Ancho Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous

I’m all about keeping things simple in the kitchen, my life is already complicated enough! On busy week nights, a one-dish dinner can really lessen mealtime stress — especially a quick-to-clean-up recipe that is made with seasonal ingredients in 20 minutes or less. Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous is a one dish, 20 minute dinner that is perfect for fall weeknights.

Everyone in my family loves seafood; it’s often hard to decide what variety to cook! However, my recipe for Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous keeps everyone happy with a trio of gulf shrimp, sea scallops and haddock fish.  Ancho chili powder (from the milder poblano pepper), bourbon and real maple syrup get  friendly together for a smoky sweet flavor that is “kid-approved” spicy without being a tongue torcher. Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous is a one dish, 20 minute dinner that is perfect for fall weeknights.

After blackening the seafood in my Swiss Diamond Fry Pan (more about that practical luxury in a second),  seasonal vegetables such as butternut squash and Brussels sprouts get a quick searing and then finish alongside the whole grain pearl couscous as it cooks with  Better Than Bouillon® Seasoned Vegetable Base.   Better Than Bouillon

I’ve been a fan of Better Than Bouillon® blendable bases for years and use them in so many recipes ranging from soups, sauces, pasta and anywhere you would use a stock. Available in a range of flavors made from real ingredients including beef, chicken, vegetable and more, each jar of “flavor magic” as I like to say, punches up the flavor intensity so quickly and conveniently. I just stir a teaspoon into a quart of water to use as a traditional stock or use as much or as little as my creation of the day dictates.  I love that I can just make what I need, no wasteful half-full cans of broth sitting around to spoil. Pouring Better than Bouillon in Swiss Diamond Fry Pan

So back to the fry pan! While I mentioned I like things simple, I don’t like to skimp on quality. I always use the freshest, most beautiful produce and best cuts of meat and seafood selections that I can afford – eating well is my deserved splurge in life! I would not risk ruining my perishable investments in anything less than high-end cookware that delivers results. Even though nicer pots and pans may cost a touch more, it keeps from burning or otherwise ruining my food and having to routinely replace cheap pots and pans that can’t keep up with my tasks.  Chef quality cookware from Swiss Diamond suits my tastes and makes it easy to create my kitchen masterpieces with confidence.Putting lid on Swiss Diamond Fry Pan

The 11” Non-stick Fry Pan with Lid  I used to make my skillet dinner has been called the “Rolls Royce of Non-stick Fry Pans” by the Wall Street Journal!  When I blackened the seafood and cooked couscous in it, I was sure that there was going to be some elbow grease involved in getting off the crispy bits and goo – but no, it just swipes clean with a dish towel or brush.  So, how does this magic happen? The pots and pans are made with cast aluminum and treated (three times!) in a proprietary non-sticking coating that includes REAL diamond particles. I learned that diamonds “are a chef’s best friend” because they are durable, non-stick and are excellent conductors of heat!  I also loved how this fry pan has an ergonomic handle that that is cool-to-the touch but can go in the oven up to 500F degrees and comes with clear view lid with an adjustable vent to keep steam in or out! Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous.

So, I hope you find 30 minutes tonight to make my delicious, autumn-inspired Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous. Creative, convenient and easy to clean up!

How do you #MakeMealsBetter ? Please share your favorite one dish dinner or time-saving meal prep tip in the comments. XOXO – Jennifer

Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous is a one dish, 20 minute dinner that is perfect for fall weeknights.
Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous
Print Recipe
This autumn-inspired seafood recipe features shrimp, fish and scallops plus loads of seasonal vegetables and whole grain couscous to create a balanced meal that all cooks in the same skillet -- finished in 20 minutes!
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous is a one dish, 20 minute dinner that is perfect for fall weeknights.
Ancho Blackened Seafood Skillet with Bourbon Maple Veggie Couscous
Print Recipe
This autumn-inspired seafood recipe features shrimp, fish and scallops plus loads of seasonal vegetables and whole grain couscous to create a balanced meal that all cooks in the same skillet -- finished in 20 minutes!
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, cumin and Ancho powder.
  2. Pat seafood dry and rub spice mix on all sides of seafood liberally.
  3. Heat grapeseed oil in 11” skillet to medium-high. Add seafood and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until blackened and cooked through. Remove seafood from pan with spatula for use later in recipe.
  4. Add butternut squash and Brussels sprouts to same pan over medium-high and good until beginning to brown and caramelize, but slightly “undercooked,” about 4 minutes.
  5. Add bourbon to skillet and cook for 30 seconds, stirring to deglaze pan. Add syrup and stir for 30 seconds.
  6. Add dry couscous to skillet. Stir vegetable base into hot water and pour into skillet. Stir gently to combine all ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low, add lid with vent closed, and simmer for approximately 5 to 8 minutes or until water absorbed and couscous tender.
  7. Turn off heat. Arrange seafood on top of this mixture and replace lid to “warm” for 1 minute.
  8. Garnish with sliced green onions.
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Seared Scallops on Baked Rice Stick in Ginger Beer Broth

Seared Scallops on Baked Rice Stick in Ginger Beer BrothSwoon, Seared Scallops on Baked Rice Stick in Ginger Beer Broth! This Asian-inspired recipe might make your guests think they’re dining in a fancy restaurant, but it’s surprisingly fast and easy. I love to use Sea Scallops in my recipes, they are elegant in a “small plate” sort of way, yet satisfyingly meaty as a full meal. Plus, they are extremely speedy to prepare and are a great source of lean protein with just 112 calories, 1 gram of fat, 23 grams of protein and Omega 3s for 100 grams of scallop (about 4 fairly large ones).

Seared Scallops on Baked Rice Stick in Ginger Beer Broth is an elegant yet easy meal that can be done in 30 minutes!

