This time I dug some frozen scallops out of the freezer and had a go with them.

Baked Bay Scallops | A Nerd Cooks

I found this recipe on blogchef.net.

You’ll need:

  • 4 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 lbs bay scallops, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pour the melted butter into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.  Place the scallops, in a single layer, in the dish as well.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, dried parsley, and parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle this mixture over the scallops, evenly.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the scallops are firm.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

This is optional, but these scallops are really good on top of some pasta.  I used thin spaghetti, and made a scampi-type sauce.  Toss and eat.

Korean Tuna Pancakes (Chamchi-jun)

Hello everyone!  If you’re a follower on Facebook, you may have seen that there will be some guest posts on A Nerd Cooks this week.  Here’s the first one.  My friend Angela (we’re both working on PhDs at JHSPH) is an amazing cook, so asking her to guest post was a no brainer.  Let’s let Angela take it away!

Korean Tuna Pancakes (Chamchi-jun: chamchi=tuna & jun=savory pancakes in Korean)

Korean Tuna Pancakes | A Nerd Cooks
Hello everyone! I’m Angela, a fellow nerd of Lauren’s who also loves to cook and bake! I would like to thank Lauren for asking me to guest blog! Yay!

Easy, delicious comfort foods are both necessary and sufficient (ha! an epidemiology joke!) in the life of this grad student. Korean tuna pancakes are one of them. My mom used to make it when I was a kid. It tastes good hot or cold (perfect leftovers!); you can enjoy them as a snack/appetizer/light meal or with a bowl of rice; you can make them any size you want! The recipe is very versatile as well. Ah, one less headache indeed!

You will need:

1 can of tuna (5 oz), strained
1/4 cup chopped onion (use more or less based on your preference)
1/2 cup frozen corn (peas or carrots or a mix of all three work too! I personally find the sweetness of corn and the crunchiness of onion work really well with tuna!)
2 eggs
A dash of garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Cooking oil

1. Put chopped onions and frozen corn in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute or until the mixture is slightly softened.
2. Add tuna and eggs. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
3. Heat a non-stick pan. Add a generous amount of oil.
4. Scoop the mixture and place it on the heated pan.
5. Cook until both sides are golden brown.
6. Serve & enjoy!

Easy Salmon Baked in Foil

UPDATED: 7/6/2015

Since originally blogging about this salmon two years ago, it has continually been one of the most popular posts on my blog.  Given this, and the serious deliciousness of the dish, I felt like it deserved a face lift.  So, herein you’ll find updated photos and a little updated text.  I hope you enjoy this fish as much as my husband and I do (we usually have it once a week!).

Without further ado…

I am generally inept when it comes to cooking fish. Don’t ask me why, because I couldn’t tell you.

It’s stupid, I know.  But I’ve found a cooking method for fish that even I can’t screw up. This is it: baking in foil.

Easy Salmon Baked in Foil | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • cooking spray
  • salmon fillets
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt, pepper, and other desired seasonings (I’m having a serious love affair with this shallot salt), to taste
  • lemon, scrubbed and sliced into thin rounds

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Set another sheet(s) of foil on top that’s big enough to fully enclose your salmon fillet(s).  Spray this/them with cooking spray.  Set aside momentarily.

Pat the salmon dry and set each fillet atop it’s own sheet of cooking sprayed foil.

Drizzle or brush a bit of olive oil on each piece of fish.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and whatever other seasonings you’re using.  Set a lemon slice or two on top.  Now roll the foil up to enclose the fish.

Put each foil packet on the lined baking sheet and bake.  If you’re using the individual fillets, you will need to bake for approximately 20 minutes.  If it’s a big, thick, honkin’ fillet like the one in the pictures, you’ll probably need closer to 30 minutes.  Regardless, you want to cook it until the fish is just done.  It should flake easily in the middle (using a fork) when it’s done.  Ain’t no body got time for overcooked salmon.

One of the great things about this is that you can change things up to suit your tastes.  You should use different seasonings and herbs depending on your mood and preferences.  I’ve also done this with orange slices instead of lemon, and it comes out tasty.  Enjoy!

Easy Salmon Baked in Foil | A Nerd Cooks