You can find scallops in your market’s seafood department, but I prefer the Sea Scallops from Sizzlefish.com. They source scallops from the North Atlantic and pick only the best — they are off the hook, crazy good and convenient dry-packed, flash frozen in individual portions, and shipped straight to my door. No water or chemicals are added, I just get the rich flavor of unadulterated scallops that I can enjoy so many creative ways.

ellyndale coconut infusionsI was inspired by the deep-fried rice stick that you so often get in Thai food joints – I wondered if there was a healthier way to prepare it. So, I brushed the dry noodle bundles with Coconut Oil Infusions -Garlic from Ellyndale (a gourmet food line from Now Foods that includs cooking and finishing oils) and baked at 350F degrees for 20 minutes – it worked! They were a tiny bit toothy, but once simmered back into the ginger beer reduction, the result was divine!

If you’re looking for another easy scallop recipe, I made these Cumin-dusted Seared Sea Scallops last year!

Cumin Dusted Sea Scallops with Sriracha from TheFitFork.comHope you enjoy the recipe – it’s the real deal and a 30-minute meal! Check out Sizzlefish.com.for some great seafood packages designed to support an active, healthy lifestyle.

Are you a scallops fan? What is your favorite type of seafood? Are you going to the beach this summer, where? Please share in the comments below, XOXO -Jennifer

Seared Scallops on Baked Rice Stick in Ginger Beer Broth
Print Recipe
This fancy seeming Asian-fusion recipe is actually quite easy to make with sea scallops. The rice stick brushed with coconut oil and baked, rather than fried, to keep it fit!
Servings
2 servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings
2 servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Seared Scallops on Baked Rice Stick in Ginger Beer Broth
Print Recipe
This fancy seeming Asian-fusion recipe is actually quite easy to make with sea scallops. The rice stick brushed with coconut oil and baked, rather than fried, to keep it fit!
Servings
2 servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings
2 servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 F degrees. Brush tops and bottoms of uncooked rice stick (noodle) bundles with coconut oil. Place on baking sheet and back for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside on paper towel to absorb any remaining oil.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and saute shallots over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until caramelized. This will take 3 to 4 minutes, add garlic in last remaining minute. Remove a few caramelized shallots from skillet and set aside for garnish.
  3. Add ginger beer, soy sauce and red onion flakes to skillet with cooked shallots. Cook over medium until boiling, add baked rice stick nests and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping rice nests over halfway through. Cook scallops while this is finishing.
  4. To cook scallops, add remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a small skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Add scallops to skillet and sear on one side for approximately 3 minutes or until browning and releasing to flip. Flip scallop over and cook an additional 1 ½ minute. Season with coarse sea salt, if desired.
  5. To serve, add half of ginger beer broth to shallow bowl, add two rice stick nests and four scallops. Garnish with green onions. Repeat for remaining serving.
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Surf & Turf Recipes for a Delicious Date Night

Surf & Turf Recipes - simple and delicious dishes featuring beef and seafoodEver find it hard to decide between serving seafood or steak when making a romantic dinner or special date night? I say, why deny – the marriage of meaty, mouthwatering steaks with delicate, succulent seafood is a bond that shouldn’t be broken. In fact, I’m pretty sure SURF AND TURF are those three little words your significant other wants to hear on Valentine’s Day. And, maybe “I LOVE YOU” later! Here are a few favorites from my personal recipe collection and from friends at Cooking Light and Texas Beef Council. Pair up one from the beef list and one from the seafood list for a memorable meal your love will LOVE!

FAVORITE STEAK RECIPES FOR DATE NIGHT:

Spice Crusted Tenderloin Steak - TheFitFork.comSpice-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks – I don’t know how many times I’ve made this insanely good beef recipe – you just can’t go wrong with tenderloin.  Slice up your beef into filet steaks (or ask the butcher) and get grilling. If it’s still cold outside, this simple recipe works well on an indoor grill pan like this one XOXOX.

 

Pomegranate Steak with Quinoa makes a healthy date night meal

 

 

Pomegranate Steak with Quinoa – The additional of an ancient grain makes this strip steak super well balanced!

Pan Seared Strip Steak is surprisingly lean, but tastes sinfully delicious.Pan-Seared Strip Steak – Smoky, savory and seemingly sinful, this recipe is made with a strip steak which is actually quite lean. I’d be inclined to sprinkle some blue cheese on top for an umami one-two!

 

 

 

 

Mojo Flat Iron Steak

Mojo Flat Iron Steak – Flat iron is a very tender cut of beef, slice thin and serve with some grilled shrimp for a tasty tropics-inspired treat!

FAVORITE SEAFOOD RECIPES FOR DATE NIGHT:

Cumin-Dusted Seared Sea Scallops are so quick and easy to make -- plus very healthy!Cumin-Dusted Seared Sea Scallops – My simple recipe for scallops is super flavorful and can be made in mere minutes while steaks are resting!

Crab Stuffed Lobster with Citrus DressingCrab-Stuffed Lobster with Citrus Vinaigrette – I went coastal crazy when I tried this — this easy lobster (and crab!) recipe is so easy and elegant plated as a side dish with the perfect steak.

 

 

 

Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spices

Sauteed Creole Shrimp – I originally made these quick Cajun-inspired shrimp to toss on a salad but found a few strategically placed atop a steak are spicy magic!

Lemon Grilled Bay Shrimp are sure to add some zest to any meal!Lemon Grilled Bay Shrimp – Let shrimp soak up flavors in a 10-minute pre grill marinade of lemon juice, garlic and simple spices. I serve with the wedges, it looks so lovely!

 

 

 

 

So what are your dinner plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you love beef and seafood — are you more surf or more turf when it comes to life?  Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer